5 Secrets To Choosing The Right Graduate School

Congratulations on deciding to further your education! There are several graduate school options available for students interested in obtaining advanced degrees or certifications. Selecting a graduate school is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. Below are 5 secrets to choosing the right graduate school program.

1. Select A Program Type

There are a lot of graduate and professional programs, so you must determine what your individual goals are and select the appropriate program type. For example, are you seeking a Master’s in Fine Arts, MBA, or are you looking to apply to law school? As you can imagine, these programs vary significantly in terms of level of difficulty and time commitment. Take some time to research all the different program types and determine which one works best for where you are in your educational and career path.

2. Find A School

Once you determine which program type you plan to pursue, take some time to research various graduate schools. If you plan to pursue a graduate degree in a field of study that you studied in undergrad, then talk to your professors. They’ll likely have advice on which graduate programs are better than others in that particular field.

If you are pursuing a graduate degree in a field of study outside of what you studied in undergrad, then take some time to seek out individuals currently in that field and ask for their advice on which graduate programs are better than others. Furthermore, they’ll also be able to give you some insight on what type of graduate degree (if any) is required to break into that field.

3. Show Me The Money

Graduate and professional programs cost a lot of money…way more than undergraduate programs, so consider your financial situation during your college selection process. Yes, you will want to consider the school’s reputation, quality of faculty, and program emphasis, but you will also want to take at look at how much it costs. Have you been saving for graduate school? How much financial aid is the school offering you? Are there any scholarships that you can apply for? Are you willing to take on more student loans? You should carefully consider these things before you start the application process.

4. Prepare For The Application Process

If you have decided to apply to graduate school, then you should know that the application and transitional process will require a lot of time, effort, planning, and preparation. Once you narrow down the list of schools that you want to apply to, make sure you understand the application requirements. Do you have to take the GRE, LSAT, or GMAT exam?  How many letters of recommendation do they require (if any)?  Do they require a personal statement or other essays?  You must do your research so you know exactly what will be expected of you as you dive into the application process.

5. Know Your Timeline

When are you planning to start graduate school? Will you be starting right after you graduate from undergrad or will you work for a few years and then start the application process? How long will it take you before you can afford graduate school or until you at least feel comfortable enough to take on the associated student loans?

Once you answer these questions, create a timeline that is specific to when you plan to start. Keep in mind that applications are usually due 9 months before the beginning of the school year, so you have to really stay on top of things. Creating a timeline will keep you on track and ensure that you get all of your applications submitted on time.

Good luck!

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TheCollegeHelper

TheCollegeHelper

Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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