In this week’s blog post for A Guide Through Grad School, I will be discussing the first topic: How to Choose a graduate program/school. I will be breaking this down into three crucials steps when choosing, while also providing my own experience and feedback to how I approach each step. With that said, let’s jump into it!
How to choose a graduate school
- Know the type of program you would like to dedicate one + year to! Graduate level degrees prepare students to have a deeper understanding of specific fields, while also preparing to contribute knowledge to the field. With that being said, you should decide what you would want to further your understanding in. You should take the following into consideration:
- Are you continuing the same field of study from your undergraduate degree?
- If you are not, what prerequisite courses do you need to take before applying?
- How will it take you to finish? (This does not mean that you need to finish this degree in record time).
- Will you need to relocate for this degree?
- I decided I wanted to further my understanding within the English Discipline: but English studies has so many branches under it, so I decided to stick with writing studies because I like to write academic papers! I had to narrow my search, which leads me to the second step:
2.) When in doubt, Google it out!Google is a great search engine to see different programs and their institution. Try using keywords that relate to your study. Google will show you All the options available.
My experience: I would copy and paste all the programs I found interesting onto a google doc to keep track of them all. I tried to aim for all schools in driving distance from my home because I was not ready to relocate.. yet!
- Once you have a list, time to do more research!
- Look at their program overview
- Look at the curriculum
- Look at the staff
- Reach out to the program director!
- Oh yeah, be sure to look at tuition costs…
- Be real with yourself
- Just because a school sounds/looks good, does not mean it’s for you
- Explore ALL options and be open to trying different experiences… That’s what higher education in general is all about!
I hope these little guideline were helpful to you! Please look out for my YouTube video on this topic.