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Choosing Schools and Programs

Choosing a program for graduate school is about much more than rankings. Knowing your academic goals, your career aspirations, and your qualifications will help as you explore programs. Thoroughly research your programs of interest, keeping these questions in mind:


  • Does the program cover my areas of interest?          
  • Are assistantships/fellowships available for students enrolled in this program?
  • Where are recent graduates being hired?
  • Will I grow personally and professionally from attending this program?
  • Do they have experiential education built into the program?


  • How accessible are the faculty to students?
  • Are the professors well-known in the field?
  • What is the relationship between students and faculty?
  • Will I have the opportunity to work with faculty on research projects?
  • Has there been a high turnover of faculty within the past five years?
  • How many students are assigned to each advisor? (if applicable)

Student Life

  • How diverse is the student population?
  • What types of services are provided for graduate/professional students?
  • Where do graduate/professional students typically live?
  • What graduate/professional student organizations exist in the department and/or on campus?

Resources for Exploring Graduate/Professional Programs

  • a comprehensive directory of domestic and international Masters and PhD level graduate programs
  • Peterson's: a large directory of graduate and doctorate programs in addition to helpful resources for the decision making process
  • US News & World Report: rankings of graduate programs in specific disciplines