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Choosing a Graduate Program

The decision to attend graduate school is a complex one.  You need to examine why you are attending graduate school.  Are you simply prolonging the job search or do you need an advanced degree to enter your chosen field?  Carefully examine your reasons for going to graduate school and make sure that you have a clear goal of what you hope to accomplish.  Most people choose to attend graduate school to further advance their knowledge in a field or gain the education necessary to change careers or to advance professionally. Graduate school is very different from undergraduate study.  Classes are much more focused, admission is more selective and there are higher standards expected from your academic work. The decision to attend should be well thought out.

There are a number of factors to take into account when thinking about graduate programs.  Here are some to criteria to consider:

  • Fields of study offered
  • Reputation of the school and the program
  • Geographic location
  • Cost and financial assistance
  • Time required to complete degree
  • Surrounding community and college environment
  • Career assistance
  • Admission standards
  • Your personal circumstances (job and family considerations, etc.)
  • Research/Academic Focus
  • Size

Once you have determined what you are looking for in a graduate program, you should start searching for schools.  Check out these websites for assistance in locating graduate programs: