Graduate Programs

Blogs from students, faculty & staff

by Dr. Christopher Lewis, Office of Graduate Programs

When choosing a graduate school there are many factors to consider. Not only is it important to consider financial aspects, but it is equally important to explore the full array of opportunities and options that surround a college before settling on the final choice(s). I recommend a few things to consider:

  1. Does the college have programs in my areas of interest?
  2. Does the college have a progressive financial aid program to help students with the cost of their education?
  3. Is the college in an area where a student can feel comfortable (urban, suburban, rural)?
  4. Is the college the right size?
  5. Does the program have faculty that have research areas that align with the student’s?
  6. What types of internship or clinical experiences will the program offer a student?
  7. What are alumni doing after they graduate from the program?

Most important is the feeling that students feel as they visit a campus. Take the time to visit the residence halls, meet a professor, reach out to the program chair of the program you are interested within. The important thing is that you visit. Too many students choose a college, only to find in their first year that the campus is not right for them. Visiting becomes even more important when considering out-of-state colleges.

Once these factors are considered choices have to be made; where to apply and when. Fall of the senior year is a good time and most colleges open their applications after September 1 of the year before a student plans to start. Where to apply is a personal choice, whether in-or-out-of-state. The formula that usually works well is to choose more than one. Three works well because a student can select one college where they think they will be accepted, one where they think they will be accepted, and one where a student questions whether they will be accepted.

Make sure to apply on time and ask questions along the way. Also, visit the campuses, take a tour, talk to program faculty to learn as much as possible to allow an informed ultimate decision. 

Questions along the way? Reach out to the college/university Admissions office with any questions.