Choosing a graduate school should be a rigorous affair similar to the challenging work you expect in graduate school. Making a good choice relies on the breadth and depth of your due diligence, which many students do inadequately.
- What is more important to you: theoretical or practical program
- Which is more important to you: flexible curriculum or structured curriculum
- Do you already have a professor in mind that you really want to work with?
- What would be your ideal specialty?
- What is your ideal position after completing the program?
- What is your preference: large or small program?
- On a scale of 1-10, how important is the alumni network to you?
- On a scale of 1-10, how important is the weather to you?
- On a scale of 1-10, how important is community in school or in the surrounding area?
- Which setting do you prefer: Large city, Small city, Rural area (countryside)
- How important is the ratio of male : female students?
- How important is interaction with other departments?
In my work consulting individual applicants, we walk through these items and more during our initial consultation session. We work to surface as many relevant factors as possible that affect the graduate school selection.
Go through a candid assessment for yourself and you will be able to create a much more focused list of possible schools. This screening effort then enables you to measure each program on it’s own merits.
What are other considerations that matter to you?