Selecting a Graduate School

November 12, 2007

Graduate school is a big step in the development of your career aspirations. For some of you, you realized from the beginning of your undergraduate years that you were destined to seek post-secondary education in the form of a graduate degree or at a professional school. Others of you discovered this later in your undergraduate years while others decide after they have been in the ‘real’ world a few years or more. Whenever you decided to take the route of graduate or professional school it is a big step in your development. And a step that takes careful consideration into all of its aspects.

There are several factors you should keep in mind about graduate/professional school.

First, do you need to attend graduate/professional school in order to reach your career goals. Are you just going to put off going into the ‘real’ work world a few more years or does your goal of becoming a dentist or college professor require you to gain more education? Determining the answer to that question determines whether you need to go to graduate school.

The second factor you should keep in mind when deciding about graduate school has several components: quality of education received, requirements needed to enter and complete the program, and if the program is accredited.

  • The quality of education is clear and straightforward. Does the program provide you with the needed information to be a success in your chosen career field? Each program at each school is going to be a little different and may stress different areas. If the area you want to focus on is not a focused area at the school you choose the quality may not be what you need.
  • The Requirements. When trying to gain entrance into a school you need to be aware of all the entrance requirements including personal statements, test scores, GPA, etc. These are essential for gaining acceptance into your top choice. Also look at the requirements to complete the program. Some programs will require exit exams while others will require you to write a thesis. Still others will require extended internships or other similar experiences. Research the programs you are interested in to determine the various requirements.
  • Accreditation. This in part is related to the quality. If a school or program is accredited by the governing body of that profession then you can be assured that you will receive a quality education.

On the Career Center’s website we offer a lot of different links to help you in your search for the right graduate program for you. Click here for more information.


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