What questions do you ask at a Graduate School Fair?

AccountancyThe Fall semester is well under way, as are Graduate and Professional School (GAPS) Fairs. A GAPS fair is an event typically hosted by a university’s career center and attended by recruiters for graduate, medical and law schools. This is a great opportunity for students and alumni to learn more about graduate programs, and a chance to explore options often not thought of. For us, this is a great chance to enlighten many students that a Master of Public Administration might serve them better than a Master of Business Administration.

Considering it’s the middle of October, there is a chance that your school already hosted a fair. That doesn’t mean it’s too late to continue your research on the graduate schools you’ve already met with though. Feel free to contact the recruiter or program director with any questions you thought of after leaving the fair. Trust me: we love hearing from you.

If you have not yet gone to a fair and plan to do so this Fall, take a look at the questions below. Get a feel for what questions are important to you and approach recruiters of the schools that interest you. Don’t be bashful, either. Approach us and ask as many questions you want. We’ll tell you just about anything including what we ate for breakfast. And sometimes, we even give you things you wouldn’t have expected. Like a free GRE  book or thumb drive.

Some grad students don’t have the option of choosing a grad school. If they have settled down, they may apply to a program that is in the vicinity of their home or office. If that’s not the case for you, then you want to make sure you’re choosing the program that best suits your personality and career aspirations. Below are questions you will want to ask yourself, students enrolled in the program, and the faculty with whom you’ll be working.

  • How much will the program cost? What financial aid is available?
  • Does the department’s specialization match your goals?
  • Do the faculty exhibit special strengths and research qualities through their graduate advisees, published works and funded research?
  • Are the libraries, laboratories, computers and other research facilities adequate for your educational needs?
  • Does the department offer a sufficiently large and varied  curriculum to allow you a broad offering of courses and options?
  • How accomplished are the professors in your area? What are their interests and how available will they be?
  • What are the degree requirements? Number of hours required? Will you have to write a thesis/dissertation?
  • Are support services adequate to make campus life conducive to the needs of minority students?
  • How long will it take you to complete the program?
  • How are advisers assigned/selected? Will you have a choice of who your advisor will be?
  • Are study space/office carrels available for graduate students?
  • Are the current students happy? Do they appear to be good colleagues?
  • Are the graduates of the school or program sought by recruiters?
  • What are your opportunities for employment after graduation?
  • Are the institution and the program accredited?
  • How many applicants are accepted?
  • Are the faculty and student body diverse? Diversity in a program can make it stronger, since diversity leads to a broader
    world view.
  • What size is the program? Will you feel comfortable in a small or large setting?
  • What is the community like, and does the institution work closely with the community? How closely the two work together could assist in your research and with employment opportunities after graduation.
  • What is the cost of living?

2 thoughts on “What questions do you ask at a Graduate School Fair?

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Niki DeWeese, C of C Grad School. C of C Grad School said: What questions do you ask at a grad school fair?http://is.gd/4jhQc […]

  2. […] posts: What questions do you ask at a grad school fair? How to waste time productively Monday motivation: choosing a grad school under: Current […]

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