Search for Programs
What Should You Study?
Once you have made a decision to attend graduate school, the next step is to research programs that match your interests and fit your needs. Remember that your undergraduate major does not dictate which graduate programs you can pursue. Focus your interests by reading and talking to professionals. Ask professionals what educational background they have, where they studied, and what academic programs are suitable preparation for the field.
How Do I Research Programs?
- Catalog and Program Literature - Contact schools directly to request a catalog or view their on-line web resources
- Campus Visits - If possible, visit schools that are high on your list. Request an appointment with an advisor, speak with current students or sit in on a class.
- Graduate Fairs and Forums - These are opportunities to speak with admissions representatives. Attend various Graduate School Fairs.
- Conversations with Current Graduate Students or Alumni - Contact the department about speaking with current students or alumni to ask about their experience with the program.
- WPI Faculty - Speak with faculty about your interests and priorities and ask for advice on programs that seem compatible with your interests and academic background.
- Pre-Law, Pre-Health Advisors - If you plan to attend law or medical school, these advisors can assist you in identifying appropriate programs. WPI Pre-Law Advisor: Professor Kent Rissmiller, WPI Pre-Health (pre-med, pre-dental, pre-vet) Advisor: Professor Jill Rulfs
How Do I Compare Programs?
After researching your options, the next step is to decide where to apply. Here are some factors to consider when evaluating programs:
- Reputation of Faculty: What is the student/faculty ratio? What are their academic degrees/credentials and research specialties? Is the faculty diverse?
- Quality of the Program: Many students compare programs by looking at graduate school rankings; however you should realize that rankings may be based on criteria that are different from your own. Faculty and professionals in your intended field may be the best resource in assessing what are considered to be the better programs.
- Curriculum: Does it have the depth and breadth you want? Does the primary emphasis suit your career goals? Do the courses look interesting? Are specializations offered that interest you? Are there cooperative programs with other educational, cultural and research institutions available?
- Program requirements: What type of requirements are needed for admittance such as GPA, test scores and undergraduate coursework?
- Facilities: How extensive are library, labs and computer facilities? Are there specialized research facilities?
- Financial Cost of Program: What are the opportunities for fellowships, assistantships or scholarships? What other sources of financial aid are available?
- Geographic Location: Will studying in a particular location help you meet your personal and professional goals? What will housing cost and is there housing on campus?
- Internships or Practical/Clinical Experience: Does the program include any practical experiences in its requirements? Is there help in securing it?
- Student Life: What are the demographics of the student body (ethnic diversity, average entering age, male/female ratio)? How many are in the entering class? What is attrition rate?
- Employment: What types of positions have recent graduates obtained? How much are they earning? Are there services available to assist graduate students with the job search?
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Last modified: March 04, 2013 14:13:35