How to Search for a Grad School

Yale - a popular grad school

Flickr user Padraic

Are you interested in attending grad school after you’ve earned your Bachelor’s degree? It’s important to weigh your options carefully before deciding on a school! Here’s how you can start that search for the perfect place to earn your Master’s.

Start Early

It’s important to start as early as possible when it comes to finding the right grad school. You’ll need time to research universities, contact alumni and current students, talk to professors, and more. You’re likely also still earning your Bachelor’s or have a full time job. So make sure you’re giving yourself plenty of time to search properly and have your applications done on time.

Also keep in mind that you will have to take the GRE for most grad schools to be considered for acceptance. You’ll need time to properly prepare and study for this exam as well.

Approach it The Way You Did Undergraduate School

You took a lot of steps while looking for the undergraduate school. It’s important to do the same things when searching for the right grad school. You should

Make sure your grad school has a strong program for your intended degree and start narrowing down your choices until you’re satisfied with the schools you’re applying to. Just like your undergraduate school, they should be places you could see yourself happy with over the next few years. You may even want to create pro and con lists again to really compare universities.

And just like undergraduate school, you’ll also want to keep an eye out for scholarships and apply for financial aid.

Keep Your Future Career in Mind

When searching for the perfect grad school, you absolutely want to keep your intended degree and career in the forefront. This should be your number one criteria when finding the right university.

You’ll want a school that has a strong program in your field, with plenty of professors who feel as passionate about the subject as you do. The university should have the resources, facilities, libraries, labs, and internship opportunities you need to further your career. Networking and connections can also be powerful tools for your future.

If you intend to go after a Doctorate after you earn your Master’s, make sure you have access to the right courses to be accepted into that program as well. Do your research to see if a Doctorate is needed for your intended career and what you’ll need to be accepted into the program.

If you’re interested in going after your Master’s, good luck! To find the perfect school, approach it the same way you approached looking for your undergraduate school. Make lists and narrow it down. Once you have the right fits, it’s time to apply. You’ll also want to make sure to take your GRE as it is required for most grad school applications.

Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!

Hilary Cairns

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