Tips for picking a grad school? I'm thinking about going to grad school but I'm not sure which one I want to attend?

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  • Lili
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Talk to your undergraduate professors in the field you want to study. They will give you by far the best advice. If by chance you want to attend in a field you did NOT study as an undergraduate, then you'll have to research schools that are well-regarded in that field.

    For example, you can become a librarian without having studied Library and Information Science as an undergraduate, but you need a master's degree. There is a limited number of universities that offer this master's, and you can find them online.  Then, your job will be determining which location would work best for you.

    If you want an MBA, there are many places that offer that degree, so you will be less limited.  You might then decide (if you are qualified) that you want to try to get into one of the top programs and also apply to some less exalted programs if you don't get into an elite school.

    If you want a PhD in some field, then you usually need to have studied it as an undergraduate OR to have taken many courses in it.  For PhD programs, though, you need to consult your professors.

    So, everything depends on what you want to study, on your qualifications, and whether you want to stay close to home or go far afield. You haven't told us anything about any of that, so you need to start doing some research.

  • 1 month ago

    1. Don't be a stamp collector, that's a waste of time and money. Only go to grad school if you can gain a specific benefit that you know about now. Don't go for vague reasons like "it opens up more doors". In your post University life, you will go through only one door. Choose the door you want then get the qualifications you need so people answer your knock. The rest is up to you. You need to choose a job first, then a degree based on that. Not the other way around.

    If you decide you need grad school, then your reasons will tell you how to choose. For example, if you want to work at a national lab and you need a PhD then you need a PhD. Choose a good enough program, but ultimately it's splitting hairs after a threshold. People don't care about your degree, they care about how capable you come off in the interview, based on your publications, your references, and your research. So don't worry too much, going to MIT won't open up a door that going to Wisconsin wouldn't, that's what I mean about splitting hairs. Both have great programs eg in engineering and so on. Going for the top top school doesn't make you a big deal since after college all that matters are skills, not how your resume looks. What will matter most is what your did, who you did research under and who is in your network, that's what gets you invites, but the University having something vague like "prestige". Just don't go to a school that's questionable, go to a good established school. A school people outside your state would recognize. 

    Don't go if it's for something like a language. Being in debt isn't fun, do not willfully go into debt. Even if they pay you to be a teaching assistant or something, think about the time you'll lose by going to school when you could be doing better and climbing higher at a job. Be motivated specifics, not vaguely. Don't fall for people encouraging you who don't think about this more than on a face level, there's a difference between friendly advice and good advice. Friends don't have anything to lose here, telling you to do what you want makes everyone feel better in the conversation but it doesn't do you any favors and it's your life. You're the one the has to deal with the costs of decisions, not them. 

    Just some thoughts, I didn't give your a list but you didn't give us any information to work with. 

  • 1 month ago

    What subject will you study? It makes a difference, because in many fields, it's possible to get a teaching assistantship which will pay all your tuition and fees, and a salary to live on. Those are fields where graduate assistants are need to teach the freshman introductory courses, as in math, English, foreign languages, etc. In the sciences, there are graduate research assistant positions to help a professor with research, but those are typically given out to the most academically qualified applicants. In other fields, such as business and education, there are not many assistantships. Also, different schools have different numbers of assistantships. If you're in a field where you can teach freshman courses, your best bet is a large state school where they need lots of assistants. Look on the university's website, at the particular department, to see what information there is on assistantships. Then you can communicate with the person in charge about how likely you are to get one.

    If money is not an issue, you can Google and find lists of how particular departments are ranked nationally. You might be surprised to find that in even average state schools, sometimes one department is very highly ranked. 

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Do your research before applying.

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