Selecting Grad School

It is important to assess your interests, skills, and values and clarify specific career goals before you begin the process of choosing a program to apply for admission.

Identifying Potential Schools

Researching Schools

  • Download application materials directly from the graduate programs.
  • Check ratings in various publications (U.S. News and World Reports) and also professional associations regarding the reputation for academic preparation.
  • Visit campuses: talk to students, faculty, attend a couple of classes.

Comparing Graduate Schools/Programs

There are many important factors to consider when comparing programs and schools. These factors include:

  • Personal interests, goals, needs
  • Costs, financial aid offered
  • Reputation of program and faculty
  • Locations, size, facilities of school
  • Requirements, departmental courses and offerings, and design of program (thesis vs. non-thesis, comprehensive exams, practical experience)
  • Entrance requirements (GPA, tests, course prerequisites)
  • Housing options
  • Assistance from mentors and success of graduates in finding employment upon completion of the degree
  • Application requirements and ratio of applications to acceptances (acceptance rate)
  • The research and teaching interests and biographical backgrounds of the faculty members.

Making Your Decision

  • Apply as early as possible.
  • Narrow your list of schools to 4-6. Application fees can get expensive!
  • Apply to reach schools, probable admits, and also have a least one safety school.
  • Think about your match with the schools – what kind of graduate experience would you like to have? (i.e. location, size, similar to/different from Wooster, relationships with faculty, emphasis on theory vs. application)