Thinking about going to grad school but don’t know where to start? If it’s been a while since you’ve been to school, it can be daunting to take that leap and get started to further your education or even your career. A school that’s right for one person might not be the right choice for another, so here are a few steps you can take to narrow your choices down to the school that’s right for you!
1. Choose a Program
Are you looking to get an MBA, a degree in Game Animation Design, or something else? Picking what kind of master’s degree you want first can ensure that you don’t have your sights on a school that doesn’t offer what you’re looking for.
2. Pick a Location
Once you have a general idea of what you want to major in, you can narrow down your choices even further with a specific location. However, don’t make location the main deciding factor of which school to pick. If there isn’t a school that has a program you’re looking for in the area you want, don’t be afraid to move to go to school, or find a school that offers both online and offline options. Make sure to communicate with your loved ones to determine which locations would be feasible.
3. Look at the Curriculum
Many schools publish a general course schedule or class catalog that outlines what each course will be focusing on. You can get a general idea if the classes offered match what you’re looking for. If the courses are interesting to you, it will make going to class that much easier for you!
4. Consider Cost
How much do the degrees you’re looking at cost per semester? Are there scholarships or other forms of financial aid available? There are ways to go to grad school without going into debt, it’s just a matter of exploring your options and qualifying.
5. Contact Potential Schools and Visit Campus (if Possible)
Schools’ admissions departments are happy to answer any questions you may have about their programs. If you can schedule a tour with each school you’re planning on applying to and prepare specific questions to ask your tour guide. This can give you an inside look at the school and help you decide if it’s the school for you.
While the steps above can help you narrow down your choices, here are a few other things to consider when trying to find the right grad school for you.
Rankings Aren’t Everything
Just because a school has high rankings doesn’t mean it’s the school for you. While rankings may help you find a school that’s right for you it shouldn’t be the reason you don’t choose the school of your dreams.
Talk to Professors
If you can contact specific professors to see what they are researching and if you would want to work with them for the extent of the program. If their research sounds interesting, great! If you don’t think you’ll get along with them, you might want to consider other schools.
Apply to More Than One School
This is especially important if it’s been a while since you’ve last gone to school. Choose a variety of schools from highly-competitive schools to less competitive. While it can be expensive to apply to more than one school, applying to four or five schools keeps your potential school options open!
Communicate With Your Family
Discuss everything with your family, from where they’re willing to move, to how much you’re willing to spend for graduate school. This is also a good time to discuss how you’ll balance school, work, and family life. It is possible to go to school while working, but communication is key!
Need More Tips?
If you want to learn more about how to go back to grad school, download our free guide! It discusses everything you need to prepare to go to graduate school. You can learn more about what’s in the guide or download it here.