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Assessing Graduate Programs

"Graduate School + You" Information Clip

Click to view this short video clip from a recent webinar about:
"Selecting a Graduate School Program"

While you are working on your personal assessment, you need to assess the schools that will help you reach these goals.  Graduate school can open so many opportunities that you may not have even imagined when you first apply.  While you may have many questions to ask program advisors, you should always do your homework first.  Review relevant web sites for the program and the graduate school of the place to which you would like to apply.  Check all your facts so that you can ask informed and insightful questions.  You will be better prepared and faculty and staff within the program will be able to more effectively answer your questions. 

Ball State's Career Center provides helpful resources in selecting a program. 

Here are some questions you may want to consider.

Program Specific Questions:

  • What are the application requirements for each program?
  • Are there any specific research expectations, required courses, additional experiences that are expected of graduate students in the program?
  • Are graduate of the program successful in their field? 
  • Where is the program located?
  • How are graduate students supported in the program, both financially and academically?
  • What do these programs emphasize?

Contact and Build Connections:

  • Do you know who to contact to learn more about the program?
  • Are you able to speak with current and former students?
  • Are you able to visit campus for yourself?
  • Can you contact people with phone calls and emails?
  • Do faculty express an interest in your research questions and goals?
  • Do you have interests and goals that match those of the faculty?

Matching Program Goals and Your Goals:

  • Could you see yourself there in the future?
  • Have you found mentors that are interested in your academic development and success?
  • Will your education be advanced by attending this program?