Once you’ve decided that a graduate degree is the right choice for you, it’s time to begin your search for the perfect school. The process of gaining acceptance into graduate school is one that can take a fair amount of time and money. With the cost of application fees, postage, transcript handling fees and the sheer amount of time that it takes to complete all of the paperwork required for grad school, it’s important to narrow down your choices to about half a dozen schools.
When choosing which schools to apply to, the most important thing is to find a program that fits your ambitions.
If you’re going for your MBA or a Master’s degree for professional reasons, you’ll want to find a school that has a solid department overall.
If you plan on an academic career and a doctoral degree, or are in a research heavy field, then it is a good idea to look at the specific research interests of professors, as you will usually have a close student-mentor relationship.
Once you’ve found a few schools with respected departments in your field of study, make sure you have a clear idea of all of the deadlines and requirements.
Find out the testing dates of any standardized test you need for your field of study.
Most graduate programs require statements of intent or purpose, transcripts, samples of your work or research, letters of recommendation and standardized test scores.
Be aware that different universities have different requirements, and you want to allow yourself plenty of time to get the materials you need together in order to make deadlines.
While researching all the schools and options available can take time, it’s worth it in the end. Good luck with your search!