Graduate School Exploration Process
Thinking of exploring graduate school?
The first step in exploring graduate programs is to think about what you want from your education. Reflect on how graduate school might help you achieve your career next steps.
It may be helpful to consider:
- What skills and knowledge do you want to build over the course of your graduate school education?
- What professional communities would you like to connect with?
- What hands-on experience are you looking to gain?
Consult with mentors in your field
If you’re applying to a graduate school in a field that you’ve already taken classes, your professors and advisors will be one of your best resources for learning about programs.
You may also choose to connect with individuals who have attended certain graduate programs via LinkedIn. You can search for the school, view alumni, and message people you are interested in connecting with to conduct informational interviews.
Attend events, reach out, and visit
Some schools hold graduate school fairs, admissions events and information sessions. At these events, you can learn more about each program, speak with admissions staff, and potentially network with faculty.
You can also reach out to current students in the department to ask about the culture of the program and graduate student life.
Conduct online research
Below are some additional options when researching online:
- Check out program rankings (this may be more or less relevant depending on your field)
- Department, faculty, and lab websites
- Course directories
- Websites of journals or institutes affiliated with the department
- LinkedIn profiles to see where alumni studied
Consider asking these questions when you start researching and visiting programs
As you go through this exploration process, pass by our Center for Career Readiness to get further help with graduate school exploration and application as well as tips on writing personal statements.
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