Once you know that you want to go to graduate school,
how do you find the right program?
Finding the best program(s) requires research. Know what you're looking for in a program. Gather information about the program(s) from your faculty, Midd alumni and recent graduates. Look at the online information for the graduate program, and talk with current students, professors and program directors there. Consult guides--many of which are listed below. And finally, visit the program if you can. In-person conversations, exploring the campus, learning about resources at the university and in the community can be invaluable. Occasionally, graduate schools visit Middlebury for on-campus information sessions and informal interviews. To find out about these on-campus visits, check the CCI calendar.
Questions to ask when researching graduate programs:
Knowing the answers to these questions can help you decide what is important to you and narrow your search:
- Where would you like to be geographically? Would you prefer an urban, suburban, or rural setting? Are there particular cities or states you prefer, or where you’d like to work after graduate school?
- How strong is the reputation of the program? What is the size of the faculty and faculty/student ratio? Are the top faculty teaching and/or conducting research? What areas of research are the faculty engaged in?
- What areas of specialty or interest would you like to pursue? Does the curriculum offered reflect your interests? What characteristics distinguish this program from others in the same field? How much room for flexibility would you like? Is that flexibility available? Are there experiential components such as fieldwork or internships?
- What are graduates of this program doing? What do they say about the preparation for their field that the program offered? What is the level of attrition? How long did it take them to find a position in their field after graduation?
- What are the costs associated with the program? What are the tuition and fees? Are there opportunities for teaching, research, or program assistantships? If so, what are the stipends and/or benefits associated with them and how many students receive assistantships? Are there fellowships or other grant programs available?
- What are the admissions statistics? What application materials do they require? What is the average GPA and entrance exam scores of those admitted? How selective is the program?
Online directories and resources to get your research started
- Gradschools.com – A comprehensive directory of master’s degrees, doctorate / doctoral degrees, PhD’s and graduate certificate programs, both U.S. and international.
- GoGrad.org — GoGrad.org provides an easy online platform where aspiring graduate students of all ages, backgrounds and specialties can get the information they need to make informed decisions about their education.
- Peterson's Graduate & Professional Degrees– Search for schools including online degree options. Includes information on planning for grad school, choosing a school, test preparation, and financial aid.
- U.S. News and World Report – Lists of schools and articles about researching and financing graduate school education. Includes latest rankings,
- Grad View - Contains general information on graduate school programs
- The Princeton Review - This site includes information on different graduate programs, including rankings of the top programs. Also has financial aid and test preparation information
- CUR's Registry of Undergraduate Researchers and Graduate Schools - This site is designed to match undergraduates with research experience with schools recruiting such students.
- PhDs.org Rankings - Get customized rankings of graduate school programs based on National Research Council data.
- Online Masters Degree Programs: affordablecollegesonline.org
Graduate Degree Workbook specific to online Master's programs.
Additional sites offering more targeted information or services
- Business School Comparison of all kinds--from the humorous to the serious. Includes a customized ranking of graduate programs based on weighted criteria.
- Idealist.org: The Idealist Grad Fairs connect prospective students with graduate schools in fields such as public administration, international affairs, education, public policy, public interest law, social work, nonprofit management, global and public health, theology, environmental science, and socially responsible business.
- About.com Guide to Graduate School Admissions
- CollegeNET CollegeNET allows applicants to complete, file, and pay for their admissions applications to some institutions. Offers search and other features.
- "Everything I wanted to know about C.S. graduate school at the beginning but didn't learn until later." A comprehensive and illuminating article from former Ph.D candidate Ronald T. Azuma.