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RESEARCHING GRAD SCHOOLS

Not all schools and programs in a given field are the same. To find your fit, you'll want to research your area of interest and explore what each school and program has to offer. Do your homework and don't forget to use your network to help in your decision.



EXPLORING GRAD SCHOOLS

Once you have reflected on the reasons why you may want to pursue grad school, the resources below can help you get started.

  • Peterson's Guide works in the same way as it did when you were in high school: to help you locate schools where you might want to apply. It's a great resource for grad schools as well.
  • The Princeton Review can be used to search by area of interest or graduate program.
  • Gradschools.com is a site used to identify a broad range of graduate programs and schools.
  • PhD.org can search over 19,000 graduate and Ph.D. programs at over 2,240 universities in the U.S.
  • GraduateProfile.com searches for universities by state, providing a brief profile of the school.
  • Index of American Universities provides a list of 4-year and professional/advanced degrees searchable by college name.
  • College Navigator, from the National Center for Education Statistics, is a division of the U.S. Department of Education, which runs this site for the purpose of researching graduate programs.
  • GraduateGuide.com provides search tool for graduate school programs in the U.S. and Canada.
  • General Education Online: search grad school options by country of choice.
  • How I Compare can be used to explore Law School options and learn about the Law School Admissions Process (there’s even a free LSAT Prep Course). 

GRAD PROGRAM ACCREDITATION

You want a Master’s or Ph.D. degree that you can actually use!  Make sure a school is accredited (locally, regionally, and nationally) and that the specific graduate program is accredited as well.

Don’t forget to talk to people in the field, such as faculty, alumni, and current students of the program, about accreditation and about programs with good reputations. 

  • U.S. Accreditation:  the U.S. Secretary of Education compiles accreditation information from recognized accrediting agencies into a searchable database.
  • Accreditation Article, from the GraduateGuide.com, offers a brief article on accreditation.
  • Online vs. Campus Accreditation is an article from GradView.com on accrediting bodies, which are different for campus and online programs in the U.S.
  • Accreditation FAQs, from Degree.net, provides information on frequently asked questions about accreditation.

GRAD SCHOOL RANKINGS

What’s in a ranking? There are a lot factors to weigh when considering graduate school, and a school's ranking is one factor, along with other factors, such as geographic location, school size, program size, program history (new program vs. established program), professor research interests, cost and financial aid, and any other factors influencing your decision. Make sure to strike a balance among these various elements!

  • U.S. News is the most popular site for the rankings of graduate schools and graduate programs.
  • Research-Doctorate Programs in the U.S., from the National Research Council, researches and ranks more than 5,000 doctoral programs at 212 universities.
  • PhDs.org provides PhD. program rankings based on National Research Council data.
  • This Rankings Article from graduateGuide.com presents a brief article on grad school rankings.