Narrow down your grad school search using these simple strategies.

Applying to grad school can be a very overwhelming process. There is so much pressure to choose the most qualifying school because it will lay the foundation of your entire career! Research from Stanford suggests that it’s important to choose a school based on what type of resources they offer and how well you fit in, rather than a program’s position in national rankings. Here are three steps that you can follow in order to simplify your grad school search and find a school that is the right fit for you.

1. Consider the Factors

Before you dive into your search, ask yourself some of these questions to get an idea of what type of program you’re looking for. Do you wish to take all online classes? Or do you prefer the in-person classroom environment? How much money are you willing to spend on tuition and do you plan on applying for scholarships and financial aid? Do you want to stay close to home or are you open to relocating? What sized program are you looking for? Having this list ready as you start your search will help you compare apples to apples as you go. 

2. Start Your Grad School Search

There are many grad school search platforms out there on the Internet. They allow you to filter out and narrow down your search depending on certain characteristics, such as the factors that were highlighted in step 1. The Princeton Review is a great resource for this, but you can find many more similar platforms with a simple Google search.

Centralized Application Services like BusinessCAS, EngineeringCAS and GradCAS are another great way to search for programs. The best part about these platforms is that once you’re ready to start applying to programs, you only have to fill out one application for all participating schools! Applying to grad school is already time-consuming enough, so take advantage of these centralized hubs for all of your application materials. 

3. Research Each Program

Once you’ve chosen some schools that fit all of your wants and needs, it’s time to do some digging into each program. Look into certain aspects such as program success rates, credentials of the professors, and the career services that they offer. (Take a look at our blog post about questions you should ask each program about their career resources.) Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to professors, admissions officers or even alumni if you have any questions! 

These steps will help you identify your best-fit schools and set yourself up for a successful postgraduate experience. Now you’re ready to start the application process!