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GRADUATE SCHOOL: A STEP-BY-STEP APPROACH Step 1: Determine if Graduate School is Right for You For some professions, an advanced degree is required to enter the field. College teaching, law and medicine are examples of such professions. If you have chosen one of these professions, then graduate school is a necessity. For other fields, such as engineering or business, graduate school may not be absolutely necessary to be considered for an entry-level position. Another reason you might be considering graduate school is to specialize in a subject of personal or professional interest. If you are unsure of your career choice, you should delay graduate school until you are more focused. Likewise, it is not a good idea to attend graduate school for the purpose of delaying a job search or to please someone else. Step 2: Gather Information on Programs and Build a "Big List" You will want to have enough information to make an informed decision about what program is best for you before investing a great deal of your time or money. You should build an initial list of over 100 possible schools. Be sure to look nationwide; do not limit yourself geographically. Consider the following sources: Published Guides Faculty & Staff Parents and Friends On-line Resources Graduate Students in Your Anticipated Field Professional Journals Step 3: Research and Compare Schools Aside from the basics, like geographic location and admission requirements, consider the following criteria when selecting the graduate school program that is best for you: Time Commitment/Attrition. How long does it take to complete the program and how many students drop out before completing? Be sure to ask students in the program for the realistic answer to this question. You cannot always believe the brochures. Approach. Does the department take a specialized or more generalist approach? Which suits your needs better? Size of Department. Can you get the attention you want from faculty members? How many faculty are devoted to the department? Are they part-time, full-time or adjunct? Size of the Institution. Would you feel comfortable there? Student Mix. Are the other students in the program much older or younger than you? Would you be comfortable with that? Also, consider gender and ethnicity. Reputation.
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This note was uploaded on 09/24/2010 for the course BOUIZAN 352140 taught by Professor Scroeba during the Spring '10 term at Acton School of Business.

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