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Questions to Evaluate Graduate Programs

The decision to advance your education beyond a bachelor's degree is a big one. You may find it helpful to assess your path with an advisor, and you'll definitely want to ask yourself some important questions about the program that best fits your unique journey.

Evaluating Programs
Admission Requirements
1. How competitive is admission to the program?
2. Do you meet the admissions requirements ?
3. Does the department prefer to admit recent college graduates or applicants with work experience?


Curriculum

1. Does the primary emphasis of the program suit your educational goals?
2. Will the curriculum provide you with the background you desire?
3. How do the requirements of the program compare with those of other institutions?
4. How many courses/credits are required? 
5. How many and what type of qualifiers are required?
6. In what length of time can you complete the program?
7. Does the program include practical experience?
8. Is part-time study an option?

Reputation and Quality of Program
1. What is the reputation of the school, department, faculty and alumni?
2. What type of reputation does the program have within the field you wish to enter after receiving your degree?
3. Is the program accredited? By whom?

Placement
1. How many students complete the program?
2. What percentage of the graduates find employment?
3. What kinds of employment are most frequently pursued by graduates of the program?
4. To what extent can you use the degree from this department to get into other kinds of work?

Faculty
1. How many faculty members are there? Does the department's reputation depend on one or two people?
2. What is the faculty/student ratio?
3. Is there a variety of points of view in the department or do most of the faculty follow one philosophy?
4. Are the faculty committed to teaching? Research? Service?
5. What have the faculty published lately?  Are the faculty well known in their field?
6. How available to students are the faculty?

Location/Size
1. Do you want to attend a large or small school?  Do you prefer large or small classes?
2. How large is the enrollment in the department?
3. In what geographical area do you want to attend school? 
4. Do you want to be located in a city, suburban or rural area?
5. Does the community offer the social, recreational and cultural activities you enjoy?
6. Is graduate housing available? How difficult is it to find off-campus housing?  I

Cost/Financial Aid
1. What is the cost of the program?
2. How much has the program cost during the last few years?  Is the cost expected to rise?
3. How much and what type of financial assistance is awarded ?
4. Will you be granted tuition remission? How much of a stipend, if any, will you receive? 

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