Factors to Consider When Choosing a Graduate School

Bob Litt
Bob Litt

Choosing a grad school is a big challenge and can quickly become overwhelming. It will help if you consider the main factors and options when deciding on a graduate school. Applying to dozens of grad schools is time-consuming and expensive. Instead of applying to every graduate program in your field, focus your attention on certain factors that will help you in narrowing down your search for a limited number of schools. Here are the factors to consider when choosing a graduate school.

1. Accreditation

Accredited colleges in the US comply with privately-owned guidelines. It means that the University can function in that state as a company or organization. Accredited academic institutions in the US meet recognized review agency guidelines. Accreditation agencies are policy-recognized private educational associations. Read more about Accreditation.


2. Graduation Rate

The graduation rate gives insight into how many students are finishing their degrees promptly once they enroll. It is a transparent metric that holds a school accountable, but it can also help a student measure the quality of teaching of the school.


3. Tuition Fees

There is no tuition fee for graduate degree courses at state higher education institutions. Universities have taken a step to raise tuition fees for overseas students.


4. The reputation of the University

According to the American Freshman, National Norms, an excellent academic reputation was the most crucial factor influencing prospective decisions when shortlisting universities. Check whether the University holds a respected identity, how it has built trust and credibility, importance with rankings and strategic planning, and how it benefits from strengthening their brand internationally.

5. Degree Programs

Does it help you accomplish personal or professional objectives by studying in a particular field? Degree programs differ according to schools. While the courses given can have the same name, they can have separate curricula. Evaluate and pick a better plan that helps you meet your goals.

6. Teacher to Student Ratio

The student-faculty ratio is one dimension of how a graduate degree will benefit more efficiently. The number of teaching staff representatives is historically considered a great indicator of whether a college or University will educate a pupil personally or be liable for their schooling. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics survey, the national ratio of students per faculty member is 16:1.

7. Depth of the Program or Code depth

Have a careful look at which kind of degree programs you select before researching everything else. In graduate schools, your education should focus on the development of in-depth knowledge in a particular subject. The coursework in graduate school is structured to prepare for comprehensive exams and write your doctoral dissertation.

8. Size of the university/college

Size is a crucial element in the process of college choices, and everyone has their priorities. In smaller schools, you may feel that you are not ignored in the crowd, and you have more personal focus from professors and other staff. In larger schools, you can have more exposure to internships, professional opportunities, and more cultural diversity.

9. Safety

Safety is the primary concern to take into account. In recent years, even on university campuses, crime is on the rise. When considering a college, look into selected college crime statistics and determine what steps the school is taking to ensure its safety.

10. AP Credit

Advanced Placement (AP) is a program established in the United States by the College Board that offers secondary school students curricula and exams. US colleges and universities can grant students who receive high results in exams a placement and course credit.

11. Networking Contacts

If you hope to develop relations with business leaders, choose a school that is grateful for its original orientation and the possibility of changing with living legends. If you want a program that encourages graduates to network, seek a school with a well-developed alumni relations office.


The US is a top leader across pretty much every sphere of human activity, such as business, media, science, technology, politics, and education. The US is a land of the world’s most prestigious universities and welcomes more international students now than any other country – around 1.1 million. And being a domestic student, it helps you to consider these factors before choosing the right graduate school. Are you ready to choose the right graduate school? Here is a link that will help you with the best online graduate programs.

Meet The Author

Bob Litt

Bob L has had a 40-year career working in New York’s financial industry, Federal government contracting, the professional Theater, and Las Vegas casinos. Bob now accepts consulting work as a technical writer and corporate training developer. He is also an author, screenwriter, and blogger.

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