A Guide to Selecting a Graduate School


Deciding to go to graduate school is exciting — but it can also be stressful, especially when you’re trying to figure out what programs you should apply to. You’ll need to narrow down your options from a huge number to just a few to make the application process manageable. Figuring out what you want from the experience can help you come to a decision.

1. What Career Do You Want to Pursue?

When you start your undergrad degree, it’s reasonable to have only a vague idea of what you want to do later. Graduate programs, in contrast, tend to be closely related to a particular career. You may end up studying a specific field or researching a niche topic. When assessing programs, consider which align most closely with your interests.

If a program covers a reasonably broad range of classes, find out if it’s likely to match your interests and career goals by looking at the type of research the professors at the school have completed. Read the biographies of the faculty members to gain a better picture of their backgrounds.

2. What Can You Afford?

Each graduate school charges a different amount for tuition. Furthermore, some offer financial aid, whereas others expect you to pay the full amount yourself. What you can afford will depend on both your savings and if you’ll be working at the same time as studying.

If you want financial assistance, search for programs that offer scholarships (these could be related to your field of study or merit based) or that have opportunities for teaching or research assistantships. Also bear in mind that some scholarships are only available once you’ve started a program or if you did your undergraduate degree at the school.

3. Where Do You Want to Live?

If you’ll be starting graduate school straight after you complete your undergraduate degree, your living situation may be flexible. However, if you’ve already settled somewhere, you may like to find a program in your area. This is especially useful if you want to continue working at your current job.

4. Do You Want to Take a Semester Abroad?

Perhaps you had a great time when you took a semester abroad during your undergraduate degree and now you want to repeat the experience. Alternatively, you may have always regretted not taking advantage of the opportunity. Now, you have a second chance at graduate school. Many programs offer one or two semesters abroad as a chance for students to complete their research. If you have a preference as to the kind of atmosphere you want while you’re abroad, take this into consideration when evaluating programs.

Wherever you decide to attend graduate school, you’ll need to search for housing. Since you won’t want to live on campus during grad school, this will mean finding a student rental. Oshawa students can join the community at Foundry Simcoe. You’ll have a private bedroom and en suite bathroom in a five-bedroom townhouse or three-bedroom suite. All the apartments come with a washer and dryer, high-speed internet, and stainless steel appliances. Book a tour to coincide with your visit to Ontario Tech University.

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