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Taking the Next Step: How to Choose the Right Grad School Program for You

What Are the Different Options?

The process of continuing on into graduate school can be daunting. Between the application requirements, fees for materials and courses and the content of the program, there’s a lot to learn. There are many areas to consider in this time-consuming and costly step. However, the end result will be positive, with more completed education and a new set of skills learned that can be applied toward a career and in life. Before moving onto the application process, it is essential to choose the right subject of study, then the applicant can delve into what each school with that specific program offers. First, you need to answer the question: “what Masters degree is right for me?”

Narrow Down Your Options

To narrow down the process after selecting a program, the student can find programs that fit their needs. They must determine where they would like a program that is in a classroom setting, online or both, known as a hybrid. Though some programs are marketed as online programs, applicants must be aware of possible residency requirements which make it a necessity for the student to attend classes on campus at least one time during their program. These residencies can be a great experience to connect with peers, but can come as an unwelcome surprise if unexpected.

The students need to decide whether they want an asynchronous (also known as self-paced) program or one has specific weekly deadlines. Courses may be offered in semesters, terms or monthly start dates, and it is important for the student to decide what best works for their schedule and learning techniques. It is also important to look at the schools requirements for admission. GPA and GRE (or other tests) scores could determine if the student is eligible for programs as well, as some set specific minimum scores or required GPAs, while others don’t require entrance exams at all.

Review the Requirements

Once those crucial factors whittle down the list, it is important to also look at details such as course content and requirements. Some programs may have more use of essays or research papers, while others rely on testing to determine grades. Either way, this prior knowledge and learning will also come in handy when selecting a thesis to develop. The thesis must meet the standards of the school while it also helps the student develop a concept into a full-fledged, researched and professional document. By keeping all of these aspects in consideration, the student will likely have a successful, albeit challenging, experience.