Consider Each Graduate Program
- When comparing the academic side of the two programs, examine the department web pages carefully. Are there differences in curriculum?
- Are there differences in other requirements (e.g., theses, internships)?
- Are the faculty actively conducting research?
- Are there faculty in your interest areas?
- Speak with current students and find out what they think of the program.
- Where are graduates employed?
- If possible, speak with recent graduates and get their input.
- How much does each program cost?
- Is funding available?
- Are research and teaching assistantships available?
Consider Your Quality of Life
Most students overemphasize program rankings and forget about quality of life issues. Make no mistake, academics are very important, but you have to live with your decision. You'll spend between two and eight years in a graduate program. Quality of life is an important influence on your success. Research the surrounding area and community. Try to determine what your day-to-day life will be like in each program.
Deciding where to attend graduate school is a difficult choice. Academic and career opportunities are critical to your decision, but you must also consider your own happiness. You won't succeed in graduate school if you're miserable in your personal life.