While you are probably looking forward to some time to relax this summer, do not pass up prime time to work on your graduate school plans. Whether you expect to be on a college campus, the beach, or your couch this summer, here are a few websites to help you get to the bottom of what you really need to know about graduate and professional school:
1. University websites
The best way for you to learn about a graduate program is to go straight to the source. A university’s website will provide information about admission criteria, degree plans, financial aid, and faculty research interests. Click here for a list of graduate programs at Baylor.
2. Graduate School Directories
Maybe you just read my first piece of advice and thought it was a great idea…if only you knew which schools interested you. Though I have not found a single website that provides a comprehensive look at all graduate programs, Gradschools.com and Peterson’s are two that I use most frequently when assisting students. These sites allow you to search by location, subject, and degree type. If you are interested in reviewing program rankings, U.S. News and World Report rankings are probably the best known. Students interested in doctoral study might also want to check out PhDs.org.
3. Professional Association and Accrediting Body Websites
Though many institutions offer graduate and professional school programs, they are not all created equal. Reviewing websites of accrediting bodies will help you to know if your prospective school meets certain standards. Completing an accredited program often increases your job prospects, as compared to non-accredited programs. Several professional associations also list related graduate programs on their websites. Here are a few examples to get you started:
Association of American Medical Colleges
Law School Admission Council
American Psychological Association
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
Sophas.org- The Centralized Application Service for Public Health
American Dental Association
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
4. Entrance Exam Websites
Chances are good that your program will require you to submit a score from a standardized test. Make sure to review the websites of your prospective programs to find out what, if any, scores they require. Like my remarks on #1 in this list, you really want to go straight to the source for this information. The following websites will provide you with detail on how to sign up and prepare for your standardized test.
5. Financial Aid Information
Graduate and professional school is a huge investment. You can never have too much information on your options for financing your education. Here are a few websites to get you started:
CareerOneStop Scholarship Search
If you are feeling confused or overwhelmed at any stage of your graduate school planning process, please reach out to the Career and Professional Development staff to help. We want to help you succeed!