Applying to Graduate School
Graduate school is a significant academic challenge as well as a major financial commitment. As a result, you should carefully consider your reasons for pursuing graduate study. There are close to 2,000 institutions in the United States that offer graduate degrees -- your task, through careful research, is to find the programs that best match your academic background, interests, professional goals and personal preferences.
You must have a defined idea of the course of study you want to pursue at the graduate level. Focus on identifying a department that offers a degree program which matches your academic interests and will help you to achieve your goals. Students often select a graduate school solely because of a specific department or program. The decision may also be heavily based on an individual faculty member involved in specialized research at the institution. Begin your search by consulting with faculty members at Binghamton; they are the experts in the field and are an invaluable source of information. Connect with graduate students in your area of study and ask for their advice.
In addition, review general guides to graduate degrees as well as program rankings (see list below). Visit departmental websites that are of interest to you. As you begin to narrow down your list, contact the Graduate Director or Chairperson of the department for specific questions. If possible, visit the department in person. Speak with faculty and graduate students there and observe a class. If you are unable to visit, ask if you can contact graduate students by phone or email.
A number of factors, both academic and personal, should guide your selection of a graduate program. Consult the following resources for further information about applying for graduate programs:
• Center for Career and Professional Development- Applying for Graduate/Professional
• US News rankings
• Peterson's Guide to Graduate Study
• About.com Graduate School
• Graduate Guide
• Princeton Review