Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Choosing a Graduate Program? The Grad School Fair Can Help!

By Dave Kokandy

Professionals today in the United States have earned more graduate and professional degrees than ever. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, institutions in the United States awarded 755,287 graduate and professional degrees in 2006-2007. In 1996-1997, only 544,007 graduate and professional degrees were awarded. In only ten years, the number of degrees awarded grew nearly forty percent.

With the growing number of graduate degree holders in the workforce and more opportunities than ever for postgraduate study, prospective graduate students must carefully select the best graduate program for their individual needs. Graduate programs can vary significantly, from the program’s planned learning outcomes to student-to-faculty ratio and from admission requirements to the number of students who complete the program.

The Hawkins-Conard Student Center at Ashland University will host representatives from over 35 institutions offering graduate degrees at the Northeast Ohio Graduate School Fair-a-Van event on Thursday, October 6th, from 11 A.M. until 1 P.M. These representatives will be available to answer questions about graduate and professional degree programs their schools offer. Students of all majors and levels are encouraged to attend.

Students planning to apply to graduate schools should think about what they expect from a program and come prepared with questions. Here are some questions students have asked in the past:
  • What are the admission criteria? Do I need to take the GRE, GMAT, or another test? If so, is there a cut-off score? Do you require an interview or essay? Recommendations?
  • How much are tuition and fees? Is financial aid available?
  • How large is the program? How many students complete it? Are students cut during the program?
  • What is your curriculum? What is your faculty researching? Does the program focus on theory, or on practical application? Is a thesis required?
  • Why should I earn a postgraduate degree in this field? Is licensure required? Do graduate degree holders earn a larger salary in this field?
On Tuesday, Career Services hosted a Graduate School Workshop, at which these questions, as well as other important factors to consider when choosing a graduate program, were discussed.
Students who are unsure if a graduate degree is right for them should attend the fair, talk to faculty in their department, or set up an appointment with Career Services to learn about graduate school options that match their professional goals or interests. For more information, please contact Career Services at (419) 289-5064.

No comments:

Post a Comment