choosing a graduate school
When a person types “graduate school” into a Google search bar, more than 190 million hits occur. 190 million! Needless to say, there are numerous options for those considering an advanced degree. With so many possibilities from which to choose, you may be feeling overwhelmed. So how do you begin to narrow the search? Questions related to academic quality, program costs, convenience of the class schedule and the post-graduate employment potential can really help you pare down your list.
Top 5 Questions to Consider When Choosing a Graduate School:
Does the university have a reputation for providing a quality education? Because the answer to this question is almost always "Why, yes!" when talking to university personnel, you may need to dig a little deeper. Each year, schools are rated by outside organizations to determine how they stack up against other universities. Rankings are often based on aspects such as student-to-faculty ratio, cost, academic reputation, experiential learning opportunities, student satisfaction and so on. Be sure to look for a school that receives high marks from multiple agencies, as this will show a general well-roundedness. For example, Huntington University has been ranked as one of the top schools in the country by U.S. News and World Report, Forbes, and Princeton Review. Also, don't forget to check out the university's regional accreditation status. The most widely respected general accrediting body for colleges and universities is The Higher Learning Commission. This information should be available on the university's website or in its academic catalog. Here is an example of what to look for www.huntington.edu/About/Accreditation-and-Associations/.
Are the faculty members recognized as experts within their field of study? It's important to know the academic background of the faculty under which you will be studying. If you plan to pursue a degree in a practitioner's field (e.g. counseling, youth ministry, education), be sure that the faculty have practical experience to go along with their academic degrees. You may also want to ask about the size of the program you are considering. Will you actually get to interact with the faculty, or will you be one of 200 people in the program? This may vary significantly from school to school, especially if you are considering a larger state school and a smaller private christian university.
Does the cost of the program fit your budget? The truth is, financial aid options for graduate schools in the U.S. vary widely. Some base scholarships on merit, others on service, others on financial need or a combination thereof. Some offer graduate assistantships which allow the student to work for the university while receiving a discounted tuition. Depending on the degree program you are considering, you may even come across loan forgiveness opportunities. Be sure to fully research the cost of the programs and compare financial aid offerings.
Is the program offered online, in-class, or in a hybrid format? Depending on the type of program you are considering, online, in-class, and hybrid formats may Convenience is the word I hear most from prospective students. A graduate program needs to fit your schedule. Some may be more attracted to the traditional classroom setting. Others may prefer a completely online program, while still others are drawn to the hybrid options that are available. Be sure to examine all the options.
What is your gut telling you? In other words, consider the overall fit. If you will be on campus for any portion of your program, schedule a campus visit. Many graduate schools host visitation days or schedule personalized visits throughout the week. If it is strictly an online program you are considering, be sure you are receiving excellent customer service. One potential drawback about online instruction is the lack of person-to-person interaction. So, receiving the personal connection prior to starting is key.
How does Huntington University answer these questions?
For information on what Huntington University Graduate School has to offer, feel free to explore our website. You may want to start with our main page and refine your search from there: www.huntington.edu/graduate/. Be sure to meet our faculty, review our distinctives, and read through the FAQs. Drew Clay, graduate admissions counselor, is also available to help you with any questions that you have. Please contact him at 260-359-4111 or email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you!