Jump to content

Where to start researching about grad school?


Recommended Posts

Hello, I am currently a junior in my undergraduate studies about to enter my senior year in the next few months.

When applying for undergrad I felt like there were so many different resources for research on schools. I check some resources at school but nothing really helped me more than my college's graduate school but they don't have the program I am interested in. I was wondering when you started researching where do you start your research?

I am currently studying communication and would like to pursue a degree in higher ed or student affairs. I've been involved in everything student affairs offers at our school and would love to spend my life helping students have the same experience that I had through all of my advisors and bosses.

If anyone has any advice please let me know! Thank you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Now is a good time to start looking, as you'll be applying this fall. I Google'd graduate schools higher education and Autocomplete figured out what I wanted real quick. Not sure if accreditation is a huge deal in your field or not; if it is, check out listings through accrediting bodies. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I knew what kind of program I was interested in, so I started there. I also went to my favorite undergrad professors and asked them for advice on where the best programs were, and what I should be doing to get ready for the application process. They were hands down the best resource!

Link to post
Share on other sites

- Ask your professors who they recommend based on what they know of your interests. Having that recommendation does a long way. So far, the 2 grad programs I've been accepted to are the ones that my undergrad mentor referred me to. 

- Who are the authors of your favorite books, journal articles, etc, in your field? Start looking them up and see if they have grad programs at their universities. 

 

I actually started researching really soon, knowing exactly what I wanted to do and study. But now is a good time for you. Send out emails to prospective profs who you would like to work with, and ask them if they would tell you more about their program and what they're looking for in a candidate. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Start building stronger connections to your professors. You'll want to gain some research experience as soon as possible so you can write about it in your applications this fall. They'll also be able to give you personal advice about where to apply, how to start research, etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites

http://graduate-school.phds.org/ is a great resource for just figuring out what is available in your field. You can also get it to rank programs based on things that are important to you (say, student outcomes or research productivity), which I wouldn't live or die by (just because a program isn't well ranked overall by certain metrics doesn't mean it won't be a great fit for you personally), but it can be helpful for thinking about programs.

 

Also I'd like to echo what others have said about talking to your advisor.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not an expert, but it's my understanding that in Higher Ed/Student Affairs, job experience is an important part of admissions decisions and in employment after degree. I would actually start by finding folks in your current university who do the kind of jobs that you'd like to have and asking them about what their career path was and what they know about the job market. Perhaps there are entry level jobs at universities that you'd be qualified for after graduation without going to grad school first. Maybe there are opportunities for internships or work-study jobs that would help you get to know the field as an employee rather than as a student. With some work experience, you'd be better able to evaluate what exactly you're interested in and what questions and skills you want to focus on in grad school, and choose your program with that in mind. You might want to pop down to the Education forum and ask this same question of folks who have more specific information about your field, too. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is probably not helpful for your field, but what I did was start by scouring conference programs for presentations that interested me and then looking up where the PI was. I also did the same with authors of articles I came across. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.