Not all graduate school programs are created equal. Similar graduate programs can vary significantly. For example, there may be differences in public policy programs versus public administration programs. A graduate program in counseling may not be in the psychology department. It may be in the school of education instead. Do your research to be sure you are applying to programs that match your long-term goals, and philosophy.
Start by talking with your professors and with people in the position you one day hope to hold. (This is a great time to use Georgetown’s Alumni Career Network. Find alumni who are working in a career you are interested in. What degree did they earn? Ask them if they will share their insight into particular graduate programs?
From there, investigate on your own:
- Look at professional organizations, which often have information for students interested in the field.
- Check out grad school reference books, which are often tailored to certain types of programs.
- Learn about program accreditation for the field that may affect job prospects after graduation.
- Familiarize yourself with research in your field of interest through academic journals
- Read graduate school rankings, such as those published by the US News and World Report. They can give you an idea of a school’s status -- but don’t forget to look at the individual program, and not just the university as a whole.
- Research faculty bios and current graduate student profiles on university Web sites.