Questions to ask before applying to grad school

Continuing on a prior post about whether to pursue additional graduate school, here are some basic questions you should ask before applying to a graduate program:

  • What are the employment outcomes of their graduates? Can they point to specific successes? Beyond the nice success stories, what is the average grad doing—what percentage got jobs in their field 6 months after graduation?
  • What is their curriculum including? How often do they confer with employers about whether the curriculum is relevant?
  • Can you speak to some of the faculty or alumni?
  • Are there any measures of their reputation with employers or in the community? Look beyond US News & World Report rankings.
  • Look at the profiles of people in the field who you admire (look them up on Linkedin for example). Where did they go to school?
  • How many alumni do they have? How does their alumni network assist current students?
  • What is the cost of the program?
  • How many career services staff does the program have? What is the ratio of staff to students?
  • Is an internship or other practical training a requirement of the degree?

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