Research and develop a list of 10 possible graduate programs. Plan on applying to 5-7 programs including a mix of those that you would evaluate your admission possibility as safe, probable, and a stretch.
What information you should you look for?
Academics - What is the focus of this program? Do they offer a masters and a Ph.D.? What research is being done at this school?
Admission Requirements - What standardized tests do they require? What is the application deadline? Does your gpa, and test score fit their academic profile?
Cost - What is the overall cost for the program? For living? Are there assistantships, grants or fellowships available?
People - Are the faculty teaching and researching in areas for which you have interest? Would you enjoy working closely with the other students in the program?
Location - Where is the school located? Are there opportunities for internships or full time jobs in the area? What is the cost of relocating?
Where Do You Find the Information?
From others - Faculty, alumni, practicing professionals, former students of the program, friends and family can all provide information and perspective on the program's strength and reputation.
Research - Read academic journals, learn about the faculty teaching in the program, and review the research being produced at this college/university.
Site Visits - Visit the program to see the academic environment, meet with faculty, tour facilities and learn about the program.
Websites - The program specific websites will be very useful. In addition, the links listed in the Resource box on the right are a great place to start.
When should I begin this process?
Start researching schools the spring of your junior year with the goal of having your choices narrowed by the end of the summer before your senior year.