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  • Writer's pictureJustin Grimes

Part 1 of 11 Things You Should Do to Find the Right Grad School program

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

Hey there. Even though you're busy navigating a lot, always remember to plan for your future. Whether aiming for grad school as a senior or considering a career switch as a working pro, picking the perfect grad program is a huge deal. We've got your back here at Apply to Graduate School.

Sadly, more people fail to finish over those who apply and graduate from graduate school. A big factor contributing to the dropout rate in graduate education is people choosing programs not aligned with their interests, goals, and lifestyles.

So before you set sail on your voyage to the future, which includes going to grad school, consider reflecting and responding to our list of:

11 Things You Should Do to Find the Right Graduate Program

Get to Know Yourself:

  1. What Gets You Pumped? What subjects do you geek out about? It's essential to follow your passions.

  2. Your Superpowers: What are you really good at? Identifying your strengths can help you find a program that matches your skills.

  3. Future Gazing: Where do you see yourself in five or ten years? Thinking about your future goals can help you figure out your grad school path.

  4. Online Hunting: The internet is your friend! Check out websites like, ProFellow, and the Diverse Issues in Higher Ed Top 100 to learn about different programs, what they want from you, funding, and how they rank.

  5. Ask the Pros: Chat with your professors and advisors – they've got the inside scoop on programs that fit your interests and goals.

There's a graduate program that aligns with you. If you like Sesame Street and playing with homemade sock puppets, you should pursue the MA/MFA Puppet Arts at the University of Connecticut.

Let me expand on #4.

ProFellow has a database of different fellowships you can apply for and get. If you are unsure what a fellowship or grant is, read Question 17, "What are Graduate Assistantships and Fellowships," in our book.

Next, we are honest about the challenges many graduate programs face. One of the biggest ones is diversity, which some code as racial diversity. What we love about the Diverse Issues in Higher Ed Top 100 is their rankings of the institutions that confer the most degrees to minority students (Black American, Hispanic American, Asian American, and Native American).

We highly suggest you review this list if you identify as a member of one of these groups. There are a lot of great graduate programs, but if they don't have a track record of graduating folks who look like you, this might be a red flag.

Part 2 will discuss location, money, applications, and more.

Are you excited to explore these questions and tips further? Ready to kickstart your journey to grad school success? Dive into the world of grad programs with "20 Questions to Answer Before You Apply to Graduate School." You can grab it here. Schedule a meeting with an expert who can get you from application to admissions.

Your adventure into the world of grad school starts now. Embrace the unknown and turn your dreams into reality!

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