Finding the Perfect Graduate Program for YOU

Whether you are an admitted student weighing your acceptances or just starting your graduate school research, there are some things you should consider as you compare/contrast graduate programs.

  1. Size – This may mean many things: average class size, program size, school/university size, faculty size and more.  There are many different effects dictated by the size of a program such as course offerings, access to professors, diversity of ideas, etc.  Explore the various sizes of programs and see how you want to fit into them.
  2. Offerings – Explore the curriculum of the programs you are researching.  Some schools offer one international affairs degree with various concentrations (similar to majors).  Others (like the Elliott School) offer many degrees with various concentrations/specializations within them,  Reviewing the curriculum of the many programs will give you a sense of how your classes could be structured. **This will also shed light on the foundation of the programs whether that be theory or practice as well as the flexibility of each program.
  3. Fellowship Opportunities – It is important to recognize the cost of any graduate program.  We encourage potential applicants/admitted students to research fellowship opportunities within a specific school (ie. the Elliott School), the university (ie. GW), and third party organizations.
  4. Career Development – It is important to research what other alumni/current students are doing with their degree.  Many schools will offer employment data on their website so you can see where alumni are working within the field. This will help you decipher if students in your desired program have taken similar paths to what you wish to do.

These are obviously only four of the many factors you can use to determine the perfect graduate program for you, but they are a great starting point.  Happy researching!