Important Factors to Consider Before Applying to Grad School

Before you begin the long process of applying to grad school, take a minute to think about a few of the necessary factors that should be considered as you decide which program you wish to pursue. Selecting the right school is a big decision that is going require a substantial amount of your time and money. Don’t waste either by shirking some of the fundamental responsibilities that come with making the right choice. Here are some of the factors to keep in mind before you send in those applications.


Career Goals

What do you want to do with your life? The career you have in mind is going to affect the decision you make as to which program you wish to enroll. Most grad school applicants typically have a goal in mind which makes it easier to pick from a smaller pool of schools as opposed to blindly applying to more than is necessary. Research is important, so get more information about USC’s llm masters program before you send in an application.

Degree Programs

Identifying which degree programs are available is also going to largely depend on what type of career you want once you get into the real world. But when you do your research, be careful as many programs are different among institutions and while some may sound alike, their particular curriculum might vary between the many schools that offer similar programs.


Among the most important factors to consider is the amount of time you’ll need to devote to getting your degree. Knowing how long it could take in order to earn all the credits required to graduate will be vital in helping you decide which program is best. Full-time students can usually get their degree in two years or less, while part-time students may need four.

Location of the School

It may sound obvious, but one of the things to factor into your decision is where you may expect to be living while you’re taking your courses. Remember, you could be here for anywhere from two to six years, depending on the program in which you enroll. So if you’re not keen on living at the University of Oregon, you should select another region of the country where you can find a similar degree program.

Tuition and Other Costs

Perhaps the most pressing concern to factor into your decision is cost. For starters, financial aid is tougher to come by when you’re pursuing a master’s or a Ph.D., while it’s somewhat easier to get if you’re pursuing a bachelor’s degree. There’s nothing wrong with doing a little comparison shopping between programs and finding the one that is more affordable while also providing you with the education you seek.

Online vs. On Campus

Deciding which one you prefer is predicated upon the type of experience you want. Do you enjoy working independently and setting your own schedule? Then you may want to do an online program. But if you prefer the classroom interaction with professors and fellow students, you might opt for an on campus grad school.