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Decide on Your Graduate Program

Purpose: Scholars will set criteria for accepting a graduate program admission proposal.

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Narrowing Down Your List 

One of the most important decisions you will make is deciding where you will spend the next five to eight years of your life as a graduate student. Create time for serious contemplation.

After submitting your applications your first step should be to contact all programs to confirm receipt of application materials and your application status. It is important that you are still in the running.

If money permits visit all programs of acceptance. This is the best way to get a good feel for what the culture is within the department. You also want to get a feel for the location. Some schools sponsor prospective student’s visit. We provide more details on graduate school visitations in a later module.

Evaluate the offers. Checklists vary, but your decision on whether to go or not should be based on the following:

  • Can I afford to go?
  • Are they conducting research I am interested in?
  • Is there more than one professor I can work with?
  • Are there good support systems in place to ensure student’s well-being?
  • Do I see myself living in this town?

Once you reach a concrete decision contact all schools and let them know whether you accepted or rejected their offer. Do this in a timely manner out of courtesy for fellow applicants who may be on the waiting list. The universal deadline to decide is April 15th. Consult this list from the Council of Graduate Schools for a list of schools that accord to this deadline.

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Choosing from Your Options of Graduate School Programs.

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Important Resources:

For assistance determining living costs at various graduate program sites consult this Budget calculator provided by the Council of Graduate Studies.

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Suggested Assignment

Suggested Assignment

Assignment #41

Outline Your Priorities for Accepting an Admission Offer

Purpose: Scholars will create a list of factors they could not live without in a graduate school program. They will then take into account whether graduate school programs where they received offers meet these criteria. For assistance schedule a visit with AAP Peer Advisor.
Instructions: 7b_activity_one

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Graduate Programs

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