Graduate School Planning

For some students and alumni, pursuing graduate school is an integral part of career development and reaching career goals. The following links will provide you with a general outline of information on many important areas as you consider graduate school options.

Graduate school is a huge investment of your time and money. The key is to know what you want to get out of your education before you make the investment. To consider if graduate school is for you, you need to approach it from two directions. First, you have to look inward and analyze your personal strengths, weaknesses, situations, and goals. Second, you need to research to find graduate programs that suit you and will help you achieve your goals. The Career Center can help you know what questions to ask yourself and how to assess whether graduate school is right for you at the time. If so, the Career Center can also help you as you prepare your resume and personal statement, among other things.

Please visit The University of Alabama Graduate website to get started right away. However, we do advise you to meet with a Career Consultant to discuss your options in greater detail.

Is Graduate School for Me?
    Making the decision to attend graduate school is a very involved process.
  1. It is important to clearly identify your goals, interests, values, resources, and reasons for applying to graduate school
  2. Meeting with a Career Consultant can be very helpful with the process of assessing yourself before beginning the graduate school application process
  3. Beginning the process with a solid understanding of your self, your goals, and your options is a vital first step to a successful endeavor
  4. It is also vital for you to research your areas of interest, kinds of programs, and other topics to help familiarize yourself with different options and build your knowledge base
Choosing a School
  1. Consult Peterson's Guide to Graduate Study.
  2. Browse the Career Center's handouts on Graduate School.
  3. Meet with a Career Consultant to discuss your options
  4. Consult resources such as Gourman Report. It is a rating of graduate and professional program in American and International Universities. It is available in the Sylvester Jones Center
Consider the following:
  1. "Culture" and Quality of the Program
  2. Is it research or application/teaching centered?
  3. Are faculty members active in their fields?
  4. Is the program stable or in transition?
  5. Is there collegiality and good relationships among the faculty?
  6. Is there opportunity for students to get involved with the faculty in grant or other activities?
  7. Is there evidence of good communication with students?
  8. Is the program accredited? If so, ask to see a copy of the accreditation review.
  9. Is the program ranked?
  10. Talk with students about their perception of the quality of the program.