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Before you decide which programs you are going to apply to, you need to learn as much as you can about the programs that interest you. Things to consider are course offerings, degree requirements, and what the application process looks like.

Assess Potential Programs

Make sure to start early to give yourself plenty of time to weigh out all your options. Ways you can begin to research programs are:

  • Visit the websites for programs you are considering. This way you can have a solid understanding of each program you are interested in and what the requirements are for each one.
  • Get advice from the pros! Check in with IU Southeast faculty members in your major. Most of them have been through similar programs themselves and can provide valuable advice about things to consider.
  • Use third-party websites. Websites like Peterson's and Gradschools.com can also help you gather information you need to know in one comprehensive location.

Consider These Factors

While you are conducting your research, try to answer these questions to make sure you are making the correct decision on where you should apply.

Type of Program

  • What degrees are offered?
  • How long will it take to complete your degree?
  • Are there any prerequisites you need to have filled before you can start attending?
  • Will you have to complete internship, practicum, or thesis requirements?
  • How often are applicants allowed to begin the program? Some only accept applicants in the Fall as a cohort and some are admitted every term.
  • What is the structure of the program? Are they strict about requirements for full-time/part-time status or the courses you take?

Quality of the Program

  • What kind of faculty commitment is there to research and scholarship?
  • What kind of reputation do the alumni and faculty have?
  • Consider the admission standards and how graduate students are selected.
  • You will want to ALWAYS check that the program has been accredited.

Location and Size

  • How large is the department you are interested in?
  • How many students are in the program?
  • What is a typical class size?
  • How close will you be to your support system (friends and family)?
  • What type of university are you interested in attending? A small setting? Urban? Would you like to have access to certain types of cultural activities?

Student Satisfaction

See if you can contact students already in the program to get their perspective of the courses, faculty, and community.

  • How does the faculty feel about mentoring students?
  • What kind of advice do they give about how to get financial assistance?
  • What recommendations do they have about student housing?

Cost and Financial Assistance

Not all programs can be funded in the same way, and some may not be funded at all. It is important to research costs and financial assistance prior to applying since the information can be critical to decisions you make.

  • Are there opportunities for fellowships, assistantships, or scholarships?
  • How often does the institution raise their tuition and by what amount?
  • What does the cost of living look like in that area compared to other areas?