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Graduate School Tidbits for the Less Conventional Student

by Student Loan Daddy

Deciding whether or not to attend graduate school can be difficult. Do you go straight through from undergraduate school? Do you enroll concurrently while working? Or do you get a job for a few years and later leave it behind to fully rededicate yourself to school?

Even when you think you’ve figured it out, no matter what point in life it comes at, the decisions don’t end there. There’s still the matter of selecting what graduate schools to apply to.

Since you’ve already gone through round one as an undergrad, your prior experience can help make the graduate school decision slightly easier. But with so many specialty programs and majors to choose from, deciphering the perfect balance between your needs and your wants can be overwhelming.

Do your research. Don’t just rely strictly on U.S. News & World Report’s graduate school rankings. We’re going to offer you some alternative resources to help you in your grad school search and introduce you to a few uncommon areas of study.

A Graduate School Suited for You

Grad school is the time to hone in on your interests and become an expert in your field, but it’s also your second chance to pick the school of your dreams.

Websites like The Princeton Review can help. Use it’s Advanced Grad School Search when choosing a grad school to rank your preferences like: type of degree, public or private school, location, size of campus, type of major, price range (in and out of state), percentage of financial aid distributed, competitiveness of admission, average test scores, student to faculty ratio, and percent of women and minority students.

Start with a search like Princeton Review’s and then cross compare the results with the school’s rankings. This way you won’t be primed to think one school is better than another before figuring out which programs specifically meet your needs.

Surprises Along the Way

Doing your grad school searches and checking out ranking lists will only scratch the surface of your research. Graduate school is expensive and a huge commitment so you want to make the best choice possible.

To do so, you may have to dig a little deeper. There’s more information out there than just lists and rankings. You’ll find that you can elaborate on those basic research tools to find more detailed information like which schools cause students to graduate with the most debt or which schools offer the most financial assistance.

By following our tips and doing your homework, you may stumble upon a few majors you hadn’t even stopped to consider.

We’ll leave you with our list of unconventional masters degrees we discovered during our own research.  Who knows, you may realize that something like midwifery really is your thing.

  • The best school for a masters of nursing degree in midwifery:
    Oregon Health and Science University
  • The top ranked masters program in Library and Information Studies with an emphasis in Information Systems:
    Syracuse University
  • For a masters in ceramics, the best program is at:
    Alfred University New York State College of Ceramics
  • The best school for an English masters degree in gender & literature:
    University of California – Berkeley
  • To get a masters degree in physics with an emphasis on condensed matter:
    University of Illinois – Urbana – Champaign

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