Choosing the Right University for graduate studies

Taking the GRE/GMAT is only the first step towards your journey of studying in a reputed foreign university. The real and the more taxing task starts after your GRE/GMAT, when you finally decide to apply to universities. Often students get bogged down in deciding what specific course and which universities they should be targeting. Most of them are often wary about not taking wrong decisions, given the cost, time and effort for applying to foreign grad schools.

We list some tips that may come in handy for you to take a wise decision towards choosing which universities to keep in your platter and which ones not to.

1. Choose authentic sources for rankings

The first step to list down the universities falling under your area of interest and your bracket of your test score is to go through the top 100 universities and deciding which ones are in accordance with your scores. While doing so, it is important to search for universities on legitimate sources. For example, US News is a reliable platform for comparing the rankings of US universities. Similarly, instead of relying on your home country’s search engine, you may reach out to the websites based in the concerned country.

2. Catch the right people!

Once you have listed down your intended choice of universities from a pool of universities, the next what follows is to go to the official websites of these universities and get a sense of the fine details of the program that they offer (the curriculum, duration, workload etc.). It is often a very good idea to reach out to the college via mail to seek out specific information that you need. While doing so, the concerned administrator might also put you in touch with the current students/alumni (if not, you may request him/her to) to get an honest assessment of the program and the atmosphere and opportunities in the university. Do not shy away from sending mails – the administrators do reply to mails with celerity!

3. Get insights about opportunities

Talk to the current students/alumni and learn what all opportunities lie once you graduate to get a good clarity of the scope of your program. You may also consult the concerned school’s international students and scholar’s office to know about the Optional Practical Training program (OTP), which allows international students to work in the U.S. legally for one year after graduation as long as their jobs are related to their educational field, as well as about visas.

4. The often forgotten factor – location!

Students generally tend to forget the location factor while determining the choice of their universities. This is an important factor. For example, if a university is located in an urban centre, it is easier to get good internship opportunities there, rather than if the location of your university is in a small or rural town.

5. Assessing your chances via pre-application process

For those who are risk averse and want to apply to universities where there is more probability of getting selected, you should definitely assess your chances via pre-application process, which essentially entails sending universities or professors of universities e-mail declaring your interest and scores along with your CV. Though informally, the professors generally tend to give you an evaluation of your application. This might come in handy to assess your chances of being selected, according to which you can choose your universities. You might want to keep more of such universities where your pre-app responses had been positive.

It is indeed an onerous task to zero in on your choice of universities given the cost and time constraints. Very often students spend a lot of money in this process, blindly applying to universities and facing discouraging rejections. It is important to know how to optimize your search for the right kind of universities matching your profile so that you don’t burn your pockets and waste your precious time. At Skill Maestro, we are more than dedicated towards this end!

About Skill Maestro

At Skill Maestro, We guide prospective students about the entire application process as well as suitable universities as per their profile/test scores. We have consulted dozens of prospective students for MIS across the globe. We have a physical presence in Indore where we also help students prepare for GRE, GMAT & SAT


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