Choosing the graduate school

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    I have question regarding choosing the graduate school. When you apply for the master’s degree, what factor should be considered the most important?

    There are many factors to consider like their program, job placement, ranking, tuition and so on… I know that it depends on your goal of going graduate school. If we assume your goal is to get a job,


    What factors do I need to consider and what is the priority of those factors?

    Changyue Song

    Hmm, I think different people give different priorities to each factor. For me, I will prefer a university that I can improve my abilities and enjoy my life to the most extent.


    For graduate school, I would definitely try getting to know your mentor for the program you are interested in. You will be working with them, and the dynamic between you, the mentor and the lab is very important.

    Zihao Li

    From my experience, there are some certain factors that I will take into consideration before applying for graduate school. The first thing is its ranking, and especially the program ranking. Also, try to investigate the professors that you would like to work on in the future, try to find something that you are interested in. Also, the geographical locations also matter a lot because you will be getting a lot of internship opportunities if you live in metropolitan area. Finally, I will consider the tuition fee, and I would prefer public school for industrial engineering master degree (because most of them have a great IE program compared to private school, and the tuition fee is relatively cheaper.

    Honghan Ye

    I think the professors in department are the resources for you to find a good job in the future. The location also matters a lot. I heard this story: any student from any university around silicon valley can find a job at silicon valley. This may not be true but imply something that location is very important if you want to go to industrial after graduation.

    Nate Buswell

    Another thought to consider that is tied to tuition is the time it will take to complete the degree.  At some schools such as UW-Madison they offer one year programs in which you can get your masters.  However, if you are interested in research this might not be the best option as it is basically a full year of classes that will help you further your knowledge and gain more practical tools in ISyE.

    Wenjun Zhu

    From my experience of applying master school, I think the comprehensive strength of the school is the most important. And if you wanna find a job after graduate study, schools with better reputation, schools in better location, might have more opportunity holding greater career fairs and maybe with better companies. For example, my friend at university of pennsylvania travelled to schools in New York for career fair several times for an internship.

    Cindy Chen

    From my perspective if your goal is to get a job, choosing a school with a school with good reputation with a good location matters the most.

    When it comes to choosing school, criteria such as specific school ranking might matter more for people who with to continue in the academic field more. On the other hand, A good way to get into companies would be doing internship. Thus, choosing schools at a good location where there are lots of company related to your field of study would allow you to do internship during school or break period. You don’t necessarily have to work at your internship company, but the experience would be a really good point that makes you stand out on resume.

    Edward Lei

    Honestly, it really depends on what you want. I have heard of several professors telling stories about how their TA’s decided upon grad school. They used decision matrices and ranked what they want out of the experience. Then they researched the schools in which they want to look into. They look at the programs, rankings, the professors, the culture, tuition, requirements for admission, and etc. They narrowed the selection to a select few to apply to.

    Veronica White

    If your planning on continuing to get a PhD the #1 thing that matters is that you like the research AND your adviser. This is crucial to finishing your PhD.

    As for a master’s is it research based or course based? If research base see the above paragraph, if course based go to the “best” university you can go to with a location you can see yourself living for a couple years.


    Did you guys take your graduate school at the same school as your undergraduate work was complete?

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