iHow To Pick The Right Graduate Business College

Choosing a graduate business college is no easy task, but finding the right program for you can propel your career forward and fuel your success. Here are ways to research business schools and narrow down to which ones you’d like to apply…

First, consider the basics. Do you want to stay close to home or leave? Would you prefer to study in a large university setting or a smaller institution? What is the ideal length of the program you’d like to pursue? Do you want to attend part time or full time; take online courses; go for an accelerated degree?

Once you’ve made a list of your preferences, you can begin delving deeperinto specific grad business colleges that meet your criteria. Here’s how:

Check out some rankings. Lists such as those by US News & World Report and The Princeton Review are not definitive by any means, but they can be a great starting off point for your research process. You’ll get a sense of what types of business programs are available, and the typical requirements for admission. That being said, also learn more about graduate business colleges in your area, and look into other sources to help you research beyond the 50 or so highest ranked schools.

Speak to people in your intended field of study.Whether it’s a mentor at your current job, a relative, or the CEO of your dream company, ask (or do some spying on LinkedIn) to see where they studied business and/or which schools would stand out if they were looking at resumes of job seekers.  You can also speak to someone at your undergraduate school for his or her recommendations, especially if you’re still in touch with business professors or career center coordinators.

Think about what you want to specialize in. Are you going for a general MBA? Do you want to study finance? Accounting? Marketing? International business? Whichever area of focus you intend to study, search for schools that offer those specific concentrations.

Find out what the admissions requirements are, and if you meet them. Just like when you applied for your undergraduate study, when it comes to grad business colleges, some are more selective than others. Be sure you meet the basic requirements before you put effort and money into an application process. Some possible requirements include having a certain undergrad GPA, a minimum GMAT or GRE score, and other materials like essays and letters of recommendation.

Connect with students and staff online and via social media.Once you narrow down your list of potential business schools, start learning more details about what their programs entail. Follow the school on Twitter and Facebook, and post questions if you have them. Contact the admissions office directly if you have any specific concerns that aren’t addressed on the school’s website. Finally, if it’s possible, try to schedule an in-person campus visit so you can see what the school is really like.

With so many ways to learn more about grad business colleges, all you have to do is put in the research time to find the right fit for your needs and goals.
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