Choosing a Graduate School | Lyon College
Lyon College

We can't wait to meet you

Schedule a visit Apply to Lyon

Graduate School

Graduate School

The Career Services staff is available with resources to assist you in choosing a graduate school, as well as offering practice exams and other preparations. Please stop by, call or e-mail to set up an appointment!

Things to Think About When Deciding on a Graduate School

Questions to Consider When Deciding if Graduate School is Right for You


Online Resources

The Peterson's Guide - For researching graduate schools
GradSource - Search for grad schools based on location, program or name 
Princeton Review - General and specific information for searching and choosing graduate schools
Graduate Guide - Search by major or location


Testing Information

Information and registration for GRE, PRAXIS and other exams
Information and registration for LSAT exam (law school)
Information and registration for MCAT exam (medical school) 
Information and registration for PCAT exam (pharmacy school)
Information and registration for OAT exam (optometry school)
Information and registration for GMAT exam (business school)
Information and registration for DAT exam (dental school)
Information and registration for VCAT exam (some veterinary schools)
Information and registration for NCLEX exam (nursing)
Princeton Review - Additional information and resources for graduate entrance exams 
Kaplan Test Prep - Resources and information for most graduate school entrance exams


Writing Grad School Essays

Free Online Essay Writing Course - Some pointers to get you started


Rankings and Guides to Graduate School

US News - Latest rankings for Graduate Schools in business, medicine, law, education, and many others


Medical School Information

Association of American Medical Colleges: Medical Schools - Provides information on medical schools, and links to other relevant and useful resources.


Scholarships, Fellowships,& Financial Aid Information

Graduate Student Aid - Gives information on various types of aid available
Federal Student Aid - Another source of information and resources for federal student aid FinAid - Gives information on scholarships, loans, savings plans, military aid etc. along with application information.


Things to Think About When Deciding on a Graduate School


Academic Programs

  • Does the school offer a wide variety of courses and disciplines or is it especially strong in certain areas?
  • How large are the classes?
  • How many hours are needed for a degree?
  • How long does it take to complete the program and how many students drop out before completing?
  • Is the program accredited?
  • Will the school prepare you for the changes in the economy and work force in the next twenty years?
  • Is a thesis required?
  • Is there a time limit in attaining a degree?
  • Is this department a priority on campus? Is it well-funded? Does it have good facilities?>
  • Does the department take a specialized or more generalist approach?
  • What is the reputation of the specific department and the individual faculty members?



School catalogues will give you some idea of the backgrounds of the full-time faculty--where they went to school, any specialties, accomplishments, and the like. It may help you to know that some of the faculty have interests similar to your own.

  • Is the faculty well balanced in terms of educational experience, or do they come from the same school or schools?
  • Does the faculty have professional experience outside the academic community?
  • Are some of the teachers recognized as authorities in their fields?
  • Can you get the attention you want from faculty members?
  • How many faculty are devoted to the department?
  • Are they part-time, full-time or adjunct?


Student Body

If possible, it's a good idea to select a graduate school where you will be challenged by your classmates. Try to select a school where your graduate admission test and GPA will not be significantly different from those of your fellow students. Also, if you can, try to visit the campus and ask students questions about the graduate opportunities.

  • What is the size of the student body?
  • What is the size of the department?
  • Is this a place I would feel comfortable?
  • What is the student mix concerning gender and ethnicity?
  • Would you be comfortable with that?/p>
  • Are the other students in the program much older or younger than you?


Location and Environment

For many students, a major factor in choosing a graduate school is location. Adjusting to graduate school and the general attitudes is difficult enough without the additional hardship of "culture shock." Ask yourself if you are already predisposed to a certain life-style or if you are ready for a change in your environment.

  • What is the cost of living in the area?
  • Is the school located in a place where I would feel safe?
  • Are assistantships, grants, or financial aid available?
  • Does this include a living expense stipend?
  • Do I qualify for student health insurance?
  • What type of housing is available on and off campus?


Employment Resources

One of the tests of a good graduate school is the type of services provided in assisting students with their job search needs. Here are some questions to ask about placement:

  • How long does it take graduates to find jobs?
  • What percentage found jobs prior to graduation?
  • Where are the graduates being hired?
  • What was the average or median salary of the graduates?
  • What percentages of students are currently employed?


Questions to Consider When Deciding if Graduate School is Right for You

  • What do I want to do with my life?
  • What are my short-term and long-term goals?
  • Is graduate study necessary for me to accomplish my goals?
  • How will attending graduate or professional school affect my future?
  • Am I personally ready for the demands of graduate school?
  • Do I have the necessary abilities and interest to be successful in grad school?
  • Why am I planning to attend graduate school?
  • What do I hope to gain from the experience?
  • Am I choosing to attend graduate school to delay the decision about what I want to do with regard to a job and career?
  • Am I choosing graduate school because I feel I have no options?
  • Have I investigated career opportunities available to me at every education level?>
  • Am I willing to invest the time, effort, and expense to undertake graduate study?