| CHOOSING A GRAD SCHOOL IN NORTH DAKOTA
| Choosing a grad school in any state in the USA is a life-changing decision, and no matter where you are headed you should choose your school carefully.
While there are lots of great grad schools and programs to choose from in each state, this decision doesn't have to be overwhelming. Breaking down your decision into smaller categories and making a check sheet for each school you're interested in can be a good way to compare grad school offerings in the state so you can see which one best suits your academic and personal needs. Below are some aspects for international students to consider when choosing an American grad school. Please note that this information is a general guide and applies to universities and colleges in all states.
Credentials offered: Consider thesis- and non-thesis based master's degrees, doctoral degrees, graduate diplomas or graduate certificates: consider duration and specializations.
Programs offered: Is there a grad program offered in the area that interests you? Consider the courses available, instructor credentials, specialized facilities, publications in peer-reviewed journals, etc.
Potential supervisors: Does the colleges have any experts in the field you hope to study that you would like to work with?
Facilities: Grad programs in the USA are research-intensive, so find out what the library is like (for example, how comprehensive the holdings are, graduate student policies, privileges and regulations) and what kinds of specialized equipment, labs, etc., the school might have that your area of study requires.
Opportunities: Consider the opportunities for a grad school's students to participate in local, national and international competitions; to collaborate with professors on research and journal publications, etc. Often, a school will mention such opportunities on its website.
Academic and language requirements: Consider what previous university study and GPA are required, which language tests and scores they accept.
Location: Consider the climate and the benefits versus challenges of small towns, medium sized cities, and large metropolises.
Size and culture: Consider what learning environment best suits your personality: a more personal atmosphere or a large, bustling campus. In terms of a university's "culture," you should consider an institution's religious affiliation, program focus (for instance liberal arts, technology, theology, etc.).
Cost: Consider basic living expenses, tuition fees and the cost of books and other supplies. Find out what kinds of teaching or research assistantships are available and how many hours a week might be involved.
Scholarships and awards/ financial aid: Are there specific scholarships, awards or loans for international students that you qualify for? How helpful is the university's financial aid office?
Housing options: Consider on-campus residence or dormitories, off-campus apartment rental and homestay.
Quality/ accreditation: Look for accreditation at both the institutional and program levels.
Extracurricular activities: Consider graduate student associations, clubs, sports, competitions, campus and community activities, etc.
Support for international students: Look for an international student center, specialized tutorial services, language support programs, etc.
Rankings: Consider national and international rankings as well as "unoffical" student reviews.
Other international students' experiences:Grad schools themselves or additional online resources can help you connect with other international students who can share their experience and advice.
Your gut feeling: In addition to weighing the intellectual pros and cons and costs of each grad school in the state, listen to your intuition or instinct and how you feel about a particular college or program.