Getting Ready to Go to Grad School

Practical advice on programs, getting in, and managing families and money.


Admit it: Maybe your choice of college was influenced by where your high school friends were going or the on-campus sushi bar. But graduate school is too important, too difficult, and too expensive for such kid stuff. Besides, most grad school applicants are adults with jobs and, often, families.

America's Best Graduate Schools and have uniquely practical and realistic information for grad students. Our well-established rankings can help applicants narrow their search by identifying the nation's very best programs. And our newest rankings also shed light on some of the hottest grad programs, including occupational therapy, pharmacy, and public affairs. Applicants can search our database of thousands of schools for the right program for them—geographically, financially, and educationally.

The following pages also offer lots of real-world advice about admissions, juggling responsibilities, and finances.

And there's plenty of good news. Many grad schools are themselves becoming more practical. More of them are tweaking their schedules to make them friendlier to adults. Law schools are giving students more training in business. Medical schools are training doctors to succeed in the new managed-care world. There are new cheap loan and loan repayment programs to reduce the financial burden. And, best of all, employers are still clamoring for grad school grads.