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Researching Schools

Consult Your Professors and Advisors

Speaking with your professors is an important first step as you consider various types of graduate and professional degrees and programs that focus on your career goals. Faculty members can give you recommendations and direct you to other resources. You can also meet with a relevant pre-professional program advisor (available in a variety of areas) who can help you plan your course schedule so you will feel fully prepared to be accepted and enter into a graduate program.

Ask Others in Your Field of Interest

Seek out students who are currently in your intended graduate degree program or find W&M alumni who have graduated with the degree you would like to earn. Ask these individuals how they determined where to apply, which schools they considered and why, if there is anything they would have done differently, and their thoughts on additional resources or other individuals they recommend you speak with.

Graduate School Guides

These directories can help you find the right program for you:

Types of Degrees

There are different types of graduate and professional degrees that can help you meet your career goals. Spend some time researching these programs and determine which one is the best fit for you. Most of the degrees listed connect you to an outside resource that will offer additional information about your degree of interest. We encourage you to contact the Office of Career Development & Professional Engagement with questions that pertain to your specific needs and interests.

Masters Degrees
Professional Degrees
Other Doctoral Degrees
Joint Degrees

Some schools may offer an accelerated joint degree program, where graduate students can receive two degrees or a graduate degree and a professional certification at the same time, reducing the amount of time that it would have taken if the programs were completed separately. Examples of these programs include:

  • J.D./M.B.A.
  • M.D./Ph.D. programs
  • M.S.W. & Certificate of Nonprofit Management
Certification Programs

If you are not looking to complete a graduate or a professional degree program, you may want to consider a certification. A certification is a credential that you can earn in a short amount of time that shows you have specific skills and knowledge in a particular career field. Certifications generally take less time (and cost less) than graduate or professional degree programs and can help you stand out in the job application process. Some examples of certification programs include: