The United States educational system offers a remarkable range of opportunities for graduate study. Potential students have a wide range of degrees and programs that they can choose from. The choice can also be overwhelming.
The purpose of this page, and of our consulting services, is to help you to decide which programs are most likely to serve your needs and interests, and to shape an application that maximizes your chances of gaining entry to your chosen program.
This page serves as a gateway to information about top graduate programs in a range of professional programs, outside of business, law, and medicine. We decided to post this page because the process of selecting and applying to these graduate programs is quite different from that involved in applying to the three aforementioned ‘more popular’ professional degree programs.
Graduate programs in professions such as engineering, public health, and public affairs tend to be less standardized than are programs leading to J.D., M.D., or M.B.A. degrees. That is not to say that there are no standards – to the contrary, there are accrediting bodies, and schools with well-deserved reputations for excellence in particular fields and specialties. You will not, however, find ‘top ten’ rankings for schools of engineering, public administration, etc. There is too much variation from one program to another for anyone to compare them that way. The task of comparing different programs, and of keeping up with changes in existing schools and programs, can be overwhelming.
The task of applying to graduate school can be overwhelming, as well. Admissions to the top programs are competitive and single-digit acceptance rates are not at all uncommon. However, what makes one application stronger than another often has little to do with cut-and-dried measures like test scores – in fact, many graduate schools don’t even provide statistics on test scores or grade point averages (GPAs). What distinguishes the successful applicants to the most selective programs are qualities like work experience, a demonstrated commitment to public service, or plans for future work or study, and, of course, a solid application story that contains a powerful ‘wow’ factor.
Click on the links in the drop down menu at the top of this web page with more information about specific programs.