For this post I chose to interview current IU grads from different backgrounds and disciplines.
“The most important thing about rankings is to understand the methods and measures that organizations like US News and World Report use to make sure they align with your own values. They can be useful if thoughtfully analyzed.”
Schools are ranked and individual programs are ranked. I was aware of university rankings and coming from a big ten school I knew I wanted to pursue my graduate degree at a large state school. Funding, program accreditation, and proximity to family were primary factors in my school application search. Although I did not look specifically at rankings others may benefit from applying to a range of high and medium ranked schools to increase their chance of receiving offer letters to attend. This may work with someone that is concerned about their standardized scores and academic performance. Also different programs are typically ranked by national professional organizations, so if you’re looking for a competitive program with a range of training experiences their accreditation will be a good indicator of the quality of available opportunities.
Becky, PhD 2011
“My advice to prospective graduate students; learn as much as you can about possible advisors and get to know them before applying (this will make the application process more or less stress free), talk to current students and alumni about the connectedness of the school in terms of faculty/student collaboration and job placement, and weigh the costs and benefits of attending each institution.
In my personal experience, I don’t attend a top 10 school but I also don’t think I could be in a better place. The faculty are THE leaders in their field and are well connected to other leaders. It’s very easy for me to walk into a faculty member’s office and ask for help, advice, and discuss opportunities for projects and publications. Additionally, because my field is Health Law and IU is now not only a university but also a health system, I don’t think I could find the types of resources I have at my fingertips anywhere else…especially at the relatively inexpensive rate for in-state tuition.”