Wanting to go to Graduate School? Trying to make a decision on where to go? Been there, doing that! Here are some of the steps I've taken on my path to research and hopefully make a decision.
What program do you want? For me, I knew I wanted something with sport in the title. I began my search for sport management, sport administration, and sport and entertainment management programs. - Google the program you want and find a list, I used an NASSM website for my search, but I also searched things like "SEC schools with sport management master's programs"
I do not like the cold. Snow..ice.. winter weather of any sort.. yeah none of those things are things I enjoy. Therefore, every school I've looked into has been south of the University of Missouri. There are some really good programs that maybe I should have looked into, but I just don't want to spend 2 years in a cold place. - In addition to weather, I also looked at D-1 schools and as I narrowed down my search and decided I'd like to be a GA in an athletic department, my search became more geared towards SEC and Big 12 Schools.
Most of the schools I looked at had at least some of their required classes on their websites. Some Sport Management programs are within colleges of science and kinesiology, and had a lot more classes based on the science of sport. Not exactly what I'm interested in, so I put them toward the bottom of my list or removed them completely.
4. What do they offer?:
Not that every school's website tells the whole story, but I would suggest doing your research online. See what they talk about on their website, how many faculty members they have, what it has to say about graduate assistants, do they host any conferences, is an alumni base mentioned, or anything else you can find.
I didn't go crazy LinkedIn stalking professors or anything, but some people do. You can look at what kind of research they do, where they got their degrees from, and how many there are in a department. Instead of doing a lot of research, I emailed departments or visited them. Asked some questions and asked for curriculum lists, fliers, etc. It allowed me to introduce myself to faculty as well.
Spreadsheets have been helpful because it has been the way I have organized information and easily been able to compare schools. You can label them and separate the whatever way works best for you, no way is right or wrong!
Talking to people about my interests and grad school has really benefitted me in a lot of ways. Not only did I get advice and different point of views, but I also learned about connections that I never knew were there. Many of my professors, mentors, bosses, and friends knew people at the universities I have researched and either gave me their names or told me things I never would have known otherwise. It was definitely one of those times that even though I didn't want to bother people, I am glad that I asked for help and discussed my interests with people.
If you have questions leave them below! Or if you have done a grad school search and have more tips leave them below as well!