Making a Decision

View of Purdue MSEE building

Assume that several of the schools to which you applied have said “yes.” What criteria are most important in deciding among the possibilities? Roughly in order of importance, the following factors should be considered.

  1. Based on observations and information from visits, which of the advisors/laboratories seems most attractive to you? Remember, when it comes to this stage of making your decision, the rating of the school is less important than the suitability of the laboratory in which you will work.
  2. If several mentors on different campuses seem equally satisfactory, which overall program (supports, coursework, resources, and so on) seems best? Remember that unlike undergraduate education, most students receive financial support for their graduate education.
  3. Consider important personal factors. Did you feel comfortable on the campus and in the surrounding community? Ultimately, you must base your decision on how well the school/program/advisor can meet your personal needs in terms of allowing you to study your area of interest and providing you with the opportunity to do independent work, the hallmark of graduate education.

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