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How to Decide Where You Should Get a Master's Degree – Purdue Krannert

Monday, March 25, 2019

It can be a stressful process trying to choose where to get a master’s degree.


With so many elements to consider, like a part-time vs full-time MBA program and online, on-campus, or hybrid learning, it can be difficult to narrow down your selection.


To help you through the process, we have compiled the top 7 considerations you should be thinking about before you decide on an MBA program.





1. Rankings
This category can also tie in with brand recognition and prestige. Attending a program at a well-known school can help open doors.

Usually, if a program is ranked the school will have the information clearly visible on their website. If you are considering a master’s degree at Krannert, you can find a list of our rankings here.


2. Flexibility 


Determine if you want to keep your job while attending graduate school or have an immersive experience. Selecting a part-time vs. full-time MBA is one of the first and most important steps you should take. Once you decide, you will be able to narrow down your list of potential schools greatly.

In addition to our full-time programs, we offer a hybrid weekend MBA that allows great flexibility for those that want to keep their full-time positions limit their commuting.


3. Accreditation/Certification
There are multiple governing bodies for MBA programs, but, at the very least, the programs you are looking at should be accredited by the AACSB.

STEM/STEAM certification has also become a popular option for many Master of Science degrees.

At Krannert, many of our master’s degree programs are STEM certified:



4. Return on Investment (ROI)
A master’s degree is an investment, and not every degree program offers the same ROI. Look into the future salary you could expect to obtain after you have your master’s degree and run some simple calculations for determining your ROI.

If you plan to move to a new city to complete your degree, include the cost of living into your considerations. A huge draw for many of our students is West Lafayette’s affordable cost of living paired with the proximity to cities like Indianapolis, Chicago, Cincinnati, and St. Louis.


ROI is a convincing factor for delineating one program from another so it is important to thoroughly research each program before making your selection.


5. Curriculum/Specialization
Not all MBA programs are similar in the number of credits required (this is important if the pricing of the program is per credit hour), the electives offered, or the required courses’ subject matter.

Also, consider specialization to tailor your experience to your goals. Look at the school’s curriculum and see if you have specialization track options. We have 10+ specializations for our MBA program.


6. Alumni Network
Is there a strong alumni network that spans the globe? These connections may help you land your future job.

Purdue alumni network is 630,000 strong and can be found in many industries and across the globe.


7. Personality/Culture
You want to pick a school that will be a good fit because it could make a difference in whether you make true connections with your classmates and professors. To get a feel for a university’s personality and culture, check out their social media pages, tour their campus, and see if the school offers opportunities to connect with current students or alumni during your decision-making process.


Of course, there are other things to consider when you go through the process of determining where to get a master’s degree. In addition to culture fit and part-time vs full-time MBA programs, do not forget to think about the career services, size of your classes, and international exposure, like studying abroad or a diverse cohort.

If you are transitioning from a full-time career to an MBA program, we have 6 tips.