The search for the right college can pose a number of challenges for potential psychology students. With a wide range of options at different levels it can be hard to know where to start your search. There is a range of factors that make a school the ideal fit for one student but a bad fit for another. In order to find the ideal college there are a few important questions each student should ask. Some of these include:
Does The School Offer a Program in Psychology?
The most pertinent question to ask is whether or not the college or university offers a degree in the area you wish to study. Are you looking for a specialized psychology degree such as sports psychology or industrial/organizational psychology? You must first note whether the school has your proposed area of training available. The next things to check is whether the school offers training at the level you wish to pursue. A school may offer a doctoral degree program, but have no master’s training program.
Can I Afford This School?
An critical next question is can I reasonably afford this degree program? You can find this answer by comparing tuition rates, as well as the financial aid offered by the school to start to determine which schools are the most affordable. If the first choice school is out of your price range, it might be time to look into a second or third option.
Is The School Accredited?
All colleges and universities who have gained appropriate regional accreditation will highlight this feature on their website. An accredited degree allows you to use the degree to become accepted in the work force or apply it to additional college or graduate training. Accreditations are also offered in program specific areas, ensuring that the training program is recognized as a leader in the field. You can check the programs website to determine if such accreditation has been granted.
What Kind of Reputation Does The School Have?
While some students do not mind if a school lacks a strong national reputation, others want a degree earned from a school that has been noted at a top school. To find out what kind of reputation a school has you can look at a few national ranking bodies to see how your potential schools stack up. Some examples of this include:
US News and World Report Best Colleges
By answering these important questions students will have the information to compile a list of their best potential colleges. Once the list has been finished students can then start to look into finer details like Greek life, athletics, student organizations, class sizes, etc. This allows you to find an affordable, respected, accredited school that offers the degree you want to start your career in psychology.