How to Choose the Right Graduate School for You

The decision to return to school to earn a master’s degree is a big one. It’s a financial investment and a commitment to a significant lifestyle change while you’re completing your degree. However, the reward at the end can make it all worthwhile.

People pursue a master’s degree for many reasons:

  • Career advancement or career change
  • Higher earning potential
  • Build knowledge and skills in a specialized area

Roadblocks to deciding to go back to school may include:

  • Flexibility
  • Time
  • Cost

Here are some factors to consider and questions to ask when you are researching graduate schools and master’s degree programs.

Quality and Reputation

Make sure to research the reputation of the school and the quality of programs offered, to ensure you are getting the most from your investment. Look for internationally and nationally ranked programs. If you’re considering a 100% online degree, does the school have a reputation for providing a high-quality online master’s program education?


What kind of experience do faculty members have? Have they worked in the business world or is their experience limited to academia? 95% of Walsh faculty bring real-world business and technology experience into the classroom. Our faculty are industry experts in the areas they are teaching in.

Classroom Experience

Will the classroom environment provide the kind of experience you want to have? How large are the classes? Will you be able to interact with faculty? At Walsh, you will interact with faculty and classmates in small class settings, no matter how you choose to attend. Our state-of-the-art connected classrooms allow faculty, in-person, and remote students to seamlessly interact in real time.

“Walsh just seems to continue to create an environment where there is connection to the faculty and other student resources. I think that has a lot to do with the school’s size and the leadership hiring the right personalities,” said Michael Ziecik, Walsh College Foundation Board member and Master of Taxation graduate.

“Classes are structured to encourage the sharing of experiences, and our students are engaged and engaging. I learn from them all the time, which is exciting,” said Jenny Tatsak, Ph.D., professor and chair of business communications, marketing, and doctoral programs.


Cost is always a factor in major life decisions. Compare tuition and fees for the schools you are considering. Are graduate scholarships available? Will you need to take out a loan? How much can you afford to borrow and repay? The national 2017 three-year student loan default rate is 9.7%. By comparison, Walsh’s 2017 three-year default rate is 1.9%.  (Based on the most current reports from the U.S. Department of Education.) Speaking with a financial aid advisor can help you understand your options for financing your education.


Many graduate students are balancing multiple priorities including full-time careers, family and school. Make sure the school you choose will give you the flexibility to schedule your education around your life. Walsh provides maximum flexibility for students:

  • Several 100% online graduate degrees are available.
  • Connected classrooms allow you to choose remote attendance but still receive personal attention from faculty and form connections with in-person students in real time in small class settings. 
  • Year-round registration lets you plan your academic schedule up to a year in advance.
  • Four 11-week semesters help you keep momentum going and move through your program at a steady pace.
  • With no GMAT requirement and four term start dates per year, you can start anytime and earn you degree at your own pace.


Walsh offers a number of cutting-edge graduate degree options depending on your educational and career goals. Dual MBA programs offer the strength of the internationally-ranked Walsh MBA with the depth of an area of specialty.

The Cyber MBA is a fusion of business and cyber risk mitigation that will prepare you to align strategic visioning, risk management, and process maturity in business and technical operations to build resilient, successful organizations.

The Master of Science in Data Analytics enables the knowledge and skills to evaluate, interpret, and translate information to solve complex business problems and help organizations implement strategic, data-driven solutions.

The Walsh/Kettering Tech MBA is an interdisciplinary program combining the Walsh MBA with a certificate of Technology Leadership from Kettering University. You will gain the knowledge and skills to develop advanced engineering solutions to complex business problems.

FastTrack option allows you to take up to four doctoral-level courses as part of your master's degree requirements.

Resources and Support

What kind of student support services do the schools you’re considering offer? Look for resources like:

“My experience with career services at other schools doesn’t even compare. Walsh stayed with me through the process and helped me get to the next step in my career,” said MBA graduate Jenny Perry. “I know how to prepare for interviews and I interview well, because of the skills I learned from Walsh Career Services. It’s truly changed my life.” Walsh offers lifetime career services to students and alumni, and our alumni work in nearly every Fortune 500 company in Michigan.


Understanding business school accreditation can help you choose the right school to achieve your educational and career goals. Walsh is accredited as an institution by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Individual degree programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).  If your goal is to gain practical skills that can be directly applied to your career, an academically rigorous ACBSP-accredited program, like those offered by Walsh, is the right choice for you.

Ready to take the plunge?

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