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Choosing a Graduate School & Finding the Right Graduate Program

Let’s be honest, there are plenty of options when it comes to looking for a college or university. Between local schools and the growth of distance education, the number of choices has increased making a hard decision a little more difficult. I, for one, am not fond of making decisions. There is always a little voice in my head that, rather obnoxiously, is always asking, “Are you sure?” And, usually, I am never quite sure. I have accepted this little quirk in my personality. But, this has been one of those rare moments that I know Purdue’s MS in Communications program was the right choice.

How, pray tell, did I come to this decision of choosing a graduate school program you ask? Oh, good question, please allow me to explain.

Once I resolved to pursue a master in communications, the time came for me to decide on a school to apply to. There were several factors that guided me during the process: curriculum, cost, and reputation. I know some of you may roll your eyes at the mention of reputation, but my logic was that if I was going to go forward with an advanced degree, whether it was online or close to home, I wanted my education to come from a school that was established and had a proven record of student success and support. I narrowed it down to two universities: Purdue and a private university in Los Angeles – I won’t name names, but it rhymes with Shmu SC. Both programs are online, rigorous, and are intended to be completed in under 20 months; however, Purdue’s MS in Communication stood out as a recognized program with a curriculum (and cost!) that was on par with my intended career goals.

Hopefully you are here because you are considering Purdue for your degree and this helped with choosing a grad school program a little. Purdue is reputable, the professors are world class, and your fellow classmates will be a great source of information and support. After all of the readings, writing, and research, I am honored to be a Boilermaker.

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Ann Simon is a student in Purdue’s online Master of Science in Communication degree program. The program can be completed in just 20 months and covers numerous topics critical for advancement in the communication industry, including crisis communication, social media engagement, focus group planning and implementation, survey design and survey analysis, public relations theory, professional writing, and communication ethics.

About the Author

I am a graphic designer with over ten years of experience working with a variety of industries. I currently work at a community college in Los Angeles, California, and feel fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be a part of students’ lives while doing what I love. My skills range from branding, all aspects of print design, web design, and social media.

When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, chasing my niece and nephews, spoiling my dog Pixel, and discovering new coffee places around Los Angeles.

*The views and opinions expressed are of the author and do not represent the Brian Lamb School of Communication.