Program Spotlight: FSU College of Education

Established in 1905, the College of Education at Florida State University is part of the oldest continuous site of higher education in Florida.

With 10 programs on Gradschoolmatch, ranging from a nationally acclaimed Sport Management program to online degrees for current educators, the College of Education provides a variety of unique opportunities for prospective students.

Learn more about the student-focused approach at the FSU College of Education from Assistant Director, Jennie Harrison.

GSM: What does your role look like within FSU’s College of Education?

Jennie: I oversee the Office of Communications and Recruitment in the FSU College of Education. As the “face” of the College, my office serves as the portal for information and expertise sought by the media, for faculty, staff, and students wishing to publicize their accomplishments, and for anyone seeking the latest College of Education news.

We also aim to recruit the best and brightest students to both our undergraduate and graduate programs. We have been experiencing a decline in enrollment in many of our programs due to economic conditions, and are working to reverse this trend.

GSM: What tools do you typically utilize to recruit students?

Jennie: We utilize social media quite a lot—we have 7 different platforms that we maintain, which you can find via our website. We also regularly attend graduate recruitment fairs both on campus and at other institutions, as well as professional organizations’ recruitment events, such as Educators Rising and Florida Future Educators of America.

GSM: How useful is Gradschoolmatch to you and your program as a recruiting tool?

Jennie: So far, Gradschoolmatch has proven to be a great way to reach students we wouldn’t normally be able to. It provides us with the opportunity to connect with students all over the country from our desks in Tallahassee. By being able to see a snapshot of his/her interests and background, we are able to tell fairly quickly if a student would be a good fit for our programs. This type of information is much more difficult and time-consuming to obtain through other mediums we’ve traditionally used, such as e-mail and recruitment fairs, so we see a lot of value from using the platform.

GSM: The College of Education recently launched a new website. How has that aided in recruiting efforts?

Jennie: We have been receiving an increased number of e-mails and inquiries since we launched this summer. As a result of our redesign, contact information and content are now more streamlined and accessible. We’re excited about the new site launch, and think it will be a huge help in our ongoing recruitment effort.

GSM: What are some of the unique strengths of programs in the FSU College of Education?

Jennie: We offer a number of graduate programs online that accommodate working professionals. Those programs, which can be found on Gradschoolmatch, include:

  • Curriculum & Instruction (MS)
  • Educational Leadership/Administration (MS, EdS, and EdD)
  • English Education (MS—within the online C&I program)
  • Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies (MS)
  • Learning and Cognition (MS)
  • Special Education (MS—within the online C&I program)

Housed in a newly renovated building, we offer the latest technology and multimedia devices to enhance teaching and learning. Because of our location in Tallahassee, College of Education students and alumni have access to career opportunities not found anywhere else in the state; our students and alumni play an integral part in shaping Florida’s educational system and legislation. Students in our teacher education programs are able to get experience in a variety of classrooms via field experience and internships in school districts all over the state.

A research showcase held at the FSU College of Education for PK-12 education research
A research showcase held at the FSU College of Education for PK-12 education research

GSM: One of your newest programs, an online master’s in Curriculum and Instruction, is launching this fall. What does that program look like?

Jennie: The online master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) is designed for current educators who are looking to improve their instructional effectiveness and become teacher leaders. Online core courses are designed to accommodate teachers’ varied work schedules. The following majors are available within the program:

  • Elementary Education
  • English Education
  • Foreign and Second Language Education
  • Mathematics Education
  • Reading Education/Language Arts
  • Science Education
  • Social Studies Education
  • Special Education

The program requires a minimum of 33 credit hours of graduate coursework (11 courses) that can be completed on a part-time basis in approximately 2 years. Students can tailor their coursework to accommodate their interests and areas of focus. Aside from the 5-6 required core classes, the remainder of the program of study will be determined by the student and his/her faculty advisor from the major area of study.

GSM: What are some typical career paths for students following graduation, and what types of professional development resources are available to prepare them for those roles?

Jennie: Career paths generally depend on the major. For the most part, students graduating from School of Teacher Education programs go into the classroom, though some work in school district offices or other education-related settings. Instructional Systems and Learning Technologies grads work in a wide variety of settings, including business and industry, military, HR, education, and more. Sport Management grads generally pursue careers in the sports industry, such as event management or sports marketing. Of course, many students in doctoral programs continue their paths in academia as professors.

Sport Management students visiting American Airlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat, during a Sports Management Student Association networking trip
Sport Management students visiting American Airlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat, during a Sport Management Student Association networking trip

GSM: What is some advice you would give to prospective FSU College of Education graduate students?

Jennie: If you’re interested in our programs, reach out to us! We’re happy to help answer questions and provide you with as much information as we can. Most everything a prospective student is looking for can be found on our website, so that’s the best place to start.

We also encourage students to connect with us on social media. It’s a great way to keep up with announcements, events, and other information about the College.

The best advice comes from fellow students, though. Prospective students will find some interesting stories and testimonials of current and former COE students on our website.

GSM: What does the path to application look like for prospective FSU College of Education students? Where is the best place for them to get more information?

Jennie: Admissions and application information can be found on our website. Each program’s page has specific information related to their admission requirements and application deadlines. A full list of our graduate programs can be found at our website. We’re also happy to help answer any questions that may arise. Our email address is



Program Spotlight: Vanderbilt’s Biomedical Graduate Program

One of the nation’s leading biomedical graduate programs, the Vanderbilt Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical and Biological Sciences is designed to build successful, well-rounded leaders in science.

Under an umbrella of 11 different graduate programs, ranging from cancer biology to pharmacology, students are able to lay a foundation of more generalized coursework before selecting a specialized field of study.

Learn more about Vanderbilt’s Biomedical Graduate Program from Assistant Director Beth Bowman.

GSM: Briefly describe your role with Vanderbilt and some of your main objectives.

Beth: I am an Assistant Professor of Medical Education at Vanderbilt University and I have two major roles: Assistant Director of Biomedical Graduate Studies and co-Director of the Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy for undergraduate research. While my main job is to inform students about our graduate programs and recruit them to Vanderbilt, my passion is for helping educate students about the graduate school experience and how to make themselves competitive applicants. I want to be a resource for students hoping to make the transition from undergraduate to graduate education so that the important decisions they make during this time are well-informed and sophisticated.

GSM: What tools does the biomedical sciences program currently utilize to recruit students?

Beth: Most of our current recruiting is done through online, regional, and national graduate school fairs and our own online interest form. I contact students individually who either attend our booth at graduate school fairs or who complete this form to discuss their interests and how our program fits with their specific needs. My approach is much more focused on personalized attention than mass communication, a reflection of our programs’ attention to individual student success.

GSM: How useful is Gradschoolmatch to you and your program as a recruiting tool?

Beth: While I have only been using Gradschoolmatch for a short period of time, I have definitely found it to be useful for recruiting. I love the chance to learn a little bit about students, determine what they are seeking in a graduate program, and establish a connection before I tell them about our program. It seems like a much more personal approach that fits in well with my recruiting strategy.

GSM: Your program is considered an umbrella program. Can you describe how umbrella programs work, and how they differ from more traditional interdepartmental programs?

Beth: Traditional interdepartmental programs are typically smaller programs centered on a specific subject (i.e. Cancer Biology, Microbiology and Immunology, or Cell Biology) within the biological or biomedical sciences. While the faculty part of this type of program may come from different academic departments, they are still focused on the specific subject within that program. In contrast to this, umbrella programs commonly have a broader span, typically across the majority of biological or biomedical sciences departments at a specific institution.

For example, the IGP umbrella program spans 11 of our biomedical science departments. After gaining foundational training their first year in an umbrella setting, students will join a specific department or program when they choose their thesis mentor. Thus, unlike interdepartmental programs where students choose their subject up front, the goal of umbrella programs is to provide more choice and strong foundational training before specialization.

The 11 programs within the IGP
The 11 programs within the IGP umbrella program

The IGP program was founded for two specific reasons: 1) There really are no longer clear distinctions between biomedical science research fields; thus we believe all first year graduate students should get a broad foundation across these disciplines and strong training in critical thinking skills. While we group first year students together, we still value the importance of small group discussions and we balance larger didactic lectures with small, discussion-based coursework. 2) Many incoming students either don’t know specifically what they want to study or switch their interest during their first year of graduate work. We find that even students with a very specific initial interest will join a lab studying a different subject. Thus, rather than limiting students to faculty within one subject, we give students the flexibility to explore any laboratory, no matter what specific field the lab studies.

GSM: Why would a student benefit from choosing an umbrella program, and what type of student would be most successful?

Beth: Any student interested in biomedical research, whether they are undecided in their research interest or if they have a very specific thesis project in mind, would benefit from an umbrella program. One of the biggest goals is to expose burgeoning scientific leaders to the broad array of biomedical research disciplines. Because there are no longer clear boundaries between scientific disciplines, a scientist’s research can take him or her along many paths, often outside of the specific field in which he or she started. To successfully “follow the science”, a broad foundation in biomedical science is essential. Thus, the biggest benefit of training in an umbrella program is the strong science tool kit developed, filled with skills and knowledge that scientists can access when needed.

GSM: What are some of the unique strengths of your program at Vanderbilt?

Beth: Vanderbilt has two unique strengths that truly set it apart from other biomedical graduate programs: Support for graduate students in the lab and out of the lab. Vanderbilt is well known as a friendly, collaborative research institute that fosters relationships between investigators across disciplines. Additionally, to support research on campus, we have a large number of excellent core facilities and shared resources. These provide cutting edge scientific services, enabling access to high-end equipment, advanced techniques and specialized expertise for all Vanderbilt investigators. A full listing of these resources can be found here.

Support outside the lab includes an excellent Office of Career Development that is available to graduate students. Our goal is for our graduate students to be happy and productive in their research pursuits in the laboratory while also becoming educated and experienced in the many different career paths of biomedical PhD scientists. This Office of Career Development provides career and professional development services and enrichment activities for School of Medicine PhD students, including assistance on choosing a mentor, resume writing, grant writing, job search strategies, and experiences for different career paths.

Additionally, through a grant from the NIH, we also have a program called ASPIRE (Augmenting Scholar Preparation and Integration with Research-Related Endeavors) that helps students transition efficiently to research and research-related careers in both academic and nonacademic venues.

biomedical graduate program vanderbilt aspire
The Vanderbilt ASPIRE program was established in 2013 to empower and prepare biomedical sciences PhD students and postdoctoral scholars to make well-informed career decisions.

GSM: What are some typical career paths for students following graduation?

Beth: Immediately after graduate training, most of our students (about ¾) continue their research careers in postdoctoral fellowships either in nationally recognized industry or academia institutions. The remainder immediately pursue careers as Faculty members at Research I institutions or 4-year colleges, Research scientists in industry or the government, Scientific writers, or Patent lawyers.

GSM: What is some advice you would give to prospective students for your program?

Beth: My biggest piece of advice for students is to get research experience at a top-tier research institution as early as possible. This is for several reasons. 1) Getting accepted into an excellent graduate program is continually getting more competitive and requires extensive research experience. Even a stellar academic record, including a 4.0 and perfect GRE scores, will not get you into a great biomedical graduate program if you do not have legitimate research experience. 2) Experience at a research-intensive institution will give you an immersive view of what graduate school will be like. Working at a research-intensive institute is very different from the research done at a primarily undergraduate institute not only because of the environment, but also because of the resources available to students. Overall, it is more representative of research done during graduate school. Additionally, working at one of these institutes will also give you a chance to speak with people who either have gone through graduate school or who are currently going through graduate school. 3) Most importantly, this experience will show you if you actually like doing the type of work you will be doing as a graduate student.

Graduate school is not simply a continuation of undergraduate-style education. You will be learning how to think critically, analyze problems, persevere through failure, interpret data, design experiments, evaluate the literature, overcome roadblocks, etc. In other words, you are not simply “learning more about science”…you are becoming a forward scientific thinker. This type of critical thinking and boundary pushing is not meant for everyone, and that’s okay! Make sure it is right for you. Spending enough time on an intensive project will give you a clear idea if graduate school is your path.

GSM: What does the path to application look like for prospective students? Where is the best place for them to get more information?

Beth: Our application opens August 1st and closes January 15th each year. We also have a priority deadline of December 1st, which is when we start focusing on reviewing applications. We require a Statement of Purpose, unofficial transcript, general GRE scores, a record of research history, and 3 letters of recommendation. We review every application personally, looking at the applicant holistically and individually.

For the IGP program, the most important part of the application is the previous research experience and success in this experience. Thus, we spend the most time focused on the parts of the application that relate to this, especially including the student’s record of research experience and letters of recommendation. We do not have specific academic score cut offs, though we would like to see that students would be successful in our graduate-level coursework. In general, we recommend that students get as much research experience as possible, preferably at a research-intensive institution, before applying to graduate school. For more information, students can either email me directly or they can navigate to our website.

For more information on Vanderbilt’s Biomedical Graduate Program, visit their program profile on Gradschoolmatch.


Program Spotlight: IE Business School

IE Business School, one of 6 colleges at IE University in Madrid, Spain, is ranked as one of the world’s top business schools. Offering a variety of renowned graduate programs, IE’s Business School awards degrees across business disciplines, including their wildly successful International and Global MBA programs.

A truly global college, IE Business School has 27 international offices, as well as partnerships with over 100 universities worldwide. With a student-centric focus, IE Business School provides a world-class education while providing a strong sense of inclusion and community.

Read our discussion with Jessica Yevics, International Development Manager for IE Business School, to learn more about IE’s International and Global MBA programs on


GSM: Describe your role, and how IE actively recruits throughout the US.

Jessica: As part of IE’s International Development team here in North America, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, our main objective is to assist the Admissions Department in Madrid by actively recruiting the top talent for our different Masters programs. We also provide local support and guidance to our applicants, students and Alumni throughout the region. Our three regional offices located in New York, Miami and Los Angeles are part of a worldwide network of 27 offices, which together help to recruit and select the best students across the globe and ultimately create a truly international institution.

To recruit the best prospective students for IE, we use various channels, including local fairs and events, virtual sessions, webinars and partnerships and activities with top US Companies and Universities.


GSM: How useful is Gradschoolmatch to you and your programs as a recruiting tool?

Jessica: While we have only joined Gradschoolmatch this past year, it has been proving to be a useful tool for us to connect with prospective students and guide them throughout the information gathering phase of their graduate school search. We have received many inquiries from qualified candidates since we have started using the platform, and we hope that it will become even more useful for prospective students to learn about IE and for our team to identify top candidates.


GSM: What makes the International MBA Program at IE unique?

Jessica: The diversity of the students and optimization of the accelerated program are two of the most defining characteristics of the International MBA program.  The program is made up of roughly 90% international students during any given intake, and these individuals not only come from different geographical locations, but also represent many different sectors, academic backgrounds, and functional roles. We believe that this dynamic simulates a real world international workplace which helps our students to prepare themselves for an international career, whether in a large multinational corporation, a local company looking to expand, or their own entrepreneurial endeavour.

The personalization of the program is something that really shows IE’s dedication to creating a one-of-a-kind experience for each student. It is the only program of its kind that allows students to choose so many options during an accelerated one-year program. Our students can dedicate their time working on their business plan in the Venture Lab, participate in a social impact project, intern with a top company, study abroad, or take advantage of a wide variety of electives.

The latest class of IE's International MBA program
The latest class of IE’s International MBA program


GSM: In your opinion, why was the Global MBA voted the #1 online MBA program in the world?

Jessica: IE’s Global MBA program has always been at the forefront of online learning. There are many things that set it apart from other similar programs, including the dynamic and accelerated format.  Students complete the program in just 15 months, and are completely immersed in the learning experience throughout the entire duration of the program through on-going discussion, collaborative projects and group work, as well as the interactive virtual class sessions and face-to-face periods in Madrid.

The flexibility of the program is also a large draw to this program.  While students are engaged on a daily basis throughout the course of the program, they can do so from anywhere in the world, making the program an ideal option for working professionals. The program provides students with a truly global vision of business, preparing them for situations they may encounter in their current and future roles.


GSM: Aside from the well-known MBA and Management programs, what other Master’s programs does IE offer for young professionals looking to advance their career in a specific area?

Jessica: IE has a variety of specialized master’s programs that will help students get the knowledge and industry specific training to start or advance a career in an up and coming field.  As an innovative institution that always reflects on market, industry and student needs, we offer programs such as the Master in Business Analytics and Big Data, Master in Market Research and Consumer Behavior, Master in Digital and Visual Media, Master in Corporate Communication, Master in International Relations and Master in Finance. All of these programs take a practical approach into the classroom and the students learn the ins and outs of the field by working with top companies and professors.


GSM: What makes Madrid a great place to live, work, and study?

Jessica: Madrid is the ideal location for pursuing a graduate degree in Europe.  It is the epicentre of culture, business and politics in Spain and home to the country’s largest stock exchange, as well as some of the most important national and international companies. Madrid offers the perfect opportunity to study and conduct international business.

As all of our Alumni can proudly tell you, this city also has a lot to offer on a social and cultural level. Madrid is home to three world famous art museums, and numerous smaller museums and galleries. Just a stroll through the city can become a lesson in Spanish Architecture by admiring the buildings, statues and plazas. Because of the excellent climate, you’ll find that people spend most of their time outside, where you can often find them socializing or even conducting business at one of the countless terrazas (outdoor cafés).

As a former expat living in Spain, I can honestly say that the country offers something for everyone and IE gives students the perfect opportunity to study at a world renowned institution with the colorful backdrop of this vibrant city.

To see a snapshot of life at IE Business School, check out the video below.

Interested in graduate school at IE? Bookmark their Global MBA and International MBA programs on

For more information on IE Business School, visit their website here.

You can also connect with IE Business School on social media via their Facebook and Twitter pages.



Fordham University Graduate Programs Spotlight

Fordham University is a private research university that’s known for outstanding graduate programs across multiple schools, from business to arts and sciences.

With around 6,500 postgraduates spread across three New York campuses, Fordham’s graduate schools provide students with global opportunities, in addition to the best of the largest city in the United States.

Gradschoolmatch recently spoke with Lauren Grizzaffi, Recruiting and Marketing Specialist for Fordham’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Here’s an inside look at how Fordham uses Gradschoolmatch to recruit the best and brightest students for almost 20 different graduate programs on

GSM: What are some of your overall goals as the Recruiting and Marketing Specialist for Graduate Programs in Arts and Sciences at Fordham?

Lauren: Our main goal is to strengthen and promote new and existing Master’s programs within Fordham’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). We have been working to recover from a downturn in graduate enrollment, and are promoting the many benefits throughout our various Master’s degrees to bring recognition to the graduate programs within Fordham University.

GSM: What graduate programs are Fordham actively recruiting for using

Lauren: We currently have 18 GSAS programs on the site. Here’s a look at a few of the diverse programs in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences that are actively recruiting students on

Masters in Applied Psychological Methods

The Applied Psychological Methods Master’s Program explores how psychological theories and research can generate solutions to real world problems, with two available specialized tracks.


Masters in Ethics and Society

This cross-disciplinary program provides a foundation in the moral frameworks of philosophy, theology, psychology, bioethics, and social justice and is further tailored to your individual interests and career goals with electives.


Masters in Urban Studies

The Urban Studies Master’s Program offers a humanistic, interdisciplinary study of the city and urban society. Students tackle complex issues confronting urban policy makers, including urban communities, economic development, inequality and social justice, and environment and sustainability.


Sign up on Gradschoolmatch to see all of  Fordham’s graduate programs here.

GSM: What are some of the opportunities that Fordham’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences provides for students to be successful?

Lauren: This past year, Fordham’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences established a new professional development initiative, GSAS Futures, to provide the support, resources and training opportunities to prepare our students for innovative careers after graduate school. Our mission is to ensure that graduate students possess the skills and knowledge that will allow them to leverage their vocational training and academic experience in a professional setting.

We’ve hosted a CV/resume workshop, an alumni panel, and a seminar on how to apply for external grants and fellowships.

fordham university gsas
An expert panel on grant writing hosting by GSAS Futures

GSM: Why is Fordham a great place to go to graduate school?

Lauren: We participate fully in the life of New York City, fostering partnerships for scholarship and research with other institutions in the city. Fordham’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is a great place to earn a graduate degree as it has two main campuses in New York – the majestic Rose Hill campus in the north Bronx and our Lincoln Center campus in close proximity to Columbus Circle and Central Park. With its prime location, our graduate students have the option of working or interning in the heart of New York City.

In addition, we have cultivated a variety of partnerships that have deemed very beneficial to our students, including the Bronx Science Consortium. The consortium partners with Fordham University, the New York Botanical Garden, Wildlife Conservation Society – Bronx Zoo, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Montefiore Hospital.

GSAS students presenting research at the Bronx Science Consortium Poster Symposium at the Bronx Zoo
GSAS students presenting research at the Bronx Science Consortium Poster Symposium at the Bronx Zoo

GSM: How has Gradschoolmatch been a valuable tool to engage with potential applicants and drive applicant traffic?

Lauren: Gradschoolmatch has been one of our first chances to promote all Master’s programs via the same platform at the same time. We have welcomed the opportunity to have hands-on collaboration from each department so that they can share unique program highlights with students, feature specific application requirements, and engage with potential students in a way that we have not been able to before.

For more information on Fordham’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, visit their website here.

You can also connect with Fordham GSAS on social media through their Facebook and Twitter accounts.


Program Spotlight: Communication, Culture, and Technology at Georgetown University


Gradschoolmatch recently sat down with Shane Hoon, Director of Admissions and Communications for the Communication, Culture, and Technology (CCT) Master of Arts Program at Georgetown University.

The CCT Program at Georgetown is unique in that it allows students to explore the relationship between rapidly changing technologies and cultures, with an emphasis on interrelations between government, media, business, and other entities on a global scale.

The program is also known for attracting students from a wide variety of disciplines; there is no standard career path for CCT graduates, with recent grads going into diverse fields including international affairs, public relations, and arts and entertainment.

Read Mr. Hoon’s take on what makes the CCT Program unique, what he looks for in potential applicants, and how he uses to recruit the best and brightest students.


1. What are some of your main objectives as the Director of Admissions and Communications for the CCT program at Georgetown?

My main objective is to continue to identify innovative and talented students that are motivated to explore the themes of communication, culture and technology, through an interdisciplinary lens. In my role, I not only work with applicant candidates that are interested in pursuing graduate education here at Georgetown, but help students identify their long-term academic and professional goals as well. My purpose is to serve as a resource for graduate applicants and as an advocate for higher education and personal and professional development.


2. What are you looking for of applicants to the program?

we robot cctWe are looking for applicants that offer unique backgrounds and experiences that will compliment our already diverse and accomplished student population. Given that we are an interdisciplinary program, there is no standard or typical background for our candidates, as we actually encourage individuals with any array of knowledge, skills, and aptitudes.

However, what is most important for us, is that an applicant understand that CCT will [challenge them] to think outside of the box and to look at issues, ideas, and themes, in a variety of different ways. We want applicants that can demonstrate unique vision in how they approach issues and problem solve, regardless of their educational and professional background.


3. In what focus areas are you looking for the program to grow and improve in the next 5-7 years?

Given that CCT is still a relatively young degree program, celebrating our 20th year in 2016, we are still establishing our identity in many ways. However, part of what makes this M.A. program so unique and relevant is the fact that we are constantly growing and adapting to the professional world and our larger society and social needs.

We see ourselves as pioneers in this space, and over the next 5-7 years hope to advance even further in terms of our understanding of new technologies and how we use them in our everyday lives to communicate with one another and function in our worlds. We are constantly adapting and improving to keep up with the changes in society, so that we are not just being reactive, but proactive and thinking ahead to what is next and needed in the future.


4. Have you admitted any students to the program who might not have looked perfect on paper, but had an interesting skillset or contribution to make that piqued your interest? If so, what has their impact been?

Yes, of course. There have certainly been occasions where we have admitted students that otherwise may not have satisfied all of our requirements or standards, but instead, based on their experiences and what we felt they could contribute to our academic community here at CCT and Georgetown. Those individuals that we have admitted have not only been successful and impactful contributors to our program, but typically are some of the hardest working and most accomplished students and graduates that we have produced.

We encourage any applicant, regardless of her or his background to apply if they feel as though CCT is the right fit for them and that they could bring something unique or new to our community.


5. How effective and important is it to you to communicate with prospects before they apply?

Recruiting - HoonFor me, it is extremely important and effective for me to communicate with prospective students before they apply, and I encourage them to reciprocate this and communicate with me as well. This not only allows me to get to know them better and help them determine what their graduate career might look like during their time at CCT and Georgetown, but also after.

Furthermore, by talking with applicants before and during the application process, I can help them better understand their own goals, whether this program or perhaps another is the right fit, and also answer any questions they may have, so as they are knowledgeable, confident, and prepared when they make that decision to matriculate and join our community. Seeing as how graduate education truly is an investment in one’s academic and professional career, it is crucial that any candidate understand this process, what it means, what the program or school has to offer, and more importantly, what THEY have to offer as an applicant.


6. How useful is Gradschoolmatch to you and your program as a recruiting tool?

While we have only been with Gradschoolmatch for a few years now, it has already become an important recruiting tool for our program. Gradschoolmatch has aided in identifying and connecting us to potential applicants and individuals that may be great future students within our program and our program a great fit for them. By acting as a resource for graduate degree seeking students, Gradschoolmatch serves to connect us with students whose backgrounds and experiences would be appreciated and desired here within the CCT program.

From the student’s perspective, Gradschoolmatch also offers them a platform to help identify excellent universities and institutions that offer programs in the areas that they are interested. It is truly a win-win.

To learn more about the Communication, Culture, and Technology Master of Arts Program at Georgetown University, view the CCT program profile on, as well as the video below.

Like this article? Sign up for Gradschoolmatch blog updates, and visit us at to start recruiting the best and brightest future graduate students.



Career guidance evolves into a strength for Emory’s PhD programs

emory_LGS_LogoCareer guidance does not come easily to advanced degree programs, and in particular to doctoral programs. Their faculty can serve as outstanding mentors to those students who are on academic tracks. For quite some time, however, academics has hardly been the “traditional” career path it once might have been. Getting good advisement on non-academic careers has been hit or miss.  But that is beginning to change.

As a general rule academics don’t understand non-academic careers very well simply because they have little such experience. Students who pursue non-academic careers have been left to their own devices to discover the myriad ways they can utilize their degrees in the workforce outside of the academy.
The impact of the Great Recession, however, might be changing the neglect by programs of the student’s appetite for non-academic career guidance. For the past several years the job market has tightened significantly even for recent advanced degree graduates, who in better economic times tend to do very well. Alert programs are noticing and some are doing something about it.

Over 400 PhD students are currently enrolled in Emory University’s Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (GDBBS). The GDBBS has trend-setting history as one of the first interdepartmental biomedical graduate programs in the US. Today, the GDBBS may again be on the vanguard in career guidance for graduate students, at least in the field of biomedical science. For some time the GDBBS has sponsored or organized symposia and networking functions, for and by students, featuring speakers and guests from non-academic fields. Many of whom are Emory graduates.

We spoke briefly with Keith Wilkinson PhD, who is both the Director of the GDBBS and a professor of biochemistry, about the responsibility his doctoral program has in career guidance:

Which of your career guidance initiatives in GDBBS do you think is most effective or innovative, and why?

Prof. Wilkinson: Of course, we have had a long standing seminar program where alumni and friends of the GDBBS have taken the time to visit Emory and talk with our students about specific careers and how they prepared for these careers. But the BEST program (an NIH funded program entitled “Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training”) is having a bigger impact. Only 17 of these programs exist nationwide. Our program focuses on six general career tracks. It exposes a cohort of 30-50 students and postdoctoral fellows per year to the skills needed in these careers and provides opportunities to hone these skills. Workshops, informational interviews, internships and career mentors help the student to decide if this is a career that interests them.

Perhaps the most innovative aspect of this program is that it supports and involves dissertation advisors in this training. Too often advisors know nothing about the career goal of a trainee, much less how to advise the trainee in preparing for this career. BEST enables the necessary networking and formal training that will allow the trainee to compete for top positions in the career of their choice.

What do you hoping to accomplish for your students with these programs? What kind of feedback have they given you?

Prof. Wilkinson: On hearing that we are offering such career guidance the universal response is, “Its about time.” And it is! When less than a quarter of our graduates go to tenure track academic careers we must train the other 75% to take on careers we know nothing about. The only moral alternative would be to train fewer students and postdocs. We hope that every student graduating from Emory is prepared for a satisfying career. This is the trade off between us and them; students and postdocs apprenticing at substandard wages should get the experience and skills they need to thrive when they leave.

The challenge is convincing advisors that such activities are productive. We are convinced (and data supports) that students who take control of their professional development are happier, more engaged, and more productive that those who are simply jumping through the hoops we hold up.

In what ways do these initiatives help you with recruiting?

Prof. Wilkinson: The best recruiters are our students and graduates. If we facilitate their success then they will sell Emory. And most students look at Emory for graduate training because an advisor or friend recommend us.

Click here for more information about the Best Program.  Emory’s nine GDBBS programs subscribe to Gradschoolmatch. Sign up today to connect and learn more about them. Please contact us if you run a graduate program and would like to spotlight its innovative or noteworthy career guidance practices.