Not every university may have the type of program you want to pursue, so it is best to read up on the programs offered by every university. You may also find that you like certain aspects of a program offered at one university, which may not be offered at another. The Admissions Office of universities would be your best bet to learn more about the program, the curriculum, credit requirements and the degree earned upon completing the course. Doing your research on the curriculum is highly recommended as some universities will offer a lot more freedom in the form of a more open curriculum, while others will expect you to take up certain courses.
Accreditation: Applying to an accredited university will make your life much better. Not only will degrees earned from accredited universities have more value in the eyes of employers, but they will also be of more value if you plan to study further. In case you wish to transfer credits from one university to another, chances are that your new university will only accept these credit scores from an accredited university.
Cost: An important factor to consider before selecting universities, is whether you can afford them. Apart from tuition, you will also have living expenses to consider. All in all, you should have sufficient finances to sustain you through the course of your degree. While the cost of living would depend mostly on the location of the university – universities situated in big cities will often have higher living expenses, course fees would depend on other factors such as the duration of the course or whether the university is private or public. Tuition at public universities is usually a lot lower.
Course Flexibility: While not the most important factor for international students, this is something many students look for, all the same. The most common reason for this is when students need to work at a regular job and pursue a part-time degree.
Location of the University: Based on whether you’re a city person or prefer a small town, you can select a university that provides you with an environment you’re comfortable in. The university’s location also matters when you look into the companies close by for internships during the course of your program or jobs after you graduate.
Admission rate: A university’s admission rate reveals a lot about the kind of students it accepts and your chances of getting in. Universities with a high acceptance rate generally tend to take in students with more varied academic backgrounds. Those with low acceptance rates usually accept only students with the strongest profiles.
Admission criteria: This is a good way to figure out where you stand in terms of getting admitted to the university based on your GPA, standardized test scores, and prerequisite course requirements. Most universities post the standardized test scores and GPAs of formers students, so this will help you better understand your chances of getting in at various universities.
Graduation rate: A university’s graduate rate gives you an idea about the number of students that graduate from their university, thereby giving you a glimpse of your own possibilities at this university.
Campus facilities: It is always a good idea to look into the campus facilities of each university, especially those facilities that would either help with your program or be of use to you in some other way. These facilities could range from well-equipped laboratories to well-stocked libraries or just sports facilities or dining options that suit your specific needs.
Academic support: Some universities have a separate building for academic support staff and offer resources that can be useful to you. It is always a good idea to find out which of these universities provide resources that can benefit you during the course of your program at the University.
Faculty to student ratio: This is an important aspect to consider as this would significantly influence the kind of instruction you wish to receive. Universities generally post information about the class sizes of various programs. Larger classes will make it harder for you to interact with professors, which also makes it difficult to receive more individualized attention if you need it. Small class sizes also make discussions possible, so if you like to learn by discussing subjects, this is a great option for you. It is also worth noting that class size almost never depends on the size of the University, which appears to be a common misconception among students.