Program selection

Discussing possible graduate school choices with professors, graduate students and other professionals is one way to locate potential graduate programs. Some students will be attracted to a program because of an interest in the research work of certain faculty and a desire to be mentored by that professor. Other students will be looking for the overall characteristics of a program, its curriculum and the resulting degree. You will also want to visit the individual websites of various programs to learn more about the prerequisites, curriculum, time to degree, job prospects of program alumni, and deadlines for all application materials.

If you are looking at California universities, you can find search tools that have been developed for both the University of California system and the California State University system. These search engines will allow you an overall view of the variety of programs available on each campus.

Here is the search tool for the University of California system.

Here is the search tool for the California State University system.

There are also a number of commercial search engines that will do a general sorting of graduate school programs. 

Peterson’s allows you to search by school name, discipline, location and other key words.

The search engine at allows subject searches within broad disciplinary categories. has a questionnaire-type search engine.

Regardless of what kind of degree programs you are researching, you will still need to spend a good deal of time researching mentors, curriculum and costs. 

For prospective students looking at medical, dental, and law degrees or other professional programs, you can find links to the websites of various professional organizations in the Portals section. These professional organization sites have lots of resources to help you search for appropriate programs.

We help California’s former foster youth apply to graduate programs and professional schools by providing the knowledge each applicant needs to create a competitive application and succeed.

MAPS is a California non-profit