I just came across a post of a student asking for advice. He was deciding between two programs and wanted guidance on which one would be best for him. It’s great if you get accepted to everything you applied for, but it can also be a challenge to choose the right program for the next four years. Although I do not know any of you personally, there are definitely ways to help you make that tough decision with clarity and confidence.
Attend information sessions
You probably knew this would be first. Of course, the best way to compare programs and their offerings, is to get information directly from the source: the students and faculty! By attending open houses and asking your questions, you will get personalized answers that will help you make your decision. You will also be able to learn more about the format of the program, and whether it is something that coincides with your plans and goals.
Reach out for more information
Last year, I received an email from one of my program’s amazing faculty members, asking me if I would be willing to meet with a high school student to give her more information on Creative Industries, and if it was for her. Not only was this super impressive, it was also super smart! If you’re serious about choosing the right program, but are seriously confused, reaching out to a faculty member for the contact information of a current student can be extremely beneficial. And if you were wondering, the student decided to accept her offer to Creative Industries, and seems to be really enjoying it!
Review each program’s course calendar
I feel like a broken record because this is one of the first tips I always give, but it is by far one of the most useful. Every program at every school posts a list of programs that may (or must) be used in order to fulfill degree requirements. The lists usually have course descriptions, that will give you a pretty good idea of what you will be learning. And if you’re like me, you will also be able to tell which program is more appealing to you by the excitement you feel while reading those short descriptions.
Compare the programs’ “features”
Which program offers an internship or work placement? Which one gives you the opportunity to focus on a particular aspect of your desired field? Which program has a sick study abroad program? What exciting trips, events or conferences does each program plan? These are all important features that can help you decide between programs. All of Ryerson’s programs have extensive opportunities for their students, but do some research to learn about the nature of these opportunities, and which ones spark your interest.
Follow the programs on social media
In addition to following @WhyRyerson on social media, keep yourself updated on what each program is posting or sharing, if there any upcoming events or volunteer opportunities that you can participate in, and whether there are cool updates on current or past students. Social media is so prominent in today’s society, and is another way to stay in the loop of what’s going on.
If the programs you are comparing are at different schools, visit both, and compare the campuses, the atmosphere, and simply how you feel at each university. Sometimes the comfort you feel at a particular school is the deal breaker. If both programs are at Ryerson, you needn’t worry. No matter the program, you’ll be in good hands.