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Top 6 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Master's Program

What are some aspects to consider when researching Master's programs?

October 24, 2023
1. What is the program's specialization or focus?

Selecting an appropriate specialization empowers students to harmonize their academic pursuits with their career objectives, cultivate expertise in areas they are passionate about, foster connections with professionals closely aligned with their chosen focus, and build on their graduate projects throughout their professional journeys. Gallup’s 2022 Q12 survey found that individuals who specialize in areas they are passionate about are more likely to report higher levels of career satisfaction and engagement. Specialization allows them to align their work with their interests.

Amidst a multitude of master's programs, Minerva's Master of Science in Decision Analysis (MDA) degree stands out by offering a holistic skills-based curriculum that can be applied to any career field, with the opportunity for a more narrow focus through three distinct tracks:

  • Education Innovation: Tailored for students with a keen interest in channeling their decision analysis expertise towards the realm of educational research and practices.
  • Global Sustainability Solutions: Geared towards students who aspire to harness their decision analysis acumen to address critical environmental sustainability challenges.
  • General: Suited for students who want to apply decision analysis and research methods to a variety of fields.

This range of tracks ensures that students can focus their educational journey on their unique aspirations and professional interests while working towards their degree.

2. How does the program support networking and career development?

Understanding a program's support for networking and career development is essential for accessing valuable resources, establishing connections with peers, gaining mentorship, and acquiring industry insights that contribute to long-term success. At Minerva, students receive personalized assistance, undergo resume reviews, interview prep, attend professional development workshops, participate in collaborative one-on-one and group coaching sessions led by the Coaching and Talent Development team, all aimed at clarifying their career goals and identifying opportunities for personal and professional growth. Additionally, students have the opportunity to enhance their networking and global perspectives by attending two week-long intensive immersion programs, facilitating interactions with local leaders, fostering a global mindset, and strengthening bonds with classmates while expanding their personal and professional network.

3. Are there opportunities for practical learning?

Evaluating whether a master's program incorporates practical learning is of utmost importance, as it can empower students with tangible skills and real-world exposure, significantly enhancing their employability and ability to effectively apply theoretical knowledge. Furthermore, such an approach ensures congruence between the program's curriculum and the student's career aspirations and inclinations. Minerva University's pedagogical approach is scientifically designed to center on intentionally designed coursework and activities that stimulate active learning, development of transferable skills, and practical application of knowledge, equipping aspiring and current leaders with the toolkit to work with variety of types of information, engage and communicate with diverse audiences, make effective decisions, and have a meaningful global impact.

4. What is the average class size and student-to-faculty ratio?

Knowing the average class size and student-to-faculty ratio when researching master's programs is important because it can impact the quality of education and the level of individualized attention students receive. Many studies have shown that smaller class sizes and lower student-to-faculty ratios often result in more personalized instruction, better opportunities for interaction with professors and peers, and a potentially more engaging and effective learning environment. Discussion-based small seminars of under 20 participants allow Minerva University students to interact with faculty and classmates in an intimate and engaging setting. They collaborate deeply, analyze available information, question assumptions, and design effective solutions to problems, to form a toolkit that enables them to work towards solving critical issues facing our world.

5. Does the program offer flexibility to fit their professional and personal needs?

It is crucial to inquire about flexibility regarding customization of program duration and class schedule, especially for working professionals pursuing a master's degree, to ensure that education does not adversely affect their professional commitments. This information helps prospective students maintain a balance between their academic pursuits and career and personal responsibilities, ultimately supporting their ability to achieve their educational and professional goals harmoniously. While the majority of Minerva University Master in Decision Analysis (MDA) students typically finish the degree within an intended 21-month timeframe, there is also the option to take a lower course load and extend their studies across three to four years, allowing them to thrive in their professional settings or pursue greater professional projects while pursuing this master’s program.

6. Does the program offer financial aid?

Understanding whether master's programs offer financial aid is important due to the potential to alleviate the financial constraints associated with education and enhance program affordability. Minerva University provides a low-interest student loan, available to all students, as well as two scholarship programs that distribute payments in equal installments across the program, for students affiliated with a Teach for All program or the military.

Learn more about Minerva’s Master in Decision Analysis.

Quick Facts

Name
Country
Class
Major

Social Sciences & Business

Business & Computational Sciences

Business and Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Business

Computational Sciences & Social Sciences

Computer Science & Arts and Humanities

Business and Computational Sciences

Business and Social Sciences

Natural Sciences

Arts and Humanities

Business, Social Sciences

Business & Arts and Humanities

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Computer Science

Computational Sciences

Arts & Humanities

Computational Sciences, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Social Sciences

Social Sciences, Natural Sciences

Data Science, Statistics

Computational Sciences

Business

Computational Sciences, Data Science

Social Sciences

Natural Sciences

Business, Natural Sciences

Business, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences

Social Sciences

Computational Sciences, Natural Sciences

Natural Sciences

Computational Sciences, Social Sciences

Business, Social Sciences

Computational Sciences

Natural Sciences, Social Sciences

Social Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences

Arts & Humanities, Social Science

Social Sciences, Business

Arts & Humanities

Computational Sciences, Social Science

Natural Sciences, Computer Science

Computational Science, Statistic Natural Sciences

Business & Social Sciences

Computational Science, Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Business

Business

Arts and Humanities

Computational Sciences

Social Sciences

Social Sciences and Computational Sciences

Social Sciences & Computational Sciences

Social Sciences & Arts and Humanities

Computational Science

Minor

Computational Science & Business

Economics

Social Sciences

Concentration

Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence & Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

Designing Societies & New Ventures

Strategic Finance & Data Science and Statistics

Brand Management and Designing Societies

Data Science & Economics

Machine Learning

Cells, Organisms, Data Science, Statistics

Arts & Literature and Historical Forces

Artificial Intelligence & Computer Science

Cells and Organisms, Mind and Emotion

Economics, Physics

Managing Operational Complexity and Strategic Finance

Global Development Studies and Brain, Cognition, and Behavior

Scalable Growth, Designing Societies

Business

Drug Discovery Research, Designing and Implementing Policies

Historical Forces, Cognition, Brain, and Behavior

Artificial Intelligence, Psychology

Designing Solutions, Data Science and Statistics

Data Science and Statistic, Theoretical Foundations of Natural Science

Strategic Finance, Politics, Government, and Society

Data Analysis, Cognition

Brand Management

Data Science and Statistics & Economics

Cognitive Science & Economics

Data Science and Statistics and Contemporary Knowledge Discovery

Internship
Higia Technologies
Project Development and Marketing Analyst Intern at VIVITA, a Mistletoe company
Business Development Intern, DoSomething.org
Business Analyst, Clean Energy Associates (CEA)

Conversation

1. What is the program's specialization or focus?

Selecting an appropriate specialization empowers students to harmonize their academic pursuits with their career objectives, cultivate expertise in areas they are passionate about, foster connections with professionals closely aligned with their chosen focus, and build on their graduate projects throughout their professional journeys. Gallup’s 2022 Q12 survey found that individuals who specialize in areas they are passionate about are more likely to report higher levels of career satisfaction and engagement. Specialization allows them to align their work with their interests.

Amidst a multitude of master's programs, Minerva's Master of Science in Decision Analysis (MDA) degree stands out by offering a holistic skills-based curriculum that can be applied to any career field, with the opportunity for a more narrow focus through three distinct tracks:

  • Education Innovation: Tailored for students with a keen interest in channeling their decision analysis expertise towards the realm of educational research and practices.
  • Global Sustainability Solutions: Geared towards students who aspire to harness their decision analysis acumen to address critical environmental sustainability challenges.
  • General: Suited for students who want to apply decision analysis and research methods to a variety of fields.

This range of tracks ensures that students can focus their educational journey on their unique aspirations and professional interests while working towards their degree.

2. How does the program support networking and career development?

Understanding a program's support for networking and career development is essential for accessing valuable resources, establishing connections with peers, gaining mentorship, and acquiring industry insights that contribute to long-term success. At Minerva, students receive personalized assistance, undergo resume reviews, interview prep, attend professional development workshops, participate in collaborative one-on-one and group coaching sessions led by the Coaching and Talent Development team, all aimed at clarifying their career goals and identifying opportunities for personal and professional growth. Additionally, students have the opportunity to enhance their networking and global perspectives by attending two week-long intensive immersion programs, facilitating interactions with local leaders, fostering a global mindset, and strengthening bonds with classmates while expanding their personal and professional network.

3. Are there opportunities for practical learning?

Evaluating whether a master's program incorporates practical learning is of utmost importance, as it can empower students with tangible skills and real-world exposure, significantly enhancing their employability and ability to effectively apply theoretical knowledge. Furthermore, such an approach ensures congruence between the program's curriculum and the student's career aspirations and inclinations. Minerva University's pedagogical approach is scientifically designed to center on intentionally designed coursework and activities that stimulate active learning, development of transferable skills, and practical application of knowledge, equipping aspiring and current leaders with the toolkit to work with variety of types of information, engage and communicate with diverse audiences, make effective decisions, and have a meaningful global impact.

4. What is the average class size and student-to-faculty ratio?

Knowing the average class size and student-to-faculty ratio when researching master's programs is important because it can impact the quality of education and the level of individualized attention students receive. Many studies have shown that smaller class sizes and lower student-to-faculty ratios often result in more personalized instruction, better opportunities for interaction with professors and peers, and a potentially more engaging and effective learning environment. Discussion-based small seminars of under 20 participants allow Minerva University students to interact with faculty and classmates in an intimate and engaging setting. They collaborate deeply, analyze available information, question assumptions, and design effective solutions to problems, to form a toolkit that enables them to work towards solving critical issues facing our world.

5. Does the program offer flexibility to fit their professional and personal needs?

It is crucial to inquire about flexibility regarding customization of program duration and class schedule, especially for working professionals pursuing a master's degree, to ensure that education does not adversely affect their professional commitments. This information helps prospective students maintain a balance between their academic pursuits and career and personal responsibilities, ultimately supporting their ability to achieve their educational and professional goals harmoniously. While the majority of Minerva University Master in Decision Analysis (MDA) students typically finish the degree within an intended 21-month timeframe, there is also the option to take a lower course load and extend their studies across three to four years, allowing them to thrive in their professional settings or pursue greater professional projects while pursuing this master’s program.

6. Does the program offer financial aid?

Understanding whether master's programs offer financial aid is important due to the potential to alleviate the financial constraints associated with education and enhance program affordability. Minerva University provides a low-interest student loan, available to all students, as well as two scholarship programs that distribute payments in equal installments across the program, for students affiliated with a Teach for All program or the military.

Learn more about Minerva’s Master in Decision Analysis.