Grad school is a big step, a big time commitment, and potentially a big money commitment. How do you choose the right one?
Well, the hippie in me says 'you'll end up where you're supposed to be'.
The OCD in me says, consider/do the following, while considering grad schools:
Do your research.
Talk to people, ask your professors, artist friends, grad program alums, curators, what programs they would recommend for you.
Research the programs you're considering - know who teaches there, who has gone there, what is the general 'philosophy' of the school, what is the school structure, etc.
You should also find out:
What kind of aid is available?
What are the studios like?
How big is the program?
How long is the program?
What are the facilities like?
What have past grads gone on to do?
Who are the visiting artists that have come in the past 1-4 years?
What is the city like, where the school is? Is it a place that you could see yourself living for a while after grad school?
You should know who teaches there, what kind of work they do, what kind of work the grad students do, and what the expectations are of students while in the program.
Set up appointments with the grad program counselor, with current grads (I recommend 2nd year students), with professors in the program, with former grads.
VISIT THE SCHOOL AND THE GRAD STUDIOS.
Grad school is a big commitment, and will require a lot of you. DO NOT set your sights on a school that you have never been to.
....that's a start. But I have more to say on this topic. I'll add to this soon.
Grad art programs in LA/SoCal:
Art Center College of Design
Otis College of Art and Design
Cal State LA
Cal State Fullerton
Art Grad Schools on the East Coast:
Art Grad Schools in the Midwest:
Programs in Europe: