Institutions of higher learning are experiencing increased difficulty managing the quantity and quality of their graduate student populations (Kallio, 1995). Currently the most important informational resource for potential students engaged in the graduate school search process is the Web (Huddleston & Drexel, 2006). Previous research has focused on things such as website design and technological advances but has failed to address the core content needed by applicants (Huddleston & Drexel, 2006). Research has focused on website design from the perspective of administrators and web designers with little consideration of the individuals who are in the process of applying to or identifying a graduate program to attend. This investigation sought to further define the content areas that influence applicants in the graduate program selection process. The sample (N=55) included applicants to the Department of Counseling Psychology and Special Education (CPSE) at Brigham Young University (BYU), a large, private religious university in the western United States. Applicants responded to surveys about the types of content they utilized in their program selection process both in application to BYU's CPSE programs as well as more generally in the graduate program selection process. The results are presented with descriptive statistics that allow comparison in content preference between different groups of applicants (e.g., program type, applicant status). It seems that, overall, the respondents were able to find the content areas that they were looking for on the Website. Responses indicated that the content related to faculty research, program descriptions, and course information was most commonly sought after. While some differences in content preference was noted between program types, little differentiation was noted among the different application groups. Limitations to the present study are discussed, and suggestions for future research are also provided.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





Graduate School Selection, Website Content, Web Recruiting