You'll find answers on this page to the most common questions our program users ask.

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What is Gradschoolmatch?

Learn more about it

How to start using Gradschoolmatch?

Learn the first steps

Tips for the best programs.

Learn best practices


  1. What does Gradschoolmatch do?Back to questions
  2. Gradschoolmatch helps your graduate program find the right students, while helping the right students find your graduate program.

  3. Why Gradschoolmatch?Back to questions
  4. Without going into all the gory detail, students and graduate programs each suffer from a needle-in-the-massive-haystack problem. We connect programs and prospective students who might not otherwise find each other. Nurturing prospects discovered on Gradschoolmatch leads to stronger application pools.

  5. How long has Gradschoolmatch been around?Back to questions
  6. We launched our beta platform in stealth mode early in 2013, as a way to learn how to best serve our users. In early 2015, we launched Gradschoolmatch v2.0, an improvement so substantial over our beta that we completely skipped calling it v1.0. On the basis of this track record alone, we can’t wait to launch v3.0. We’re always improving.

  7. Who are the masterminds behind Gradschoolmatch?Back to questions
  8. Gradschoolmatch is an Atlanta area, tech startup, founded by TJ Murphy PhD, a professor at Emory University and his former graduate student, Brian Clark. They coaxed Jared Welch, an Emory computer science graduate into joining them, by promising Jared he could build the scalable, extensible, state-of-the-art platform of his dreams. Which he did.

  9. How does Gradschoolmatch work?Back to questions
  10. Both graduate programs and student users manage their profile. Each tag their profiles with information that our search engine reads. On the basis of this information, you’ll see lists of prospects whose backgrounds and interests fit your program. Click on their name to view their profile. If you like what you see, click on Bookmark. Voila! They now know that your program exists.

  11. How long will it take to build out my program profile?Back to questions
  12. It shouldn’t take much longer than 20 minutes.

  13. How do students find my program?Back to questions
  14. The same way you find students. Your program profile might come up in their Match and Search output. If they Bookmark you, you’ll receive a notification by email and also the next time you login. Voila! Now you know that prospect exists!

  15. How can I tell a prospect that I’m interested in him or her?Back to questions
  16. Simple. When looking at the profile of a student you like, click the Bookmark button. They’ll be notified of your interest both by email and the next time they log in.

  17. Can I send a prospect a message?Back to questions
  18. Yes. After you Bookmark a student you like, be a nice human and send them a Message. For example, “Hello, the weather here is probably much better than where you are right now. Plus, we have a great graduate program to fit you nicely! Please tell me more about yourself.”

  19. Does Gradschoolmatch work?Back to questions
  20. Absolutely. We’re connecting prospects and programs every hour of every day. We have to tell you, all of that matchmaking is a beautiful thing to watch. Here’s a recent conversation we had with busy client successfully using Gradschoolmatch to introduce her biological and biomedical sciences doctoral program at Vanderbilt University to scores of new prospects, improving its already strong regional and national presence:
    GSM: We gather you’re pleased with Gradschoolmatch?
    Client: Definitely.

  21. Why should program faculty get on and use Gradschoolmatch?Back to questions
  22. Because they’re the experts in their fields. Because recruits are first and foremost driven by their academic interests. Because recruits need their guidance. Because recruits will find them to be the most trustworthy and authoritative people they meet on their path to grad school. Because faculty are the most influential recruiters for your program.

  23. Why should my program’s current graduate students get on and use Gradschoolmatch?Back to questions
  24. OK, we lied. Program faculty aren’t your best recruiters. Your (happy) current graduate students are your best recruiters. Plus they’re better at using the internet, which is nice. If you only have unhappy graduate students, fix that problem first, then come back and use Gradschoolmatch.

  25. Do I need to be a program faculty person to use Gradschoolmatch?Back to questions
  26. No, staff who understand what their programs offer in terms of academics and/or research and what types of students to search for can be extraordinarily effective recruiters on Gradschoolmatch.

  27. So it sounds like I can use Gradschoolmatch to find prospects in my field easily and with great precision, using it to build the sort of trusted authoritative relationship with them that makes them want to apply and matriculate?Back to questions
  28. Precisely. We couldn’t have said that any better.


  1. What is the first thing I should do after logging on to Gradschoolmatch?Back to questions
  2. Change the password we sent you. Click Settings on the lower left of your screen. Choose a strong password so your account doesn’t get hacked. If you’re having any difficulty figuring it out, step out into the hall and flag down the next grad student who walks by.

  3. What is the second thing I should do after logging on to Gradschoolmatch?Back to questions
  4. Fill out your program profiles. You can find your profiles by clicking Programs on the menu bar at the top of your screen. Then click on stuff. You’ll see. Always be sure to hit a Save button after entering information.
    The profile content is very important to fill out completely so that Search will work and it also drives Match. It is how the right students find and quickly evaluate your programs. If you’re having any difficulty figuring out how to edit your profile, step out into the hall and grab the next grad student who skips by.

  5. What is the third thing I should do after logging on to Gradschoomatch?Back to questions
  6. Add a picture of yourself by clicking Update My Profile in the top left of your screen. Recruiting is people-driven. Nothing says you are a person better than a pleasant pic. If you have a nice photo on your website, steal that. It will work perfectly for Gradschoolmatch! Or take a selfie. If you’re having any difficulty figuring out how to upload a pic, stick your foot out into the hall and trip the next grad student wandering by.

  7. What is the fourth thing I should do after logging on to Gradschoolmatch?Back to questions
  8. Click on Match on the top menu bar and wait for all of the short profile views to fill up the page. You can see full profiles of the prospects by clicking on their name. Click on the Bookmark button on those who interest you. If they like you, they’ll bookmark you back.
    Program users who actively Bookmark students have a lot more success on Gradschoolmatch than lurker users. By the way, if you’ve made it this far, you don’t need any more help from a grad student.

  9. What is the last thing I should do after logging on to Gradschoolmatch?Back to questions
  10. Explore. Click on stuff and see what it opens. There’s a lot of functionality to find on Gradschoolmatch, none of which is breakable. You can change your Email Alert Frequency, Add/Remove Collaborators, look at your various Lists, and even Export a list of prospects who share an interest in your program.
    If you’re having any difficulty exploring all of the functionality on Gradschoolmatch, Tweet, Snapchat or FB your most loyal grad student and ask him or her to stop by and give you a hand….just don’t use email. They’re much better at communicating through apps than through email. Go figure.


  1. You’ve bookmarked many incomplete student profiles, and would like to see more information from them.Back to tips
  2. Send everyone you've bookmarked a single Group Message telling them "you look intriguing, but your research/work experiences are extremely important for us to know, we want to know if you have any, so please complete them on your profile." The ones who respond and do that will be the ones you should put some effort into.

  3. Definitely use the Ignore function.Back to tips
  4. Students aren’t notified if you ignore them. And ignore is reversible. Clicking ignore will put their profile on your Ignore List, and that will feed more profiles into your match. You can always unignore someone by going to your Ignore List (on the left of view when logged in). Visit the Ignore List from time to time to see if any of the ignores were updated. Ignore is a great function. The students use Ignore liberally, you should, too.

  5. Recruit for upcoming years.Back to tips
  6. Not everybody you discover on Gradschoolmatch is going in the next application cycle. But most will go eventually. Not everybody has research or work experience, and many don't even know they need it. Don’t be afraid to train them to be better applicants.
    What you do now can pay off in later application cycles. Undergraduate advising/Career Planning services simply aren’t getting the job done for students. They are frustrated. They need mentoring from people like you. Use Gradschoolmatch to recruit them for your summer programs, etc. Many are in places where they just don't have the proper mentoring to know what is important to top graduate programs. We started Gradschoolmatch with the idea of not only finding better prospects now, but to train the others on how to become better applicants.

  7. Don't be too narrow in your custom Search.Back to tips
  8. If you look in California for molecular pharmacologists, you might get a handful. If you look for pharmacologists, you should get more. If you look for biologists, you'll get a lot. Custom search is exclusive (very precise). Match is inclusive. Play with Search, you'll see.

  9. Use custom Search to scout nationally.Back to tips
  10. Match is weighted a bit towards those nearby your location. That’s a secret by the way. Please don’t tell anybody.

  11. Don't just focus search on prospects in your narrow academic specialty.Back to tips
  12. Not finding enough, or seeking more diversity? Hit related areas. Think of the different backgrounds and degrees that your better grad students have had, and add their academic fields to the “What we look for in prospective students” section of your profile.

  13. Scout the activity feed of your Home page.Back to tips
  14. That’s live activity. Click on the profiles of the student users that are popping up in the activity feed. You can connect instantly.

  15. As a general rule, don't use the same standards to evaluate prospects on Gradschoolmatch as you use in your applications.Back to tips
  16. The purpose of Gradschoolmatch is to generate leads. Expect incomplete information. For example, few list their GRE scores because most don’t take the exam until after they decide where to apply.
    But don't be shy to ask them for more information. Nurture the strong leads you discover, and mentor some of the weaker ones. Get your faculty on the strong ones ASAP, whether on or off our site. If you want them in a seat, you’ll want to go the extra mile.
    Focus on precision, not scale. The typical graduate program doesn’t need hundreds, you need a handful of the most promising ones.

  17. Be sure to take some time to fill in your Academic Fields thoroughly.Back to tips
  18. They’re derived from a list of over 2000! There are two places to do this: 1) Tag your profile with the academic fields that represent what your program offers. Select all that apply. 2) Tag your profile with the academic fields that represent what types of undergraduate majors you’d like to see in your applicants.

  19. Schedule protected time to use Gradschoolmatch once or twice a week, each for 10 minutes or so.Back to tips
  20. Gradschoolmatch is dynamic. New prospects sign up on a daily basis. Old users come back to update their profiles as their path to grad school gets closer to the end. Make a habit of bookmarking a handful of prospects each time that you’re on. Programs with active users are the programs that prospects are discovering, connecting with, and applying to.

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Our growth is attributed to the fact that we really care about graduate education and listen to our subscribers. If you have questions or would like more information don't hesitate to contact us!

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