Discussing possible graduate school choices with professors, graduate students and other professionals is one way to locate potential graduate programs. Some students will be attracted to a program because of the work of certain faculty and their desire to have them as a mentor. Other students will be looking for the overall characteristics of a program, its curriculum and the resulting degree. You will also want to visit the individual websites of various programs to learn more about the pre-requisites, curriculum, time to degree, job prospects of program alumni, and deadlines for all application materials.
There are a number of search engines that will do a general sorting of graduate school programs but you are still going to need to spend a good deal of time researching mentors, curriculum and costs.
Peterson’s allows you to search by school name, discipline, location and other key words.
The search engine at Gradschools.com allows subject searches within broad disciplinary categories.
Gradtrek.com has a questionnaire-type search engine.
If you are searching among California universities you can find search tools that have been developed for both the University of California system and the California State
University system. This will allow you to get an idea of how many university campuses in the state offer a program in the field in which you have an interest and what are some of the variations.
Here is the search tool for the University of California system.
Here is the search tool for the California State University system.
For search engines for professional schools including medical, dental and law school, there are links on each of the pages at the Professional Schools/Portals tab.