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SPOTLIGHT

Should I go to graduate school?

  • Yes...
    • ...if your career goals require an advanced degree.
    • ...if you want to study a specialty within a career field.
    • ...if you seek a better job in your field.
  • No...
    • ...if you are avoiding the job market.
    • ...if you plan on using it to explore a career field.
    • ...if it is what someone else expects you to do.

In other words, go to graduate school if you have an academic, intellectual, or occupational reason to do so.

Should I go to graduate school right away, work for a while, or combine the two? 
  • Going to graduate school immediately gives you academic momentum and you will be used to living without a regular paycheck. If your career goals require an advanced degree, then there is no need to delay.
  • Getting a job may get you the experience you need to add meaning and clarity to the degree program, pay off some bills and eventually result in a higher starting wage as some companies prefer an advanced degree and work experience.
  • Combining graduate school and working can take longer to get a degree, so consider whether a few years will make a difference. However, employment can add a deeper understanding of the education if you work in the field that you are studying.

How should I choose a graduate school?  

  • Curriculum is the most important consideration. Will the program prepare you for the career that you are planning?
  • Look into the quality and reputation of the program. Check with your professors and research programs in the area you are considering. Consider the commitment to research, the program faculty, the resources available, special concentrations in your area of interest, admission standards, accreditations, and the success rate of graduates.

How do I find graduate schools? 

 These web resources provide excellent graduate school search engines.

 

When should I apply to graduate school? 

Where can I get testing information? 

What will I need to provide with my application? 

How will I be evaluated? 

  • Academic performance through transcripts and undergraduate records
  • Standardized testing scores
  • Accomplishments at work and/or during activities on and off campus
  • Overall quality of your application materials (essay, recommendations, etc.)
  • Your personal interview and recommendations ability to support leadership skills, motivations, and maturity

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