Considering Graduate or Professional School?
Deciding to attend graduate or professional school is a substantial professional and financial step in your career journey! While having a graduate degree often leads to higher paying jobs or the ability to secure new positions, it’s important to consider many factors before making the commitment to apply to and attend graduate or professional school. Some of those factors include:
Why do you want to go to graduate school and how does it fit with your career goals? What are your professional interests, career aspirations, long-term financial goals, and academic goals? What is the expected return on your graduate school investment?
When is the best time to go to graduate school? Some people attend graduate school directly after receiving their bachelors degree, while others enter the workforce first to gain experience and save money before attending graduate school.
What types of programs are available and which one is right for you based on your professional specialty? Identify people in your network who have attended similar programs and ask about their experience. Attend graduate program open houses or information sessions.
Finances: Attending graduate school is a big financial decision. Generally, there is less free government financial aid at the graduate level vs undergraduate, so find out about scholarships and grants that you might be eligible for. You’ll also want to consider if you’re attending full-time or part-time as this will impact your ability to work and your overall finances.
Applying: Application requirements vary but generally include:
- Written Essays (personal statements)
- Letters of recommendation
- Entrance exams
- Pre-admissions interview (some programs require a pre-admissions interview)
- Portfolio of work (for some programs such as art)
- Application fee (some fee waivers available for eligible students)