Graduate/Professional School


Before making the decision to attend graduate or professional school, consider these questions:

  • Do you have a clear idea of the career you want to pursue? Does this career require an advanced degree?
  • Are you aware of the career areas for which an advanced degree will prepare you? Do you know the employment outlook for these fields?
  • Will the time and money spent on graduate school be justified in comparison to the money and experience you would earn if you take a job immediately after graduation?
  • Have you discussed your plans with faculty, professors, or advisors?
  • Have you talked with professionals currently employed in your career field of interest to have your questions answered about the career and requirements for entering the field?
  • Who wants you to attend graduate school? Are your interests the primary motivation? Or are you responding to advice from parents and friends?
  • What are the requirements for admission to the graduate or professional school programs you are considering?

Attending graduate school can be a positive choice when:

  • Further education is necessary in order to attain your career goal
  • An advanced degree will enhance your career opportunities
  • The additional education/training would provide you with personal satisfaction

Attending graduate school may be a mistake if the purpose is to:

  • Postpone making a career decision and entering the job market
  • Avoid leaving the school environment

Evaluating programs

  • The Career Center has a number of written resources for graduate school research. Consider these factors:
  • How long will the program take to finish?
  • What are the course requirements? Do they meet your needs?
  • What is the cost? Is this feasible given your situation?
  • What are the resources and facilities of the university?
  • What financial assistance is available?
  • What is the geographic location? What is the housing situation/cost?
  • Is the program accredited?

Once you have completed your research on programs, contact the schools for the following information:

  • Application for admission (including information about required graduate admissions exams)
  • Financial aid information (including scholarship, assistantship and fellowship information)
  • Specific information about the program you are considering

For more information on graduate school, see our guides:

Helpful web links for graduate school research, online practice tests & courses, and additional information