Graduate School

Graduate School

The Career Services Office offers students and alumni assistance with graduate school planning.There are many resources available to you as you research your interests and options.We will assist you with defining your career/educational goals, identifying programs to apply to and reviewing your application materials.The information that follows provides information you may need to know as you look at your options.If you would like additional assistance with graduate school planning, please contact the Career Services Office.

The information that follows provides advice to students interested in pursuing graduate school and some questions you can ask yourself as you consider your options.

Graduate School – What It Takes To Get In!
Debra W. Stewart, Ph.D., President, Council of Graduate Schools wrote an article entitled, Five Trends Shaping Graduate Education: The Leadership Challenge. This article appeared in the CGS Communicator, Volume XXXVIII, Number 7, August/September 2005.She provides strong points for pursuing graduate education.
“The value of graduate education as a private good is more directly grasped by graduate education’s stakeholders than is the notion of graduate education as a public benefit. That graduate education is a private good is easy enough to demonstrate. We know for example that there is a $10,000 premium in annual salary on average to workers with master’s degrees, and an annual average additional increment of $20,000 for those with a doctorate. We also know that a variety of characteristics people associate with a good work life are also highly correlated with the acquisition of advanced degrees—such characteristics as autonomy, control over one’s work life, and work satisfaction are all clear private benefits. What is not so easy to document empirically is the public benefit of graduate education. The strongest voices for the value of graduate education to society in the current environment come from segments of corporate America concerned with the future of the science and technology workforce. With the international talent pool less reliable, the Council on Competitiveness and other corporate consortia stress that wemust develop U.S. talent if America is to prosper."

"Advanced degrees are highly correlated with public goods:volunteering, voting and good health."
Reprinted with permission.

Pursuing a graduate degree has many advantages.While no reason is conclusively right or wrong, the decision to attend graduate school needs careful thought and a thorough examination of your career goals.

It is human nature to want something more and something better. This applies to our work and educational life as well as to our personal needs.There is conclusive evidence to support higher wages and upward mobility for those with professional and advanced degrees. The workplace increasingly has little room for an unskilled workforce. Wages earned by the unskilled and less educated are substantially less than those with college degrees, specializations, certifications and licenses.The rapidly changing economy means a rapidly changing workforce. Workers will be required to be life-long learners to remain current and relevant in the current and future economy.Graduate education may be required if you want to advance in your chosen career path. When deciding on a graduate program, The Peterson’s Guides are an excellent resource for accessing a complete list of colleges and universities that offer various programs. Also, you may view the requirements and processes for admissions.Select several programs to apply to that meet your career and educational needs. Have several “plans of action” so if your first choice does not work out for you, you are able to pursue you second or third choice.hen look at programs, check the numbers of students enrolled in programs and the percentage rate of those accepted to those applied. This can give you valuable information when applying.

Listed below are some of the reasons people choose to pursue graduate school.
  • You need the credentials the graduate degree offers to pursue your chosen, and perhaps, dream occupation.(good reason)
  • You are unsure of your career goals and you would like to “just get started” to see what interests you.(risky reason)
  • You want in-depth study in an area of particular interest to you. (good reason)
  • You are already in the habit of being a student and continuing your studies in a grad program makes sense. (more career planning may be needed)
  • You are having difficulty finding a job and grad school seems like a good alternative. (risky reason)
  • You believe that a graduate degree will broaden your career options. (A graduate degree will narrow your career options because you are specializing)
  • Your loan re-payments will begin soon and you have not yet obtained employment.Enrolling in a graduate program may allow you to defer your loans. (risky reason)
Before committing to a graduate program, ask yourself several questions as you think through the grad school decision.The answers to these questions can help you determine when the best time to pursue grad school is and if you have the information you need to select the program and school that will best meet your educational career goals.
1. Do you have established career goals?
2. Do you want to change your career and need additional education and/or credentials to do pursue your chosen occupation?
3. Do you want to advance in your current job/career and to do so will require a graduate degree?
4. Could you find a job/career with the education/credentials you currently have?
5. Can you commit to a complete grad program (2-5 years)?(Most graduate programs do not allow for transfer credits from other universities or allow a change of academic programs without substantial loss of previously earned graduate credits.)
6. Are you aware of the career opportunities, average wages earned and the need for employees in your career of choice?

Online Graduate School Information
Petersons Guides On-Line
The Grad
The Princeton Review:Graduate Schools and Careers

Resources available in the Career Services Office
Getting In
Graduate Programs in Arts and Architecture, Peterson’s, 2003
Graduate Schools in the US:2003
Complete Book of Law School
The Social Work Graduate School Applicant’s Handbook
ABA Approved Law Schools
Graduate and Professional Programs, Book 1, Peterson’s Guides
Graduate Programs in Business, Book 6, Peterson’s Guides
Graduate Programs in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Book 2, Peterson’s Guides
Graduate Study in Psychology, American Psychological Association, 2002
MA & Ph.D. Programs in Art and Art History, College Art Association, 1992