Is Grad School for me?
Graduate School Assistance Frequently Asked Questions
IS GRADUATE SCHOOL RIGHT FOR ME?
What are your motivations for attending graduate school? Be honest with yourself. Do not go to graduate school out of fear of having no other options. Choose graduate school because you are working toward a goal, not looking for an easy way out.
Carefully consider these important questions:
- What do I want to accomplish in my lifetime?
- Does my chosen field require a graduate degree for entry?
- Do I have the interest and ability to succeed in a graduate program?
- By going to graduate school, am I simply delaying my career planning?
- Will the amount of time and money spent on a program ultimately translate into greater career mobility and financial possibilities?
- Am I willing to meet the extensive research, course work and major paper demands of another academic program?
GRADUATE SCHOOL: NOW OR LATER?
Should you go straight to graduate school? There are no hard and fast rules. It is a good idea to talk with faculty, prospective employers, and students currently pursuing programs of interest to you, in order to hear their perspectives on the advantages of immediate vs. delayed entry into graduate school.
Consider these questions:
- Would work experience help you clarify ambiguous career goals?
- How much will your job and salary prospects be enhanced by a graduate degree? The master's degree recipient almost always commands a higher yearly rate of pay.
- Would you have difficulty readjusting to student life after a break?
- Do you have a strong GPA? Would work experiences enhance your application credentials by offsetting mediocre grades or test scores?
- Will it be easier to enter grad school in your field directly after college or after gaining work experience?
- What are the direct and indirect costs of graduate school?
- Is there a possibility that a future employer might pay for you to attend graduate school?
WHAT DO I NEED TO GET IN?
Many graduate programs require student to have a 3.0/4.0 GPA or better to apply. However, this isn't always the case, some schools will allow you to enter on probation, giving you time to probe if you can do the work.
Good letters of recommendation from faculty or previous employers are important assets for admission to graduate school. Think about which faculty will write the best letters for you ask them well in advance.
Statement of Purpose:
A well written, concise essay showing your commitment to the field is critical.
High Test Scores:
These scores can make or break your admission to the program, so be sure to prepare and be well-rested!
You may be asked to visit the campus for a personal interview. If you can go, by all means do! Remember that you are selling yourself as well as your academic qualifications; good manners, dress and demeanor go a long way! Thank you notes to follow the interviews are another way of reminding the committee of your sincere interest.