Is Graduate School Right for You?
Attending graduate school and earning a graduate degree can be
very rewarding experiences. What could be better than dedicating
your life, or at least a few years of it, to immersing yourself in
your favorite subject? If you are thinking about graduate school,
ask yourself the following questions to help discern whether
graduate school is the appropriate path to meet your goals:
- What do I plan to achieve by attending graduate school?
- Can these goals be met by other means?
- Am I prepared to spend two to ten years of my life earning an
- Do I have financial plans for paying for graduate school?
- Am I considering graduate school because I cannot decide what I
want to do after graduation?
If you think that graduate school is the right path for you and
you are prepared for all of its rigors, then you should begin
researching which programs meet your needs. Keep in mind that going
to graduate school to bide time until you enter the "real world"
will most likely lead to an unsatisfying and unproductive few
years. Graduate school is not the place to find yourself. It can be
very expensive in terms of time and money. If you are still not
sure, talk to people you know who are familiar with the type of
program you are considering. Your professors, academic advisor,
career counselor, and the pre-graduate school advisor at
the Office of Pre-Graduate and Pre-Professional Advising are
all people with whom you should discuss your plans. In addition,
you should talk to people who have the career you want and ask for
their advice. It may turn out that they did not need a graduate
degree to get to where they are. On the other hand, a graduate
degree might be necessary, or at least a good idea, if you want to
advance quickly in your career. You also should talk to current
graduate students. Programs are constantly changing and no one
knows graduate school like a current graduate student. Finally, if
you are unsure about what you want to do in the future, you should
consider visiting the Center for Faith and
Vocation and Internship and Career
Services to discuss different life choices and career