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Investigating graduate school

Graduate school is a specialized course of study. While an undergraduate education provides broad knowledge with some specialization in a major area, graduate school focuses exclusively on a specific area of study.

There are many types of graduate degrees.  The most common are master and doctoral degrees.

Master’s Degrees involve 1–2 years of full-time work to complete.
Typical degrees: Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Physical Therapy, Master of Social Work, Master of Public Health, and Master of Public Administration.

Doctoral Degrees involve 4–6 full-time years to complete.
Typical degrees: Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Education, Juris Doctor (law degree), Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, and Medical Doctor.

Each degree may be granted from a variety of programs. For example, a student may receive a Master of Science in Microbiology or a Master of Science in Psychology. Some degrees can be completed on a part-time basis over an extended period of time.

According to Green and Minton, authors of From Beyond the Ivy Wall (Little, Brown & Co), there are 3 basic reasons (or a combination of them) to go to graduate school:

  • A graduate degree is essential for going into certain professions.
  • A graduate degree impacts career advancement.
  • A graduate degree can give the personal satisfaction derived from advanced learning.

When making decisions about graduate school, talk to a faculty advisor and/or use Career Services resources including meeting with a Career Counselor, reviewing Blugolds Career Alumni Network (CAN), and talking to alumni who have completed graduate school.

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