Why Go to Graduate or Professional School?
Some common reasons people choose to attend graduate school are:
Consider the following when making a decision:
What Degrees are Available?
Master’s Degree (M.S., M.A., M.Ed., etc)
These degrees are awarded upon completion of a program of study that prepares individuals to enter certain professions. Though the degree may contain the term doctor, a professional degree is the initial degree awarded in that area. Master’s degrees and Ph.D.s may be available in conjunction with the professional degree.
These are the highest degrees awarded. In addition to completion of an academic program of study and a comprehensive exam, the majority require a dissertation (a significant work of original research)
These are not degrees but simply advanced study, research, or training in a particular area.
How Do I Choose My School or Program?
If possible, start early to give yourself a year or more to explore and choose.
Research Possible Programs
Identify programs in your chosen field. There are helpful resources available, including reference books such as:
Noteworthy websites to check include:
Make sure to:
Rankings are one aspect to consider when evaluating gad programs. However, it is perhaps more important to consider accreditation, a designation given to a program that has met standards set by a third party organization. For example, the American Psychological Association sets standards and provides accreditation for graduate programs in counseling and clinical psychology.
Accreditation can be lined to many issues, such as obtaining financial aid, professional credibility, and certifications or licenses.
Choose Where to Apply
After completing your research, select the programs you will apply to several programs, ranging from an ideal choice to a back-up. Create a chart of deadlines, fees and contacts to help you keep track of this information. Begin the application process at least one year before you plan to enter your graduate program!
Consider how compatible the department or program is with your goals. A visit to the program is often the only way to see if the program is the right fit. Ask yourself: