Prepare for Graduate School
Attending graduate school and obtaining an advanced degree can be an immensely rewarding experience. Unlike college, graduate school allows you to focus your studies in a specific field where you will immerse yourself in researching and understanding the scholarship and advance the discipline. Graduate students also have more interaction with faculty and peers than at the undergraduate level. Students who are self-disciplined, focused, and intellectually curious tend to be successful in graduate school.
Students considering graduate school should also be aware that the academic process is designed to be intense and demanding. Take into account the following:
- After 10 years in graduate school, half of all doctoral students in the humanities, 45 percent in social sciences, and a third in the hard sciences do not have a Ph.D.1
- Waiting a long time to begin a career costs not just time but also future security; a retirement fund begun in your 20s pays far greater dividends than money invested in your 30s.
- Graduate students often find it difficult to start or maintain the family life they'd like.
Sound negative? We're not trying to make you run scared from graduate school. In fact, graduate school is a great fit for many students! Instead, you should be diligent in your research when considering graduate school to ensure that it is the logical next step in reaching your career goals. It's not a good place to kill time while you figure things out!
You may want to read the University Graduate School's webpage, "Is Graduate School Right for You?"
For more specific information on research and applications, see the links on the left.
1Gravois, John. (2007, July 27). In humanities, 10 years may not be enough to get a Ph.D. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 53(47), A1.