Graduate Study Advising

Many Minds, Many Stripes Graduate Alumni Conference, 2013

At some point in your career you may want to pursue additional study or an advanced degree. This can be a wise investment. However, it is important to understand the different types of degrees and the considerations that will assist you in deciding if it is the right move for your goals.

Graduate Degree Types

There are generally two kinds of graduate degrees: academic and professional. An academic degree involves research and scholarship in a particular discipline. A professional degree provides training to acquire skills and knowledge for a particular profession. There are three basic degree levels:

  • Master’s degrees are offered in almost every field, although some universities only offer doctoral programs in a selected subset.
  • Specialist degrees are usually completed in addition to a master’s program and often require additional training or internship experience. This type of degree delivers the certification or licensing requirements necessary for some professions.
  • Doctoral studies usually require the pursuit of original research for an academic program or the practical application of knowledge and skills in a professional program.

Is graduate study for me? 

Graduate study involves a significant commitment of time, money and energy. It is important to investigate your options thoroughly and in the context of your specific career plans. Ask yourself:

  • Is graduate study necessary to accomplish my goals?
  • Have my skills and abilities prepared me to be successful in graduate school?
  • Which programs best suit my aims?

The resources in this section of the site will help you thoroughly investigate your options for graduate study. To schedule an appointment to speak with a career counselor about applying to graduate or professional school, please call 609-258-3325.