If your eye is on graduate or professional school, it is wise to spend time considering your goals and career plans in detail. Graduate study involves a significant commitment of time, money and energy, so it is important to pursue your path with a clear vision.
Graduate Degree Types
Graduate education delivers specialized knowledge in a concentrated area, with two basic degree types: academic and professional. An academic degree involves research and scholarship in a 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 certain fields.
- Specialist degrees are usually completed in addition to a master’s program and often require additional training or internship experience. This type of degree prepares you for professional certification or licensing.
- Doctoral studies usually require original research for an academic program or practical application of knowledge and skills in a professional program.
Is Graduate School for Me?
Before applying, familiarize yourself with work conditions, employment prospects and other requirements of your field. Consult with faculty to estimate your readiness, and whether your skills and abilities have prepared you for success.
Then ask yourself: "Is graduate study necessary to accomplish my goals?" If the answer is yes, the resources here will help you plan and execute your search.