Graduate School Tips and Information


Graduate school is a decision that some undergraduate students may face. While many people do not even have a college degree, even fewer people have a graduate degree. Graduate school can be expensive, just like an undergraduate degree, and many people arrive at graduate school at different points in their life. Some students may go on immediately to graduate school after getting their undergraduate degree, others may take some years off before going and getting their graduate degree. The following will cover in more depth what it means to consider going to graduate school and help getting there.

Reasons to Consider Graduate School

People who are seeking to go to graduate school have any number of various reasons for doing so. When a person considers heading to graduate school, he or she has to consider both the pros and the cons of the experience. A couple of pros of heading off to graduate school are increased knowledge and the potential of gaining a more prestigious job and higher pay down the road. However, a couple of the cons associated with graduate school are the staggering costs of attending and also the fact that the workload can be very extreme. However, the high cost of attending grad school is sometimes offset by way of either stipends or tuition-forgiveness. Another challenge for those wishing to go to graduate school is balancing the workload and the time in graduate school with family life.

Applying to Graduate School

Applying for graduate schools normally demands that the student officially declare his or her intended degree in their application. Sometimes, degree programs for master’s degrees enable graduate students to go on to a doctorate degree program. The requirements for admission can vary a lot based on the graduate school that the student decides to apply to. Applying students are advised to simply inquire about admissions requirements with the man or woman in charge of admissions at the appropriate department in the graduate school. No one can apply to a graduate school unless they have a bachelor’s degree, and good grades are always important. Finding a school that is appropriate usually involves a number of factors coming together, such as the right program, the right financing options, and the right instructors.

Graduate School Essays and Exams

People who want to attend graduate school have to first face exams to determine how well they will do in graduate school. These are typically the GRE and the GMAT; the GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination, and the GMAT stands for the Graduate Management Admissions Test, normally reserved for business schools. Essay writing is a sizable aspect of these entrance tests, so people taking these tests should hone up on their essay writing skills. Essay writing usually focuses on testing whether an applicant not only has a fundamental grasp of the English language and grammar, but also whether he or she can formulate an argument and then persuasively advocate.

Graduate School Interviewing

People applying for graduate school also have to face an interview with the department at the graduate school to which they are applying. This is because the decision on which applicant to accept is normally made by said department and not by the graduate school itself. Students applying to graduate school should practice before the interview so that they are not caught off-guard by any questions the decision-maker asks them. A good way of practicing is simply to anticipate the imminent questions during the interview and plan on what one will say in response. Interview questions can consist of basic fundamentals such as questions regarding one’s weaknesses and strengths, one’s life and background, why one applied to the program in question, and why one chose the career that one is focusing on. Interview questions can also be more complex, like questions about prior research projects and how one’s prior experiences have prepared one for graduate school.

Paying for Graduate School

Paying for graduate school can be a difficult issue because it can get quite expensive. Grants and scholarships are available to students with good grades or those who are involved in some extracurricular work. People can also try to pay for graduate school by themselves, but this will be hard because they will have to rely on savings as well as a part-time job while attending graduate school. Sometimes, some universities fund their PhD graduate students because of the increasing competition at certain universities to attract graduate students. Students who get funding from their universities are sometimes made to teach as a condition of their funding, but some universities do not have this requirement.