Thinking About Grad School? Advice for Undergraduate Students

If you have just completed your bachelor's degree, and you are thinking of pursuing further education, you should consider going to a graduate school. Graduate school is an advanced educational program that is focused on a certain academic discipline, and it is usually attended by students who have completed undergraduate studies. Going to graduate school will give you a more profound understanding of your field of study, and it will prepare you for a more specialized and lucrative career.

There are actually three types of graduate schools, and they are professional, master's, and doctoral. The first type is focused on certain areas of study, and it includes a comprehensive curriculum that requires the graduates to take exams that are regulated by the state. If they pass the exam, they will be allowed to practice the professions of their choice. The master's degree is a two-year program that is anchored in the curriculum of arts and sciences, and it is taken as a stepping stone for career advancement. The doctoral degree is the highest level of formal education and it prepares graduates for the highest possible positions in their chosen careers. It requires two years of course work, and it closes with a dissertation that is presented through oral defense.

Most students prefer to attend graduate school in the conventional way, where the course of study is carried out in a regular classroom. This approach will provide students with a broader learning experience as they can go through the course with the help of professors and fellow students. But nowadays, with the emergence and growing popularity of the Internet, students can choose to get their postgraduate degrees by attending accredited online schools. Unlike campus-based graduate schools, online colleges provide a different environment for student interaction because most of the instructions and course work are done over the Internet, and students are expected to be more independent. However, there are some online colleges that encourage students to communicate with classmates and professors, and this is usually done through video conferences and email.

If you are planning to attend graduate school, you will have to do a lot of research to find out which school is most suitable for you. Some of the things that you need to consider are the reputation of the college that you are selecting, the quality of education that is offered, and the tuition fees. You have to find out which colleges offer the best education for your field of study, and what academic qualifications you need to get admitted in those colleges. You can do some research on the Internet to get information about the admission requirements of different colleges. Most colleges have websites that provide complete information about their application procedures for graduate schools. You can also seek the help of career counselors. These counselors will help you search for the best graduate schools, prepare for the admissions exams, apply to the schools, and get financial support if you need it.

To apply to the graduate schools of your choice, you can call up the colleges to ask them about their application procedures. Most graduate schools will need a transcript that shows your academic background; a good GRE, GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT grade; letters of recommendation; and an admissions essay. After you have arranged for these things to be sent to the colleges of your choice, they will process your application and let you know the results later.

Published: 2010-01-20