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Graduate Schools

For those who have completed an undergraduate degree and to wish to continue their studies in a specialized field usually consider graduate schools as the next step in their path toward career or academic work. Many people who are successful in their fields have attended graduate schools, and an MA is fast becoming what a BA was only a generation ago.

Many businesses are looking for candidates with specialized degrees, and it is for this reason that graduate schools are becoming more popular for those who are finishing or have finished their undergraduate degree.

The main question that concerns the undergraduate is whether he or she should work for a year or go right into graduate school. It is true that admissions workers in graduate schools often look favorably on candidates who have had some work experience in their field, but this depends very much on the type of field one is entering.

Those with stellar academic records may choose instead to go straight into their graduate schools; they may also have an “it’s now or never” feeling that if they enter into the world of work, it will be difficult later to pursue their dreams and their degree.

However, there are undergraduates who are unsure of what kind of graduate school to attend. They may want to get an idea of what it is like to work in a certain field before applying to graduate schools.

There are many different types of graduate schools offering various degrees. The number of specialized, post-graduate degrees is increasing along with the demand of employees and students.

Popular courses at most graduate schools include:

  • Medicine
  • Law
  • Creative Writing
  • Journalism
  • Business
  • International Relations

Some undergraduates have a sense that they want or need to attend graduate school and are unsure of what kind of graduate school programs to pursue. A good way of helping to narrow down one’s choices is to go on a summer internship in an area of interest to see if it appeals.

There are many types of graduate schools to choose from, and attending an Ivy League graduate school is not necessary for finding the best degree. In fact, some Ivy League Universities are geared more toward the theoretical than the practical approach.

Someone whose goal is to excel in the world of work may want to consider a more practical kind of degree (although it is still true that a degree from a University, such as Harvard, will stand you in good stead).

It is a good idea to apply for a variety of graduate schools which have different levels of selectivity. Try applying for at least one “reach” school that you will be thrilled to get in to, but are not counting on acceptance.

Then try to apply to some medium level school and low risk options. By diversifying your application process, you can be assured that you will have a good selection of graduate schools to choose from before making your final decision.

Some students find the academic rigors of graduate programs to be more demanding than they were in undergraduate schools.

However, some students have an easier time at their graduate schools, since the lack of distribution requirements means more free time to pursue independent study. It is true that initiative and independent thinking is required of a graduate student, as well as self-discipline to schedule one’s time without the framework of regular lectures and activities.

Those who perform best in graduate schools are those who truly love their subject and enjoy learning as much as possible about their field. Many who are not interested in their course soon become “burned out”.

Therefore, before attending graduate school, it is important to ask yourself whether or not you can commit to learning your area of study in-depth and if it truly suits you.

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