Southeast Missouri State University

Is Graduate School Right for You?

At the beginning of your junior year, you should begin to decide if graduate school will be the next logical step toward reaching your career goals. During this process, here is a list of items to keep in mind as you speak with professors, professionals in your desired field and/or career services professionals about considering graduate school:

  • Is it necessary to attain a graduate degree based on your field of study and/or career goals? If so, which degree will benefit you the most? Will a Master’s degree suffice, or will you need to go on for a Doctoral degree?  In some fields, it can be of great benefit to you or even a requirement to attain a graduate degree, however, this is not always the case.
  • It is important to understand that graduate school is quite different from your experience as an undergraduate. Your field of study is much narrower and you will focus on your selected discipline with relatively no general studies. In addition, classes are often longer, taught at night and only meet once a week.
  • What kind of time commitment is required for the graduate degree you are considering? Master’s degrees typically take 1-3 years to complete, and often require the completion of a written thesis. A doctoral degree, the highest degree a person can attain (often referred to as a PhD), typically takes 3-7 years to complete and requires the completion of a written dissertation.
  • Objectively assess your current  academic skills and abilities to determine if graduate school is right for you.

After considering these important details, if graduate school will be your next step, check out these helpful links for additional tips, tricks and resources to help guide you in the next steps in your graduate studies pursuit:

Choosing the "Right" Graduate School
Applying for Graduate School
Do's and Don'ts
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