Is Grad School On Your Radar?

As you begin to think about your post-graduate plans there are a variety of paths you can take. While a majority of students join the workforce and some take a gap year to travel or do service, each year around one quarter of University of Richmond graduates head straight to graduate school.

Obtaining a higher degree is not a requirement for all career fields and in some industries graduate programs prefer their applicants to have prior work experience. However, depending on what your academic and career goals are, graduate school could be a good option for you.

Law student consults books

As you think about grad school for your next step I would encourage you to consider the following:

Why do you want to pursue graduate school?
Will furthering your education provide you with specialized skills or a degree that is required for your career? This would be good to research via the Occupational Outlook Handbook; if there are multiple degrees for your career of interest further research may be helpful.

What goals do you hope to accomplish by attending?

How does this fit into your academic and career goals? This is essential to figure out before taking time and making an investment to go. Heading to graduate school in order to “figure out what you want to do” is not the best idea.

Is this the right time for graduate school?

Should you begin this journey now or are you able to wait until later? Some programs require their candidates to have previous work experience in the field. Graduate school will always be an option that you’ll have. Make sure it’s the right time before making the investment.

Focus on your desired discipline

While you do research and weigh your options it’s important to seek out individuals in your field that can provide guidance and advice. Try to connect with a current student who is in a degree program that interests you or talk to a faculty member who works in that discipline. They will be able to help you answer some of the above questions and provide first-hand information to help you with your decision.

If you’re interested in learning more about pursuing graduate school…

  • Check out the graduate school section of the Career Services website
  • Attend “Applying to Graduate School” workshop on Wednesday, March 26 from 5-6pm in THC 346 (register via SpiderConnect)
  • Schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor by coming to the office or calling (804) 289-8547

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