Should I go to grad school?
Graduate experience can help you take on more complicated, challenging positions and increase your earning potential.
If you're considering graduate school, consider these questions:
- Do you enjoy your field enough to commit to between one and seven more years of education, depending on the degree?
- Can you afford and/or are you willing to take out loans to cover your expenses for one to seven more years of education?
- What are your goals as a result of going to graduate school?
- What do the professors and professionals in your field recommend?
- Are you excited about continuing your education, or do you need workforce experience before making a decision?
- Are you considering graduate school for professional reasons or are you just trying to postpone entering the workforce?
- Does your field require an advanced degree?
Finding a grad-school program
If you feel confident that grad school is the right choice for you, the next step is to do a little research and find the schools whose programs most interest you. For this research, we recommend:
- visiting the University Libraries (and other databases), as well as DU's Office of Graduate Studies.
- asking professors and professionals in your field to share their impressions of the programs you're interested in.
- asking current students to share their experiences in those programs.
- requesting brochures and information from the programs.
- visiting the schools you are considering and meeting with faculty if possible.
It's important to choose a program that will support your career goals and learning style. Here are a few questions we recommend asking to determine a program's fit:
- What is the faculty-to-student ratio?
- What are the faculty research interests?
- What is the location and format of the program?
- What is the program's reputation?
- What percentage of students complete the program?
- What percentage of applicants are accepted?
- What scholarship, grant and fellowship opportunities are available?
- What areas of specialization are available?
- What courses are offered?
- What is the student demographic makeup?
- What are the program costs?
- What are the admission requirements?
- Where have program graduates found employment?
Applying for grad school
Once you've narrowed down your program options, it's time to begin the application process. Grad school applications may require:
- a standardized test, such as the GRE, GMAT, LSAT or MCAT, relevant to your subject area
- college transcripts
- an application form
- an application fee
- a statement of purpose
- letters of recommendation (three is standard)
- an interview
Deadlines for grad school applications are generally January or earlier, so plan ahead—especially for requesting letters of recommendation. Focus on creating a compelling statement of purpose that will help you stand out from other candidates.
Need help choosing the right program, writing a statement of purpose or figuring out your next steps? Schedule a time to talk with one of our expert career counselors by calling 303-871-2150.
Additional Graduate School Resources
- Best Graduate Schools—from U.S. News & World Report
- Brain Track—comprehensive directory of United States colleges and universities
- Campus Tours—virtual college tours.
- Gradschools.com—graduate school information
- Masters Degrees in Communication—Find accredited schools offering Masters degrees in Communication.
- Peterson's Grad School Resources
- School Guide—online source for researching programs