The deep end: graduate school offers in-depth study.If an undergraduate degree “First degree” redirects here. For the BBC television series, see First Degree.
An undergraduate degree (sometimes called a first degree or simply a degree makes you marketable, graduate school makes you invaluable.
Graduate school teaches the organizational, management, research and writing skills that upper-level management requires. These universal skills, combined specialized knowledge, make graduate degree holders highly sought by business and government.
Career counselors suggest that students consider graduate school as part of their overall career planning. "I would suggest that students begin with an assessment of their goals," says William Carson Sir William Carson (baptised 4 June, 1770 – 26 February, 1843), often called "The Great Reformer", was an important doctor and businessman in Newfoundland. Carson's primary contribution to Newfoundland was the application of modern agricultural principles. Sr., assistant vice president for enrollment management and former director of the Center for Career Development at Morgan State University Morgan State University, formerly Centenary Biblical Institute (1867-1890), Morgan College (1890-1938) Morgan State College (1938 -1975), is located in residential Baltimore, Maryland. . "Graduate school should be part of a continuum of their career plans."
Choosing a graduate program
Selecting a graduate program that best matches your goals is a matter of research and comparative shopping. A good graduate program should provide you with the credentials and skills to enable you to advance in your chosen field.
Consider your interests -- what truly excites you. Do you enjoy words, and are you drawn to logic and theoretical constructs? If so, the law and law school might be for you. If you have people skills, a facility for numbers, enjoy the world of finance, and have a good natural business sense, a school of management (business) school might be in order. How about your communications capabilities -- both written and verbal? Might an advanced degree from a school of journalism or an advanced degree in communications support those interests and a career in the communications industry communications industry, broadly defined, the business of conveying information. Although communication by means of symbols and gestures dates to the beginning of human history, the term generally refers to mass communications. ? How about those of you with aesthetic sensibilities? Would an advanced degree in the fine arts be the ticket? Or how about arts administration Arts administration is a college or university discipline which prepares people for careers as arts administrators and managers of arts and cultural organizations such as orchestras, theater companies, or museums. and museum or art gallery curatorial work as interest to develop through additional academic work and training?
And for the scientific and technical minded, continuing your education and research in the discipline(s) can certainly enhance your marketability in research and development, governmental assignments and work with think tanks for policy groups. There are clearly a variety of routes you can follow to reach your personal and professional goals with additional academic credentials in hand.
After deciding to pursue graduate work, the next step is to focus on selecting a (specific) graduate/professional school program, deciding on the academic disciplines to study that will be in concert with meeting your objectives. Consider the type of degree(s) and the schools that are offering programs of interest to you.
Most graduate schools require applicants to pass an entrance exam Noun 1. entrance exam - examination to determine a candidate's preparation for a course of studies
exam, examination, test - a set of questions or exercises evaluating skill or knowledge; "when the test was stolen the professor had to in a specific area of study. These tests are described in the accompanying article.
Types of degrees include the more traditional master's degrees master's degree
An academic degree conferred by a college or university upon those who complete at least one year of prescribed study beyond the bachelor's degree.
Noun 1. (MA, Master of Arts Master of Arts
a degree, usually postgraduate in a nonscientific subject, or a person holding this degree
Noun 1. Master of Arts - a master's degree in arts and sciences
Artium Magister, MA, AM ; M.Ed, Master of Education; M.S., Master of Science; M.E., Master of Engineering) or doctoral degree (Ph.D.), offered by graduate schools of the Arts and Sciences. They cover a wide range of academic disciplines and professional schools. Other popular degrees include the Master of Business Administration (MBA MBA
Master of Business Administration
Noun 1. MBA - a master's degree in business
Master in Business, Master in Business Administration ) for business school, Juris Doctor The degree awarded to an individual upon the successful completion of law school.
Juris doctor, or doctor of Jurisprudence, commonly abbreviated J.D., is the degree commonly conferred by law schools. , or Doctor of Laws Noun 1. Doctor of Laws - an honorary law degree
honorary degree, honoris causa - a degree conferred to honor the recipient (JD) for law school and Doctor of Medicine (MD) for medical school. Growing in popularity are the Master of Public Administration (MPA MPA
medroxyprogesterone acetate. ) and Master of Public Policy (MPP (Massively Parallel Processing or Massively Parallel Processor) A multiprocessing architecture that uses up to thousands of processors. Some might contend that a computer system with 64 or more CPUs is a massively parallel processor. ) for schools of public policy, (MIA MIA
A member of the armed services who is reported missing following a combat mission and whose status as to injury, capture, or death is unknown.
[m(issing) i(n) a(ction). ) Master of International Affairs The Master of International Affairs is a Professional Master's degree. Through study of the diverse forces that have shaped modern institutions and the ways in which diverse forces project themselves into the international sphere, the Master of International Affairs degree attempts for schools of international affairs Noun 1. international affairs - affairs between nations; "you can't really keep up with world affairs by watching television"
affairs - transactions of professional or public interest; "news of current affairs"; "great affairs of state" and international studies, and the (MPH) Master of Public Health for schools of public health and health care administration. Find out all you can about schools and degree programs representing your interest areas. Gather data on their admission policies and procedures Policies and Procedures are a set of documents that describe an organization's policies for operation and the procedures necessary to fulfill the policies. They are often initiated because of some external requirement, such as environmental compliance or other governmental .
Graduate school degrees in the Arts and Sciences (MA and Ph.D.) traditionally have been sought by those wishing to work in academic setting, especially those who want to teach at the college level, conduct research and publish scholarly works. In the classical sense, the central purpose for pursuing degrees at the graduate level in the Arts and Sciences is to center one's attention on intellectual pursuits -- grasping grasping
a similar equine neurosis to windsucking; the horse grasps a fixed object with its teeth, but does not swallow air. and understanding the process of learning while delving deeply into a subject matter of interest through research efforts, writing and teaching.
Beyond teaching and scholarly pursuits, however, numerous master's and doctoral degree holders take positions in areas outside of academe, from business to government to the not-for-profit sectors. There is a critical need in today's global marketplace for professionals with strengths in these areas -- such skills are highly valued and are in great demand.
Finding a graduate school
Many excellent resources are available in your school library or career center top help you conduct your research.
"Barrons, the Princeton Review, and large publications is what schools have programs," says Kimberly Reed, clean of the University of North Carolina North Carolina, state in the SE United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (E), South Carolina and Georgia (S), Tennessee (W), and Virginia (N). Facts and Figures
Area, 52,586 sq mi (136,198 sq km). Pop. Law School. "It is the best place to start because it gives you a university a graduate programs. If you know generally what you are looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. , it is the best place."
Reference books include The Peterson Guides to Graduate School Study and The Graduate School Guide. Both of these are comprehensive volumes that list all areas of study, but there are other references that focus on specific disciplines. For those interested in schools of management, there is The Official Guide to MBA Programs, published by the Graduate Management Admission Council. For law schools, some excellent resources are: The Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools, Master the LSAT LSAT
Law School Admissions Test
LSAT (US) n abbr (= Law School Admissions Test) → Zulassungsprüfung für juristische Hochschulen (contains an actual LSAT exam), The Directory of Law School Joint Degree Programs, and Pre-Law Companion: What Law School Grads Wish They Knew Before They Started. For those interested in studying abroad, consider the Council on International Education Exchange, based in New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City
City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S. . The Council is a source of information about international schools and programs covering all disciplines in countries throughout the world.
Another source of information is the Internet. School web sites can be a solid source of information about their programs, admissions requirements and procedures -- including required tests, application deadline dates and financial aid information. Full school course catalogues Noun 1. course catalogue - a catalog listing the courses offered by a college or university
course catalog, prospectus
catalog, catalogue - a book or pamphlet containing an enumeration of things; "he found it in the Sears catalog" are also posted on the Internet.
A decidedly low-tech but invaluable resource for graduate school information is your college faculty. They attended graduate school and often have valuable contacts who can help you.
Once you've narrowed your choices down to several universities, it's time It's Time was a successful political campaign run by the Australian Labor Party (ALP) under Gough Whitlam at the 1972 election in Australia. Campaigning on the perceived need for change after 23 years of conservative (Liberal Party of Australia) government, Labor put forward a to start comparing the programs. Evaluate each program and school by its strengths in your field of interest, the strength of the specific department, and the strength and quality of the faculty. Program specialties, school resources (including the library), and, of course, program cost and school location are also considerations.
"There is a tendency to look at graduate schools and see if they offer tuition assistance or a stipend sti·pend
A fixed and regular payment, such as a salary for services rendered or an allowance.
[Middle English stipendie, from Old French, from Latin st . That is often not the best policy," Carson says. "If the school doesn't have a good reputation, or if they have a reputation for chewing up and spitting out African Americans African American Multiculture A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. See Race. , then you don't want to go there."
Ultimately, the best way to determine if a school is for you is to see the school yourself, especially when it comes to law schools, Reed says.
"After you put together a list, call or write for a catalog and financial aid information. Look at the list and narrow it down to five, 10, 15 schools and arrange visits," says Reed. "When you visit, see if it feels good. Your intuition tells if it feels good.
"The best way is a combination of going to visit the schools and talking to Noun 1. talking to - a lengthy rebuke; "a good lecture was my father's idea of discipline"; "the teacher gave him a talking to"
rebuke, reprehension, reprimand, reproof, reproval - an act or expression of criticism and censure; "he had to present students and recent graduates. Sit in classes and see if it fits your specialty: I would not depend upon ranking, but only use it as a general source of information," Reed says.
Getting in the door
Once you've decided on a school, it's time to fill out an application. The basic application for graduate school has several parts: the introductory essay, the application itself and the attached letters of recommendation. Each one serves a specific purpose; each one should be treated seriously.
The essay is your opportunity to explain to the university's graduate admissions committee why you believe your credentials, interests and experiences make you a strong candidate for graduate school. But more than that, it demonstrates your writing and organizational skills. (Keep in mind that a committee of deans and faculty members will evaluate it.)
Another point to consider if there is no provision for an admission interview, this will be your best shot to sell yourself. Take full advantage of this opportunity to discuss in detail why graduate or professional school study is an important personal and professional goal. List in detail your skills and accomplishments. Describe what you intend to do with the degree. While your career plans need not be set in stone, you should be able to articulate your motivations and aspirations.
Take the time to do a good job on this. Think about what you want to say and write several drafts. Have a professor or your career counselor critique what you've written. Rewrite and refine as much as time permits. This means starting early. The summer before senior year is not too early to start working on your essay.
There are a number of books that can help you. How to Write a Winning Personal Statement for Graduate and Professional School by Richard J. Stelzer, and Graduate Admissions Essays An admissions essay is written by a potential student as part of some college admissions processes in order to get to know more about the student than what forms can provide.
The amount of importance that admission reviewers put on the essays vary greatly. -- What Works, What Doesn't, and Why by Donald Asher, are two excellent resources that can be helpful as you prepare your essays.
Letters of recommendation are vital. They support your statements in your application and provide information on your strengths and talents. The letters can be from university faculty or administrators, employers or community leaders. You can help them write a good letter by discussing your goals with him or her. Providing each person with a written statement of your career goals and a copy of your resume so that he/she will have materials to refer to while writing is also a good idea.
In applying for the next school year, try to have most, if not all, applications completed and ready to mail by Christmas vacation.
"The end of your junior year is the best time to start applying. All applications should be in by December," Reed says. "Be prepared to fill out applications at the beginning of your senior year."
Application deadlines vary, from mid-to-late November through March. Some schools, particularly professional schools, follow a "rolling admission Rolling admission is a policy used by many colleges in the United States to admit freshmen to undergraduate programs. Under rolling admission, a candidate is invited to submit his application to the university anytime within a large window. " procedure (several application dates per year, beginning in November) and make decisions on whom to admit during each applications round.
Formal interviews are quite often a part of the application process. (If the school you are applying to does not require an interview, you may be able to arrange one.) It's nothing to be afraid of Nothing to Be Afraid of is an episode of U.S. Acres from the series Garfield and Friends. It originally aired on November 18, 1989. Episode recap
Roy tells Wade that lobsters are attacking from outer space, and Wade responds by running across the farm in terror. -- in fact, it can be a real advantage. It gives you the opportunity to present your case in person and to show off your oral skills. It also provides an excellent opportunity for you to visit campuses, attend select classes if you'd like, and meet with graduate students.
It's a good idea to arrange for campus visitations the day before your formal interviews take place. Once the interview is scheduled, prepare to discuss the issues you addressed in your essays. Also be ready to ask questions about the program and school.
Paying for school
Graduate school is not cheap, but it can be made affordable. Financial aid resources run the gamut See color gamut.
gamut - The gamut of a monitor is the set of colours it can display. There are some colours which can't be made up of a mixture of red, green and blue phosphor emissions and so can't be displayed by any monitor. from loans and scholarships to fellowships and assistant-ships or work-study.
"A work study job is worth it and helps you get allies in the administration of the school," reed says. "There are a lot of loans and organizations that offer scholarships. Churches, fraternities and sororities
The terms "fraternity" and "sorority" (from the Latin words frater and soror , and community organizations all offer scholarships.
"The Law School Admissions Council in Newton, Pennsylvania offers general information on available scholarships. For example, the Young America Young America may refer to: Cities, towns, townships, etc.
Apply for fellowships as early as possible. Major fellowship programs, such as the Rhodes, Fulbright and Marshall fellowships, have early fall application deadlines and rather detailed application procedures. Keep in mind that there are more students applying for fellowships than there are fellowships, so competition is fierce.
"Sometimes financial and for graduate school can be found in the workplace," Carson says. Many companies support graduate education for their employees, especially if it's job-related. The amount of support varies with the company and can range from flexible work hours to full tuition reimbursement Reimbursement
Payment made to someone for out-of-pocket expenses has incurred. .
"There are directories that list companies that have educational assistance programs," Carson says. "Some will support all or part of the cost if the degree is work -- related," Carson says.
Another approach to financing your graduate education is to consider state schools. Tuition is lower than at private institutions and program quality is often just as good. Another option is to attend school part-time. That way you can continue to work full-time and draw a pay-check. Alternatively, you might choose to supplement your education funds with part-time work in order to pursue full-time study.
There are a number of books that list sources of financial support. Among the books available are The Annual Register of Grants Support and The Grants Register of Scholarships, Fellowships, and Loans. Garrett Park Press puts out a series of publication: Financial Aid for Minorities. This is another six-volume set covering: Health Fields, Journalism/Mass Communications, Engineering and Sci-ence, Education, Business and Law and General. Of course, the schools to which you will be applying also have their own financial aid resources that can help to augment your financial package. Be sure to tap as many financial resources as possible.
Also see THE BLACK COLLEGIAN's Guide to Graduate and Professional School Fellowships (http://www.black-collegian.com).
Joint Degree Programs
Students need not be limited to one area of study. Many schools offer attractive joint degree programs that enable students to develop a broad career base. Unlike their undergraduate counterparts, however, graduate joint degree programs tend to have more complicated acceptance procedures.
"Usually in applying to joint degree programs, students must meet separate and independent admissions requirements -- applying to each school and being accepted to both," says James Milligan, dean of the Columbia University Columbia University, mainly in New York City; founded 1754 as King's College by grant of King George II; first college in New York City, fifth oldest in the United States; one of the eight Ivy League institutions. School of Law: "Upon acceptance to both programs, joint degree candidacy is granted. It takes four to five years to complete the two programs together."
The variety and combinations of dual degrees are seemingly endless and depend upon the university as to which programs can be combined. Among the interesting dual degree programs available are the joint MBA/MA (International Studies) offered by the Wharton School and the Lauder Institute The Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies (The Lauder Institute) is part of a dual degree program at the University of Pennsylvania, combining a MA in International Studies at the School of Arts & Sciences and an MBA at The Wharton School. of the University of Pennsylvania (body, education) University of Pennsylvania - The home of ENIAC and Machiavelli.
Address: Philadelphia, PA, USA. , Boston University's JD/MBA programs with concentrations in health care management and mass communications, and Columbia University's joint JD/MA in journalism. To find schools that offer joint degrees, check into the Peterson Guides to Graduate Schools.
When to go
One of the biggest questions facing students is not whether they should a attend graduate school. If graduate or professional school is an integral part of your career path -- you want to be a doctor, lawyer or social worker, for example -- then you will want to go immediately after commencement, unless your chosen program requires experience before you enter.
"The top business schools require one-to-two years experience before admission," Carson says. "The Harvard Business School Harvard Business School, officially named the Harvard Business School: George F. Baker Foundation, and also known as HBS, is one of the graduate schools of Harvard University. is one of them."
"There are two reasons to not enter graduate school immediately after graduation: if the graduate school requires experience before admission; and if the student determines he doesn't have the experience to compete with his fellow students. I don't recommend a wait when neither of these conditions exist," Carson adds.
Many students, however, do choose to wait a year or two before entering graduate school. There are a number of good reasons cited, but it usually comes down to one of these:
* They want to take time to rest and think about how or if graduate school fits into their plans.
* They want to work and pay off undergradaute debts before taking on the expense of graduate school.
Carson does not support the second reason.
"It's economics. They get out, they go into debt. Then they can't afford to go back to graduate school and they get caught," he contends.
Ultimately, the choice is yours to make. Graduate school is an expensive, time-consuming endeavor. It is not something to be entered into half-heartedly. But if, after you've conducted your research and explored the issues, you accept the challenge of pursuing a graduate degree, you will be glad you did. The personal and professional rewards can be substantial. Just remember the following points.
* A good graduate program provides you with the credentials and skills needed for advancement in your career.
* Dual degree programs grant added marketability, but are time-consuming and can be complicated admission procedures.
* Reference books listing graduate and professional programs are available in the library or the career center. Other sources include university web sites and your own college faculty.
* Reputation and quality of the program, department and faculty determine the value of a graduate program. The best way to determine if a program offers what you want is to visit the school, sit in on a couple of classes, and talk to the faculty and students.
* Applications are important. Start filling out applications at the end of your junior year and have them in the mail by Christmas break. Do your best on all parts.
* Financial aid is available for graduate school in the form of loans, scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships or work-study. Other methods of reducing costs include attending state universities, attending school part-time and working full-time, attending school full-time and working part-time, and working for a company that has an educational assistance program.
RELATED ARTICLE: ENTRANCE EXAMS FOR GRADUATE SCHOOL
One of the requirements for graduate school is passing the entrance exam. Unlike undergraduate school, where good scores on the American College American College is the name of:
An occupation-oriented test for evaluating intelligence, achievement, and interest. (SAT) sufficed regardless of your chosen major, graduate school requires high scores on a test that concentrates on your area of study. Depending on what you want to study, You will have to take one of these tests. Your school career center will have test bulletins containing dates and testing center locations, announcements and supplemental resources for all of these examinations.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE (Generic Routing Encapsulation) A tunneling protocol developed by Cisco that allows network layer packets to contain packets from a different protocol. It is widely used to tunnel protocols inside IP packets for virtual private networks (VPNs). )
The GRE is required by schools offering master's degrees and Ph.Ds. Paper-based testing as well as computer-based testing Computer-based testing (CBT), also called e-exam, computerized testing and computer-administered testing, is a method of administering tests in which the responses are electronically recorded, assessed, or both. are available. Scores are kept on file for five years.
The GRE is divided into General and Subject tests. General GRE testing measures general skills with separate scores given for verbal, quantitative and analytical abilities. Subject Tests measure knowledge in particular fields of study -- biology, chemistry, engineering, English and psychology, for example.
Some schools request both the General and Subject Area Tests. Test preparation books are available through the Graduate Record Examinations Board and the Educational Testing Service The Educational Testing Service (or ETS) is the world's largest private educational testing and measurement organization, operating on an annual budget of approximately $1.1 billion on a proforma basis in 2007. on general and subject content tests.
There are a number of GRE forums and preparatory workshops available.
Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT GMAT
1. Graduate Management Admission Test
2. Greenwich Mean Astronomical Time
GMAT n abbr (US) (= Graduate Management Admissions Test) → )
This test is for entrance into graduate schools of management. The GMAT measures general verbal, mathematical and analytical writings skills. It does not pre-suppose any specific content areas.
As with the GRE, there are numerous study guides and preparatory classes available. The Official Guide to GMAT Review offers test preparation for the GMATs. GMAT POWERPREP software is also available, and test review courses are offered. Online resources include Access MBA Explorer, providing online GMAT and MBA planning information, online GMAT registration, test preparation book and school search database.
Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
The LSAT is designed to measure skills that are considered essential for success in law school: reading and comprehension, critical thinking and reasoning skills. Sections include a reading comprehension Reading comprehension can be defined as the level of understanding of a passage or text. For normal reading rates (around 200-220 words per minute) an acceptable level of comprehension is above 75%. section, one analytical reasoning sections. Law schools use the results of the LSATs as one of several factors in assessing applicants' preparation for law school study. The Law School Data Assembly Service administers the test and releases the scores to schools about a month after test dates. Scores are kept on file for nine years.
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT MCAT
Medical College Admissions Test
MCAT Medical college admission test, pronounced, EM-cat A preadmission exam administered by the Psychological Corp., required in the US before entrance to medical school. )
The MCAT assesses mastery of basic concepts in biology, chemistry (general and organic) and physics, along with scientific problem solving problem solving
Process involved in finding a solution to a problem. Many animals routinely solve problems of locomotion, food finding, and shelter through trial and error. , critical thinking and writing skills. Candidates are encouraged to take the MCAT about 18 months before they plan to enter medical school. "Preparing for the MCAT" videocassettes as well as MCAT practice tests are available through the Association of American Medical Colleges Association of American Medical Colleges,
n.pr a nonprofit organization founded in 1876 to reform medical education and represent medical schools, major teaching hospitals, scientific and academic faculty, medical students, and residents. .