Grad school is expensive. It may be ideal to attend graduate school after you’ve become a junior expert in your field through work experience. Though undergrad is a long four years, you will already be in the “student” mode of studying and going to class. This is not meant to discourage you from applying to graduate school—only to underscore how important it will be to ensure that you’re a competitive candidate in a tight job market. Should You Go To Grad School? Even if you land a tenure-track job, you are likely to have to relocate when you accept it. Just remember: even though you apply at the end of your senior year of college, you need to be thinking about law school well before that. 0 0 0 3 0. If so, how did they spend that time? This brings us to a crucial point. Honestly, no one really tells you how to apply to grad school, so this is some free info to keep in mind. Option 1: Grad School First, Work Later Some are universal (if you start earlier, you’re likely to finish earlier), and some will be specific to you (how graduate school fits into your personal plans, for instance). The test is not fun and definitely takes practice. -, GRE Accommodations: What You Need to Know. You can always go back to school later, maybe after a couple years. Go to engineering school first, and start thinking about law school when you're a ~junior. On the other hand, if you've been earning money, it will be harder to go back to living on a graduate student wage. In the long term, you’ll need to figure out major benchmarks—research trips, conference presentations, publications, and chapter deadlines. For example, you’ll probably want to write (and publish!) Terms and Conditions Trying to manage a family, job, and grad school may be much harder than continuing after undergrad. I dont have anything now, not RN, CNA, nothing. Site Map, disparities between job postings and PhDs awarded, GRE Verbal Practice: Questions & Explanations, GRE Math Practice: Questions & Explanations, Answers to Practice GRE Questions (Did You Crack Them? After that I was able to get a job as a planner in a private consulting firm. This can make it easier to power through a master’s program. You have to determine how long you can afford to spend finishing that degree. Going Right After Undergrad Going to graduate school right after undergrad may be the best option for you if you know for sure that you want a graduate degree. A little about me. Keep in mind, however, that such master’s programs are not likely to come with funding. (Image via Science) This is the one I hear the most: If you go right into graduate school without giving yourself a break from undergrad, you will get burnt out. So let’s look at both sides to hopefully help you make your decision. Although it’s not strictly necessary to have a firm view of your future career … CA Privacy Policy, © Copyright Kaplan, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Regardless of whether you decide to go to graduate school right away, you’ll need to plan your studies in advance. I always knew that I wanted to go to Grad School, I just needed some time to really define my goals and skills. (Many programs make job placement information available on their websites; if a program doesn’t, you should inquire!) Because PhDs are specialized by definition, there won’t be many openings in your specific field when you’re on the job market. In some instances, going to grad school after college makes sense. You’ll have a … After all, funding—when you’re fortunate enough to procure it—is time-limited. A high-ranking school can improve your odds of admission, particularly if that school is known to send a large number of students on to medical school. Pursuing your calling is almost always worth the cost—but you should be as strategic as you can, as early as you can, to ensure that your calling will also earn you a living. While you will certainly have an advisor in graduate school—and, in all likelihood, a Director of Graduate Studies—you will have to take much more initiative to ensure that you’re on track to meet your future career goals. In your self-reflection, one of the first questions you want to ask yourself is, “What do I LOVE to do without anyone having to ask me to do it?”. Going to grad school and repaying existing student loans while withdrawing new student loans can complicate the decision-making process. That being said, you want to decide which path to take as soon as you can because there are some time-sensitive matters that revolve around grad school, and you want to make sure that you have planned ahead and are ready to take everything on. This can make it easier to power through a master’s program. Life was a little crazy during undergrad--I worked midnights as a tech on a cardio/progressive care floor while taking anywhere from 18-21 credits each semester (I had no major freshman year and took some courses I didn't need, but I still wanted to graduate in 4 years). Some posts are old and I don't know if the opinions are outdated or apply to my situation. However, don’t go to grad school simply because you think it will “look good” or because you’re not sure what to do next. I am starting PA school (tomorrow actually) and I just graduated in May. Having limited options or many jobs you’re interested in requiring a masters degree may lean in favor of going to grad school immediately after undergrad. Explore our featured business schools to find those that are looking for students like you. If, for instance, you’re planning on finishing a doctoral program, then it’s going to take a huge amount of self-discipline to get through those four to seven-plus years. Check out our complete list of 169 law schools, based on surveys of school administrators and over 19,900 students. It’s not uncommon for students to get “cold feet” and wonder if they should pursue graduate study immediately after college. All of these can be incredible experiences, and they’ll undoubtedly provide fodder for your future graduate school personal statements. These are the things I wish I would have known as I started graduate school. Even if you land a fellowship, those four to seven-plus years come with opportunity costs of their own: money not (yet) saved, and career experience not (yet) accrued. To bump up your salary potential. Going to law school right after undergrad If you cannot wait to start your law career, going straight to law school after undergrad might be the right choice for you. Author Ellen McCammon Posted on March 19, 2017 July 26, 2017 Categories Grad School Tags applying to grad school, graduate school, when to apply for grad school Going to graduate school is a lot like getting a dog: it’s a big, hairy commitment, and the right timing is critical to minimize chaos and make the transition as smooth as possible. If you end up taking time off between college and graduate school, you can try to pick up research-assistant work from a professor you hope to study with, volunteer, join community organizations, or complete your own creative projects to build relevant skills. The latest that you should take the GRE is the summer before you go into your senior year because grad applications can be due as early as October, and it takes a while to study, take the test, and get your scores. Applying to graduate school can be nerve-wracking, even for students who just completed undergraduate work. I have learned that if you attend the same university as an undergraduate and graduate student, these tips will guide you in the right direction from being a young new student to becoming a respected professional. After finishing her journalism undergraduate degree in 2004, 24-year-old Laurie Duffy went straight to graduate school. In other words, you should only go to grad school if you’re positive it’s the best thing for you. You would probably have to bear the considerable out-of-pocket costs of an MA or MS program. Identify Schools. Of course, this route also means that you will get to that grad school commencement that much sooner, if that is a factor that is important to you. Many of my friends here took 1-2 or 3-6 years off. Here’s an inside secret: If you’re accepted to start a grad program one year, you can ask to defer to the following year. Either way, don’t wait to take the GRE or ask for your recommendation letters. Taking extra time will also extend your studies further into the future. I'll start this off by saying I have read post after post here on reddit and online about whether I should attend grad school right after undergrad. In college, you probably had at least one advisor, as well as professors and TAs, who regularly checked in with you about your progress. The years during which you’re pursuing your degree(s)—even if you are fully funded—will be time during which you’re not collecting a salary or building your earning history. Then, assuming you landed a place in a PhD program thereafter (during which you’d probably earn another non-terminal master’s along the way), you’d still bear the costs—even if they’re just opportunity costs—of your further studies. If you’re not ready yet, you can be in the future! You're up to your eyeballs in debt from your first degree now your thinking about getting a Masters as well. None of this means that you can’t still apply to graduate school later, but you’ve got to know yourself, and consider whether you would be disappointed if your goals ultimately change. How much is graduate school really costing you? After completing my undergraduate education, I had to ask myself, “am I ready for grad school?” I was exhausted from leading student organizations, competing in a highly-demanding academic environment, and so not ready to accept that I would no longer live within a one-mile radius of all my brilliant best friends with whom I would go to Burger King in the middle of the night.