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Considering Further Education

Are you considering going to graduate or professional school or continuing your education after you graduate?

Some professionals like doctors, lawyers, and dentists require schooling beyond an undergraduate degree. Others can benefit from further schooling in order to secure decision-making roles within a company or organization or gain acute knowledge about a certain subject matter.

Good Reasons for Pursuing Further Education

  • Your ideal profession requires you to hold a specific advanced degree or certification (ex. professional school)
  • You want to work in academia as a professor or researcher (ex. master’s; PhD)
  • An advanced degree may help you get a promotion or higher pay (ex. MBA)
  • You have a passion for a certain subject area and want to study it further

Not So Good Reasons for Pursuing Further Education

  • You feel you are not ready to enter the workforce
  • You don’t know what career you want to pursue so you feel more comfortable continuing in school
  • You feel you don’t have enough experience to get a job

IMPORTANT! Don’t put off entering the workforce because you worry about finding a job. Depending on the area of work you are trying to pursue, practical experience can be as, if not more, beneficial than further schooling. Speak with a career advisor to explore your options.

Types of Further Education:

First level of graduate study that requires you to demonstrate a high level of expertise in a specific field of study, typically requiring one or two years of schooling and may involve research or clinical experience.

Graduate level programs that qualify students for careers in a specific field.

Programs which add value to an undergraduate degree by providing specialized knowledge in a certain subject area, typically one year in length and often provided through colleges.

More hands-on, practical learning opportunities at the college level that can complement a university undergraduate degree.

Look for Programs That:

  • Match your specific area of interest
  • Have strong learning options (ex. internships, research)
  • Provide research opportunities on topics of interest to you

Common Application Requirements

IMPORTANT! Become familiar with each school’s application requirements as they can differ from program-to-program and school-to-school. Do so early so that you can ensure you are meeting their criteria.

Be aware that program deadlines can occur as early as October 1st of the year prior to your start date and some professional programs may have rolling admissions that can start even earlier.

Many programs require a minimum academic requirement. For many master's level programs, this can start as high as 70% and go up from there.

Remember that this is a minimum, but the actual admittance average may be higher.

Standardized entrance exams, such as the LSAT (law), MCAT (medicine), DAT (dental), GMAT (business), and GRE (general), may be required.

Prepare using books, tutorials and practice exams and don’t scramble as exam dates may only be offered at certain times of the year.

Academic transcripts sent directly by your previous academic institutions may be required.

Be aware that specific courses may be required for certain programs. Do not get caught not having taken a required pre-requisite - look at course requirements early!

These letters focus on your academic and career intentions, motivation for the program and school, and relevant skills and experiences. Some programs may provide guidelines and/or word count limits, while others leave it for interpretation.

For help creating one, meet one-on-one with a career advisor.

You may be asked to provide letters written by individuals who know you personal and can speak to your work, academically or occupationally.

Schools may request letters from certain people, such as past professors or employers. Leave referees enough time to professionally write a letter by being aware of this requirement early.

A CV outlines your academic and work experience in full.

For help creating one, see a career advisor or attend our Resume vs. CV workshop.

For programs that focus on research, experience in a thesis program may be required.

Schools may conduct admission interviews prior to offering entry into their program. While these can be held anytime after your application submission, many host them during the Winter semester.

Admission interview differ from employment interviews and can be held in different formats by different institutions. Meet with a career advisor to prepare or attend a Preparing for Professional/Graduate School Admission Interviews workshop. Mock interviews are also provided and highly sought after throughout the Winter semester.