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Musings About Graduate School

October 2, 2013

Are you thinking about going on for a masters degree or a doctorate degree? If you haven’t given it much thought, you should.  The sooner you start planning and preparing for graduate school the better.   Yes, even first year undergraduates should have an eye towards graduate school.

However, it is important to understand that the graduate school experience is very different from the undergraduate experience.  Too often undergraduates make the mistake of thinking that graduate school is just more of the same they are going through now.  They couldn’t be more wrong.

So, how is graduate school different? For one thing, graduate students have a different relationship with their faculty.  Graduate students are closer to being colleagues with their faculty.   They are older, more mature, and more self-directed.   They help faculty teach their courses and they help them with their research.

In graduate school students don’t spend all their time sitting in classes.  Generally, they take fewer course credits per semester, 6-9 credit hours, instead of the typical 16 credit hour load of undergraduates.  That is because graduate school is more focused on depth of knowledge than breadth of knowledge.  Graduate school is about specializing in a particular field of study so a graduate student’s coursework is much more focused and scholarly.

The graduate experience is a wonderful, life and career changing experience.  It is demanding but exciting.

You should plan on going!

I will be posting on picking a graduate program.


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