Graduate School – More Options Than You Think

Did you know about 60% of GC graduates go on to pursue a graduate or professional degree within five years of graduation?  With more jobs requiring a Master’s degree, it makes sense that many of our students think that graduate school is in their future.  The big question for most students is – “What will I study in graduate school?”   Many of us enter college thinking we have a handful of options:  law, medicine, teaching, or business.  Other students assume that they should just continue study in the same field as their undergraduate major. I came to college with the same ideas because those fields were all I was exposed to at the time.  When you think about graduate and professional school, you must think beyond these areas because there are thousands of options for specialized careers made attainable to you through a Master’s degree.

So what options do you have?  It can be overwhelming to figure all that out on your own.  We have a few resources to help you determine possible careers and applicable graduate degrees:

  1. Focus 2 Career Interest Inventory.  GC students can take this online through the Career Center.
  2. Learn about graduate programs BEFORE your senior year.  We will have over 50 universities visiting campus on October 22 for the Graduate & Professional School Fair.
    These universities offer hundreds of programs beyond law and medicine.  You can learn about programs in art therapy, historic preservation, southern studies, optometry, Africana women’s studies, horticulture, global communication, environmental engineering, marketing research, higher education, non-profit management, and other fun, exciting disciplines that lead to specific careers. We’ll even have the Study Across the Pond program which connects students to graduate programs in Britain.
  3. Pick up a Graduate School Book from the Career Center in 132 Lanier Hall.  These are free and list universities across the US with their programs.
  4. Many people find the graduate program of their dreams by reflecting on what they enjoy. Reflect on what you like to study as well as your favorite work, leadership, volunteer, and leisure activities.

Attending graduate school is a big committment, so you want to make sure you’re choosing a program that interests you and leads to an obtainable career goal.  Your options go beyond your undergraduate major.  In fact, unless you plan to teach or conduct research in that field, you may be better specializing in a new or related field.  In many cases, master’s programs do not require any particular undergraduate major and may ask for only a few course prerequisities.  When you go into a master’s or professional program, you’ll be surrounded by people who have a passion for a particular field and career, so you want to make sure you have similar feelings about the program you choose.

The National College of Natural Medicine is one of the universities that attends the annual Graduate & Professional School Fair. NCNM offers grad programs in natural medicine, accupunture, midwifery, and other professional areas.

We’ll be blogging all week about graduate school so stay tuned for helpful tips on personal statements, letters of recommendation, evaluating programs, and obtaining graduate assistantships. If you you have particular questions that you’d like us to address, add those to the comments section.

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