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Is Grad School Right for You? (Part 3)

Erick Widman - Saturday, February 13, 2010

So you’ve determined that attending graduate school is a necessary step toward achieving your career goals, and that you are better positioned for graduate school than employment. Great! Before you start those applications, however, pause to consider the following.

Am I prepared to commit to additional years of higher level education?

Depending on the program, graduate school can range from anywhere between 2 years and even 10 years! PhD students in particular may face unexpected hurdles regarding their research goals, thus offsetting their expected graduation date. For individuals applying to graduate programs directly after college, this amounts to at least six straight years of higher level education, which can be intellectually, physically, and even emotionally draining.

Furthermore, you aren’t attending graduate school in a vacuum. Instead, you should evaluate whether committing to a graduate program is appropriate within the context of your personal and professional life. If you have a spouse or are planning a future with another individual, does graduate school fit with your personal plans, in terms of timing and location?

Perhaps you are responsible for other individuals, who depend upon you financially. In that case, you should keep in mind that graduate school is often a financially hefty investment. Make sure you have the luxury of time and money to earn your graduate degree.

On the other hand, you might be one of those fortunate applicants who are entirely free of financial and circumstantial constraints. If you are applying during your senior year of college, make sure that you are prepared to go the distance and continue directly to additional years of intensive learning. Some students may justifiably feel burned out after their college experience; several months later; that’s not the optimal condition in which to begin your graduate studies.

Ultimately, just take a close look at yourself, your responsibilities, personal circumstances, and financial status; if all these factors point to your attending graduate school, go for it!  Sibia Admissions is on hand to help you to succeed with your applications.

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