Graduate & Professional Studies

If you're considering pursuing graduate study, the first step is to research programs that match your interests and goals. Start assessing programs through sites such as U.S. News & World Report and to collect information regarding rankings, tuition, and admission requirements.

Graduate & Professional Degrees

Master's: Completing master's programs usually takes two years. Master's degrees can be the end of your formal education, or you can choose to pursue a doctoral degree.

Doctorate: Doctorates are the highest degrees attainable and usually take more than five years to complete.

Specialized: These programs generally include a master's degree in addition to a credential (e.g. teaching credential).

Professional: These degrees include law, medical, and business.

  • Law (JD): Law school usually requires three years of full-time study. Preparation for a law degree includes researching schools approved by the American Bar Association and taking the LSAT.
  • Medical (MD): Medical schools usually take at least four years to complete. It is required for students to take the MCAT. Many schools also interview selected applicants.
  • Business (MBA): Graduate business schools generally take about two years to complete. Taking the GMAT is a prerequisite for entering many business programs.

Applying to Graduate & Professional Schools

When preparing to apply for graduate study, the following items will likely be necessary for you to compile:

  1. Program Application
  2. Personal Statement The personal statement is your opportunity to show how uniquely qualified you are for the program. To get started, download some tips for writing your personal statement (PDF). When writing your personal statement, follow the requirements for each program.
  3. Official College Transcripts: You will need to submit transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended.
  4. Letters of Recommendation: You should start asking for recommendation letters two months in advance or the summer before you apply. These letters usually come from faculty, supervisors, and anyone else familiar with your qualifications.
  5. Test Scores Many graduate programs require students to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The GRE tests applicants' verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing ability. Test requirements vary; check with the institution and program.
  6. Application Fee