Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Considering Graduate School?

Graduate school is an additional two to six years or more of schooling after the completion of a bachelor's degree. The student works toward either a master's Degree (MA) or a doctorate (PhD). A master's cegree requires a minimum of two years after the completion of a bachelor's degree, while a PhD requires a minimum of four years. In a traditional master's program, students take courses, do a major project (e.g., research thesis, a major literature review/critique), and write and defend the project. In a PhD program, however, students normally take courses, pass comprehensive examinations, conduct original research, and write and defend their dissertation.

Graduate school is a big step. Like anything else, there are a lot of great things about getting an advanced degree: it is intellectually challenging; it is possible to gain immense personal satisfaction from your work and studies; some careers require graduate degrees for entry; and having an advanced degree may create opportunities for increased pay.

However, grad school is time consuming in the sense that it takes anywhere from two to six years or more. Also, it can be expensive and stressful.

How do you know if graduate school is right for you?

Ask yourself some important questions:

  • What do you plan to do with your graduate degree?
  • Why do you want to pursue this field?
  • When should you start preparing for grad school?
  • What schools should you apply to?
  • Who do you know that works in your area(s) of interest?
  • How well prepared for graduate school are you?

Further information about graduate school