Graduate and Professional School Resources

Thinking about Graduate School?

Graduate and Professional School Resources

students imagining the possibilities of graduate school

Are you thinking about applying to graduate school?

Graduate and professional schools offer an opportunity to undertake advanced study in areas of interest with more specificity and direction. Some professions require an advanced degree such as law, medicine, and postsecondary teaching, while others may prefer trainings and relevant work experience in the field.

If you are uncertain about your career goal, applying to a graduate program may not be a right choice. Making an informed decision about pursuing a graduate or professional degree requires in-depth self-analysis, research of schools, and creating a plan of action.

PSU Career Services offers workshops and one-on-one consultation to help all students and alumni understand the process of applying to graduate school. See current workshop schedule.

How is graduate school different from undergraduate education?

Compared to undergraduate studies, graduate school is a more concentrated course of study, and expectations regarding the quality and quantity of your academic work are greater. Graduate programs also entail:

  • focused studies in a specific discipline with fewer elective possibilities
  • rigorous evaluation of your work by professors and peers
  • smaller classes with much less student interaction
  • work experience via internships, teaching, or research
  • production of original research is often required

What graduate degrees are available?

Graduate degrees are available in Master or Doctorate level. The program requirements and length will vary depending on the degree and program you choose. 

  • Master's degrees are offered in many fields. Some master’s degrees are research focused and designed to lead to a doctoral degree while others are the "terminal" degree for a profession and include training and practice (e.g., Master in Library Science; Master in Business Administration; Master in Teaching). For full-time students, completing a master's degree usually takes 2 years.
  • Doctoral degrees are the highest degrees possible. They usually require the creation of new knowledge through independent research and writing and may take 5-7 years to complete.

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