Common Graduate School Programs

We’re going to give you a
brief overview of the four most common types of
graduate programs– business school, law school,
medical school, and concluding with a broad
introduction of masters degrees and doctoral programs. I often see students
research these programs and find that there are
many adjacent programs that fit equally well or better
for their career objectives. Look at the coursework
offered by a program. Visit a school or class. Talk to students and alumni
of different programs. Continue to use your
interlocutors and reflection exercises to see if a certain
program feels right to you. You may not realize that the
admissions office or professors at these programs are
very happy to talk to you and to discuss whether your
goals fit with their programs. Reach out. Let them know where
your interests lie. They want to ensure that you’re
a good fit for their program, just as much as you do. We’re going to review the four
most common types of programs. Obtaining a masters of
business administration is one of the most common
professional goals we hear from transitioning veterans. There is not one course
of study or major that you must study in
order to apply to an MBA. Students from a variety
of backgrounds and majors apply successfully to
MBA programs every year. You don’t need an
economics or finance major to apply to
an MBA, however, the program does
expect you to have foundational and strong
quantitative and analytical skills. So if you think an MBA may
be appropriate for you, you’ll want to make sure
that your undergraduate work prepares you now by considering
math, finance, economics, or accounting courses. Check with the
business schools to get a sense of the kind of
academic preparation they expect from applicants. Just like you would
with your courses, look at the classes
offered in the program. See if they’re exciting to you. Listen to your instincts. There may be many different
types of programs out there to think about that are similar
but not the same as the MBA. Perhaps you’re interested in
how organizations make decisions and a PhD in organizational
psychology may be a good fit. There are many options,
and maybe the MBA is the right one for you. Beyond academic prerequisites,
MBA programs typically demand a certain level of
prior professional experience before you can begin
a course of study. That is, unlike most
other graduate programs, MBA programs often
require applicants to have several years
of work experience after they’ve taken their
undergraduate degree. You may want to
connect with admissions to see if your military
service provider to your undergraduate degree may
count as your work experience. Students are often surprised
to learn that law schools are looking for applicants
from a variety of academic backgrounds. You do not need to
major in pre-law or even a seemingly
related field. While strong research
and writing skills are very important,
increasingly, law schools are looking beyond
humanities majors to science and social science majors
as the field of law becomes more complex and lawyers
require diverse skill sets from a variety of backgrounds. Again, look at the
law school courses. Go in and sit on a
law school class. Talk to practicing attorneys. If you’re thinking
about medical school, take the time to
explore this direction by working in hospitals,
research laboratories, and other health care settings. There are many
different directions to think about within
the health field, from becoming a doctor to
a degree in public health. Explore through your
courses and experience what may be best for you. While a pre-med undergraduate
degree is not required, students interested in
applying to medical school should be aware that
the prerequisite courses requirements can be significant. Most undergraduate programs
have a pre-medical advisor who will help you when
selecting your coursework that will be required for
admissions to medical school. Make sure that you check
in with this advisor and check the Association
of American Medical School’s website. In fact, a number
of universities offer post baccalaureate
programs, courses of study that do not lead to a degree,
but instead offer students a chance to take undergraduate
courses to prepare for medical school applications. Of course, law school, business
school, and medical school are only three options
available to you. There are thousands of different
degree types out there. While we can’t
cover them all, we’d be remiss if we
failed to mention a few of the non-professional
degree paths out there. Earning your masters of
arts, masters of science, or doctor of philosophy can help
you reach a particular goal. But you will need to do a lot
of research upfront to see if a particular path and
program is right for you. . For these types of
programs, the coursework and major that you
choose can be important. If you would like to continue
to graduate school in computer science, for example, but
choose a sociology major, you may need to do a significant
amount of other coursework to meet the prerequisites. Unlike professional
schools, your choice of major and courses can
make a big difference in your ability to have the
foundational credentials to apply to a
particular program. Even with this in mind,
there are many other types of programs. for example, in
education or social work, that do not require a
particular undergraduate major. Make sure that you
use your coursework to test your assumptions. And if you’d like to
pursue further education in a particular field, that you
choose a major or course that fits with your path. Masters and doctoral
degree programs and the arts and sciences
can have wildly variant prerequisites and expectations. Connect with your professors
and the graduate departments that you’re interested
in to see how your coursework and majors may
fit with your future career path. With so many options
available to you, finding a right-fit
graduate school might offer
challenges you did not anticipate when you
were considering undergraduate programs. Still, if you take the time
to reflect on your values and goals, use your
coursework and major to test your
assumptions, and connect with those who you trust to
provide you with guidance, you will find the program that
fits your personal and career goals.

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