Excellent Reasons:

  1.  A graduate degree is a prerequisite for entering certain careers, such as law, medicine and   university teaching. Therefore to pursue such positions, advanced degrees are necessary.

  2. The love of a particular subject and the desire to study it in-depth and/or specialize.

  3.  You can get a better job in your field with a graduate degree.

Poor Reasons:

  1. You want to avoid looking for a job—you are afraid of finding or not finding employment.

  2. You don’t know what you want to do for a career and you think that graduate school will help you decide. In reality, choosing to go to graduate school should be the result of making a career direction choice.

  3. You believe the liberal arts degree has not prepared you for the world of work since it is so broad.

  4. You cannot get a job with a B.A. because of overcrowding in your field.  Many occupational areas that are glutted for those with undergraduate degrees are also glutted for those at the graduate level.  Check it out – you may be no better off with a graduate degree or you may be overqualified.

  5. It is expected now after college (i.e. your parents or professors expect it).

Graduate school is highly self-directed—it is difficult to make a go of it when you are unsure of the reasons why you are there.

Analyze your motives for considering advanced study.

  1. What kind of position am I interested in pursuing after graduation?  Does it require a graduate degree? Attending grad school should not be a way of postponing a decision—in fact, it should be the logical result of making a decision.

  2. Are my interests compatible with the activities I will be involved in during advanced training?  Am I motivated to explore the detail of a specialty area? 

  3. Am I familiar with the variety of positions held by individuals with advanced degrees in my field?

  4. Do my achievements and academic background reflect the ability to successfully complete a graduate program?