To Go or Not to Go

Deciding to Attend Grad School

Deciding to attend graduate school is a significant decision.

As you contemplate the possibility, keep the following points in mind:

  • Your graduate school experience will be different from your undergraduate one. Graduate school will provide you with an intense, academic experience focusing on a single area of study
  • Because of its demands on your time and financial resources, graduate school will greatly influence two to seven years of your life
  • Your graduate studies may shape your future career options

People choose to attend graduate school for a variety of different reasons. As you are trying to decide if this is the right choice for you, you might find it helpful to explore your own reasons for attending. Consider the following:

Career goals

Will graduate school help you meet your career goals? If so, do you know what type of degree you need to pursue — master’s, PhD, etc.?

Time you are willing to commit

Graduate school will consume a considerable amount of your time and energy. Are you prepared to devote yourself to this for the next two to seven years?

Cost of graduate school

How much money are you prepared to spend on graduate school? Can you afford to pay for tuition, books, rent, food, etc.? Depending on the intensity and restrictions of the program, you may or may not be able to work while in graduate school.

Information & resources

Faculty members are often good sources of information about graduate school and can help you identify recognized programs within field.

These websites are additional resources to help you decide whether or not graduate school is right for you:

The LSU Olinde Career Center can help you clarify your goals and explore your options, as well as assist you in the application process. Personal statement critiques and mock interviews are available by appointment.