Things To Consider Before Applying to Grad School

For many ambitious students, grad school is a must. Some students haven’t decided if they need to pursue grad school, but for others their desired career may require a graduate degree.

If you are thinking about grad school, there are a few things you should first consider.

What kind of program do you want to complete?

Because of the number of graduate programs available, some research is required to figure out which one is right for you. From MBA’s to PhD programs, you have a lot to choose from. The specific graduate program I chose is the Integrative Biology and Neuroscience program at FAU; I found this program while researching grad schools and what they offered and required. To achieve my goal of becoming a neuroscientist, I needed a graduate degree in neuroscience. Hard sciences experience such as biology, chemistry, genetics etc. are required to get into these programs. I knew I would never get in the program without them, so I planned to go back to school to get a second bachelor’s degree. I was encouraged to obtain this degree at the same school I wanted to get my PhD from so I could meet professors and make helpful connections along the way.

What kind of grad school suits your future career?

Graduate degree options are vast, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start! One great place to start is by picking a company with careers interesting to you. Does the company prefer degrees from schools with specific accreditations, and what skills or credentials will make you stand out in applications? What graduate level degrees do current employees have? If many of the current employees have similar graduate degrees, it may be a good idea for you to consider the same degree. These questions will help you narrow down a list of potential programs.

Can you do what you want to do without one?

It’s also a good idea to think about whether you need a graduate degree or not. While it may feel nice to have a master or even a doctorate, it’s not always necessary. It may be beneficial to start your career at a job where the minimum education requirement is a master’s degree. Often, these companies will help pay for the opportunity to go back to school to get your graduate degree while you work there.

There are many opportunities to pursue grad schools, and not every path looks the same. Find what you love to do and it will all be worth it!

Are you considering grad school or are currently in a graduate program? Share why you think it’s a good idea in the comments!


Danielle is a very outgoing student! She spent four awesome years getting her first degree in psychology, and a minor in dance, at Rollins College. She participated in Attitudes, which is a student led dance show held every Fall, and choreographed a contemporary piece for the show. She also loves science and plans on graduating from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) with her second bachelor’s in neuroscience. Her plan is to apply to the Integrative Biology and Neuroscience program for graduate school and obtain her PhD in neuroscience at FAU. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family in Orlando, playing video games, singing and dancing.

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