Search for Graduate Programs

Graduate School Education

Graduate education involves a more narrowly focused program of study than undergraduate work. There are a wide variety of programs. You may earn a degree that is either academic or professional.

  • Academic degrees (M.A., M.S., Ph.D.) involve acquiring and communicating new knowledge through original research, and are awarded in almost all disciplines (e.g. arts and humanities, languages, natural sciences, and the social sciences).
  • Professional degrees emphasize the practical application of knowledge and skills, and may be earned in areas such as Law (J.D.), business (M.B.A.), medicine (M.D. or D.O.), and education (M.Ed.). Other fields include the fine arts (M.F.A.), library science (M.L.S.) and social work (M.S.W.).

Ask for help - at any stage, whether you are thinking about grad school or in the application phase, Career Development is here to help! Call (507-933-7575), use Handshake, or stop in to schedule an appointment or drop in during the academic year to meet with a Peer Career Advisor. 

Making the Decision to Go

Deciding to pursue a graduate degree requires self-exploration in relation to career goals. Consider the costs of graduate school, and examine the possible advantages that a higher degree might offer, like more job options and a higher salary. Questions to ask yourself to help explore if graduate school is right for you:

  • What are my short-term and long-term career goals?
  • Is graduate study necessary for me to achieve these goals?
  • Am I able to commit the time and financial resources to pursue a graduate degree?
  • Do I have the emotional support to pursue a graduate degree?

Consult faculty members, alumni, graduate students in your planned program of study, and professionals working in your intended career field to get their input about the advantages and disadvantages for graduate study and any suggestions about timing related to your goals.

Deciding When You Should Go

When you attend graduate school depends on your field of interest and your circumstances.  For example, MBA programs may require previous work experience; while for some Masters and PhD programs, it is often expected that you will transition directly from undergraduate to graduate school. 

Selecting a Graduate Program

When choosing a graduate program, consider both the program and the institution. Speak with faculty, alumni, graduate admissions representatives, and current students about the specific programs and degrees you are exploring. Factors to consider:

  • Program accreditation
  • Length of the program and course selection
  • Clinical experiences and/or practical applications of studies
  • Philosophical, theoretical, and professional approach of the faculty members and the department
  • Current research, publications, and professional involvement of the faculty
  • Specialties and interests of the faculty
  • Course requirements and/or entrance exams for admission
  • Availability of support services and campus culture
  • Financial aid opportunities, fellowships, graduate assistantships or internships
  • Cost and residency requirements
  • Size and geographic location
  • Availability of housing
Gustavus Resources

Our office has put together a list of factors to consider and put them into a spreadsheet that should help you keep your search organized. The link will prompt you to make a copy of the spreadsheet to your google drive that is only viewable and editable by you.

Researching Your Options


Updated 7/27/22 JV