Graduate school is a major commitment. It constitutes an advanced program of study focused on a particular academic discipline or a specific profession. Graduate school is an opportunity to explore a field of your choice with more specificity and direction. Students typically seek graduate education for two reasons: Intellectual curiosity and professional advancement.
In graduate study, classes tend to be smaller; interaction is expected and often necessary to excel. For some programs, you may be required to produce research. While in graduate school, many students gain additional experience by working either full-time or part-time, completing an internship, being a graduate/teaching assistant, or conducting research.
If you are still unsure of what you'd like to study in graduate school, networking with faculty and alumni of the programs you are interested in is beneficial. You can do this by connecting on LinkedIn or e-mailing the individual to set up a brief informational interview. In addition, the free Focus 2 assessment is useful as well. This assessment gathers your work interests, values, skills, personality traits, and what you like to do in your free time to generate occupations that could be a good match for you. The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) is another helpful tool in exploring career options before committing to graduate study.
Graduate school can also be expensive. Below are some financial aid resources to review in preparation for paying for graduate school.
Financial Aid Resources
- Careeronestop (scholarship database)
- Guide to Financial Aid for Graduate School
- Types of Financial Aid
- How Financial Aid Works
- Funding Information from the UNC Graduate School
- Guide to Counselor Education Loan Forgiveness Programs