The Illinois State University Career Center is hosting several programs to assist students and alumni who are considering or planning on attending graduate school.

Graduate School Series

The Graduate School Series of workshops are held every Wednesday from January 30 through March 7. Each workshop is different and hit on a key area that students will need to know about when deciding if graduate school is right for them. Workshop sessions include: Graduate School Admission Secrets, Considering and Surviving Graduate School, Financing Graduate School, Do I Need a Graduate Degree, What Happens if I Don’t Get into Graduate School, and Graduate School Resume and Cover Letters. The series is free and participants can choose to attend an individual session or all of them. Pre-registration is required.

“One of the goals of Illinois State’s Career Center is to assist students with their career and educational goals,” said Maureen Roach, Career Center senior assistant director. “The Graduate School Series is a resource to educate students about graduate school so they have what they need to make a good decision about additional this educational choice.”

Graduate school consideration and application advisement

The Career Center also offers a full-time professional career advisor for students to get additional advice,  support, and application critiques anytime during their decision process.

“When students consider graduate school they’re not just making an educational choice, they’re making a significant investment in their future. And we’re here to help,” Roach added.

Roach provides the following questions to help students make a decision regarding when to attend graduate school:

  • Can I obtain a professional position in my field without an advanced degree? Many positions in psychology, speech and hearing, and social work fields almost always require advanced degrees.
  • To reach my long-term goals, should I use graduate school to increase my knowledge in a particular field and develop an expertise in this area? Do my GPA and graduate admissions test scores predict that I can be successful in a graduate program? Would some on-the-job experience be useful in completing my advanced degree?
  • Many times graduate school projects and papers are easier to complete if you have work experiences from which to draw. Some of the most prestigious business programs accept only work-experienced applicants. Advanced degrees in Education often should be postponed until you have real classroom experience.
  • Can I finance graduate school expenses? Are teaching or research assistantships available? Would I be able to fulfill those requirements while studying?
  • Many businesses and school districts now provide tuition assistance for employees.
  • Is my family situation or lack of family obligations conducive to attending (and maybe relocating for) graduate school?
  • Can I carefully research and complete all the admission and application requirements by the deadlines for the program that will help me with my short and long-term goals?

For more information about the Graduate School Series or graduate school considerations, contact the Career Center.