Your Bachelor’s degree from Emerson College gives you numerous skills to start your professional career in the communication and the arts fields. While you might be relieved to finally be done with projects and papers, many graduating seniors desire to continue their educations for advanced degrees, either as extensions of their current degrees, or in radical new areas.
An advanced degree can be a great addition to your professional portfolio, but it is not right for everyone. There are many factors to consider.
Think about the following points when you are considering going to graduate school. Feel free to speak with a Career Services Counselor, a faculty member, or trusted mentor.
Am I confident in the field I am considering pursuing an advanced degree in?
- Research the field, look at industry websites and company websites of employers that peak your interest.
- What types of jobs do you come across when researching? Do the job descriptions sound like work you want to do for a long period of time?
- Try an internship in the field to make sure you like the work environment if you have not done so already.
- Conduct Informational Interviews with seasoned professionals.
What will I gain from pursuing an advanced degree NOW?
- Will the classes/program requirements of an advanced degree give you more experience or new knowledge that differs from your undergraduate degree?
- Are the experience levels for the jobs you are looking for something you can gain from further education?
- Can you build your experience by starting with an entry-level position?
- Remember: employers seek a combination of education and experience.
What will I gain from working for a few years before starting a graduate program?
- Many people in the communication and arts fields are very successful with a Bachelor’s degree and many employers value experience.
- Will the work experience you could gain in these years help you more than additional education?
- Will you be a stronger candidate with 3-5 years of work experience and an advanced degree?
Am I taking the easy way out?
- Am I afraid to job search?
- Am I unsure about pursuing a job in the field I received my Bachelor’s degree in so I want to pursue a different academic venue?
- A graduate degree takes a lot of time, money, and effort; it can be a very frustrating process if you are not choosing this pathway for the right reasons.
Researching Graduate Programs
- Talk to alumni or current students of the programs that interest you
- Speak to Admissions Counselors to discuss program details and admissions requirements
- Talk to faculty members and academic advisers at the institutions that you are considering
- If possible, schedule campus visits to see the school and the local area; go through an admissions office to schedule an appointment or current students/faculty members
- Visit graduate program websites
Graduate School Application Process
All colleges and universities differ slightly in the information that they are looking for when a student applies to a graduate program. Contact the Graduate Admissions department at the school where you will apply for more specifics.
- Application form and fee
- Official undergraduate transcripts and test scores
- Letters of recommendation from former professors and/or supervisors
- Professional resume or portfolio
- Essay and/or personal statement
- The Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
- The Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
- The Miller Analogies Test (MAT)
- The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
Financing Your Degree
- Fellowships, scholarships, grants
- Teaching assistantships
- Federal work study
- Federal loans
- Private loans
- Research assistantships