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Preparing for Graduate School

Many students make the mistake of thinking that their graduate school education will be much like their undergraduate education. This is simply not true. The following excerpt taken from GradSchools Express News explains some of the differences between graduate and undergraduate education:

Unlike your undergrad degree, there are no general studies requirements in graduate school. There are no electives. Your field of study is narrower and delves deeper, forcing a mastery of your chosen field, and you will spend the length of your schooling on your specific subject. This is because your goal in grad school will be to gain the specialized training necessary for the career toward which you are working.

You will also find that your relationship with your professors will be much different. In graduate school, professors often show a peer-like respect for their students. They know their students have made a big life decision and commitment by attending grad school, and they rarely view them as pupils, instead seeing them as equals who share a similar interest. They know that their students are serious and focused, and they expect a higher level of work because of it.

In graduate school, you will take fewer tests than in undergraduate studies. Instead, grad school requires more writing and research, as well as the ability to work independently. Graduate professors do not hold your hand, but rather present you with concepts and ideas to encourage individual direction. Courses will typically involve more discussion than lectures, and you will discover that the friendships and connections you make in graduate school are deeper than your previous education experiences.

Students should also be prepared for the level of work and dedication required in a grad school education. All of the classes that you'll take in graduate school will be concerned with your future career, so it's best to put in your full effort so that you'll learn as much as possible.


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