Deciding When to Attend

If you have decided that graduate school is for you, you then need to decide if you would like to attend immediately after graduation or wait a year or two. Many seniors begin the year pursuing graduate school plans, however, only 20-30% of the senior class ends up enrolling immediately following graduation. Most graduates opt to work a year or two and then pursue graduate school plans. There are advantages to both choices.

An advantage to going directly to graduate school is the continuity of learning between undergraduate and graduate school and you will probably still be in the “studying mode.” Secondly, many students find it easier to finance graduate school when there are no other major financial obligations such as marriage, mortgages and children. Undergraduate loans may be deferred while attending school, as well. Lastly, if you are enthusiastic and certain about a career that requires graduate school, attending right away will allow you to enter the profession sooner.

The advantages of waiting a year or two before attending graduate school have already been outlined: if you are uncertain about the field you would like to study, if there are goal conflicts on the reasons for attending graduate school and if it would be advantageous to gain some work experience and/or take some time off.