Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Should You Go to Grad School? Here’s How to Decide

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

Are you an undergraduate college student wondering if grad school is the right option for you? Well, buckle up because we’re going to dive into the exciting world of higher education and help you figure out if grad school is worth the time, money, and effort.

1. Do you have a clear career goal in mind?

Grad school can be an excellent choice if you have a clear career goal in mind that requires advanced education. For example, if you want to become a doctor, lawyer, or researcher, grad school is essential. But if you’re not sure what you want to do after college, pursuing a more advanced degree for it’s own sake may not be the best choice. Taking a break and looking into different career options is wise before committing your money, time, and youth to an endeavor that may not neccesarily be advantageous or neccesary to your actual goals.

2. Can you afford it?

Let’s be real; grad school is expensive. So before you apply, make sure you understand the costs and how you’ll pay for it. Consider scholarships, fellowships, and grants that could help offset the cost. Also, think about how much debt you’re willing to take on and what kind of job prospects are available after graduation. Can you justify the cost of attendance?

3. Do you enjoy academic work?

Grad school requires a lot of academic work, such as reading, writing, and research. If you didn’t enjoy these aspects of college, grad school may not be the right choice for you. However, if you thrive in academic environments and enjoy challenging yourself intellectually, grad school could be a great fit.

4. Are you passionate about your field?

Grad school is not just more of the same; it’s a deep dive into a specific field. So, it’s essential to ask yourself if you’re passionate about your chosen field and excited to learn more about it. If you’re not, grad school may feel like a slog rather than an opportunity to grow and learn. Graduate programs generally last multiple years. Would you resent your choice if you had to spend X or Y more years studying?

5. Are you ready to commit to a long-term project?

Grad school is a long-term commitment that can take several years to complete. So, ask yourself if you’re ready to commit to a single project for an extended period. You’ll need to be dedicated, self-motivated, and able to work independently to succeed in grad school.

In conclusion, grad school can be an excellent option for some undergraduate college students, but it’s not for everyone. If you have a clear career goal in mind, are passionate about your field, and are willing to commit to a long-term project, grad school could be a great choice. However, if you’re not sure what you want to do after college, can’t afford it, or don’t enjoy academic work, taking a break and exploring other options may be a better choice. So, take some time to reflect on your goals and values before making any decisions. Good luck!

Vanna Chen

Texas '23

Senior Computer Science Major Sleepy, Funny, Addicted to Kombucha