Is Graduate School Right For Me?
Making the decision to go to graduate school is one that takes time and careful planning. It is also one that can be tremendously rewarding and challenging. No matter where you are in the process, use this site to find information, advice, tips, and resources.
What are some good reasons to go to graduate school? (from University of Pennsylvania’s Career Services)
- You are passionate about scholarly work and academic study.
- You are certain about your career path and, after researching this field extensively, you know that an advanced degree will either be a requirement or significantly help your cause.
- You enjoy pursuing your own research topics in a specific field independently and can envision yourself conducting such research for several years to come.
Identifying and Selecting Programs
Similar to the undergraduate admissions process, universities offering graduate-level engineering courses have unique deadlines, programs, and admissions requirements. It can be overwhelming to keep yourself organized, so here are some tips to get started:
- Use our Grad School Organization Worksheet to keep those deadlines in one place.
- Stop by our office to check out books including the 2016 edition of America's Best Grad Schools, U.S. News and World Report.
- Talk with members of Thayer faculty, your academic advisor, or anyone else conducting research in your area(s) of interest.
- Make an appointment with Thayer Career Services so we can get to know you.
There are many components to a graduate school application: forms, academic transcripts, personal statements, test scores, and letters of recommendation. Check out this timeline to help you stay on track.
Many graduate programs require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The General GRE is offered in computer-based testing format. The closest test location to Dartmouth is in Concord, NH.
Check out the following test prep books from our library:
- Kaplan GRE & GMAT Math Workbook
- Kaplan GRE Exam
- Princeton Review Cracking the GRE
- You don’t have to go straight to graduate school: it’s often advantageous to take some time to work in between your degrees, and many programs prefer to admit those who have practical experience in the “real world” first.
- If you are seriously considering pursuing your PhD, it’s a good idea to select a master's program that requires a thesis.
- Keep a list of deadlines and due dates. Work backwards.
- If you send applications by registered mail, make sure you have a record that everything was sent on time.
- Additional degrees do not necessarily increase the number of jobs available to you. In fact, having an advanced degree can sometimes decrease this number because you will be considered overqualified.