Exploring Graduate Studies


Reasons to go to Graduate School:

  • Greater income potential. This is a big reason why people choose to attend grad school. Although it is a common reason to attend it shouldn't be the only reason since working to achieve a grad school degree requires serious committment.

  • Further your career. Grad degrees open doors to greater career opportunities, as well as the potential for future promotion.

  • Elevate your education. Increase your knowledge and maintain your competitive edge by keeping up to date with the advancements in your field.

  • Participate in research. In grad school you may get the chance to explore your theories or participate in funded research.

  • Travel and explore the world. Some programs allow students to study and perform research abroad. This is a great perk for those who love to travel.

  • Expanded teaching opportunities. Upon obtaining a PhD those who are hoping to teach may land themselves a position at a university or college.

  • Incentives from employers. Some corporations will pay partial or full fees for qualified employees to attend school.

  • Because you like to learn. For those who are natural scholars grad school offers even more academic challenges.


Reasons Not to go to Graduate School:

  • More competition. Grad programs have fewer spots than undergrad programs and there’s competition for those seats, as well as for scholarship, other funding sources, and research positions.

  • Professional student syndrome. Some students continue to enroll in school because they are afraid of seeking employment.

  • Discipline in setting priorities. Because of the rigorous demands, grad school students must be adept at setting priorities and disciplined in their follow through. This can be a strain on family, friends, and other personal relationships.

  • Higher levels of stress. Working to complete a graduate degree, especially a PhD can be emotionally exhausting and requires a high level of maturity.

  • Thesis writing. Some grad school programs require that students write a thesis on a topic that either they or their supervisor selects. Writing an original thesis can be quite complex and time intensive; therefore, students may end up having to extend the duration of their program resulting in additional tuition payments.

  • Incurring debt. Going on to grad school may be expensive especially if you aren't going to work during that time. It becomes even more difficult if you don’t receive fellowships, an assistantship, or tuition & fee waivers.

  • Higher salary not guaranteed. Although grad school may offer greater opportunities in the long run, higher wages are not guaranteed, and your return on investment may be slow.

  • Overqualified. Highly qualified people, during an economic downturn may find it hard to find employment. You might hear, "sorry, you're overqualified."


What graduate degrees are available?

Master's degrees (M.A., M.S., L.L.M, MFA, MBA, M.Ed.): are offered in many fields of study. Some are designed to lead to a doctoral degree while others are "terminal" degrees for a profession (e.g., Master of Library Science; Master of Business Administration). For full-time students, completing a master's degree usually takes 2 years.


Doctoral degrees (Ph.D, Psy.D, Ed.D, D.D.S.): are the highest degrees possible. They usually require the creation of new knowledge via independent research. Including the time it takes to write and defend a dissertation, this degree may take anywhere from 5-7 years to complete.


What if I am interested in a graduate program at Marian University?

Marian University Adult Graduate Studies provides information on their website pertaining to degree programs offered. Connect with the AGS Office to Learn more!

Marian University School of Education provides information about Graduate Studies in Education and Leadership.  Connect with the Education Department to learn more!