Pursuing a graduate degree is a goal for many college graduates, whether directly after completing an undergraduate degree, or after working for a while. A graduate degree can help to take a career to the next level by gaining specialized education. In a tight economy, starting a graduate degree program is one way to gain additional education to create professional stability when the economy begins to rebound, reducing the chance of future layoffs. In addition, a graduate degree can be pursued while still working a professional job, or as a full-time student. These considerations are just the beginning.
Below is additional information that can be helpful when considering a graduate degree:
What are some reasons candidates’ share they want to go to graduate school?
- Earning your master’s gives you a more in-depth understanding of your specialty and career focus.
- Some people who earn their master’s experience the leapfrog effect. Instead of starting out in an entry position in their field, they “leap” over the introductory jobs into higher places of management.
- A master’s degree is an investment in your financial future. An employee who has earned a master’s degree typically earns over $10,000 more per year than one who graduated with a bachelor’s.
- Graduate school immerses you further into your specific industry. Without the need to fulfill general education requirements, you can focus solely on your field of study.
- There are several fields—and more specific companies—in which a master’s degree is required either for entry or to move to upper-level management.
What are some major considerations you think applicants need to be prepared for when making a decision to begin a graduate program?
- Length and cost of the program.
- What is the application deadline?
- What are the admission’s requirements?
- Will they need any standardized testing such as GRE or GMAT?
- Do they have the required academic background/pre-requisites and minimum GPA?
- If the student is an international applicant, they will need to submit certain immigration requirements such as proof of funds and English language test scores.
For graduate school admission, often an interview is requested by the university. What are the graduate admission counselors trying to determine from this interview? How can an applicant prepare and positively stand out?
- If an interview or statement of goals are required, applicants should be prepared to give reasons for wishing to do graduate work in the field they have chosen, incorporating their interests, background, and long-term professional goals.
How many graduate schools should someone apply to before making a decision? Is applying to many programs be a good strategy?
- As a general guideline, one should probably be applying to at least four or five different programs that he/she is well qualified for, and probably no more than ten. If applying to the more competitive professional-degree programs, then the applicant might want to apply to a few more.
Are there scholarships available for graduate school?
- Applicants should check with each college/university that they are applying to what is their scholarship and Graduate Assistantship application process and requirements.
The information below is for ERAU applicants:
Financial Aids / Scholarships information:
Currently, the typical scholarship recipient has a 3.2 or higher GPA and GRE scores (verbal & quantitative) above the 50% or GMAT above 470. However, there is no guarantee that a scholarship will be awarded if you meet the criteria. We do not offer full scholarships; they are partial merit awards based on a student’s grade point average and GRE/GMAT scores. Scholarships are awarded on a first come first served basis. They usually go from $2,000 to $5,000 per academic year. We consider applicants for merit scholarships at the time of admission automatically. For more information about payment, you may contact the Financial Aid office Toll Free at 386-226-6300 or visit http://daytonabeach.erau.edu/financial-aid/index.html.
*The only financial aids for international students are scholarships.
Assistantships are open to accepted graduate students with full graduate status, who have a 3.0 undergraduate cumulative grade point average. A graduate assistantship is a contract between the student and the department sponsoring the assistantship position. Candidates will perform duties in the areas of teaching, administration or research, in exchange for a tuition waiver and/or stipend. After being admitted to a Graduate Degree program, the student is responsible in contacting the Department they want to work for to find out if they any open Graduate Assistantship positions.
What stands out to you when you are reviewing a graduate school application?
- We would like to see applicants who have relevant experience, clearly defined academic and professional goals, and a track record of showing genuine interest in their chosen field. Strong GPA, GRE or GMAT test scores (if required), and good letters of recommendation are very important!
Sandi Ohman is an Assistant Director in the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, in Daytona Beach, FL. She has been with the University and in Career Services for over 16 years, has advised students in many degree areas offered at ERAU, taught UNIV 101 classes to incoming students, and enjoys maintaining the many alumni relationships she has cultivated through the years. Sandi brings additional experience and perspective from her previous career in the finance industry. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida, and her Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida.
Flavia Carreiro is the Senior Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with 9 year of experience developing and executing strategic graduate enrollment management to support recruitment and retention. She is an expert at advising and assisting our diverse group of students on how to successfully apply to our Graduate Degree programs. Flavia is also fluent in Portuguese and Spanish.