North Foundation Hall, Room 154
318 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(248) 370-3250

Office Hours
Mon-Fri: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Summer drop-in hours
Mon: 9-11 a.m.
Tues: 12-2 p.m.
Wed: 9-11 a.m.
Thurs: 12-2 p.m.
The best breakdown of grad schools and programs:

Noodle's Grad School Search
U.S. News – Grad School Rankings
Peterson’s Graduate Schools – Search for the Best Graduate Programs for You
The Princeton Review

Graduate School

What do you want to do with your career and how will a graduate degree help you?

An advanced degree is required for a number of different industries. If you know what you want to do, research opportunities and requirements in the careers that interest you to see what’s required, and whether a master’s or a doctorate is a better option.
Deciding to Attend
Why should you consider a graduate degree?

Compensation: Traditionally, salaries increase along with your education level, with those holding advanced degrees earning more than those with bachelor’s degrees. However if your goal is to make more money, be sure to learn about what you can expect to earn in your degree area, location, and type of industry.

Staying marketable:
While a graduate degree is not required for many entry-level jobs, you may need to earn an advanced degree to keep your skills current and to make yourself more marketable down the road. Also, if you are looking to make a career change, a graduate degree will always help.

When should you consider a graduate degree?
So you want a graduate degree, but are not sure when you ought to take the plunge. You need to decide if you want to apply for graduate school right away, or if you should head out into the “real world” for a few years first. There are a few advantages and disadvantages to either choice, so weigh our options below to help make your decision.

Grad school now

  • You’re already used to being a student, why stop now?
  • You know how to study
  • You have less financial and family obligations now than you will
  • Your career choice requires a graduate degree for entry-level positions
  • You may lack career-related work experience
  • You’re hoping the job market improves by the time you finish graduate school 
  • You won’t have time to pay off debt from your bachelor’s degree before paying for your graduate degree
Grad school later

  • A few years can help you develop new career goals
  • Work experience is required in some grad programs
  • Some employers pay for part or all of your graduate school expenses
  • You can save money before attending
  • Work experience looks good on a graduate school application, and can be an advantage if your grades weren’t as stellar as you’d like
  • You have to re-adjust to being a student and find time to study
  • You may forget some things that you learned in your undergrad
  • It may be more difficult to get letters of recommendation since you are no longer on campus

What is the best graduate degree for you?

  • Professional Degrees are designed to advance your non-academic career such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Master of Health Administration (MHA).
  • Academic Degrees are usually a prerequisite for doctoral work within a given field such as a Master of Science in Biology or Master of Arts in History.
  • Professional Doctoral Degrees are this highest possible degree and stress the practical application of knowledge and skills in a given field, such as Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Junis Doctor/ Law Degree (JD).
  • Academic Doctoral Degrees advance knowledge through original research in a given academic field such as Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Education (EdD).

Where should you go to graduate school?
You can stay where you started
  • Attending the same university as your undergrad degree can save time, money and the stress of finding a new school
  • You can easily navigate through the program since you are already familiar with the school
  • The school is already aware of your strengths and weaknesses and is better able to assess you as a student
Or go somewhere new
  • Finding a new university for your graduate degree will expose you to different faculty, class structures, perspectives and resources
  • Broaden your knowledge and experiences within your field

Can you afford grad school?
There is no question about it, graduate school is a significant expense. Before you commit to a program, make sure you understand all of the obligations and options.

Talk to financial aid advisors to map out a plan. There may be opportunities for scholarships or grants, your employer may provide some tuition assistance, or you may be eligible to apply for a graduate assistant, teaching assistant, or research assistant program.

Get this process started as early as possible, so the most financial opportunities are open.

Paying for Graduate School:

U.S. News- Paying for Graduate School

GradView- Financial Aid
OU Graduate Admissions Tuition Rates & Financial Support
Wondering how to choose the right school or program for you? Maybe you want an accelerated program or else one that lets you take courses part time in the evenings. Or maybe it’s the prestige that draws you. Once again, the answer is research.

Determine what kind of program will work best for your lifestyle, ambitions, and pocketbook, and get to work on that application.

Admission Tips
It all comes down to this: Your graduate school application.

It’s true that applying for grad school is very different from what you went through to get into your undergrad program. It is more competitive and more personal, and can involve faculty recommendations, admission tests and interviews.

Follow these tips to show off your most capable side.
  • Get good grades in your undergrad. Yes, that GPA still counts.
  • Take as many advanced courses in your field as possible.
  • Get to know your professors – they can help you and write that glowing recommendation you need.
  • Visit new schools and talk to the faculty. Let them see your passion and impress them with your know-how. If you have friends in a program, ask them to put in a good word for you.
  • Start the application process early. Like a year in advance.
  • Apply to at least six schools. Competition for grad school admission is intense, especially in popular or prestigious programs. You may be admitted to your top choice, but make sure you have a backup plan.

Timeline to Consider
View our handy application timeline for a best-case scenario of beginning a program in the fall semester. Tweak it against your potential schools’ deadlines to be on target.

May/June (a year and a half before your target start date) : Research grad schools, identify programs and take a practice graduate admissions test. If your practice scores weren’t great, sign up for a test prep course.

July: Request information from schools that interest you. Meet with a few of your undergrad professors to ask their advice about programs and schools.

August: Take the graduate admissions test. If you're not happy with your scores, sign up to take it again. Begin writing your personal statement.

September: List time. Narrow down your potential schools, revise your personal statement and tailor it to your graduate programs. Ask a faculty member or professional to take a look.

October: Request official transcripts. Ask faculty for recommendations, visit campus and meet with students and professors at your prospective schools.

November/December: Complete and submit all applications, keeping two copies of everything for your records. Verify that your recommendation letters have been sent.

January: Focus on financial aid—fill out the FAFSA online and look into private loans, grants, assistantships and fellowships.

Try to relax while you wait it out.

April: Celebrate your acceptances!

Master Your Admission Test
Depending on the school or program you want, you may have to take a graduate school entrance exam.

These exams are designed to identify how you perform on standardized testing and how well you will perform in your graduate program. Verify that you need a test and then break out the books. Plan to take the exam three to four months before the graduate program application deadlines.

Register with your prospective graduate entrance exam to get a test prep book.
  • Law School Admission Council (LSAC)
  • Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
  • Medical College Admission Test – Association of American Medical Colleges (MCAT-AAMC)
  • Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Graduate Management Admission Test GMAT
Gradview outlines and identifies each test to take if you are unsure. It also offers great resources for financial aid, attending graduate school, and information on careers and programs.

The Princeton Review provides additional resources for test review.