Figuring out what you will study in graduate school involves several questions:

  1. What field do I want to study?
  2. What concentration or particular area in this field am I going to focus on?
  3. The answers to these questions might be easy for you. You may know exactly what field you want to pursue and what area within that field you will focus on. For others, this is a more difficult decision. When deciding what field to study in graduate school, consider:

    • You do not need to choose the field you majored in during your undergraduate studies. While graduate school programs require a bachelor’s degree, they often do not specify a certain undergraduate major.
    • Length of the program and career opportunities after completion of the program are two important factors to consider when exploring the area you wish to study.
    • Research the programs available at the school you wish to attend. For example, if you know you want to pursue graduate work in linguistics, check out schools with linguistics degrees and see what programs within linguistics are available at different schools.
    • The most important thing to consider when picking a field of study is your interest in the topics at hand. Graduate school can be a rigorous and tiring experience, but knowing the reasons you want to study your chosen field and being motivated to learn more about them can help you get through when school gets tough.
  4. What type of degree do I want: master's or doctorate? The next step to graduate school is determining what type of degree you want. Time, money and commitment are three factors you will want to consider when determining the type of degree to pursue.

Read an article that breaks down the differences between a master’s and a doctorate.

If you are still lost about what to study for graduate school, set up an appointment with a career counselor to discuss possible options and what’s right for you. Call (616) 526-6485.

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