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What Can I Do With A Graduate Degree?

Depending on your interests and plans for the future, graduate education may be the next step on your professional and academic journey. People with advanced degrees generally enjoy lower unemployment rates and higher incomes. 
In most cases a master’s degree is the next step after you complete your bachelor’s degree. In some cases you may be able to enter a doctoral program directly after you complete your bachelor’s degree. Before you apply you should decide whether you want a research-oriented, traditional program or one specifically designed to prepare you to be a practicing professional in a certain field.
Going to graduate school requires a substantial commitment of time and energy. While many master’s degree programs are designed to be completed in two years of full-time study, professional doctorates and PhDs take between four and eight years of dedicated work.

Professional & Clinical Programs


For some careers, an advanced degree provides both essential preparation and a necessary professional credential. Specialized clinical programs, such as the Master in Social Work (MSW), a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), or Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) give you the skills you need to work as a clinician in those fields and acquire the necessary professional licensure and certification.
Similarly, a Master of Education (MEd) can prepare you to be a counselor, administrator, or other specialized professional with the proper certification to work in Texas public schools.
Other fields such as business (MBA), public health (MPH), and public administration (MPA) have specialized professional master’s degrees which prepare you to work in those settings.

Traditional Academic Programs


Traditional academic programs, most commonly Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), introduce you to the literature, theory and methodology, and research practices of a certain academic discipline. For example, a MA in Political Science will introduce you to the study of politics and governance.
If you are interested in gaining more specialized knowledge in an academic discipline or you are interested in conducting research, a MA or MS may be appropriate for you.
If you would like to pursue a career as a college or university professor or you would like to be a researcher for a government agency or high-technology company, you may want to pursue a PhD.
Find out more about the graduate programs offered at UTEP.

Some questions to consider before going to graduate school:

  • What are your long-term career goals?
  • How much time are you willing to dedicate to a graduate program?
  • What’s the average time to completion for the graduate program?
  • What does the job market look like in your desired field?
  • What kinds of funding assistance are available (financial aid, TA/GA positions, scholarships, grants)?
  • If you are taking out loans, will there be loan-forgiveness programs available in your field? Will you make enough money to pay them off easily?
  • What prerequisites (for example, mastery of a second language or an advanced statistics course) and/or exams (for example, GRE or GMAT) does your program require?
  • How can you practice good self-care while going back to school? What sacrifices are you willing to make? What habits should you keep?
  • How will your decision to go back to school impact your partner, family, and close friends? What sacrifices are you willing to make? How can you balance your studies with your personal life?
  • Would you prefer an online, face-to-face, or blended program? What options are available?

Professional & Clinical Programs

Some questions to consider before entering a professional or clinical program: 

  • Does your field have licensure or certification requirements that you must complete during or after your program of study? If so, how successful are the program’s students or graduates in completing them?
  • What kinds of internships, practica, or other field experiences are incorporated into the program? How much time will those activities require?
  • What kinds of networking and job placement services does your program offer?

Traditional Academic Programs

Some questions to consider before entering a PhD program: 

  • Do you love reading, writing, and research?
  • Are post-doctoral fellowships common in your field?
  • Have you identified a professor who can serve as your mentor/director?
  • Does the program align with your research interests?
  • What kinds of funding are available for your research and for travel to academic conferences?

GRE General Test


Princeton Review offers details on free GRE info sessions and practice exams with registration on a first-come, first-served basis:
For more information on the GRE General Test please visit:
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More information available at the College of Business website.

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