Should You Go to Grad School?

I’ve been traveling for the past two weeks and I’m super happy to get back to posting! In my last post I started off my graduate school series by discussing why I went to grad school. Next up in this series, I’ll discuss how you should make a decision to go to grad school!

Before you think about applying to and enrolling in graduate school, here are some things I think you should consider:

  1. Can I afford to go to grad school?
  2. Am I willing to stay in school for 1-2 more years (Master’s) or 4-7 more years (PhD)?
  3. Do I like taking classes and conducting research?
  4. Am I comfortable moving far from home?
  5. Do I want to become a professor?

Fortunately, if you are enrolled in a reputable PhD program you don’t have to worry about paying for tuition and you get a stipend! With my stipend, I’m able to afford everything I need to live comfortably in Ithaca and save for retirement (series coming soon!). I moved halfway across the country for undergrad (Missouri to California) and then all the way across the country (California to New York) for grad school, so I’ve become used to long distance moves. When I applied to grad school, I was set on becoming a professor so I knew that there were few other options for me to pursue post-grad.

There are way more things to consider such as if you have significant student loans. If you enroll in a professional program (MBA, MPA, MD, JD, etc.) and you don’t have any outside income, you need to account for living expenses and tuition. They may be deferred during your time in grad school but if you take out more loans during this time, you may be expecting serious payments once you graduate. I was fortunate not to have any loans during undergrad, so I am not super familiar with this process but there are lots of resources online!

Feel free to share this post and follow me on all social media platforms @CollegeSista! Have questions about applying to grad school, life as a graduate student, or Cornell in particular? Feel free to contact me on LinkedIn or through email !