Majors & Careers

Graduate and Professional School

What is graduate school?

Graduate school is an opportunity to advance your Bachelor's degree over the course of 1-4 years. While undergraduate education allows you to absorb depth of knowledge in a wide range of topics, graduate programs are designed for students to focus on a specific field. Once graduate school is complete, students often pursue a career in their specialized area or continue on to a PhD program.

Interested in continuing your education through a graduate program?

If you are seriously considering applying for a graduate program, begin by speaking with department faculty in the appropriate field of study:

Researching graduate programs

Create a list of qualities that you want in a graduate program and then prioritize that list by determining what you most value in higher education. Use this worksheet to help guide your research. Items to consider might include:

  • Accreditation/Approved programs
  • Potential advisors/Mentorship
  • Research opportunities/interests
  • Program schedule (day/evening classes)
  • Cost of attendance (including tuition and living expenses)
  • Location in relation to family/friends/networks
  • Transportation options
  • Type of degree offered (MA, MS, M.Ed., MBA, MN, MD, JD, PhD, EdD, PsyD etc.)
  • Field work and/or practical experience
  • Time commitment to earn the degree (most Master’s programs require 1 – 2 years)
  • – Worldwide focused
  • Petersons – US focused
  • Grad Source – US and Canada focused

Professional and technical graduate programs

Many professions require intensive study above and beyond the length of time it takes to complete a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Admittance to professional and technical graduate programs is highly competitive, but applicants are sought from all fields of study in order to represent a diverse range of expertise within the academic community. Some examples include:

Health-related fields:

  • Dentistry
  • Health Administration
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Podiatry
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Veterinary Medicine

After you prioritize your list, search for University programs that match your criteria. Seek advice from your current professors, web resources, WOIS, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and professional associations to find potential schools and programs. Read recent journal articles in your field, join a professional organization, and attend Graduate School Fairs to collect further information. Contact the program advisor to discuss your questions and visit the campus and talk to students currently in the program.

Begin your research by browsing the graduate programs offered here at UW Bothell.

Don Asher Lectures

Don Asher, an expert on careers and higher education, spoke at UW Seattle on the graduate school application process. His talk on Graduate School includes information on:

  • Choosing a graduate program
  • The application process
  • Graduate entry exams
  • Financial aid

Watch the podcast or listen to the audio track here: Bound for Graduate School? Strategies to Gain Admission to Highly Competitive Graduate Programs