The Advantages of Staying at IU for Grad School

With over 100 degree programs participating in the IU Graduate School Fair this Tuesday, you might find yourself wondering… “Where do I start?”

Why not start where you are? The IU College of Arts + Sciences Graduate Division offers over 100 different graduate degrees in a diversity of fields.  In fact, Dr. Padraic Kenney, Associate Dean for Graduate Education at the College, had this to share:

“The College of Arts and Sciences at IU has well over a hundred different graduate degrees, covering every imaginable area of study from Classical Studies to Statistical Science. If you are finishing your undergraduate degree at IU, a Masters degree is a great next step in your intellectual and professional career. You might deepen your knowledge in one area, or move towards a new area of study, or perhaps acquire a set of professional skills that will set you towards a career with an advanced credential. All of these are possible in the College.

A graduate degree in the College shows that you have learned research skills that can be valuable in many professions. Since a Masters degree takes at most 2-3 years, and often, in our 4+1 programs, just one additional year, it makes more sense to pursue it where you earned a Bachelors degree. You will gain a bit of perspective on your academic path so far while looking ahead to a professional career. And if your goal is a Ph.D., a Masters at IU can help you make the pivot toward advanced academic study, making you more competitive at the top programs in your chosen field.

To pursue a graduate degree at IU, I advise two things: first, recognize that this is not just more of the same. There is a real shift from undergraduate to graduate. One of the ways you can see this is in the relationship of students to professors. Graduate students are expected to be in constant contact with their professors, both in the classroom and between classes. If you are not the type of student to just drop by a professor’s office hours, graduate school will come as a surprise. Second, consider whether this is an opportunity to change your direction. Just because you have followed one path during undergrad, and been good at it, doesn’t mean you are bound to that path forever. So take a close look at your undergrad experience: what types of study and what fields did you really like best? There may be a field that fits your interests and desired skills. Your Director of Undergraduate Studies, or the Director of Graduate Studies in any department, can be helpful. Or stop by the Graduate School Fair!

By Hillary Nienhouse
Hillary Nienhouse Assistant Director, Employer Relations Hillary Nienhouse