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The Gap Year Between Graduation and Graduate School

Are you wondering whether or not to go straight to graduate school after you graduate with your bachlelor's degree? Or, are you wondering what you should spend your time doing during the gap year or more that you plan to take before graduate school?

These questions are very common, and there are different things you may want consider before you decide on a course of action:

Career exploration

If you are interested in two or more careers that require different types of graduate training, taking a year or more to explore the fields is a wise decision. After an internship or six months of temporary work, you have a better sense of whether the field is a match for you.

Real world 101

Some students will decide to work in their profession for about one to five years before starting graduate school to gain real world experience. You may have the opportunity to gain more in-depth knowledge about your field or experience a new specalization or discipline. This experience can inform where you want to take your future career and which graduate degree will be the best to help you get there.

Strengthening your application

Many graduate programs require or strongly prefer that applicants have concrete work experience in the field. Graduate schools want assurance that their applicants know what they're getting into and, on the basis of prior work/internship experience, are prepared to get the most out their program. If your academic record isn't top notch, a strong recommendation from a professional in the field who has watched you work can increase your odds as an applicant.

Acting globally

Some students will decide to spend their time before graduate school traveling or working abroad to combine their career interests with an international focus or get experience living in another country and culture. If this interests you, review the international section of our website.

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