25%-30% of UMass Amherst undergraduates make the decision to go to grad school after finishing their bachelor's degrees. While a graduate degree can open the door for many opportunities after graduation, deciding to go for a master's, PhD, or other supplemental degree isn't a simple choice.
What to Know About Applying to Grad School:
The process of applying to grad school is often time consuming. Applications have many components, including personal statements, letters of recommendation, and qualifying tests that should be planned for well in advance.
The most common window for applying to a graduate program is November - January, but every individual program is different. As a result, it's important for you to look up programs you'd like to attend well in advance of your senior year. For example, med schools often open up their applications the first week of May before your senior year to start the fall after your senior year - that means submitting applications 15 months before you would start!
You don't have to go to grad school immediately after graduating. Many people take a "gap year", which is a period of time after completing your bachelor's degree to gain professional experience and explore your field outside of the classroom.
If you are unclear about your options or unsure if grad school is right for you, make an appointment with a career advisor and discuss your options.