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College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Professional Degree Programs

Guidelines for Researching Professional Degree Programs

Questions to Consider

    • What is your goal?
      • If it is not teaching or research/analysis, a professional degree may be the most appropriate choice.
    • What is your timeline?
      • Professional degree programs are typically two years in length, though they may also be offered as evening degrees that can be combined with employment.

Details to consider:

    • In general, you are more likely to pay up front (through savings, work, or loans)
    • In general, you are more likely to get a return on your investment (you make more money when you finish)
    • Many jobs now require a Master’s level degree

Application process:

    • Deadlines often fall in February and March
    • Application fees vary
    • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is often required
    • GPA requirements vary
    • Applications may require a writing sample and/or letter of intent
    • 3 academic or employment references are often required—start developing those relationships now and ask faculty for letters before leaving Western 
    • Financial aid forms, transcripts, and resume are often required
    • Work experience is highly valued—obtain practical experience (though internships and volunteering)
    • Programs may have an internship or practicum component

There are many professional degree programs. The following is a sample:

See Also:

UW comprehensive listing of graduate degree programs