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