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
- 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:
- Criminal Justice
- Data Science
- Human Development
- International Relations/International Studies
- Law Schools
- Library and Information Science
- Public Health
- Public Policy and Administration
- Social Work