Graduate/Professional School Options

What Types of Degrees are Available?

Master's Degrees

Some master's degree programs will lead to doctoral degree programs, but many are "terminal" master's degrees, meaning they do not segue into a doctoral program. These programs typically take a full-time student two years to complete. For example, a Master's of Business Administration and Master's of Arts in Education.

Specialist Degrees:

Specialist degrees are certifications and credentials earned in addition to a master's degree, such as a teaching credential.

Doctoral Degrees

A doctoral degrees is the most advanced degree one can receive. It is typically focused on one specialty area of study and involve unique individual research which leads to the defense of a dissertation. The typical length of a doctoral program is five to seven years.

Graduate Programs Available at SJSU
Applying to Law School & Pre-Law at SJSU

Is Graduate School Right for You?

How Do Major and Degree Affect Lifetime Earnings?

Learn about the earning potential of pursuing an advanced degree.

Testing the Water: Are You Ready for Graduate School?

by The Princeton Review

How to Pick the Right School and Program

Additional Resources

Graduate School Application Timeline

Application Guidelines

Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement

This is your opportunity to showcase who you are and your interest in the field of study in which you are applying to. It is important to use examples and stories to enhance your points. It is also important to state why you are interested in the program you are applying for and why you chose that particular school. The selection committees also like to read about your future career goals and how your graduate education will lead you there.

Depending on the school that you are applying for, they may ask for a Statement of Purpose, a Personal Statement, or sometimes both. It is very important to read the prompt(s) carefully and ensure that you answer all parts of the prompt in your writing. Not following page limits, or failing to answer all parts of the prompt, can send the message that you can't follow instructions or that you weren't taking your application seriously. Below are some resources on the Statement of Purpose and Personal Statements. 

Statement of Purpose
Personal Statement

Need Help with your Writing?

If you want to improve your writing skills for the purpose of creating a stellar Statement of Purpose of Personal History Statements, check out the Writing Center for additional resources. Below are different ways to utilize the Writing Center:


Online Resources

Tutoring Appointments

Standardized Tests

In doing your research, it is important to determine what admissions tests, if any, are required. You will then want to sign-up for the test in a time frame that will get the scores to the school(s) you are applying to before the application deadline. There are a variety of different tests that pertain to various different graduate school programs. Below are some of the various tests and what they are traditionally used for:

In order to adequately prepare for your standardized test, check out some of these common test-prep resources to get you started. Many students choose to take a test prep course, get tutoring, utilize online preparation resources, or purchase a test prep book to prepare themselves for their test. 

Curriculum Vitae

Many graduate schools ask for a curriculum vitae (CV) instead of a resume. The main difference between these two documents is the length. Resumes are traditionally one-page in length and include a customized and focused subset of your experience that is targeted towards a particular position and employer. A curriculum vitae can be several pages in length and includes a more comprehensive list of your experience.

For more information about CV's and what sections you should include, check out the following CV Guide.

In addition, check out this example of a CV to get you started. 

Financing Graduate School

Applying to Medical School

If medical school is a goal of yours, then take a look at the Association of American Medical Colleges website.

A couple of things you should know are that you do not need to major in a science in order to attend or be accepted into medical school. However, you do need to meet certain course prerequisites. Many schools require that applicants have one year of physics, biology, english, general chemistry, and organic chemistry.