Graduate school constitutes an advanced program of study focused on a particular academic discipline or a specific profession. Traditionally, graduate school has been "academic" (centered on generating original research in a particular discipline), but it may be "professional" (centered on imparting skills and knowledge to future professionals) or a combination of both traditions.
Graduate school differs from undergraduate education in terms of expectations regarding the quality and quantity of your academic work and its concentrated nature. Generally, you arrive at graduate school with the desire to pursue a course of study in a specific discipline or profession; typically, there is not a lot of room for exploration or elective courses.
Your work will be more rigorously evaluated, often by both faculty and fellow students. Classes tend to be small; interaction is expected and often necessary to excel. Most likely, you will be required to produce some type of original research. These demands are often coupled with a work experience, be it a career-related internship, grading, teaching, or researching.
Graduate degrees are available in almost any subject and come in three levels: Master, Specialist and Doctorate. Depending on your graduate school program and degree level desired, your programs requirements and time to complete the degree will vary.
Master's degrees are offered in many fields of study. Some are designed to lead into a doctorate degree while other are the "terminal" degree for a profession (e.g., Master of Library Science; Master of Business Administration). For full-time students, completing a master's degree usually takes 2 years. As a part of a master's degree, you may be required to write a master's thesis or complete a fieldwork experience.
Specialist degrees are usually earned in addition to a master's degree. A specialist degree may require coursework, training or internship experience beyond what was required for a master's degree. This type of degree usually prepares students for professional certification or licensing requirements (e.g., Ed.S. for school principal).
Doctorate degrees are the highest degrees possible. They usually require the creation of new knowledge, be it basic or applied. In order to coplete a doctorate degree, you will need to be able to conduct independent research. Including the time it takes to write and defend a dissertation, this degree may take anywhere from 5-7 years to complete.
If you are thinking about pursuing a career in health, you know very well that deciding on your role in the health care delivery and preparing to be admitted to health professional school can be a very difficult and often an overwhelming task. Most professional schools that specialize in health careers welcome a great variety of majors and perspectives, and they all require a solid academic record, confidence in your goals and a wealth of experience outside of the classroom.
So whether you plan to be a dentist, a doctor, a nurse or an optometrist, use this Web section as a way of exploring health careers and finding resources that are available here at Texas Wesleyan University that can help you to get to the place you want to be.