Pursuing a graduate degree

What lies ahead for you in graduate school?

Below are typical experiences that students will have when electing to go to graduate school. Check it out and see which option fits your vision for your future?

Students with an undergraduate degree in engineering or physical science may choose one of the follow graduate program tracks:


Master’s (professional degree)

Track 1 – Classwork only

  • Approximately 10 classes
  • Usually takes 12-15 months
  • Tuition paid by student (est. cost $11,300 per year)
  • Typically hired by private companies, government agencies or continue to PhD program
    • Companies

Track 2 – Classwork plus research thesis

  • Approximately eight classes plus research
  • Usually takes 18 months
  • Tuition is often supplemented by faculty from research grants
  • This option provides a different experience than the classwork only option providing hands-on lab work and daily/weekly interaction with your faculty mentor
  • Typically hired by private companies, government agencies, etc. or continue on to the Ph.D. program

Students graduating from either of these programs typically see:

  • Increased employment opportunities
  • More rapid advancement
  • Higher salary

PhD (advanced technical degree)

  • Classwork plus research
  • Typically takes three to five years post baccalaureate (fewer if M.S. obtained first)
  • Nearly all Ph.D. student have tuition and health completely paid PLUS an annual stipend/fellowship of $20,000 to $25,000 (usually augmented further by scholarships)
  • Typically hired in to academia, R&D position in industry, high level government positions

Students graduating from the Ph.D. program typically see:

  • Higher salary
  • Rapid career advancement
  • Desire to develop new ideas/products/patents