Plan Now for Grad School
Learn More, Earn More
People with master’s degrees make an average of $2.6 million over a lifetime, compared to those with bachelor’s degrees who make an average of $2.2 million.
That’s a difference of $400,000.
- People with doctoral degrees and professional degrees, such as doctors, lawyers, dentists and pharmacists, make even more. Those with doctoral degrees make an average of $3.2 million over a career, while those with professional degrees make an average of $3.6 million.
- You can’t be a marine biologist — or a social worker, psychologist, doctor, teacher, pharmacist or architect — without a graduate degree. Many fields require — or strongly encourage — master’s degrees. Fields such as education pay more to employees with graduate degrees.
- For every 100 graduate degrees a college or university in Washington grants, businesses import another 125 people with graduate degrees. Bottom line: Washington has a shortage of people with graduate degrees. If you have one, you may have a better chance at getting a job in state.
- While much of your undergraduate experience is about learning, your graduate education will be about doing, researching, teaching, creating and innovating.
- You will get to work with very cool faculty doing incredible things. Graduate students work in every lab across the UW with scientists who are pioneering everything from robotic surgery techniques to stem cell treatments for heart disease to cancer vaccines. Students contributed to 87 percent of the 467 patent applications that the UW filed in 2014.
- You can change the world. UW graduate students and alumni are making their communities even better places to live. Do you use onebusaway.org to take the bus? That was created by a UW graduate student.
7 Things to Do Now
Graduate school is all about exploring what you love. Whether it’s medicine, literature, airplanes or archeology, in graduate school, you will become an expert in your subject area. The best way to prepare is to discover what fascinates you. Explore. Do. Learn. Expand your world.
- Tour the UW campus. Visit the library. Hang out on the Quad. Picture yourself in college.
- Get a summer internship in an area of interest. Work as a camp counselor. Volunteer on a farm or food bank. Help out in a research lab.
- Interview someone in a field that interests you. Talk with your family physician. Chat with a coffee shop owner.
- Get online. Listen to world music. Visit the Smithsonian Institution website. Take an online language course.
- Take the most challenging courses you can — Running Start, Advanced Placement, honors — and keep your grades up.
- Participate in the arts. Visit a museum. Attend a performance at the UW or in your community. Watch a documentary. Go to a poetry slam.
- Read. Read the news, classic novels, contemporary nonfiction, plays, poetry, science fiction. Learn about the world around you.
The University of Washington offers more than 370 graduate and certificate programs in 120 academic departments across three campuses.
Graduate students make up one-quarter of all UW students, and they come from 48 states and 90 countries, with 60 percent of master’s and 39 percent of doctoral students from Washington.
To ensure that our students earn more than a degree, the UW Graduate School offers a range of opportunities so they can develop the leadership, communication and personal skills needed for a rewarding life and academic, research or professional career. For instance, our graduate school prep course helps undergraduates and returning students set goals and craft their applications (photo on front).