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Graduate School Impact

Graduate School

Why Choose Graduate School As A Career Option?

I'm glad you asked!  Although the purpose of seeking a graduate degree varies from individual to individual, the most common reasons for pursuing graduate school are: 

  • As a junior or senior in college desiring to do advanced work in a particular field of study
  • Choosing a profession that requires a specialization such as medicine, law, counseling, or social work
  • Pursuing a career that requires advanced education

What Does It Mean To Be A Graduate Assistant?

A graduate assistant is a salaried student employee who is enrolled as a graduate student. Graduate assistants work a set number of hours per week and in return receive a tuition waiver and often times, a monthly living stipend.  

Graduate assistantships help to provide graduate students with paid work experiences in their field of study, and allow them to expand and/or apply their discipline knowledge and skills under academic supervision. Hiring for graduate assistantships usually is done by an administrator or professor in your school’s graduate program. Graduate assistantship experiences are generally offered as teaching or research assistantships, however, some positions may involve both responsibilities. Serving as a graduate assistant is a wonderful option to consider for funding your graduate education. Assistantships are typically offered as full-time or half-time appointments that include the following:  

Generally a full-time assistantship includes the following responsibilities and benefits:

  • A 20-hour per week work assignment at 16 weeks per semester, corresponding to the beginning and ending dates for a semester as published in the university schedule of classes and bulletin.
  • University support which includes:
    • Tuition waiver
    • Monetary stipend *

*Often, stipend payments are split up throughout the semester to provide the student with regular bi-weekly paychecks.

Regardless of the reason why you decide to return to school or continue with your education, we recommend that you plan carefully. Whatever you choose, it is definitely a well worth investment for your future. 

Our Career Development staff can provide assistance with the planning process – schedule an appointment by calling 304.367.4214 or send email to

On-line Graduate School Information

Peterson’s Guide to Graduate Programs Peterson's comprehensive online college search guide helps students discover their best fit educational program. Two-year or four-year. Undergraduate or Graduate. Certificate program or online degree. helps students find affordable graduate degree programs from our thousands of accredited graduate schools.
US Grad School Rankings The U.S. News graduate school rankings provide ratings of each program's quality based on academics.
Kaplan Test Prep Kaplan Test Prep offers test preparation, practice tests and private tutoring for more than 90 standardized tests, including SAT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, USMLE
Graduate Record Examination Grad schools use the GRE to measure applicants' preparedness for grad school and their potential for academic success who have interest in pursuing a master's, or specialized master's in business, MBA, J.D. degree, or doctoral degree which all require the GRE General Test.
Graduate Management Admission Council The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is a global, mission-driven association of leading graduate business schools.
Law School Admission Council The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) is a nonprofit corporation that provides products and services to facilitate the admission process for law schools, equity in law and their applicants worldwide.