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Guide to Milwaukee graduate schools




Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on Jan. 6, 2003 at 5:20 a.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.


If you are planning or considering going to graduate school in the future, there's a lot to consider: cost, time, loss of sleep. It's a really big decision and one that takes many people years to decide.

In attempt to shed light on the issue, we asked UWM's Pat Hayes, a doctoral student specialist, and Craig Pierce, director of graduate admissions at Marquette, what it takes to go to get an advanced degree from a Milwaukee university.

OMC: What are the general requirements to get into grad school?

Pat Hayes: At UWM, a few requirements are common to everyone who applies to Grad School at UWM: a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, an overall GPA at the college level of 2.75 or higher (based on a 4.0 scale) and everyone must submit an application form, "reason statement," official transcript(s) from schools other than UWM and a $45 application fee.

Each of the 17 Ph.D. programs and/or approx. 45 masters programs may also have their own requirements. Departments are free to make additional (i.e. GRE exam, letters of recommendation, coursework, portfolio) or higher (i.e. 3.0 GPA) requirements.

Craig Pierce: At Marquette we have 19 Ph.D. programs and 37 master's-degree programs.

The admissions requirements can vary from one program to another, but in general the following are required: a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and 3.0 or higher GPA in undergraduate work. Some departments require letters of recommendation, the results of a standardized test like the GRE, GMAT, or MAT, a resume or curriculum vita, statement of purpose, an example of scholarly writing and a personal interview.

OMC: Why should someone consider grad school?

PH: I think the why of graduate school is as varied as the students, and the many degree programs available. It is a wonderful way to stay current in a chosen field of study. Sometimes a graduate with a master's degree or Ph.D. will get a promotion or a raise at a position he/she already holds (teaching, nursing, and social work). Some disciplines train students for specific licenses, like school psychologist. Many students come back to change fields to become more professional and marketable.

There are others who enjoy studying and learning so much that the degree itself is secondary. Many Ph.D.'s want to teach at the college level or perform research as a career. All in all, I'd say that most students who receive a masters or Ph.D. degree realize both professional and personal gains which continue throughout their lifetimes.

CP: There are a variety of reasons that someone might consider pursuing a graduate degree. Such a degree may help with career advancement or with finding employment is a given field. Employees with graduate degrees typically earn more than those possessing only undergraduate degrees. And in some fields, specifically teaching at the college or university level, a doctoral degree is usually a requirement.

OMC: In your opinion, what does it really "take" to make it in grad school?

PH: The main ingredient for success in graduate school is a personal quality: commitment. Most of our students are "adult" (older than the average grad student) students with full time jobs, families and many other obligations. The graduate degree is a major commitment and requires steady and continuous effort. It is easier to make such a commitment if the student really enjoys the discipline he or she has chosen.

For the Ph.D. students, another major factor is the wise choice of a major professor. The student needs a mentor who will be available and reliable. A professor with similar interests and someone the student can "get along with" over the years, doctoral student specialist and customer service supervisor.

CP: In order to complete a graduate degree, a student must have the appropriate academic preparation. At a minimum, this means outstanding performance at the undergraduate or master's degree level. However, the student must also have the focus, drive and perseverance to perform at a high level for a sustained period of time. And at the doctoral level, students must have a desire to produce new knowledge through original research.

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