Choosing a Degree

Now that you are planning for graduate school, you need to decide which degree you want to pursue. You need to determine whether a master’s degree or a Ph.D. is right for you and for the field you wish to go into.

A master’s degree:

  • takes one to three years to acquire
  • prepares one for technical positions in a large variety of science related careers
  • is less demanding than Ph.D. programs
  • requires a shorter research project and thesis than Ph.D. programs
  • has a shorter comprehensive exam
  • generally does not have oral exams
  • does not customarily provide department financial support

A Ph.D.:

  • takes four to seven years to acquire
  • prepares you for teaching or research at university levels or industrial research
  • involves years of research
  • has a longer comprehensive exam
  • requires an oral defense of a dissertation
  • can entail clinical rotations
  • departmental financial support available

Each path is going to be a challenge, but should be an exciting one that can further you in professions and careers in the future.