Next Stop: Grad School

While Monmouth University is known mostly for its undergraduate programs, many students overlook the variety of Masters programs that are offered. While there are many graduate programs to choose from, The Outlook staff believes that overall a change of scenery would be beneficial to their education.  

After spending four years at the University for an Undergraduate Degree, sticking around for another two years while your former classmates have moved on into the real world doesn’t deliver the same kind of college experience. 

Many of the editors would consider attending MU for a Masters if they had more variety as well. While there are a great amount of options, one editor notes that they are mainly geared toward business and education. That is quite limiting to majors such as English, math, science and communication. Some undergraduate majors do not have next step programs for their Masters degrees. The one additional year program in communication, for example, just came out recently, making it impossible for seniors to meet the requirements.   

The University’s main focus seems to be on their undergraduate education programs. There is not as much advertisement about their graduate programs so a lack of advertisement may be one reason why students do not consider Monmouth for an education past their bachelor’s degree. 

“MU just needs to do a better job of making students aware of their options. As a communication major, I feel like none of my professors or advisors have ever even brought up the grad program. Granted, it should be on the student to do his or her own research, but administrators definitely need to be more proactive and upfront about getting the information out there,” said one editor. 

However, it is not the institution that places value in a student’s degree according to one editor. “[The program would prepare me for a better job] if they have what you want to study. I’m a firm believer that it’s not where you go that defines you but how hard you work.”

The University also offers an accelerated five year program in which students can earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in just five years instead of the usual six. This was just recently added to the list of programs offered so many senior students did not have the opportunity to take advantage of the accelerated program. However, it is an opportunity that some editors still see the advantages of. 

“I feel like getting your Master’s in five years puts you a little bit ahead of everyone else and gets you out into the real world faster and with more knowledge,” one editor said. 

Tuition is also a factor in graduate school decisions. Before financial assistance, graduate classes have a cost of $1,047 per credit plus a comprehensive fee ranging from $175-$350 unless students are senior citizens, in which case the cost is $275 in addition to the same comprehensive fee as non-senior citizens, according to Monmouth University’s website. 

The field that a student is going into also factors into their decision of whether or not to go to grad school. One editor said, “As an aspiring journalist, it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get to where I want to be so I’d rather start gaining the experience that’ll eventually help me land my dream job right after I earn my degree instead of staying in school for a few more years.” Proximity is also important to some students when choosing an institution. One editor said an advantage would be not having to pay for on or off campus housing. 

Monmouth University prides itself on having a beautiful campus, but some students feel that the time and money used to keep up facilities could be better used to expand their academic programs. An editor pointed out that the University constantly focuses on the appearance of the campus rather than the students’ educations. 

Another view is that the school’s reputation doesn’t define a student’s degree, but the work that each person puts into it does. If the University offers what a student wants to study, the graduate program at MU would be a good option for students to pursue.