The worth of grad school at CSU

CSU Graduate School:
Cost of 12 credit hours
Resident: $5,037.62 + program charges*
Non-Resident: $11,127.72 + program charges*

*Program charges vary between $80 per credit hour and $2,580 a semester depending on department

CSU graduate students: 3,808
Men: 1,849
Women: 1,959
Engineering has the most graduate students, and also the highest percentage of men.

Graduates students know all too well the tradeoff of obtaining their advanced degree –– more opportunities, but less short term savings. Some post-graduate degrees at CSU can cost nearly $7,000 a semester for residents.

Second year graduate student and TA, Dan Pearson, grades papers for a physics course. Most of the grading and research is done by the many graduate students at CSU.
Second year graduate student and TA, Dan Pearson, grades papers for a physics course. Most of the grading and research is done by the many graduate students at CSU.

“I had worked for about 20 years, and so I took a substantial pay cut to go back and get my Ph.D.,” said Kirk Hallahan, chair of the graduate committee of the journalism and technical communications department.

The supposed correlation between a person’s level of education and the amount of money they earn, however, generally holds true, especially in a workforce that is gradually requiring more certifications and degrees just to apply for a job.

“There is an increasing number of fields where having a graduate degree is a requirement,” Hallahan said.

Some graduate students come back to school because they weren’t able to break into the career field of their choice.

“I took a couple-year break, I went out and worked and just did random jobs for a few years before I came back.” Annie Barone, a first year History graduate student. “I wasn’t in a career that I wanted, so I thought I’d come back to school to get back in a track I was interested in.”

While a graduate degree isn’t a guarantee of a job upon graduation, many graduate students interviewed reported going on to have success, sometimes right after receiving their post-graduate degree.

“When I got done with graduate school I was able to find a job within six weeks, in my field,” Hallahan said.

Students interviewed suggested only attending graduate school as part of a path, treating it as something you do when you have a clear vision of your future career goals.

“I think students should attend graduate school when they really know what they want to do ,” said Jodie Hanzlik, dean of CSU’s graduate school. “I don’t think it should be a ‘something to do time’ in your life, because it is very expensive and graduate school is a challenge. It’s great but you have to be motivated.”