Photography by Mathieu Marquer After graduating college, law and graduate programs become an available option to us. Students curious or interested in pursuing a professional degree should research the opportunities these degrees can lead to. Research by connecting with professors and current graduate or law students about their experiences is an essential part to this process. If students discover they want to complete a graduate or law program, then they need to make themselves competitive candidates for admission.

Last year, I began contemplating what career paths to follow after graduation and graduate and law school came to mind. I started reviewing different programs around the country and found out that there are several degrees to leverage and commence your climb up the socioeconomic ladder. Out of all the available degrees, the J.D. and Ph.D. programs stand out.

Law school, unsurprisingly, delves into many areas of the legal system. UCI Law students can take courses in business law , immigration law , environmental law , intellectual property law and more. If students find that these topics resonate with them, then I recommend exploring this option. I would also provide the same suggestion to students looking at Ph.D. programs.

Similarly, college graduates can apply to a myriad of doctoral programs, and all of the topics vary. They are the same subjects undergraduates can choose from, but are taught at a more sophisticated level. Regardless of the subject matter though, doctoral programs require years of research. For example, UCI’s Ph.D. in Psychological Science has its students conducting psychological research and completing dissertation projects for an average of five years.

If reading about these programs is not enough to make a decision, then meet with professors and ask about their graduate school experiences. They can discuss the programs they did and provide sage advice, which can help narrow your interests. In my past conversation with professors, I’ve learned that if anyone is going to commit to a doctoral program, they need to enjoy both conducting research and acting as a teaching assistant.

Also, if current undergraduate students are interested in receiving research experience, they can apply for research […]

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