Continuing your education can be overwhelming because there are no rules and the options are endless; but, it can also be exciting to see where your further education might take you. We want to support your process and help you navigate options related to your personal and professional interests. A great place to start is to think about how these options fit into your future goals and career aspirations.
Here are some of your options:
Finding the right graduate school program can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. There are hundreds of options and the applications often require you to have some understanding of what you hope to learn.
We have many resources in our community that can help you find the graduate school program that best fits your needs. If you’re undecided about programs, but know you want to keep learning, these are things you can do:
Talk to your professors and TAs about schools, departments, and research interests to learn about grad school from those who have been there.
Connect with people in the area who are in the career of your interest and get their take on what programs or degrees are ideal. You can even look into getting matched with a mentor.
Approach graduate student clubs and see if they have any tips for getting started.
Use databases to search for programs across Canada and internationally.
Research the school, the department, research groups, professors, and their research interests to see if the environment is a good fit for you.
There is a difference between a graduate and a professional degree. Unlike graduate degrees, professional degrees are more hands-on and career-oriented (i.e. Lawyer, Doctor, Teacher, Physiotherapist, etc.). For this reason, you must possess a firm understanding of your career path before you apply. We recommend visiting our career development advisors or our career counsellor if you are seeking support for carving out your future.
Each professional degree program and school comes with its own requirements and specifications. While requirements may differ, here are some general “musts” that most professional degree programs share:
Pre-requisite courses (knowledge required to enter into the program)
Strong academics (demonstrates academic capabilities for the program)
Experiences and qualities suitable for the profession (personal capabilities and career awareness)
Academic or relevant references (individuals that can vouch for your suitability)
Personal statement or responses to questions (provides your motivation for the profession)
Specific entrance exams (MCAT, LSAT, DAT, OAT, GMAT, or GRE)
Certificates are the happy medium between honing your education and gaining hands-on experience in the career of your interest. These programs are usually shorter and career-focused, often offering a co-op placement in the industry. Examples include: Human Resource Management, Public Relations, Supply Chain Management, and Environmental Management. You can get the full list at Ontario Colleges.ca.
McMaster’s Centre for Continuing Education also offers many professionally focused certificates. Some programs even let you complete the certificate while pursuing your undergraduate degree. Inquire with both CCE and your faculty advisor to discuss eligibility.
Do you want to explore another undergraduate program but don’t want to commit three or four years? Second degree programs are accelerated undergraduate degrees available for university graduates. Examples include Nursing, Social Work, and Computer Science.
Career Advising Appointment
Advisors can help with job search support, further education questions, career information, building experiences, and helping you find the right services and resources. You can schedule an advising appointment (30 min) on OSCARplus or meet with an advisor during drop-in clinics.
Drop-in clinics are offered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1:30 – 4:00 p.m. in Gilmour Hall 110. Meetings are 15 minutes and are available on a first-come basis.
Career Counselling Appointment
Career counselling helps you strategically define your career path and develop a career development plan. Use this appointment to examine your values, interests, and skills, and to develop self-directed career and education goals. To schedule an appointment, call our office at 905-525-9140 ext. 24254 or visit us in Gilmour Hall 110. Appointments are 50 minutes in length.
Career counselling is also available at our drop-in clinic on Wednesdays from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. These meetings are 20 minutes and available on a first-come basis.