Potential graduate school students will have the opportunity to peruse more than 50 booths Thursday (Oct. 13) at Washington State University Spokane’s second annual Graduate School Fair.

The event is from 3-6:30 p.m. at the Riverpoint Campus in the Health Sciences Building, 310 N. Riverpoint Blvd., Spokane. Admission is free. On-campus parking is free from 3-8 p.m.

Representatives from private and public colleges and universities from across the region and nation will answer questions for prospective graduate students.

“We are pleased with the positive responses from many of the universities and colleges in the region,” said Kiley Schenk, event organizer and academic coordinator for Health Policy and Administration. “WSU Spokane is delighted to provide the venue and the event is an excellent opportunity for individuals interested in learning more about graduate education options available in the Northwest and beyond.”

The reasons for choosing to go back to school for a graduate degree are as varied as the applicant. People who wonder whether or not they should pursue a graduate degree are not alone.

“Most people come for the opportunity to better themselves or their income or to become more professionally focused,” said Howard Grimes, dean of the WSU Graduate School.

For working professionals, the idea of going back to graduate school can be daunting. The thought of carving out time to go to class during or after work, doing homework during precious family time or writing papers and cramming for exams is too much.

There’s no doubt that the pursuit of an advanced degree demands a major investment of time, money and effort. It is also an investment in yourself, Grimes said.

“Consider the earning potential over your career. The Census Bureau has concluded that those with a bachelor’s degree can expect to earn about $1.8 million over a lifetime, while those holding master’s or Ph.D./professional degrees earn even more-about $2.2 million and $3.5 million, respectively,”
Grimes said.

Current trends show that the baccalaureate degree is often not sufficient in today’s workplace. Professionals are finding that they get to mid-management positions and realize they need more education, Grimes said.

Graduate programs are growing nationwide, like those offered at Washington State University Spokane. The Spokane campus offers destination programs like health policy and administration and those within the Interdisciplinary Design Institute, as well as programs for place-bound adults who are seeking graduate education but would rather not uproot their homes and families to move across the state or nation.

The demographics of today’s graduate student include people who have been in the job market for five to 15 years and want to pursue a degree, Grimes said. “They have jobs and families and can’t leave home. They need to pursue graduate education in different mechanisms than they used to.”

For more information and a complete list of recruiters, visit the Graduate School Fair Web site at www.gradfair.spokane.wsu.edu or call (509) 358-7537.