If you’ve been accepted into a graduate program there are some things you need to know before start signing up for classes.
First, you need to look into the requirements necessary for graduation. This might seem obvious, but every school has a different path, and you need to know which path to take for the school you will be attending. Also, some graduate schools offer the option of doing additional coursework instead of having to write a thesis and defend it before a committee. This option is becoming increasingly popular as more and more students see it as a fairer and more just system.
The next thing you need to look at are your finances. If you thought attending as an undergrad was expensive, wait till you see the unbelievable costs associated with grad school. To get all the way through you need to develop a plan. If your parents are paying, be sure to show them the costs and then put together a budget with them so you can tell them exactly how much you will need semester by semester. If you plan on paying your own way, you need to look at how you will doing so and whether it will be feasible. Hoping for something to happen won’t cut it, you need to do the things necessary to make the money or you’ll wind up like hundreds of thousands of other people who wind up dropping out.
Finally, you need to take a serious look at your work and study habits. By applying and being accepted, it’s likely you believe you have the necessary skills to make it through grad school without much problem. This line of thinking is wrong however, as the attrition rate at most graduate schools shows. The number one skill you’ll need in graduate school is the ability to write. Virtually every graduate school is all about writing, even in the science fields. This is because graduate schools expect you to do a lot of research and then to write extensively on what you discover. This is not something to be taken lightly as more and more colleges are finding that undergrads in general simply do not have the writing skills necessary to make it through grad school. Students need to know how to formulate ideas, to articulate those ideas, and to be able to craft their words in ways that will be taken seriously by those in academia.
Failure in any of these areas generally means failure at graduate school.