Grad School, Opinions, Special Projects

Graduate school: CSULB or beyond?

Isabella Arnett, a graduate student, thought long and hard about her decision to stay at Long Beach State for graduate school or to move to another university.

“As a first generation college student, I had no idea how to approach graduate school or where to go,” Arnett said. “I cold-called a lot of universities to ask them about their programs if I couldn’t find the information that I needed on their website. I recommend doing this if you feel unsure about anything you want to know.”

Location was a big factor in Arnett’s decision. Washington State has become her new home.

“One of the great things about living in Washington is the outdoors, you get discounted rates on kayaking and entrance to state parks if you are a student here,” she said.

Isabella Arnett smiles and poses in a field surrounded by greenery.
After much consideration, Arnett ultimately decided to pursure graduate school at Washington State to experience a new location. Photo credit: Isabella Arnett

However, the cost of living is another thing to consider. Rent, food, and other accommodations vary greatly in different states, cities and campuses.

“Especially now, since the new regulations regarding reproductive health have come into play, it’s important to consider that when you think about where you are going to be living,” she said. “Make sure it’s somewhere you really enjoy being, because graduate school programs can last up to 7 years in my field including a Ph.D.”

Depending on your field of study, CSULB may or may not have a program for that specific path. Arnett’s goal is to become a professor within the humanities and social sciences department.

Arnett recommends asking the professors that you have the best relationships with which program would be the best for you.

The decision to stay at the same school depends entirely on each persons’ priorities. If students live at home or have roommates in Long Beach, it could save them money to continue at CSULB. However, other students may want to spread their wings and experience a new environment away from home.

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