The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri

Graduate Students Continue Their Education

November 8, 2021

  Walking across the stage on graduation day for a bachelor’s degree is a dream for many students. While some see their bachelor’s as the final destination, it’s just the beginning for students who choose graduate school.

  Mohamad Hammoud Dib earned his undergraduate degree in business at the American University of Lebanon. After graduating in December 2020, Dib came to the University of Central Missouri to earn an MBA in management.

  Dib said even though he graduated with a high GPA while being heavily involved on campus, finding a job was almost impossible. Many students in his shoes were traveling and doing their graduate program abroad for better opportunities, so Dib took his chance and came to America to earn his master’s degree. While earning a graduate degree is optional, Dib saw it as a requirement.

  “I was not able to find a job in Lebanon,” Dib said. “The economic crisis was really bad. It was either stay and not work or leave.”

  Dib said it was difficult leaving everything behind but having his girlfriend here made the whole process easier. When it came to the university, Dib adjusted to the graduate program system quite easily.

  “The professors were definitely more strict back home,” Dib said. “Here, professors are more lenient and really want you to pass. UCM professors are very lovely.”

Psychology graduate student Savanna Trout. Photo by Yohannes Girma

  Psychology graduate student Savanna Trout also credits professors at UCM for making graduate school manageable.

  “Graduate school can be intense, but once you get through your first semester, you’ll get used to it,” Trout said. “Your thesis is what you’ll mostly be focusing on during your master’s degree. Without your thesis, you won’t graduate. The professors are really good at making students equipped with necessary knowledge to be able to complete their thesis.”

  Although not all graduate degrees require a thesis, the psychology program Trout is in does.

  Unlike Dib, Trout took a year off after getting her bachelor’s degree. Trout used that time to take a break and determine her next step in life. Trout ultimately decided to return to UCM for graduate school since her future field of work will require it.

  “I would highly suggest taking a break if you need to,” Trout said. “Use the time off to regroup but don’t waste it. Look into what you want to do next. Even during my break, I was studying for GRE when I decided to return for graduate school. GRE is a test you need to pass to be accepted into graduate school.”

  Trout had many factors when deciding which graduate school to attend, and cost was one of them. Since a graduate program can cost more than undergraduate programs, it can have students wondering if graduate school is worth it. However, there are ways to reduce the costs.

Personnel administration graduate student Muna Abdella-Hazak. Photo submitted by Muna Abdella-Hazak.

  Personnel administration graduate student Muna Abdella-Hazak is an example that it is possible to get into graduate for little to no cost.

  “Cost was a big factor when deciding which university to attend for graduate school,” Abdella-Hazak said. “Graduate assistance covered about 75% of costs for my last university. UCM covers pretty much everything with the Graduate Assistance program.”

  A graduate assistantship is a work opportunity for graduate students. Not every graduate program offers graduate assistantships, but Abdella-Hazak said students should always search for them.

  Stress was another concern Abdella-Hazak had about graduate school. She thought graduate school would be time-consuming and scary.

  “I thought I wasn’t built for grad school, but realized you could do it if you set my mind to it. If you know how to balance you will be fine. Being passionate about the subject will make the whole experience easier,” Abdella-Hazak said. “If it’s just for the title, it’s not going to be enough. You should have a plan.”

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