Students decide to pursue graduate school for many reasons. For some, a masters or PhD is a requirement to be certified or licensed in their chosen profession. For others, it is a chance to pursue a body of knowledge in-depth by the side of masters in their chosen discipline, regardless of what their final career choice might be. And still others have decided they would like a career spent discovering new things, whether in the sciences, humanities, or social sciences, and whether employed in industry, government, or academia.

Many graduate programs offer tuition remissions and stipends, so that financing a graduate education is often less of a problem than people think. National fellowships are also available.