Going Back to Grad School at 30

going to grad school at 30 Considering going to grad school at 30? Besides the potential increase in earnings, there are a number of reasons why you should consider earning a graduate degree.

However, before applying, it’s important to consider a number of different schools, including the 11 listed below, and what level of graduate degree you’re looking for, and what type of format, such as accelerated or part-time, suits you best.

List of 11 Grad Schools for 30-Year-Olds

Going to graduate school at 30 begins with a list of questions, such as what degree to earn and whether or not your professional and personal responsibilities allow you to be a full-time student, or if a part-time program is better for you.

Luckily, there’s no one right answer for everyone. Instead, the right answer is finding the perfect program for you that can fit into your busy schedule.

Check out the sponsored listings below to find out the 11 graduate schools that are good 30-year-olds going back to grad school and discover popular programs at each.

#1: Johns Hopkins University

For the past 140 years, Johns Hopkins University has believed that teaching and research go hand-in-hand and that sharing knowledge and discoveries makes the world a better place. As the country’s first research university, JHU revolutionized higher education in the country and continues to share knowledge and discoveries with the world.

Why JHU Is Good for Going to Grad School at 30

One of the reasons that Johns Hopkins is good for students looking to earn a graduate degree in their 30s is that it is a well-ranked school with a variety of options. For instance, the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences offers more than 50 full-time and part-time graduate programs in the arts, humanities, and natural and social sciences.

In fact, JHU believes that students learn more from doing than by sitting and passively listening to lectures and then taking exams. This philosophy extends to all nine of the schools at Johns Hopkins that offer graduate degrees.

Popular Graduate Programs at JHU

#2: Simmons College

For more than 100 years, Simmons College has strived to provide transformative learning to help you discover and evolve with a new kind of confidence so that you can be a leader for yourself, your community, and for the world.

Why Simmons Is Good for Going to Grad School at 30

For more than a century, Simmons has offered undergraduate liberal arts degrees integrated with professional experience. Today, they also offer coeducational graduate programs in fields such as:

  • Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Education
  • Liberal Arts
  • Management
  • Social Work
  • Public Health

Plus, U.S. News and World Report “Best Graduate Schools” ranked the Simmons nursing programs as the best in the nation. In addition, Simmons has received a number of other accolades ranking their graduate programs and online graduate programs as some of the best in the country.

Popular Graduate Programs at Simmons

#3: Seton Hall University

Since 1856, Seton Hall University has been developing students in mind, heart, and spirit as one of the country’s leading Catholic universities. Named after the first American-born saint, Seton Hall has over 4,300 graduate students and strives to teach exceptional scholarship, personal growth, and professional achievement.

Why SHU Is Good for Going to Grad School at 30

For 160 years Seton Hall has been a place where leaders learn through personal attention. This, combined with the variety of options both on-campus and online programs, offers you the types of options you’re looking for while going back to graduate school at 30.

Popular Graduate Programs at Seton Hall

#4: Sacred Heart University

As the second-largest Catholic University in New England, Sacred Heart University believes in your dreams. As a contemporary in spirit and thinking, SHU is rooted in the liberal arts and the Catholic intellectual traditions to help you pursue knowledge and intelligent reflection, both inside and outside the classroom.

Why Sacred Heart Is Good for Going to Grad School at 30

With five distinct colleges and two schools, Sacred Heart offers 38 master’s degree programs and 8 doctoral degrees to help you find the perfect program for you. These options, including a number that are offered online, allow you to choose a graduate degree that fits your goals and expectations.

Popular Graduate Programs at Sacred Heart

#5: University of Southern California

As one of the nation’s leading private research universities, the University of Southern California is a global center for arts, technology, and international business. The diverse curricular offerings allow you plenty of opportunities for interdisciplinary study and collaboration with leading researchers.

Why USC Is Good for Going to Grad School at 30

With more than 26,000 graduate students, USC understands the challenges of pursuing an advanced degree. In fact, the school offers potential applicants a number of good reasons for pursuing a graduate degree, such as potential increase in earnings or to jumpstart your career.

However, they also provide reasons that don’t make sense to pursue one, such as simply avoiding a job search or because you’re being pressured by your family.

In addition, USC shares some of the benefits of taking a year off (or more!) after earning a bachelor’s degree to recharge your batteries away from the rigors of the classroom. USC also wants to make sure that you understand all of the financial costs and if earning an advanced degree will help you achieve your professional goals.

Popular Graduate Programs at USC

#6: Liberty University

In order to help you gain a greater understanding of yourself and your world, Liberty University has the mission of Training Champions for Christ to challenge students to think critically and creatively.

Why Liberty Is Good for Going to Grad School at 30

A pioneer in distance learning since 1985, Liberty provides exceptional resources to online students to make sure that their experience matches that of on-campus students. This may be especially helpful to those going to graduate school at 30 because of the additional personal and professional responsibilities you may have.

Other reasons Liberty helps grad students in their 30s is that they don’t require the GRE for any of their graduate programs so that you don’t have to take the time studying for and taking the test.

In addition, they offer flexible courses that allow you to learn at your pace. For instance, most online courses are in an 8-week format with 8 start dates per year, though some courses are 16 weeks long.

Popular Graduate Programs at Liberty

#7: Walden University

In order to transform the world through higher education, Walden University is proud to have an online learning community that is distinctive as it is diverse. That’s why, for the past 45 years Walden has been serving the higher education needs of adult learners.

Why Walden Is Good for Going to Grad School at 30

During those 45 years, Walden has learned that every adult learner has a different learning style and many have busy schedules.

As a result, Walden offers a flexible online learning platform to make it as easy as possible for you, such as Tempo Learning, which is competency-based with no weekly deadlines.

Popular Graduate Programs at Walden

#8: Benedictine University

An inclusive academic community dedicated to teaching and learning, scholarship and service, truth and justice, as inspired by the Catholic intellectual tradition and the principles of wisdom in the Rule of St. Benedict, Benedictine University aspires to be a thought leader in Catholic higher education.

Why Benedictine Is Good for Going to Grad School at 30

With four colleges and one school offering a total of 24 graduate programs, Benedictine University believes that the best preparation for life-long learning and a concrete foundation for a lifetime of change is a broad-based, liberal arts education.

In addition, a number of these programs can be taken online, allowing you the flexibility to earn a graduate degree at 30 that you may not pursue if you had to relocate.

Popular Graduate Programs at Benedictine

#9: The Catholic University of America

For more than 130 years, the Catholic University of America has lived out their mission to discover and impart the truth through excellence in teaching and research. Plus, as the only national university of the Catholic Church in America, they seek to combine a strong Catholic identity with a rich intellectual experience.

Why the Catholic University of America Is Good for Going to Grad School at 30

One of the original graduate schools in the United States, CUA has more than 3,000 graduate students and offers more than 150 programs, each of which exhibit extraordinary breadth spanning different disciplines.

In addition, the Office of Career Services at CUA helps students apply, find financial aid, and review what applicants should expect while pursuing an advanced degree.

Popular Graduate Programs at The Catholic University of America

#10: New York University

Founded in 1831 with a student body of 158, New York University is now one of the largest private institutions in the United States with an enrollment of more than 50,000.

Why NYU Is Good for Going to Grad School at 30

Beyond the school’s reputation, choosing to pursue a graduate degree at NYU means choosing a school that has the resources of a global research university and being taught by faculty who push boundaries. Plus, your fellow students have the talent, intellect, and curiosity to make them poised to become the leaders of tomorrow.

With more than 350 graduate and professional degree programs, offered in 14 graduate and professional schools, and more than half a million alumni spread out throughout the world, NYU offers you opportunities to achieve the extraordinary.

Popular Graduate Programs at NYU

#11: George Mason University

A young university that has made impressive strides in size, stature, and influence in just a short time, George Mason University is now Virginia’s largest public research university. GMU strives to help students succeed, enrich the lives in their community, and contribute to solving some of the most complex global problems.

Why George Mason Is Good for Going to Grad School at 30

Recognized as an innovative and entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields, if you’re considering going to graduate school at 30, you could join the more than 11,000 graduate students at George Mason and choose from the 127 degree programs at the master’s doctoral, and professional levels.

Plus, if you’re looking for shorter, non-degree options, GMU offers more than 100 graduate level certificates. These options, along with the competitive and selective criteria, offers you the chance to study with and network with like-minded students and alumni.

Popular Graduate Programs at George Mason

Graduate Enrollment

According to a study by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), in Fall 2015 there were 19% and 20% of graduate students in their 30s at public institutions and private nonprofit institutions, respectively.i

5 Reasons to Consider Going Back to Grad School at 30

Deciding to go back to graduate school at 30 can be a tough decision. More than likely you have more professional and personal responsibilities than you did in your 20s or while earning your bachelor’s degree.

However, there are plenty of reasons to pursue a graduate degree, including the fact that it may boost your current career or help you switch your career path. Some of the other reasons are listed below.

#1: You’re Much More Prepared

While you may have thought about earning a master’s degree or graduate certificate earlier, now at 30-years-old, you have life experiences, as well as professional experience, that you can apply to your studies.

Plus, now that you’re committed to the process, you understand the challenges you’ll face while pursuing your degree and how to overcome them.

#2: You Have Clear Goals

Do you like your job and field? You can earn a graduate degree to provide a foundation to further your career and possibly earn a promotion and a higher salary.

Or, if you don’t like the way your career is headed, you can earn a degree in a different field to prepare yourself to switch careers.

Either way, you have clear goals and reasons for pursuing a graduate degree that will keep you motivated through all of your classes.

#3: Professional Networking

Whether you’re looking to switch careers or boost your current career path, pursuing a graduate degree gives you plenty of networking opportunities beyond just your classmates and professors.

For instance, many programs host guest speakers or lecturers who are respected professionals in the industry. Your school probably hosts on-campus and virtual events as well, such as webinars or conferences, which are great opportunities to meet and network with others in your field as well.

#4: Tuition Reimbursement

If you’re planning on earning a graduate degree in a field related to your current career, your employer may offer some type of tuition reimbursement as part of your benefits package.

Keep in mind there are usually caveats, such as a minimum number of months you must work at the company, how much the company will reimburse you for, and what subjects you can pursue a graduate degree in. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your employer to see what options you have.

#5: Graduate Programs Want You

At many institutions, the average age of graduate students is in the mid-30s. Why? Because schools value the work and life experience that you can bring to class discussions.

In fact, many of the online, part-time, evening, and even accelerated graduate programs are designed with older students in mind in order to work around your additional responsibilities.

Types of Graduate Programs Good for 30-Year-Olds

There are a wide variety of graduate programs you can pursue as a 30-year-old, in fields such as:

  • Business: Good for studying management and leadership skills, as well as becoming an expert in a particular field, such as accounting or marketing.
  • Nursing: Many schools offer nursing leadership or educator graduate degrees, as well as nurse practitioner degree.
  • Education: These graduate degrees may help those who want to pursue a career in education leadership, or enhance their teaching skills and knowledge.
  • Nonprofit Management: If you’d like to switch careers, these graduate programs teach how to help others in potentially a management or leadership role.

Luckily, many of these programs offer a variety options so that you, as a 30-year-old, can pursue your degree at your convenience, such as Accelerated MSN Programs and Self-Paced Master’s Degrees.

Apply Today for the Perfect Program for You!

Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page to contact the school directly and learn how to apply. Or, use the form on this page to get matched to the perfect program for you.

Or, if you’re still on the wondering if earning a graduate degree is right for you, continue reading about why you should earn a master’s degree or the 30 reasons you should get a graduate degree in your 30s.


[i]nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_csb.asp

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