Graduate & Professional School, Fellowships, and Postgraduate Volunteer Programs

Pursuing advanced studies beyond the undergraduate experience is a common practice for Holy Cross graduates, and the rigorous Holy Cross education positions you well for success. Graduate school is an opportunity to pursue a field of study deeply and intentionally and requires a significant investment of time, money and hard work.

Review the CCD’s Guide to Graduate Studies to explore the common types of post graduate programs. 

If you are interested in Medical/Dental/Veterinary/PT School, you should meet with someone from Health Professions Advising no later than sophomore year, if possible.  If you are interested in Law School, you should explore the Holy Cross PreLaw Program and meet with the PreLaw advisor.  If you are interested in an MBA, you should explore the opportunities that the Holy Cross Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society offers. 

Regardless of the graduate program, it’s important to first answer some important questions.  


To go or not to go?
Does your desired career path require an advanced degree immediately?  It’s important to research programs that align with your personal and professional pursuits.Speak with alumni and other professionals in your field of interest to inquire about the need for an advanced degree and to understand when you should pursue that advanced degree. Your interest in enrolling in a post graduate program should not be to avoid a job search or other difficult decisions.  Consider the following questions:

  • How long will the program take and how motivated am I right now? Am I mentally and physically prepared to undertake a long-term academic commitment?
  • How much will it cost? Can I realistically afford to go to graduate school right now?
  • Am I certain about what I want to study, or do I need more time to explore and determine which career options are a good fit for me?
  • What can the degree do for me now versus after I gain some work experience?
  • Do I have other needs or desires right now that conflict with pursuing a graduate degree?


When Should I Consider Graduate School? 
There are a variety of programs with varying deadlines and criteria.  Some programs are intended for students immediately following graduation while others specifically look for applicants with at least a few years of work experience. It’s important to understand the different programs and requirements and the benefits of going immediately after graduation vs. waiting a year or two or more. 


I Made Up My Mind. What’s Next?
Review the requirements of each program and plan to discuss your goals with your academic advisor, the Office of Distinguished Fellowships & Graduate Studies, a faculty member and/or a CCD counselor.  

Review the Guide to Graduate Studies handout for more in depth information about different degrees, requirements, typical outcomes and average costs.


Post-Graduate Fellowships
There are many opportunities to apply for competitive distinguished fellowships which may involve research or scholarship and can be domestic or international.  Winners of these awards typically receive funding to pursue advanced research or graduate studies in a field of their designation. Visit the Office of Distinguished Fellowships & Graduate Studies, ideally during your sophomore year, to help you think ahead and structure your academic plan accordingly.


Post-Graduate Volunteer Programs
Many Holy Cross students seek opportunities for full-time service for one to two years following graduation.  Nearly 10% of each Holy Cross graduating class chooses to do full time service work and the Chaplain’s Office as well as the Center for Career Development can help you discern which type of service best aligns with your desire to give back. 

This document outlines various post-grad service opportunities.  The Chaplain’s Office also sponsors a Post-Grad Volunteer Fair each October.