Graduate School from a Service Academy

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by armystrong2015, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. armystrong2015

    armystrong2015 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been told that going to a Service Academy really helps your chances of going to a good grad school, and that even if your class rank is not super high, you still have a fairly good chance. Are there any Service Academy graduates who can verify this? Thanks (I've posted the same thing on the USMA thread)
     
  2. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,634
    Likes Received:
    1
    There are a literal handful or so who are enabled to go to a grad school directly from the Academy. VERY competitive, virtually impossible for even stellar Mids. But a few do go. Note the Rhodes Scholar Barlow this year. Always Trumans, Marshalls, and a few others in internal programs.

    Conversely virtually all career officers (at least in the Navy; USMC does not require such as I understand.) receive post-graduate education. No doubt there are some who get into the elite grad programs in part because of not only their undergraduate institution (vs. individual performance) but also in part because of the consequent experience which lends a fully different dimension to a grad student community than a mere 1550 on GREs and a magna cum laude sheepkin from Minnesota.

    As for the specific institution as a function of a SA certificate? Can't say. It seems your fascination w/ elitist institutions seems to overwhelm fascination with elite education. Have you considered Colgate or Dartmouth as potential fits?

    P.S. In any case, you're not alone in that fixation, altho a great argument can be made they are among the least desirable places for military men and women. Who's the former Harvard dean now sadly on our U.S. Supreme Court who would not even allow persons in uniform to pass out flyers to her eggheaded little lord fauntleroy esquires in waiting? btw, on that particular note, others would know better, but I am unaware that commissioned officers are ever allowed to pursue law degrees. I suspect they've discovered the market is full of law school grads who'd be happy to join the jag corps and thus no need for our gov't. to pay them to play. Medical, yes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2011
  3. tonk002

    tonk002 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    0
    :confused: What is your definition of an elitist institution?
     
  4. 08Marine

    08Marine Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is definitely highly competitive to go to grad school straight out of the Academy. That being said, a good friend of mine graduated and went to grad school in Heidelburg, Germany where she spent a few months in Bangladesh doing thesis research.

    If you don't get one of those slots though, don't worry, there are more opportunities. You can go another highly competitive route of the Olmsted Scholarship to study at grad school in a foreign country after going to Monterey to learn the language for 6-12 months.

    There are also many opportunities to take classes while one base. Lejeune has an outstanding program where they fly professors from Boston University down to Camp Lejeune, NC every other weekend for a Master of Science in Business Admin course. I've been doing that for the last yr and a half and just received my MSBA, sending my last papers and exams in from Afghanistan as I missed the second half of my last semester and had to bring my books out here. Tuition assistance covers 1/2 the cost. So, while it's still plenty expensive, I consider it a great deal.

    I intend to pursue some of the other great graduate school opportunities in the future, and the Marine Corps will certainly let me. Where there's a will there's always a way in the military.
     
  5. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,361
    Likes Received:
    1,825
    For naval officers, it's expected to get the Master's degree sometime before the promotion board for the rank of Commander (that's the one after Ensign, Lieutenant junior grade, Lieutenant, and Lieutenant Commander) at the latest. As noted above, a tiny number go right after USNA (IGEP, or Immediate Grad Ed Program), but routinely, everyone else heads to the Fleet (or Corps) to do what junior officers are expected to do. Be young warriors!

    There is also the VGEP program, for, again, a small number of mids, who are ahead enough on their matrix and with the grades to qualify, to finish USNA undergrad work by December of senior year and take grad courses at a local university (Georgetown, American, Maryland, GW, Johns Hopkins, etc.). They graduate with their USNA class but stick around in student mode to finish up the Master's by December, then joining their classmates in the Fleet or training pipelines.

    Later on, there are a number of programs, Naval Postgraduate School, CNO Intern, Naval War College both resident and non-resident, Tuition Aid (going to school at night using Navy money) and many more. If you are doing well as an officer and tracking for promotion, you will be given opportunities to get the Master's degree - regardless of commissioning source.

    As for an SA background providing a better shot, I would say it's not a critical element. I think VGEP is unique to USNA, there may be some more opportunity to attend a marquee school, and certainly the undergraduate preparation is stellar, so that acceptance to grad school later on shouldn't be a problem.

    No matter what, midshipmen get plenty of briefs at USNA, as I suspect other SAs do, and hear about other programs along the way after they are commissioned. The first shore duty after being at sea is the usual first window for a Master's.

    Search around for various threads on the graduate school issue.
     
  6. armystrong2015

    armystrong2015 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd take the elite education over the elitist institution any day now :)
    As long as a school offers a good program in the field that I am working in, I'd love to go there. I wasn't thinking the traditional "elitist institutions" like Ivy. More like Virginia Tech, as I (currently) want to enter the field of either Mechanical or Electrical Engineering.
     
  7. armystrong2015

    armystrong2015 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    I figured that one wouldn't be able to continue onto their Master's right after graduation, and that you've had to have your Master's Degree before promoting to a certain rank. I want to continue to my education, like you. I find it amazing that the Service Academies will work with you if you are willing to work yourself. Thank you for this information!
     
  8. 1964BGO

    1964BGO Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    923
    Likes Received:
    16
    A few years back the Academic Dean reported a conversation with the President of Harvard's Business School, in which he was told that she was very impressed with the quality and performance of the SA grads that passed through her school as well as noting that they were highly prized by the business world. As noted above, you will have multiple opportunities to pursue your graduate degree, the rest is up to you.
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,509
    Likes Received:
    459
    I think it would help if the OP clarified his/her question. Are you asking about attending grad school while in the military or after you get out? The answers may differ slightly.

    And, folks, this thread is not license to vent one's frustrations on civilian institutions of higher learning. Let's keep it on-topic, please.
     
  10. armystrong2015

    armystrong2015 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was asking about attending graduate school while still in the military. At the moment, I want to make it a career. Thanks for any info you may have!:redface:
     

Share This Page