USNA and graduate school

Lazyboy

Member
My son is concerned about this. He really wants to go to grad school right after college and is afraid his service requirements will prevent that. I've seen the options listed on USNA's website, but I'd like to hear from people who have graduated from the Academy and attended grad school. Thanks
 

beyond

KπΣ15'
5-Year Member
Broad strokes here but yeah, he probably won't be able to go to grad school right after USNA. Now long term the Navy wants people in the officer corps to have a graduate degree, and gives you the time to pursue one, but depending on the community that might not happen until the 6 year mark.
 
I know a LCDR who was a USNA grad who attended grad school right after USNA. I was intrigued by this opportunity, as I had never heard of it before, and asked a few more questions. I'm personally not interested in pursuing grad school after USNA, but if you are be aware that a very small number of grads are given that opportunity. I believe he told me that 12 grads a year are given the opportunity to take two years and earn a masters, and then continue with their naval career after that.
 

BDHuff09

5-Year Member
My son is concerned about this. He really wants to go to grad school right after college and is afraid his service requirements will prevent that. I've seen the options listed on USNA's website, but I'd like to hear from people who have graduated from the Academy and attended grad school. Thanks
There are two options for immediate grad school: IGEP & VGEP. IGEP let's you go to grad school for a year after you commission on the Navy's dime. I forget exact numbers but I would say around 20 people a year get it. If youre outside the top 70 in order of merit then there's almost a 0% chance this will be available to you outside of a few select programs.

VGEP let's you start grad school at a local university in the spring of your firstie year. You take summer classes, and then fall classes, and graduate in december. This year VGEP is unfunded, meaning they will let you do it but the Navy will make you pay for it, which is new but probably the reality for the near future.

Also worth noting; There will be numerous opportunities to get a master's on the military's dime if you wait a few years after you commission.

As an aside, if your son is so concerned about whether he'll be able to do grad school immediately, then the Academy is not for him. While the brightest might get that opportunity, the purpose of the institution is to make officers ready to serve in the Navy/Marine Corps and lead Sailors/Marines, not to pump out PhD candidates.
 

usna1985

10-Year Member
It's easy as a h.s. junior or senior to think you want to go to grad school right after undergrad. I can tell you that, after four tough years of undergrad (for a total of 16 straight years of school), a lot of folks are tired of school and ready to start "working." (Recognizing that most USNA grads will go on to "school" for aviation, subs, etc.).

You either think you need to start grad school right away b/c your knowledge is fresh or you worry that you'll get out of the "school" mode and won't do as well later. For the most part and for most people, neither is true. MANY people go to grad school, even for very technical subjects such as engineering or even medicine, 5, 10, 20 or more years later and do very, very well. On the second point, while it may take a few weeks or months to "get back into the swing" of school once you've been out for awhile, other things such as maturity, enjoying school, etc. quickly make up for it.

Naval officers are encouraged to attend grad school later in their careers and, for advancement to (I think) O-5 and above, it's mandatory. But, in the short term, USNA is turning out warfare officers, so consider that when making your decision.
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
As an aside, if your son is so concerned about whether he'll be able to do grad school immediately, then the Academy is not for him. While the brightest might get that opportunity, the purpose of the institution is to make officers ready to serve in the Navy/Marine Corps and lead Sailors/Marines, not to pump out PhD candidates.
+ 1 -- Why is DS so concerned about grad school right away ? There are a number of programs right out of USNA, but for most of us, grad school was flight training, nuke school, SWOS, or TBS. The goal should be to hit the fleet running, excel in whatever you do, and that will open up a wide variety of post grad opportunities.
 
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