UW Graduate School

Impact of a Graduate Education

Learn More, Earn More

People with master’s degrees make an average of $2.6 million over a lifetime, compared to those with bachelor’s degrees who make an average of $2.2 million.

That’s a difference of $400,000.

  • People with doctoral degrees and professional degrees, such as doctors, lawyers, dentists and pharmacists, make even more. Those with doctoral degrees make an average of $3.2 million over a career, while those with professional degrees make an average of $3.6 million.
  • You can’t be a marine biologist — or a social worker, psychologist, doctor, teacher, pharmacist or architect — without a graduate degree. Many fields require — or strongly encourage — master’s degrees. Fields such as education pay more to employees with graduate degrees.
  • For every 100 graduate degrees a college or university in Washington grants, businesses bring in another 125 people with graduate degrees. Bottom line: Washington has a shortage of people with graduate degrees. If you have one, you may have a better chance at getting a job in state.
  • While much of your undergraduate experience is about learning,  your graduate education will be about doing, researching, teaching, creating and innovating.
  • You will get to work with very cool faculty doing incredible things. Graduate students work in every lab across the UW with scientists who are pioneering everything from robotic surgery techniques to stem cell treatments for heart disease to cancer vaccines. Students contributed to 87 percent of the 467 patent applications that the UW filed in 2014.
  • You can change the world. UW graduate students and alumni are making their communities even better places to live.