Lesson 1: Make a Plan for Your Degree and Success

Welcome to Beyond Graduate School.


We’ve identified through our research how master’s students successfully earn degrees and leverage their education into impactful careers.


Based on this research, we’ve developed a five-step framework to help you be successful. By completing a module, you’ll build knowledge and skills to help you earn your degree and build your career.


In Step 1, we’ll focus on designing a plan for earning your degree. You’ll also build skills that will help you succeed as a master’s student and prepare for your career.


In the lesson below, you’ll learn why having a plan for degree completion is a critical part of being a successful graduate student. We’ll also help you set goals and identify resources on your campus so you can find the support you need.

Design overview page

Here’s a glance at this lesson…

>> [01:45] Why you should design a plan for your degree.

>> [08:18] The importance of clearly defining your goals for your degree and career.

>> [12:29] Questions to ask yourself as you build your plan.

>> [14:17] Skills you will need to succeed in graduate school and beyond.

Introduction to "Step 1: DESIGN"

As you’ll hear about in the introductory video, step one of the Beyond Graduate School framework is to design a plan for your program and build skills to help you earn your degree.


At the end of this module, you will be able to identify your career goals and expectations for your program, create a plan so you can make the most out of your time in graduate school, and develop key skills you will need to succeed in graduate school and beyond.


Designing a clear plan for your master’s degree begins by identifying your intentions: Is your goal to gain foundational knowledge to help you advance in your career? Do you want to change careers? Gain a competitive advantage over other job applicants? Or, do you want to develop in-depth knowledge about a specific subject matter?


Understanding how you want to leverage your education will help you identify courses to take, make the most out of internships and practicums, and connect with people who can help you achieve your goals. This strategic planning will set the foundation for a successful job search and career after you’ve earned your degree.


In addition to designing a plan for your degree, this module will help you build the skills you need to succeed in graduate school. Through self-paced video lessons, you will:


• Design a plan for your degree program.


• Develop effective written and oral communication skills.


• Apply collaboration and leadership skills to work effectively on teams.


• Manage your time.


• And demonstrate academic integrity in your studies. 


Lessons are accompanied by guiding questions and exercises to help you apply what you’ve learned.

We recommend that you download the form-fillable PDF workbook and type out (or write out!) your answers as you go.

Do you have a question for the Beyond Grad School team? Send us an email

Copyright © 2023
Beyond Graduate School
Denver, USA


This module is designed to help students identify goals and expectations for their programs, and identify how their master’s degree is part of their long-term career goals. Many students default into master’s programs without having a clear understanding of how their advanced degree can move them forward in their career.

Short video lessons are designed to help students build skills for degree completion, including time management, writing strategies, collaboration, and leadership.

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