Here are some of the reasons more than 4,000 students currently are pursuing advanced degrees at Washington State University

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Seeking knowledge that’s relevant and applicable in today’s global economy?

Interested in boosting your career with graduate studies that provide opportunities to work with professors who contribute research and scholarship to advance the sciences, business, government, culture and society?

Searching for a university that provides generous financial assistance to students to keep costs affordable?

If you answered yes to those questions, take a close look at the 127 graduate and professional programs Washington State University offers. They include top-rated programs in nursing, interior design, and electrical power engineering as well as professional degrees in business administration, pharmacy and veterinary medicine. And WSU’s online Global Campus offers 12 master’s programs, including an executive MBA, MBA and master’s degree in strategic communication, in an online environment that provides students the maximum flexibility to pursue advanced studies.

Among the reasons more than 4,000 students currently are pursuing advanced degrees at WSU:

Top research university

WSU is one of just 108 U.S. public and private universities — out of more than 4,500 — singled out for its “very high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. In 2015, annual research expenditures totaled more than $335.9 million, placing WSU in the top 11 percent of public universities nationally for research funding. These achievements mean graduate students have ample opportunities to team with faculty who are leaders in their fields on research projects with national implications.

Outstanding preparation for veterinary licensing exams

Students who complete WSU’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program consistently achieve a near-perfect pass rate on the North American Licensing Examination.

Interdisciplinary doctoral degrees

Students can choose from three interdisciplinary doctoral degrees, including molecular plant sciences, materials science and engineering, and an individual interdisciplinary doctoral degree that is custom-designed by the student to incorporate three different disciplines. In addition, pharmacy students can take advantage of dual-degree programs such as the joint Pharm.D./MBA program for students interested in specializing in business management or a joint Pharm.D./Ph.D. program for those interested in research.

Leading educator of nation’s Ph.D. graduates in nuclear/radiochemistry

For several years, WSU has produced about half of the nation’s Ph.D. graduates in nuclear/radiochemistry. Collaborations with experts at Pacific Northwest National Lab and Idaho National Lab offer students opportunities to work with pre-eminent researchers.

Career opportunities

The state of Washington has a shortage of people with graduate degrees. The chances of receiving a good-paying job with a WSU graduate degree is high. Master’s graduates earn an average of more than $67,000 annually — $11,000 more per year, on average — compared to those with bachelor’s graduates. Doctoral graduates earn an average of $92,000 a year, while those earning professional degrees earn an average of about $100,000 yearly.

Financial assistance with school costs

The majority of WSU graduate students receive teaching, research or graduate assistantships. Most assistantships include a tuition waiver, health insurance and monthly stipend. Many students graduate from the university with little or no debt.

Success stories

The success stories about WSU graduate students are abundant. Here are a few examples:

• For the second year in row, pharmacy doctoral student Brandon Gufford earned a national award for drug research in 2015 from the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Gufford collaborated with pharmacy faculty members Mary Paine and John White to develop a new method for determining the effects of opioid drugs in people: measuring pupil diameter as a marker of an opioid’s effects rather than drawing and measuring a blood sample.

• Computer science graduate student Jessamyn Dahmen was selected to receive a three-year National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in 2015. The fellowship will assist her research, which focuses on using technology to understand cognitive health in the elderly. The research could aid in the detection of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia in their early stages.

• Doctoral student Ian Richardson recently won the top award in the country for students studying cryogenics, or the behavior of materials at very low temperatures. The Klaus and Jean Timmerhaus scholarship is given to one student in the U.S. every other year at the Cryogenic Engineering Conference. Richardson plans to pursue a career in aerospace.

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