Dean's Message

Welcome to the Graduate School at Valdosta State University!

The Graduate School is home to more than 56 programs.  With a strong selection of face-to-face, fully online, and web-hybrid degrees, we have options for everyone’s learning style and lifestyle.  Our online programs combine excellence and innovation by offering quality academics in a 21st century Dr. James LaPlantformat, while all our programs provide opportunities for collaborating with outstanding faculty through research and graduate assistantships.  Over the last few years, we have tripled the number of graduate assistantships to more than 350.  With a Fall 2012 enrollment of over 2200 graduate students, we are very proud of the fact that approximately one out of every six graduate students receives an assistantship at VSU.   

Whether you are a working professional, a full-time student, or both, the VSU Graduate School is ready to help advance your career.  A 2010 report entitled “The Path Forward: The Future of Graduate Education in the United States” by the Council of Graduate Schools projects that approximately 2.5 million jobs will require a master’s, doctoral, or advanced degree by 2018.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the current decade of 2010-2020 will witness occupations in the master’s degree category growing the fastest at 22 percent followed by occupations in the doctoral or professional degree category growing by approximately 20 percent.  Furthermore, the 2007-2009 American Community Survey highlights typical lifetime earnings of $2.7 million for individuals with a master’s degree, $3.3 million for those with doctoral degrees, and $3.6 million for those with a professional degree in comparison to $2.2 million for individuals with a bachelor’s degree.

As I reflect upon my own graduate education, it was genuinely a transformative experience.  I learned from wonderful faculty as well as my fellow graduate students.  A graduate assistantship resulted in conference presentations and peer-reviewed publications with a faculty mentor, which placed me on my current career path.  I also built enduring friendships with graduate students in my cohort.

At Valdosta State University, we welcome the opportunity to visit with you about the graduate program that best fits your educational and career goals.  Our superb graduate admissions staff is available to assist you with the application process.

James T. LaPlant
Dean of the Graduate School and Assistant Vice President for Research
Professor of Political Science