University of Alabama seniors’ next step: UA grad school

By Rachel Reap
Staff Writer

TUSCALOOSA – With graduation right around the corner, many seniors are looking for their next step. 

Post undergrad can be a scary place. Many seniors are still contemplating what to do next. Some students decide graduate school is the right choice for them, and many UA undergraduates chose to stay at UA for grad school. The University of Alabama has a wide range of graduate options, even accelerated master programs. 

Emily Bates and Lauren Dixon are seniors majoring in accounting at Alabama. Bates and Dixon chose to attend UA for grad school because of their undergrad accounting professors.

“I decided to go to UA because I had such a good experience with the undergraduate accounting program. I loved my teachers, and they always helped me throughout my undergraduate experience,” Dixon said.

Bates will be serving as a graduate assistant and helps lead the lift program. The lift program at Alabama is a program which helps local community members learn and improve their job skills. Bates looks forward to grad school at UA because of the professors and the CPA exam.

“I decided to continue my education at UA because of the strong relationships I have made with my professors, and it will give me the tools to pass the CPA exams,” Bates said.

UA also offers an accelerated master’s program for specific majors, which permits students to double-count master’s and undergraduate courses. 

Bella Pearson, a current senior studying marketing, is earning an accelerated master’s degree alongside her undergraduate degree. Pearson is in the master’s program for marketing with a specialization in digital and social media. 

“I am going to grad school at UA because it was an excellent financial opportunity to get my master’s degree without having to go an extra year,” Pearson said.

Pearson is also hoping a master’s degree will improve her chances of finding a job after graduating this spring. 

“There are a lot of people graduating with a marketing degree, so I am hoping that at my age, a master’s degree in marketing will set me apart from other applicants,” Pearson said.

The concern that COVID will impact their grad school experience varies between the women. Pearson said that she feels like she missed out on the full experience because of the pandemic, while Bates believes that the vaccine will shift UA’s education style back to normal, with in-person classes and fewer regulations. 

Deciding to go to grad school is no small choice. Bates and Pearson give their advice to those looking to apply to go next year.

“I think a big thing to think about when considering applying to grad school is to think about if grad school will positively impact your career path,” Bates said. 

Pearson said, “the workload is a lot more intense, so be prepared for that. I’ve always been somebody that does well in school and enjoys it, but the semester has been really difficult.”

For more information on UA graduate school, go to