10 Colleges That Lead to Grad School

At one New York university, nearly 90 percent of alums go on to grad school within one year.

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Updated 2/4/13: This article has been updated to remove University of Maryland—Baltimore County, which has notified U.S. News that it incorrectly reported its percentage of graduates pursuing an advanced degree within one year. Earlier, on 1/4/13, the article was updated to remove Macalester College, and on 1/23/13, to remove Georgetown College and St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, for the same reason.

The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College and The Short List: Grad School to find data that matters to you in your college or grad school search.

Graduate school is not in the cards for every student, but those who do go on to earn a master's degree often reap rewards in the form of higher salaries and better employment prospects.

Students with a master's have an average annual salary of $62,000 and an unemployment rate of only 3 percent, compared with $48,000 and 5 percent for those with a bachelor's degree, according to a 2012 report by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University.

[Find out which majors offer the best return on investment.]

With the career advantages a master's degree can offer, it's no surprise that nearly 40 percent of college grads opt to pursue an advanced degree within five years of finishing their undergraduate education, according to data reported by schools in a 2012 U.S. News survey.

But some graduates don't wait that long to return to school. On average, close to 27 percent of college grads enrolled in a master's program within one year of graduation, according to alumni graduate school data reported by 377 ranked colleges and universities in the survey.

[Get tips and tools for applying to grad school.]

That average figure jumps to 62 percent at the colleges with the highest percentage of graduates pursuing an advanced degree within one year. At Yeshiva University in New York, an average of 89 percent of alums enrolled in grad school within one year, more than any other school.

Neumann University in Pennsylvania comes in a distant second, but still far above average, with an average of 71 percent of grads going on to graduate school within 12 months of earning their bachelor's. Unranked colleges, which do not submit enough data for U.S. News to calculate a ranking, were not considered for this report.

Below are the schools with the highest percentages of alumni enrolling in graduate school within a year of graduation:

School name (state) Percentage of graduates pursuing an advanced degree within one year U.S. News rank and category
Yeshiva University (NY) 89 46, National Universities
Neumann University (PA) 71 RNP*, Regional Universities (North)
Utah State University 67 174, National Universities
Elmira College (NY) 64 7, Regional Colleges (North)
Springfield College (MA) 58 55, Regional Universities (North)
Bethany College (WV) 55 178, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Gallaudet University (DC) 55 17, Regional Universities (North)
New College of Florida 55 87, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Wayne State University (MI) 54 RNP, National Universities
Sacred Heart University (CT) 53 38, Regional Universities (North)

*RNP denotes an institution that is ranked in the bottom one fourth of its rankings category. U.S. News calculates a rank for the school but has decided not to publish it.

Don't see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News College Compass to find alumni data, complete rankings, and much more.

U.S. News surveyed more than 1,800 colleges and universities for our 2012 survey of undergraduate programs. Schools self-reported a myriad of data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News's data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Colleges rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data come from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News's rankings of Best Colleges or Best Graduate Schools. The alumni data above are correct as of Jan. 2, 2013.