Graduate degrees take more time and money, but they just might pay off in a big way. Below, you'll find six notable graduate schools and programs found in the state of Arkansas.

Sam M. Walton College of Business at U of A

Recently ranked first in the nation for percentage of MBA students employed upon graduation—edging out Harvard, Stanford and Wharton, according to U.S. News & World Report.

UAMS Graduate Program

UAMS is the state’s only academic medical center. In addition to the hospital and clinics, UAMS includes five colleges and a graduate school, eight Regional Centers, and seven institutes of excellence.

Clinton School of Public Service

The first school in the nation to offer a Master’s of Public Service (MPS) degree, the Clinton School furthers careers in the areas of nonprofit, governmental, volunteer or private-sector service. Students complete “hands-on” public service projects, ranging from local work in Arkansas, to international projects.

William H. Bowen School of Law at UALR

With one of the lowest student/faculty ratios in the nation, the UALR Bowen School of Law allows students to interact with their peers and faculty members to a degree not possible at many schools.

UCA’s Nursing program

The master’s nursing program has been around since 1967 and has recently been ranked eighth in the nation of all graduate nursing programs, as determined by Top Master’s in Healthcare Administration.

Harding’s Physical Therapy program

This relatively new program offers a small class size (around 35) and features a Mission experience in Zambia, Africa—a required course experience during the third year.

The Average Cost of Grad School

The cost of graduate degree programs varies greatly depending on the type of school and academic program. On average, annual tuition at public colleges and universities totals nearly $30,000 and at private schools nearly $40,000. Other costs include books, supplies and transportation (unless you live on campus). —

Popular U.S. Jobs that Require a Graduate Degree

Here are some of the top graduate degrees (with a 4-year bachelor’s degree factored in) that pay off in the long-run when it comes to job availability, salaries and job satisfaction according to Fortune magazine.

  • Computer engineering +1.5 years of coursework and thesis writing
  • Biomedical engineering +1.5-2 years
  • Brain surgeon +4 years of medical school +6-8 years in residency
  • Professor +2-3 years for master’s +Ph.D., which can take up to 6 more years
  • MBA (Master’s of Business Administration) +2 years of full-time classes
  • Nurse Practitioner Studies +Accelerated BSN programs range from 12 to 20 months
  • Physician Assistant +2 years
  • Speech Pathology +2 years
  • Accounting +1 year
  • Orthotics and Prosthetics +2 years and residency
  • Statistician +1-2 years

If You’re Thinking About Being a Doctor…

Medical school teaches students a broad range of medical knowledge and clinical skills, while medical residency gives in-depth training within a specific branch of medicine. Becoming a doctor will pay off in the long-run, but the average salary during residency is around $51,00. The length of residency depends on the program, but here are a few of the popular routes:

  • Optometry + 1 year
  • Pharmacy + 2 years
  • Family practice, internal medicine and pediatrics + 3 years
  • Oral surgery + 3-4 years
  • General surgery + 5 years
  • Brain surgery + 6-8 years

9 Companies in Arkansas That Will Help Pay for Grad School

1. UPS
2. Tyson
3. AT&T
4. NWA Regional Airport
5. Source Gas Arkansas
6. J.B. Hunt
7. Washington Regional Medical
8. Sager Creek Vegetable Company