St. John's for Graduate School?

<p>I mentioned to my guidance counselor that I was interested in St. John's at least enough to visit. According to him, attending would be a huge mistake: it would be difficult to receive transfer credit if I decide the school is not for me and St. John's is "frowned upon" among graduate institutions. Now, according to the website, the college ranks among the top 10% of schools in percentage of students earning doctoral degrees. So at least the latter can't be entirely true.</p>

<p>But is it partially true? What do those students typically get their doctorates in? Would an aspiring physicist or engineer have more difficult being accepted into a graduate program than, say, a student interested in literature?</p>

<p>St. John's maintains that there students get accepted to top graduate programs in a number of disciples, including math and science and I personally think it is a great foundation for graduate work. I do believe, though, that a St. John's student would most likely find acceptance to graduate schools for areas such as Classics, Philosophy, and Literature, but if one were dedicated enough, could attend Law, Medical, or Business schools. There are a number of different statistics that have St. John's in the top 25 in future Ph.Ds or other similar figures, but ultimately it is up to each student's desire. For example, you may need post-bac study in something like medicine or science and you may possibly need some required classes during the summer at another college for other graduate programs. I've spoken to a student at St. John's who said that if you decide to transfer out, that the school will help transfer as many credits into your new school. However, if you would like to transfer into St. John's, one must begin from the beginning.</p>

<p>I went to St. John's and can give you ideas about how the school applies to graduate study. </p>

<p>First off, there are reasonable number of people who do very, very well in graduate and professional school. There are a few alums I know who have not just gone to the top law schools in the U.S., they have also been among the top editors of the law review. There are many at lesser law schools, too. Medicine isn't quite as well represented and neither is business, but I do know some from both including one of the top MBAs on pre-financial crisis Wall Street. There are a huge number of journalists who come from St. John's, often via Columbia Univ.'s J-School. There are as one would expect a number of successful graduates of humanities PhD programs, including from the most widely esteemed programs. Do not think that attending St. John's precludes successful graduate study.</p>

<p>What is important to realize is that you will have a unique undergraduate experience and the responsibility for translating that for those outside the school will be yours. You won't learn to take tests as well as those at more conventional schools. But you will learn better listening and conversation skills. You won't get the high levels of specialization that other schools give, but you will get breadth that is quite rare and can come in handy when you least expect it. In short, St. John's shouldn't keep you from grad school UNLESS you are highly conventional and/or don't expect to work through your own path. </p>

<p>The most successful St. John's students are the entrepreneurial ones that are willing to take responsibility for stuff. If you really want to go to med school after St. John's, you are going to have to figure out on your own when and how to take organic chemistry. Or if you really want to become a physicist, you might have to get some exposure to technical topics on your own time. The question about whether this is doable or not is up to you. </p>

<p>Be forewarned, St. John's takes a self-selected bunch and not everyone is going to be highly motivated.</p>

<p>I know this is way out of left field, but what about grad and phd work in fields such as Pharmacognosy – or more specifically, biochem. or other work related to working in a lab developing medicines from plant-based sources. Do you think any post-grad colleges would welcome someone from St. John’s?</p>