9 Gifts Ideas for Graduate Students

Graduation hat and diploma on table
seb_ra / Getty Images

If your favorite twentysomething is heading off to grad school, it's time to find the perfect present to celebrate their accomplishments. Here's a gift guide with possibilities in every price range. Choose from gifts any grad will enjoy as well as ideas specifically for med students, nurses-to-be, future lawyers, and prospective MBAs.

  • 01 of 09

    French Press Coffee Maker

    French Press


    Coffee and grad school go together as naturally as exams and exhaustion. So give that new grad student a nice coffee press and an insulated travel mug, plus a pound or two of great coffee. You can also pair the travel mug with a well-loaded gift card for Starbucks, Peet's, or any coffeehouse near campus.

  • 02 of 09

    TLC for the Shoulders

    iStock Photo

    Hard-working grad students get neck and shoulder aches—it comes with the territory with all that hunched-over studying. Consider giving a gift certificate for a shoulder massage at a nearby spa, or a lavender-filled neck roll, which can be microwaved to soothing warmness, then wrapped around aching muscles.

  • 03 of 09

    Crinkly Green Bills

    Dollar Bill

    David Siqueira/Stock.Xchng Photos

    After four or more years of undergraduate work, chances are your graduate has empty pockets, making cash a most welcome gift. Money may not be an exciting thing to give, but there are some genius ways to package it. Try rolling a check inside a prescription bottle, filling a personalized piggy bank, or tying it with a graduation-style tassel.

  • 04 of 09

    Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School

    Grad School Book

    Broadway Books

    This tongue-in-cheek advice book by Adam Ruben is light on the practical advice and heavy on the humor. Tuck in a few twenties as a bookmark and this light-hearted gift will bring a smile to your graduate's face.

    Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School by Adam Ruben

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  • 05 of 09

    For Nursing Students

    First Year Nurse

    Kaplan Publishing

    If you have a new nursing student your family, the RN-to-be will love everything on this list, from the career advice books and medical thrillers to scrubs, socks, a retro 1950s series, and smart gift cards.

    First Year Nurse: Wisdom, Warnings, and What I Wish I'd Known My First 100 Days on the Job by Barbara Arnoldussen

  • 06 of 09

    For a Future Dentist

    Death of a Dentist
    Grand Central Publishing

    These gift ideas for dental students offer a little something for everyone, from laptop bags and gift cards to bacon-flavored floss and dentistry-related books.

    Death of a Dentist (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 13) by M. C. Beaton

  • 07 of 09

    For Med Students

    Circulatory System

    Roll and Tumble Press

    If you know a young adult that's headed for med school, an internship, or residency, there are plenty of useful presents out there, ranging from big-ticket items like a stethoscope ($100–$300) to anatomy books and posters. This list of gifts for med students should get you started.

  • 08 of 09

    For the Future MBA

    MBA Degree-in-a-Box

    Mental Floss

    If you know someone heading for business school, this gift list may be just the ticket. It includes accessories for the office, as well as entertaining books, movies, and humorous gifts for that future CEO.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    For Legal Eagles

    Passing the Bar board game

    P&R Games

    If you have a child starting law school, a clerkship, or the bar exam, there are plenty of useful gifts out there besides leather attache cases. Some unique ideas include a board game tailor-made for bar exam crams, engraved gavels, law-themed books and movies, and more.