So, one sometimes hears the statement that a student should not go to graduate school at the same school where s/he went to undergrad. I’ve heard that at least one top 15 sociology department has a policy against admitting its own students (I’m not sure whether it is just students who were soc majors or all students). I would strongly disagree with such a policy because I believe that, if the argument is that it’s bad for the intellectual development of the student to attend the same place for undergrad and grad school, then this should be up to the student rather than the admitting department. My dominant metaphor for graduate admissions is “graduate programs are like an employer” and not “graduate programs are like your mom.”
But is this even good advice from the perspective of the student? It feels like the kind of advice that may have made more sense in the past than it does anymore, and it just gets repeated across academic generations. For one thing, perhaps the division between undergraduate and graduate study was less than it is now. It seems to me like grad school is still a whole ‘nuther thing even if you do it at the same place. For another, universities themselves might have been more cloistered from one another in the past than they are now. Certainly, the students are less cloistered, as so many students study abroad, take time off before going to graduate school, and do internships and otherwise do things that take them outside any particular university.