Graduate Students Back to School Gift Guide 2021

No one can disagree that last year was a rough one. To decide to commit to a graduate program after the year that was 2020 takes massive guts. And that kind of bravery deserves to be rewarded.

The year ahead is still uncertain and it must be hugely daunting for new graduate students. So, to sweeten the deal a bit, let’s take a look at the ultimate college back to school essentials to gift graduate students in 2021. 

With these items in their arsenal, they will be able to take on whatever the year ahead might throw at them.

Best Laptops for Graduate Students

The best laptop computer for graduate students will vary depending on their interests.


If the grad student you are hoping to surprise doesn’t require a more specialized laptop, maybe have a look at these best essential/basic laptops for graduate students:

Best Headphones 

Music can keep a person sane throughout anything - even graduate school during a pandemic. No graduate student gift guide for 2021 would be complete without headphones.


If you are shopping for headphones for someone sporty, you need to go for something portable, secure, and comfortable. Here are some options to have a look at: 


Cushion/DJ headphones prioritize comfort and sound quality over portability. Some of the best cushion/DJ headphones include:

House Essentials

No graduate student gift guide is complete without a few items to help make their living spaces homey. 

Chances are, by the time a student reaches graduate school, they have collected all the basics. But perhaps they are missing a few luxury items that could just be lifesavers in graduate school. 


Something like a coffee maker, or a dishwasher, could be the perfect addition to a grad student’s kitchen. Alternatively, consider getting them a recipe book for new meal inspirations!


For the bedroom, think about gifting an Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser, or a Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp to create a cozy and pleasant atmosphere.


For the bathroom, a soft non-slip bath mat, some plush towels or a snug bathrobe will all be welcome additions to a grad student’s home.

Fashion-forward Items 

Is it time for them to step-up their style now that they are in graduate school? If clothing seems like the right kind of gift for the person you have in mind, have a look at the following useful resources.

Dress for Work 

Shopping for work clothes can be daunting, especially for a grad student newly entering the workforce. Consider gifting an essential workplace item like a shirt, pencil skirt, or blazer. This should become one of their workplace staples in no time. 

Casual Wear 

Some of us may have taken the phrase “casual” a bit too far last year. To help a grad student keep it casual (and not sloppy), consider some nice T-shirts or blouses that they can comfortably wear to their classes. A good pair of sneakers can also go a long way!


A cocktail party is the perfect setting for a bit of all-too-important networking. To help a grad student feel their best, consider gifting them a new, classy cocktail wardrobe item to add to their repertoire. This could be a pretty cocktail dress or perhaps a nice tie to class up a standard suit. 

Final Thoughts

The above graduate student gift guide includes just a few ideas of good college back-to-school essentials for grad students in 2021. 

Grad students are no longer slumming it like they were in their undergrad. They have most of what they need so most gifts should be bonus extras to make their lives a bit easier and a bit more comfortable.