Author Topic: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.  (Read 1496 times)

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katiescarlett

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Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« on: December 02, 2012, 04:37:48 PM »
My question is this:  Can you go to grad school with your minor?  For example, if you are an English major, and decide you want a history minor, can you go to grad school in history if you decide you don't want to in English.  (No, I don't want to change my major, I love my major)

Thanks!

jpcher

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2012, 04:46:40 PM »
I think this is something that you need to talk to your student advisory people about.

Certain minor classes that you take my not be transferable or relevant to the major degree that you're looking for.

figee

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2012, 04:50:59 PM »
Depends.  I did my undergrad in history and politics and my PG in sociology - I'm now an academic in sociology which is a completely different discipline.  So it can be done.  But I think it would depend on several things.  First, where you did your UG and where you want to go PG.  Some university systems and education systems are more similar than others so I moved between Australia and the UK without an issue.  It would depend how much assumed knowledge there is - this will be different in the USA from the other two system mentioned.  And finally it would depend on what you were moving from and to.  If, for instance, you had a minor in nuclear physics and your major was English Lit and you wanted to move to physics, I would imagine it would be more difficult than moving from English Lit to Linguistics.

Talk to people at your current institution and also the ones you're applying to.

SleepyKitty

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2012, 04:54:03 PM »
Depends on the major/minor. I'm going with the history example, since that's what I know. :) In general you're not going to get accepted somewhere for history if you can't demonstrate a proficiency in doing history. That may be possible depending on how intensive the minor was - if you took a higher-level seminar type course, and you have a strong writing sample and good recommendations, you can get into a history grad program. It will be a little more competitive, but you could do it. However, if your minor just means you have credits in lower-level courses, without a sufficient writing sample, then that won't cut it.

I'm sure it's different for graduate school outside of the humanities, though - I have no idea how a math or science program would work.

katiescarlett

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2012, 04:59:32 PM »
Thanks for the replies.  It really is more a passing thought, than anything else.  I love English, and I want to teach on the college level, however, I really love history as well. 

camlan

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2012, 05:29:31 PM »
Given the example of an English major and a history minor, it's probably doable. It depends, as SleepyKitty says, on what courses you took in history. And also what the requirements of the graduate program are.

But it is usually possible to take a few more history courses to get enough credits to apply for a history grad program. It's something that you would have to discuss with the school you were hoping to attend--how many more courses you would need and what kind of courses.

Depending on the grad school, you might be able to take one or two history courses while pursuing a degree in English. The university I attended for my Master's allowed English grad students to take up to two courses that weren't English courses--most people who did this took a history course to get a better feel for a given period.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


JoW

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2012, 05:34:29 PM »
I vaguely recall a couple of grad students being in my junior or senior level Chemical Engineering classes.  They had undergraduate degrees in another engineering discipline and these courses were necessary pre-requisites for their graduate level courses.  Something like that in other fields wouldn't surprise me - you get admitted to grad school, but are required to take a few lower level courses in your new field before you take graduate level courses. 

Jocelyn

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2012, 05:50:03 PM »
My question is this:  Can you go to grad school with your minor?  For example, if you are an English major, and decide you want a history minor, can you go to grad school in history if you decide you don't want to in English.  (No, I don't want to change my major, I love my major)

Thanks!
Depends upon the department you're applying to. My BA and masters' are in two very different fields. However, my doctorate required that my masters' be in the same or a closely associated field. I would guess that most history departments would have some sort of requirement for a certain number of undergraduate hours in history. But really, one of the most cherished parts of academia is the right of the faculty to set rules for their own students, so it would be entirely up to the faculty where you want to apply. Check out the websites of a few schools, though, and I'll bet you'll see a lot of similarities.

Lady Snowdon

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2012, 06:19:23 PM »
I'm another one who says it depends.  My majors in undergrad were Communication Studies and History, and my Master's degree is in Business Administration.  Not very similar at all!  However, I believe MBA programs can be different than other Master's programs in many ways, and this may be one of them.

mbbored

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2012, 06:38:27 PM »
Another person with it depends on the program you're entering.

And while you've probably heard it before, I'm going to chime in with the fact that it's incredibly difficult to find a college level English teaching job. Most people I know with PhDs in English cannot find university positions: they're struggling to make ends meet teaching at several community colleges or they're teaching in high schools.

Firecat

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2012, 06:43:58 PM »
Another "it depends." My undergrad was a double major in English and history, my Master's degree is in education. It's something to look into and talk to people who know the programs you're considering applying to.

mandolinn

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2012, 06:49:48 PM »
Your grad degree can be in a totally unrelated field than either your major or minor. You (general you) may need to take a few classes to prepare for the additional course work and required information, but if you know the information already that may not even be required. Schools from my home state require a test (think GRE, MAT, etc) to test knowledge related to what you'll be studying in grad school.  Your best bet would be to contact the school(s) you're interested in and ask what their requirements are, but absolutely, the fields can be different.

And history and English--not as different as one might think.

camlan

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2012, 07:10:39 PM »
Here's an example from real life. One of my undergrad English professors had all his degrees in English. But somewhere along the line, he became very interested in the very earliest writings, like Babylonian, and started studying those. That led to a PhD in history--he didn't need to go back and take an undergrad history degree. He found a university that would admit him to their grad history program based on his existing degrees and the independent studies that he had undertaken.

I remember this because the semester I need him to write recommendations to grad school for me, he was away on an archeological dig in Turkey, which in the days before email and the internet, meant that getting recommendations from him was not an easy thing.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


snowdragon

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2012, 07:23:02 PM »
It also will depend on the school. I have a BA in Individualized Studies, I can use my minor in Museum Studies to get in the History department, The Museum Studies Department or the Education Department at my school.  It might work the same at your school

sunnygirl

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2012, 09:03:30 PM »
My Masters programme had many students who had never studied the subject before, ever (they had to take extra classes to get them up to speed), while my PhD programme required a Masters in the same subject. So I think it depends, but I think Masters tend to have more liberal entry requirements. Unless maybe it's a technical/science subject.