Author Topic: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.  (Read 1209 times)

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Slartibartfast

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2012, 10:35:08 PM »
Masters programs have varying requirements about specific classes you have to have taken - I've never heard of one requiring a specific degree.  So if you're a music major who happened to take and enjoy a lot of chemistry classes, it's entirely possible you've covered the specific chemistry prerequisites a particular grad program requires.  It's also possible you've covered some but not all of the requirements for a different school's program, in which case you'd probably have to take some extra undergrad chemistry courses to get up to speed before you can apply.

It also matters significantly less the longer you've been out of school (depending on your field) - work experience can substitute for classroom experience in some disciplines.

katiescarlett

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2012, 12:20:10 AM »
Okay, here is another question.  I actually enough classes in my old major (Services for the Deaf) for it to be a minor, but in the last couple of weeks have been contemplating a history minor.  Or, at least, taking as many history classes as I can fit into my schedule until I graduate.  I am on track to graduate May of 14, and this is without going to summer school this summer (no English classes offered at my university in the summer).  I am taking only English classes until I graduate, as I completed all my basic requirements a few years ago.

I am just being sucked back into my love of history again, and while I don't regret majoring in English, and I absolutely love all my classes (first 4.0 ever in my college history, yay!), this has been on my mind a lot lately.  I find myself wanting to take some history classes, if for nothing else than to get more of a feel for the periods of literature I am interested in.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2012, 12:30:09 AM »
Katiescarlett, my sister accidentally ended up with a history minor doing just that  :P  She was a classical studies major, but since classical studies was a pretty small department, a lot of their courses were cross-listed with other departments like history, art, art history, or medieval and renaissance studies.  My sister discovered that by taking her required classical studies courses plus a few cross-listed electives, she had already fulfilled a history minor and was only one class short of an art history minor as well.  She went ahead and took an extra class her senior year so she could graduate with both minors.  She's now a museum curator and doesn't specifically use any of her undergraduate specialties (she's in a smallish community museum), but I still think it's pretty cool!

katiescarlett

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2012, 12:56:59 AM »
Katiescarlett, my sister accidentally ended up with a history minor doing just that  :P  She was a classical studies major, but since classical studies was a pretty small department, a lot of their courses were cross-listed with other departments like history, art, art history, or medieval and renaissance studies.  My sister discovered that by taking her required classical studies courses plus a few cross-listed electives, she had already fulfilled a history minor and was only one class short of an art history minor as well.  She went ahead and took an extra class her senior year so she could graduate with both minors.  She's now a museum curator and doesn't specifically use any of her undergraduate specialties (she's in a smallish community museum), but I still think it's pretty cool!

That sounds interesting!  I just realized I forgot to put my question in my post!  It was basically would it be worth it to get an extra minor, even if it puts graduation off for another semester, or to go back later and take those classes then (as my dad suggested).  I think I would prefer to take them now.  It seems stupid to go back later just to take a few classes.

camlan

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2012, 06:04:28 AM »
Katiescarlett, my sister accidentally ended up with a history minor doing just that  :P  She was a classical studies major, but since classical studies was a pretty small department, a lot of their courses were cross-listed with other departments like history, art, art history, or medieval and renaissance studies.  My sister discovered that by taking her required classical studies courses plus a few cross-listed electives, she had already fulfilled a history minor and was only one class short of an art history minor as well.  She went ahead and took an extra class her senior year so she could graduate with both minors.  She's now a museum curator and doesn't specifically use any of her undergraduate specialties (she's in a smallish community museum), but I still think it's pretty cool!

That sounds interesting!  I just realized I forgot to put my question in my post!  It was basically would it be worth it to get an extra minor, even if it puts graduation off for another semester, or to go back later and take those classes then (as my dad suggested).  I think I would prefer to take them now.  It seems stupid to go back later just to take a few classes.

Well, it depends. I was bored after college, even though I was working full-time. I ended up taking one class a semester for a few years--just enough to keep my brain active. However, I was living in Boston at the time, and there are a great many colleges and universities there, and picking up a single course at night was not at all difficult. In other parts of the country, it might have been a lot harder to find interesting courses.

The cost is also another factor, and may be what is driving your dad's advice. Single courses when you are not officially enrolled in a degree program can be a lot cheaper, as you are just paying for the one course. If you have any idea where you might be living after college, check out the colleges in that area. Look for their Continuing Education program, or something along those lines. There are sometimes even classes that aren't offered to undergrad students available. Also check out if on-line courses would be available to you. And check to see if graduates of your college can audit or take courses at a reduced fee. There's all sorts of options for classes once you have graduated.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn

Lynnv

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2012, 11:17:20 AM »
Katiescarlett, my sister accidentally ended up with a history minor doing just that  :P  She was a classical studies major, but since classical studies was a pretty small department, a lot of their courses were cross-listed with other departments like history, art, art history, or medieval and renaissance studies.  My sister discovered that by taking her required classical studies courses plus a few cross-listed electives, she had already fulfilled a history minor and was only one class short of an art history minor as well.  She went ahead and took an extra class her senior year so she could graduate with both minors.  She's now a museum curator and doesn't specifically use any of her undergraduate specialties (she's in a smallish community museum), but I still think it's pretty cool!

And this is why DH, whose undergrad degree is in Physics, has a minor in Political Science (along with a Math minor, which is not uncommon for folks getting a hard sciences degree).   ;D

I will concur with everyone else on the original question.  DH has his undergraduate degree in Physics and his masters degree is in Education & Pedagogy.  In his case the graduate degree was designed for those with a non-education undergraduate degree who wanted to go into teaching.  But the degrees are not really related at all. 
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Lynn2000

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2012, 11:47:51 AM »
From my perspective, as someone who spent eleven years in college and still works in academia... I feel like majors and minors actually matter less than what a school might lead one to believe. I know, I feel kind of like a heretic saying that! IME, whether you're looking at a job or at grad school, there's more flexibility than one might think in the degree you come in with (except for mandated things, like a public school teacher must have an education degree in some states) and a lot depends on your experience, interest, and how you present yourself.

I guess I've just seen a number of people who had majors and minors in various things, but couldn't actually do those things when asked--like, I'm no longer impressed to see a French minor on someone's resume, I'm impressed if they can actually demonstrate speaking French. And potentially they could speak French fluently even if they had no certification related to it at all, of course.

So I guess what I'm saying is, I wouldn't stress so much over majors and minors, unless you're going into a field where you know specific degrees are mandated. Focus on learning about what you're interested in, and trying to get non-academic experience in that as well. If someone wants to switch gears entirely and get a job or higher degree in a totally different field, I feel like it's more a matter of personally convincing the people in charge that you understand what you're getting into and can handle it, rather than passively presenting a list of degrees and courses.
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katiescarlett

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2012, 01:52:31 PM »
Katiescarlett, my sister accidentally ended up with a history minor doing just that  :P  She was a classical studies major, but since classical studies was a pretty small department, a lot of their courses were cross-listed with other departments like history, art, art history, or medieval and renaissance studies.  My sister discovered that by taking her required classical studies courses plus a few cross-listed electives, she had already fulfilled a history minor and was only one class short of an art history minor as well.  She went ahead and took an extra class her senior year so she could graduate with both minors.  She's now a museum curator and doesn't specifically use any of her undergraduate specialties (she's in a smallish community museum), but I still think it's pretty cool!

That sounds interesting!  I just realized I forgot to put my question in my post!  It was basically would it be worth it to get an extra minor, even if it puts graduation off for another semester, or to go back later and take those classes then (as my dad suggested).  I think I would prefer to take them now.  It seems stupid to go back later just to take a few classes.

Well, it depends. I was bored after college, even though I was working full-time. I ended up taking one class a semester for a few years--just enough to keep my brain active. However, I was living in Boston at the time, and there are a great many colleges and universities there, and picking up a single course at night was not at all difficult. In other parts of the country, it might have been a lot harder to find interesting courses.

The cost is also another factor, and may be what is driving your dad's advice. Single courses when you are not officially enrolled in a degree program can be a lot cheaper, as you are just paying for the one course. If you have any idea where you might be living after college, check out the colleges in that area. Look for their Continuing Education program, or something along those lines. There are sometimes even classes that aren't offered to undergrad students available. Also check out if on-line courses would be available to you. And check to see if graduates of your college can audit or take courses at a reduced fee. There's all sorts of options for classes once you have graduated.

Cost, for me, is best right now.  My job is paying for my classes, and I pay for my books, so now would be the ideal time for me as far as financially.

AnnaJ

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Re: Question for you grad students, or those in academia.
« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2012, 11:19:54 PM »
I kept the same major through grad school, but a friend of a friend had a double major English/History as an undergrad; she got an M.A. in History then her PhD in English.  This is in the U.S. - she did all of her graduate work at the same university and didn't have any problems making the transition, probably because she talked to several professors in the English Department while she was completing her Masters and the department was very welcoming to her.