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Old 07-25-2009, 03:45 PM
 
19,045 posts, read 25,114,058 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kellem View Post
Now in grad school, specially on the more advanced classes, you would get homeworks with one or two problems that take 6-10 hours to get through, and likely have no correct answer. Or at least no one has figured it out yet. You have to deal with a lot of ambiguity and make choices about the approach and direction of your solutions. A lot of the time professors are looking more at how you approach the problem than if you get to the answer or not.
Spot on. And this type of course work is great prepartion for entering whatever industry a person is going into.

Quote:
Also, compared to undergrad, I think a lot of professors see you more as a "newbie colleague" than as a student. So they are more willing to spend large amounts of time discussing different approaches and ideas about the material that you might have. So it's really easy to start forming relationships with your professors that transcend the course that you are taking.
Again, great post.
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Old 07-25-2009, 03:55 PM
 
19,045 posts, read 25,114,058 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High_Plains_Retired View Post
It's been many years since I was a graduate student (30 years) but as I recall my masters seemed easier than my undergraduate degree. Building on a previous degree in biology, my graduate program in biology seemed to be simply a rehash and reinforcement of things I had already learned. However, I do distinctly remember finally understanding as a graduate student some of the complex biological processes and theories that I had only memorized as an undergraduate.
I found it much more difficult, though way more enjoyable. I had a prof in an advanced medical genetics course that offered challenges I wasn't expecting. Basically, we had to figure out ways to cure a range of diseases via genetic alterations. Having to employ application forced us to think outside the box. And it wasn't anything we could google, since the conditions we dealt with are incurable (as of now). Of course, I don't think anyone came up with actual cures, but the reasoning had to be sound. That was fantastic.
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Old 07-26-2009, 05:30 PM
f_m
 
2,289 posts, read 8,344,674 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amsherwo View Post
Just make sure that if you do decide to do your master's that you don't let your advisor push your research in a direction you aren't interested in. (I only say that b/c that's what happened to me. I went in to speak with my advisor and select my thesis topic and he said, great that sounds interesting but no one will care, so here's the topic you are going to do. Choose this one or this other topic that is essentially the same project, which I did and sincerely regret. I was miserable working on a project that I hated and it has pushed back the date when I will receive my MS. Don't be like me! If you go to grad school, study something that you love and don't let anybody else tell you differently)
Yes, I agree, but of course the circumstances could depend on financial aid. I took what was available, but I would have rather worked on a different type of project. So that probably affected my results, but I could have done better in class if I was more focused on what I was doing.

I would strongly suggest early on, talking to the professor about the topic fields you would end up working on.

I did remember one meeting where people were talking about previous students that stayed for 1 year then washed out or went to take a job without finishing.
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:47 PM
 
25,157 posts, read 53,801,703 times
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Masters degree is like taking senior level undergraduate classes. It is really no different. You might have more articles to read, a few assignments that are a few pages longer, and some surprises here and there but it truly isn't anything too different than undergraduate studies. Think of it as continuing your education, it's no big deal.

But don't go from English undergrad to a Master's program in finance because it will be a beast of a transition. Also it depends in what program you get into because you can expect there to be some fierce politics in some of the fields that you get into. Beware. It's not about "hand holding" as other posters like to say, it is about whether or not your professors are any good. A lot of them focus purely on research grant money/fund raising, and have very little skills in instruction, class design, customer service, or lectures.

My undergraduate experience was extremely academic/lecture/research focused. After graduation I did the research to find a graduate school that would be purely academic/student friendly and not some pompous/ostentatious gradate school with burnt out anal-retentive profs to kiss up too, that btw don't want to "hold your hand" as they call it, instead they give you a hard time and the cold shoulder which is what they call an "education". So avoid any places that are like that and stick to interviewing several of the professors and assistants in the department over the phone first before you make any decisions and collect as much information as you can before you enter any graduate school. If they are rude or make you feel weird for probing then move on to another graduate school and continue your interviews. Also don't base everything on rankings alone, you never know what sort of unpleasant surprises await you. Good luck everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingSAT View Post
What is it like when you are going for your Masters?

I found my first two years of college were very difficult, the next two a little easier; but what about Masters? What can one expect?

Last edited by artsyguy; 07-27-2009 at 12:08 AM..
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:51 PM
 
25,157 posts, read 53,801,703 times
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Are you serious. In my undergraduate studies I was always writing essays and doing power point presentations therefore I had no problem with the transition into graduate school. It sort of blurred together as one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegirlinaz View Post
I am going for my masters this fall. I am nervous, especially about all the studying and writing! It seems I haven't written an essay in quite some time..

Last edited by artsyguy; 07-27-2009 at 12:04 AM..
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Old 07-27-2009, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
804 posts, read 1,355,000 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artsyguy View Post
Masters degree is like taking senior level undergraduate classes. It is really no different. You might have more articles to read, a few assignments that are a few pages longer, and some surprises here and there but it truly isn't anything too different than undergraduate studies. Think of it as continuing your education, it's no big deal.

But don't go from English undergrad to a Master's program in finance because it will be a beast of a transition. Also it depends in what program you get into because you can expect there to be some fierce politics in some of the fields that you get into. Beware. It's not about "hand holding" as other posters like to say, it is about whether or not your professors are any good. A lot of them focus purely on research grant money/fund raising, and have very little skills in instruction, class design, customer service, or lectures.

My undergraduate experience was extremely academic/lecture/research focused. After graduation I did the research to find a graduate school that would be purely academic/student friendly and not some pompous/ostentatious gradate school with burnt out anal-retentive profs to kiss up too, that btw don't want to "hold your hand" as they call it, instead they give you a hard time and the cold shoulder which is what they call an "education". So avoid any places that are like that and stick to interviewing several of the professors and assistants in the department over the phone first before you make any decisions and collect as much information as you can before you enter any graduate school. If they are rude or make you feel weird for probing then move on to another graduate school and continue your interviews. Also don't base everything on rankings alone, you never know what sort of unpleasant surprises await you. Good luck everyone.

I do not know what graduate school and program you went to, but this has been completely opposite to my experience.

Graduate classes are completelly different from undergrad classes. And this is not just because I change schools between undergrad-grad but I have taken senior undergrad classes at my grad school and there are also completely different.

In undergrad classes things are usually really straight forward, you have a text book and a set of lectures with the content that you are required to learn. Usually problem sets focus on making sure you understand the concepts and you know how to apply them. Usually there is a group/personal semester-long project that again focuses on using what you have learned.

The only classes that I can agree to be similar to the senior undergrad are core courses, the ones that are supposed to level people who have not had a strong background in the area, and to make sure that every graduate at least have a basic understanding of all topics that are basic for the degree. In my program there was 5 core classes, but if you felt strong in any those areas you could test out of them. For me there were really helpful since I changed from Electrical to Materials Engineering, but other people, who came from Materials undergrad, tested out of several of those courses.


In grad classes, at least in most of them, the professor teaching the class is extremely related to the topic that he's teaching. Sometimes, it was that particular teached who created the class, or he does research on the topic of that class. Some of the classes have exams with open book, notes and even computers. Some of the do not have exams and there are only a couple of homeworks and a project. A lot of the time the project topics are research topics in areas where very few people in the class, even the instructor, has very little knowledge about (Each presentation teaches the students something new at a very bird-eyes view).

I agree with you about the increase in dificulty when changing majors when starting grad school. I did it, it was harder than if I stuck to the same major, but it has given me a whole new perspective on problems and now I feel I have two very different toolsets to my disposal when confronting problems. So, basically if you are interested in changing fields, be aware that you are going to have to put more effort into it than most of your colleagues, but it's by no means impossible, and it's very rewarding once you level. I would advise you though, that even if you used to be able to juggle 5-6 courses as a senior in undergrad, taking 4 grad courses is a different ballpark and if you are changing majors it will be very, very difficult. I did this and it's clearly reflected in my 1st semesters GPA.

About the teachers, well, that is true about any school and any degree program. There are simply some people who know their stuff, but cannot teach or communicate effectively. But, by this point you should have had enough of this type of professors that you know how to learn on your own and use your teacher as a guideline/resource.

About picking an advisor, be aware that a lot of these people are really busy, and the most popular ones get new student inquiries in a regular basis. Don't be discouraged if you do not get an email reply the first time around, or he forgets to return your call. Also shop around, make sure you go to their meetings, talk to them and their students. I was at a priviledge position comming with a fellowship, so I did not need my advisors support for my first two years, but I talked to 12 professors in 3 different engineering departments, and sat on 5 professors team meetings before joining a research group. That resulted in getting into a research group where I like my advisor's method, I like my research and I like my colleagues.
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Old 07-27-2009, 05:08 PM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,503 posts, read 4,531,680 times
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[quote=Kellem;9930748]What is a multiple choice question?

Duh! Looks like I wrote something that does not make me look with educations at that level. Well, what can I say.

You have a great day.
El Amigo
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:37 PM
 
439 posts, read 1,217,452 times
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I loved grad school. Just loved it. It was the first time I was really by myself, because I had an assistantship that paid for my tuition and gave me just enough to cover rent and bills and food etc so I could live on my own. I spent my days studying, teaching, grading, going to conferences around the country, and in finals week staying up until 2am to write papers I've been out for a few years now and I have to say it's better to be earning a real salary and providing more for my family and not spending all weekend working - but the experience overall was amazing and I wouldn't change it for the world.

I think your grad school experience depends on your subject area, your advisors, and the other students in your program. If any one of these is a bad fit for you, grad school can be miserable. There are a few people on here who had a terrible grad school experience and like to talk about it a lot...mentioning no names I was lucky I chose the right subject and the right school. I was also very independent and didn't go crying to professors when I couldn't get work in on time. In grad school, you just get it done. Period. Excuses are for undergrads.

Good luck!
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:13 PM
 
25,157 posts, read 53,801,703 times
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Well in high school you couldn't go crying to your teachers about late work because it was never accepted either. So I don't see why you are making the difference between undergrad (does not accept late work) and grad (does not accept late work).

Basically undergrad and grad work are very similar to each other.
I did the research and found a very good grad program after my first one which seemed like a drawn out episode of the twilight zone. Where lip service and fake smiles hide the poor quality of education.


Quote:
Originally Posted by violent cello View Post
I loved grad school. Just loved it. It was the first time I was really by myself, because I had an assistantship that paid for my tuition and gave me just enough to cover rent and bills and food etc so I could live on my own. I spent my days studying, teaching, grading, going to conferences around the country, and in finals week staying up until 2am to write papers I've been out for a few years now and I have to say it's better to be earning a real salary and providing more for my family and not spending all weekend working - but the experience overall was amazing and I wouldn't change it for the world.

I think your grad school experience depends on your subject area, your advisors, and the other students in your program. If any one of these is a bad fit for you, grad school can be miserable. There are a few people on here who had a terrible grad school experience and like to talk about it a lot...mentioning no names I was lucky I chose the right subject and the right school. I was also very independent and didn't go crying to professors when I couldn't get work in on time. In grad school, you just get it done. Period. Excuses are for undergrads.

Good luck!
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:33 PM
 
Location: NOCO
532 posts, read 1,562,245 times
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How about some numbers? I'm an undergrad right now and spend a minimum of 60 hours a week on school taking 5 classes (10 hrs in class/50 hrs outside+). I've never really had any help or instruction from professors, I'm starting to worry about what the 'no hand holding' would be like in grad school. What are the upper and lower limits of classes you can take as a graduate student? I'm asking you guys because somebody affiliated with the school will tell you anything to make sure you hand a check over.
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