Saturday, August 8, 2009

Combined Degree Program

The other day I was perusing some stuff online. I had been thinking about where I would go to graduate school, but only Mizzou has a Masters in Journalism. Go Figure. I was looking at Webster's site and I discovered sequential degrees. A "sequential" degree is when you get one BA directly after completing a first in the same area of study. Then, they don't make you take any electives and you only have to take the classes you didn't take already for the first degree.

I was looking at the sequential degrees again and I came across a "Combined Degrees Program." Basically, you start taking graduate classes as an undergraduate and they let you count the graduate hours for both your BA and your MA. Here's how my school describes it:
The combined degrees program enables the student with an outstanding academic
record to complete both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree through an
accelerated program. Upper-level undergraduate courses are integrated with
initial graduate courses in the curriculum, which decreases the total
requirements for both degrees by a maximum of 12 credit hours.

There are a few requirements:
you have to have between 64-98 credit hours and at least a 3.3 gpa, which I do (96 credit hours 3.8 gpa).

On Thursday I went to Webster to talk to Paula Aguilar, who is in charge of the program. If I decide to go through with it, I can have a Master's Degree in Media Communications completed in 1 year if I don't take off any terms and go the maximum number of hours.

She also told me about this "Grad Assistantship program" where you work for the school and you get paid, and they pay your tuition, which would be an awesome way to help out with grad school. Of course, I would have to be doing an assistantship search at the same time as I was doing my actual job search and internship. :s

I asked Mrs. Aguilar if she thought this option would benefit me and she answered as honestly as possible with an "I don't know." She said if I have a choice between getting experience (through a job or internship) or going to grad school, employers prefer the experience. And maybe they would even pay for grad school. She suggested I take next semester to talk to some of my teachers in the field and see what they think.

There wouldn't be any sort of penalty if I signed up for the program and decided not to do it later (except they wouldn't let me keep the graduate credits towards a Master's degree if I came back later).

My mom insists that having too much school can hurt you. Hmm. Something to think about I suppose...

The advisor said that if I apply I will definitely get in- it's not too competitive, she says. But I do only have a few weeks to think about it, because I'm pretty much at the max on the # of hours requirement. What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I think it depends on your field. SLU doesn't even offer journalism so I don't know much about the education requirements, but is a graduate degree something everyone in your field has? If so, then go for it. If not, then don't. For me, everyone has an upper-level degree so it's pretty much expected. But for example, for teachers, if you get a master's degree before you get a job it's way harder to FIND a job because they have to pay you more.

    Although, a more generalized degree in communications or something may prepare you for a broader range of careers if you decide you want to try something different...



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