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Old 09-23-05, 04:01 PM   #1
DXchulo
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Question about Grad School

I'm sure there are better places to go with this question, but what the heck.

This is my first year of grad school, and the website says,

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Students enrolled in the doctoral program earn the M.A. degree as part of the process of fulfilling the requirements for the Ph.D. degree. However, we do not offer the M.A. degree outside of the Ph.D. program, so students who only wish to obtain a M.A. degree should consider an alternative university.
So what's to stop people from enrolling in the Ph.D. program and then quitting after they get their M.A.? If someone did this would the university make them give back their financial aid?
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Old 09-23-05, 09:55 PM   #2
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Yeah, it's strange how they give out the M.A. like that. If they're so bad, why give them anything?

I heard that sometimes it still takes 4 years to get your Ph.D. even if you already have your M.A. Is that true everywhere?
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Old 09-23-05, 11:29 PM   #3
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This is a really trivial analogy... but think of it like a consolation prize.

Most universities are bound to the credentialing of their respective professional organizations. In most cases, these professional organizations protect student interests by requiring programs to have some "alternative measures/options" for those students that cannot make it past the Dr. Angel Gabriels and St. Peters. Most programs consider the M.A. option as a means to ensure that they have done their part on the student's behalf.

As far as the students, generally the MA -- or equivalent -- doesn't do much for psychology grads (as that it is not a terminal degree).

Lauren, where are you at in NC?
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Old 09-24-05, 08:10 AM   #4
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4 years, I wish-the national average in history is 12 years, my school is blazing fast with most people getting done in 8!
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Old 09-24-05, 09:58 AM   #5
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I want to get this done in 4. I'm going to be taking summer classes and all of that. I keep hearing everyone say it's "gradual school" and nobody gets done in 4, but a lot of people say the undergrad takes more than 4 when it really doesn't. Maybe grad school does take longer, but I'll do everything I can to keep it short.

Basically I'm not sure how happy I'm going to be here and I was just toying around with the idea of getting my MA here and applying to other schools after that. Also, I want to go to the Peace Corps and I was thinking about fitting it in between the two. But if I get my MA and then have to do 4 more years instead of 2, I'm not sure how much I like that idea. I'd rather just do it in 4 and go to the Peace Corps after that. I'm just wondering if graduating and then taking a 2 year break would hurt me when I came back to look for a job. When I get back I can get a government job with no competition as long as I'm qualified, but there aren't a lot of government jobs in psychology (cognitive).
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Old 09-25-05, 01:22 PM   #6
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Nothing wrong with it at all -- that's probably why it's there. You'd be amazed at how many people get into the Ph.D. program and then realize they don't actually want the Ph.D. You'd be amazed at how many of them have red hair and ride a Specialized Allez.

(I wanted to be a professor, but now I realize how much of my prof's job is writing grant proposals and how little is research/teaching. Sigh. Stupid money.)
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Old 09-25-05, 01:39 PM   #7
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What type of program are you in? Most of the biochemistry, chemistry and physics programs with which I am familiar refer to this as a terminal masters - as in you were terminated. Consequently, some people will look at a Masters as a wash-out degree. Degree can still be useful in certain contexts, but you need to think through what your goals are.


If you're in science (i.e., not engineering where MS is a common and valued degree), PM me for more free, and potentially useless, advice.
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Old 09-27-05, 07:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren
In psych, be happy for 6 years total. Switching labs after the MA will only make it take longer. Engineering (my field) doesn't take as long as some, but many of the students then get a professional degree to round out their education so it the average would be 10 if you count that. One guy's doing a dual PhD/MBA and considering law school next! We all think he's crazy though.

Sounds a bit like my dad. I think my My dad has several phpd's and numerous majors and minors and after spending i think 10+ years at the university of minnesota he went back again to college with his fiance.
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Old 09-27-05, 09:31 AM   #9
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It says the university doesn't award an MA degree alone. That means that if you leave before you earn your PhD, you get nothing! You may have the credits for an MA, but you don't get it. Basically, they're saying that their PhD program accept students who don't have their MA yet. Those students will get the MA, but only WITH the PhD, not before.

It's kind of like going to a four-year undergrad school that only offers bachelor's degrees, but not two-year associates degrees. If you wanted to leave after two years and ask for just an associate's degree, they wouldn't give it to you because they don't offer it. Someone who tried this could only transfer their credits to another school that offers the degree they want.
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