Welcome back to school, Niki. And Happy New Year, Visa.
Four minutes, three books and $130.45 later, I’m leaving the campus bookstore reminding myself all the reasons why going back to grad school is a wise decision. I’m trying not to remember that I’m not technically a grad student. Not yet at least.
This is the last semester I can be enrolled as a non-degree seeking student before I have to apply to a program. The College of Charleston allows you to take three graduate classes as a non-degree student and apply them towards your degree. It’s a great opportunity for anyone interested in getting a jump on their master’s degree. Think of it as training for a marathon. Start off slowly by taking an introductory class to the program. Get acclimated to the classroom again and figure out how to balance your schedule. Get an A in the class to keep you motivated.
Take a second class and begin studying for your entrance exams. You should have a basic idea of how to balance work, school and family by now. Refine your schedule, and keep on top of those assignments. By the time you’ve finished your third class, you’re a quarter of your way through the program, have good grades and are ready to submit your application for degree-seeking status.
Entering your master’s degree this way can help strengthen your application if you have a poor undergraduate GPA. Getting good grades as a non-degree seeking student can show the admissions committee that you can produce quality work at the master’s level.
So here’s to a productive New Year to all grad students out there. May your bookstore receipts be minimal and your caffeine be strong.