This past quarter, I started courses at the local university as a Graduate Non-Degree-Seeking student, because after submitting letters of recommendation, a CV, and a letter of intent, along with GRE scores and transcripts, the committee which manages entry into the graduate program to which I was applying decided I needed to take more graduate classes (to “prove that I was capable”) before they would admit me.
You can transfer up to 10 credits taken while in a non-degree program into your major. I took a 3-hour intro course last quarter, and I got an A in that one, so things are looking up.
I reapplied for the program for admission in summer quarter, and have been told that my letters, transcripts, and CV are still on file and can be used, but that remains to be seen.
The biggest surprise came when I was researching publications by some of the professors, and I found that some of my old neighbors and partying friends graduated from and did theses/dissertations in the programs in which I’m taking classes. I think I may be asking professors and these friends to write recommendation letters. They’re familiar with me, my desires, and my strengths, so why not? I’m certain it cannot hurt to have folks whose names the committee remembers writing the recommendations.
Sitting in class last night, I realized I have picked the right curriculum. The concepts we were discussing, the books we were going to read, and the work that we will be doing is exactly what I want.
I’m excited again in ways I didn’t think I could be. Now, if I can just get IN.
I’m also thinking of rewriting my letter of intent to include more cowbell. Or at least, mention the fact that my last couple quarters of undergraduate work incorporated 5 graduate level courses listed in the program curriculum, in which I achieved a 3.6+ GPA, well above the 3.0 average required in the graduate program. I’m thinking I need to “sell it,” as all the marketing kids say today. Hey you guys! Look at me! I’m interested, I speak the lingo, and I do well in your courses.
Another issue that has arisen, though, is the fact that because so many of the programs overlap, I’m considering doing a second Masters when I graduate, instead of going straight into a PhD. Hm.
Needs more cowbell.