Doing your Master's at your Alma Mater

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Klotz
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Doing your Master's at your Alma Mater

Postby Klotz » Sun Mar 01, 2009 4:14 am UTC

I have the option. Is it really that bad?

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Masily box
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Re: Doing your Master's at your Alma Mater

Postby Masily box » Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:40 am UTC

I'm in exactly the same situation, though for me it's an MA/PhD program. Unfortunately, my best $ offer is here, too, so it's going to be really hard to convince myself to go anywhere else.

So I second the question. Anyone have any perspectives on this?

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poxic
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Re: Doing your Master's at your Alma Mater

Postby poxic » Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:44 am UTC

The only thing I have to offer is what a dean once told me, 20-odd years ago (paraphrased): "If your higher degree comes from the same school as your bachelor's, others in the academic community won't take you as seriously as if you went elsewhere."

The way I read it: "If you want to be a professor or researcher, go elsewhere. If you just want the damn knowledge in order to get on with your life, do whatever works best for you."
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Re: Doing your Master's at your Alma Mater

Postby qinwamascot » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:11 am UTC

The reason why it's frowned upon is simple. For example, at my university, we're big on Algebra, but have very little number theory or geometry. So if I were to go there for a Ph.D. as well, it would not be a diverse enough academic career. For a masters, it probably makes little difference though, assuming you plan on getting a higher degree later.
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Re: Doing your Master's at your Alma Mater

Postby RockoTDF » Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:54 pm UTC

Klotz wrote:I have the option. Is it really that bad?


And your alma mater is?
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Re: Doing your Master's at your Alma Mater

Postby Kizyr » Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:16 pm UTC

The general recommendation I hear is that you shouldn't, unless there are no other good programs available in your area for your chosen subject.

I actually had this choice quite recently. I did my undergrad at George Washington University (GWU), and this year I applied (and got accepted into) the Master in Public Policy program at both GWU and Georgetown University. Besides Georgetown's M.P.P. program being more highly rated, nearly everyone I spoke to (including faculty and alumni from GWU) strongly recommended that I go with Georgetown--both because of the quality of their program, and because I'd already gotten my B.A. from GWU.

You can still look to your alma mater as a fallback option, but there should be many other options higher on your list. KF
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Re: Doing your Master's at your Alma Mater

Postby Sungura » Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:13 pm UTC

In the science world it is looked down on. They want to see someone who can get out of their comfort zone and move on to a whole new place and also get exposure to new things as someone else mentioned. For just a masters, I don't think it is quite as big of a deal, especially if you are planning on moving on to a PhD elsewhere or just want the masters and then move into industry sort of thing. But staying at one school for BS/MS/PhD I could not recommend.
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Nlelith
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Re: Doing your Master's at your Alma Mater

Postby Nlelith » Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:51 pm UTC

What if the best school you're accepted to is your alma mater? And do you still have to worry about out-of-state tuition for grad school?

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Sungura
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Re: Doing your Master's at your Alma Mater

Postby Sungura » Mon Mar 09, 2009 3:59 am UTC

Nlelith wrote:What if the best school you're accepted to is your alma mater? And do you still have to worry about out-of-state tuition for grad school?
There are a lot of "best schools" I couldn't think that there isn't an equally good school to do higher education at. And tuition...in know in science you get a stipend so that wouldn't matter.
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Nlelith
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Re: Doing your Master's at your Alma Mater

Postby Nlelith » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:11 pm UTC

So your work as a TA/RA gives you a full tuition waiver? Or does it cover a certain amount? I ask this because I heard that, at least at some schools, you have to get an out-of-state tuition waiver to reduce your tuition to in-state rate.

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Re: Doing your Master's at your Alma Mater

Postby william » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:29 am UTC

From what my parents have told me(I'm an undergrad) tuition for grad school is always instate.
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Re: Doing your Master's at your Alma Mater

Postby keeneal » Sat Mar 21, 2009 5:12 am UTC

Hmmm... my school offers a 5-year BA/M.Ed + Certification program. Is this type of thing also frowned upon? A 5-year program is very tempting, as in my state teachers need to earn their masters in a fairly short amount of time after certification, or lose it, and I do pretty well financially at my current institution.
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ameretrifle
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Re: Doing your Master's at your Alma Mater

Postby ameretrifle » Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:42 am UTC

It's looking to me like this is only something that should matter if you're going into science or some sort of academic field. At least, I sure hope so, because I'm doing my Master's at my alma mater, too. I'm going for a Master's in Library and Information Science, though (totally unrelated to my major, too), so I would really be shocked if anyone cared. I shouldn't think it would matter in Education, either. Does anyone actually know?

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Re: Doing your Master's at your Alma Mater

Postby swansoer » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:37 pm UTC

Kizyr wrote:The general recommendation I hear is that you shouldn't, unless there are no other good programs available in your area for your chosen subject.

I actually had this choice quite recently. I did my undergrad at George Washington University (GWU), and this year I applied (and got accepted into) the Master in Public Policy program at both GWU and Georgetown University. Besides Georgetown's M.P.P. program being more highly rated, nearly everyone I spoke to (including faculty and alumni from GWU) strongly recommended that I go with Georgetown--both because of the quality of their program, and because I'd already gotten my B.A. from GWU.

You can still look to your alma mater as a fallback option, but there should be many other options higher on your list. KF


Hey, you aren't from WA are you? I have a friend that went to GW for something public policy/government related took a year off and is now at Georgetown doing a masters in that field or international rleations maybe? I don't know I haven't actually talked to him in a while.
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Kizyr
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Re: Doing your Master's at your Alma Mater

Postby Kizyr » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:05 am UTC

swansoer wrote:Hey, you aren't from WA are you? I have a friend that went to GW for something public policy/government related took a year off and is now at Georgetown doing a masters in that field or international rleations maybe? I don't know I haven't actually talked to him in a while.

I'm from Nashville. I've never been to Washington (the closest was a trip to Portland many years ago). I also went to GW for economics and international affairs, not public policy--my interest in public policy didn't really kick in until I'd started working.

Incidentally, that's one of the reasons why, for most fields, I recommend taking a few years to work before jumping right into grad school. KF
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Antimatter Spork
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Re: Doing your Master's at your Alma Mater

Postby Antimatter Spork » Sat Mar 28, 2009 2:34 pm UTC

keeneal wrote:Hmmm... my school offers a 5-year BA/M.Ed + Certification program. Is this type of thing also frowned upon? A 5-year program is very tempting, as in my state teachers need to earn their masters in a fairly short amount of time after certification, or lose it, and I do pretty well financially at my current institution.

For public school teaching it really doesn't matter that much where your master's is from.

I can only speak for my field, but I know a lot of music professors who have all three degrees from the same place (usually it's a really top-level school like Eastman or Indiana, though). I think that if your alma mater has a good program, it doesn't matter so much that you did your undergrad there, though I really don't know how it is in other fields.
Albert Schweitzer wrote:There are two means of refuge from the misery of life — music and cats.


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