I currently have both my bachelor’s and master’s degree, and have accepted admission into a doctoral program starting this September.

Most engineering doctoral programs allow you to get a master’s while in the doctoral program. In my case, it only requires taking one extra class and writing a master’s thesis.

What are the pros and cons of getting a second master’s degree? Would it look silly on a CV to have a master’s from two different institutions? If I do not complete my doctoral program, do two master’s in the same discipline help with job applications at all?

I am in my first year of my master’s degree in Europe, and within a year or so I’ll have to be sending out applications for a PhD (always in Europe), for which I need 2 to 3 recommendation letters. This is a huge issue for me because I pretty much don’t know anyone inside academia.

Recommendation letters should be written from people inside academia who know you, which I suppose means they worked with you on something. The only person I worked with was my bachelor’s thesis advisor, but I changed institution for my master’s degree so I’m not in contact with him anymore. I also need to complete a thesis (equivalent to a semester of full work) for my master’s degree, so I will have another thesis advisor eventually, but by the time I can start working on my thesis I will already have to be sending out PhD applications. Is it possible to work with academics in other ways than writing a thesis? Or is it otherwise possible to have an academic know you to the point of being able of writing a reference letter, without necessarily having worked with you?

Anyway this is not just a matter of recommendation letters. I think that having people in academia know and recognize me would give me better chances in getting admitted to a good PhD program. Moreover, it’s nice to have someone to ask for advice when you need it.

I think for people who are already into their PhD it’s easier, since at least you’re put inside a research group and have your own advisor. But as a master’s degree student I don’t feel like I have many opportunities to establish contact with academics.

I am a (research) master’s student and have to finish my thesis by the end of 2018. I have completed my course requirements but I do not have a thesis topic. I have been feeling very stressed about this since last fall. Initally, when I started my masters, I was excited as it looked promising and there were projects lined up for me to work on. I did my undergraduate at the same university as well and I chose to do masters over taking a full time job as it seemed more challenging. I wanted to challenge myself. I also dreamt about building something innovativ. But after taking on the projects, I came to know that they were too trivial for a post grad student or even for a decent thesis. There was not much substance, novelty or research in them. I finished them, had a chat with my supervisor and he put me in a big project. But after getting introduced to that project, I realised that my work in that project was not really necessary and was just added because I had nothing else to do. He also asked me to write a paper on the projects that I initally worked on knowing that it will not get accepted. I knew it too. But I had nothing else to do. There was no good substance, innovation or novelty in those projects. But, I was given that so as to keep me busy. The good thing is I managed to complete all my courses. I dont want to blame my supervisor completely for this as he was nice enough to take me as a student and also, he gave me other opportunities like traveling to conferences, doing presentations at companies, keep me involved and so on. But thesis wise I have not done anything and I do not know if I have enough time to finish one?. Worst case scenario, I write a really bad thesis and graduate. But I am not comfortable doing that.

My post graduate experience has gone completely different to what I have imagined. Is it wrong that I had expectations? Sometimes I feel I should have just gone for a full time job. I am at a point where I hate being at the university and just want to get out of here. I never once felt like that during my undergraduate studies. But, at the same time, I feel I should have made more effort or done something different while doing those initial projects. I could talk to my supervisor about this but he is either always busy or I am too shy to approach him about this.

Just wanted to put this somewhere. Any kind of advice would be helpful! 🙂

I’d like to thank anyone who read it through and my soul thanks you very much from the back of the screen.

I am doing the master I am doing right now because I did my undergraduate degree in Engineering and realized in my 4th year that I want to do something different. I had good undergraduate GPA and good GRE so I was able to make the school transfer me from my engineering college to the only social science department on campus that offers a Master’s degree. However, unfortunately it is not quite what I am looking for. The majority of the students are looking to land a job as it is a PROFESSIONAL two-year program and it is grounded in poli sci and economics.

I am in 1/3 of it. The department only allows 3 classes from other departments to count towards the degree and the degree require taking 4 classes every quarter. There is no way for me to flex it towards sociology as there is no room to fit in another class and do well at the same time.

I am interested because I want to be more “qualified” for any top 30 Sociology PhD programs. I am the 5/6th author for 3 papers as an undergraduate but never took a single class in sociology. Currently I am still supported by my family and that is partially why I want to withdraw and stop paying for something I don’t deem to be useful for my career.

I have been told by so many that I should be strategic and stay in my current program for the benefit of my PhD application since it is a red flag to drop out from current master program. However, are there other “strategic” ways that allow me more flexibility? I have thought about doing non-degree SOCI courses at other universities. How much would dropping out affect later PhD admissions?

I am very interested in studying how society and individual interacts, identifying the social forces placed upon us and what authenticity is. Suffering from pure-O OCD as a teenager, I am also interested in psychoanalytic sociology. I really enjoy a sociology class this quarter, and I simply want to have more.

I failed a crucial course for my major that serves as the foundation for many other core courses.

I retook the course and got an A, and have kept straight A’s in my upper-level courses since then.

Question: What can I do to mitigate the fallout from this?

According to graduate admission committees that I’ve spoken to in the University of California system, this is a potential deal-breaker, which is why I’m a bit worried.

I ended up failing a VERY crucial course in my EE program, an upper division microelectronics course that serves as the foundation for the rest of the courses that follow it. I ended up retaking it and got an A, and have kept straight As in my upper division courses since then. Realistically, what can I do to mitigate the fallout from this? According to adcoms that I’ve spoken to in the UC system, this is a potential deal-breaker, which is why I’m a bit worried.

I have accepted a fully funded PhD offer from a very good university. In the meanwhile I have managed to secure a masters offer from another very good university. (I applied to both at the same time, but was given a masters offer a week after the funding acceptance deadline for my PhD)

The opportunity to attend two of the worlds best universities is a huge decision that will affect my future in a very significant level.

Especially given that if something where to happen in the 4 years of my PhD (change in supervisor’s or personal circumstances) which would prevent me from completing the PhD, I would still have a Masters under my belt if I pursue both opportunities.

I would therefore like to defer my funded PhD start date to next year, in order to do the masters. Rather than do one or the other.

I would like your opinion and I would also like to ask for possible consequences of such an action, and how best to approach it.

(I note that suspensions of studies can be available for exceptional circumstances(including work/career opportunities). I would class the masters as a career opportunity, given that is at one of the world’s best university and career focused with many industry links.)

How do I very nicely request to defer my studies by one year to pursue a masters opportunity – which will enhance my career prospects greatly?