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I had an underwhelming GPA in a difficult major from a top 10 but underrated public research university. I'm also in my late 30s - I've been thinking of grad/professional school for a long time, but I know it will be very challenging, and may not be worth it.For a while now, I'm been thinking of applying to the M.A. in Asian Studies at UC Berkeley and the M.A. in Asia Pacific Studies at University of San Francisco. I'd much prefer Asian American Studies, but very few schools offer an M.A. in that - the closest one seems to be UCLA, and I'd like to stay local and commute to school. There's an M.A. in Asian American Studies at SF State, but I know that SFSU doesn't have anywhere near the name recognition of UCB. My goals for those programs is to write, get published, be a "thought leader" (sorry if it sounds arrogant; it's not meant to be) in Asian or Asian American Studies, maybe lecture, and possibly teach in some capacity. My main goal would be to be a published author, whether through books, articles, journal papers, online digital content, etc. I just think of these master's programs as giving me a jumping point into what I want to do. I'd also love to go through the grad school experience - it would probably be very personally enriching. Also, like many people, I've always thought I would go to grad school, and it would be great to go to grad school at a top university. Any thoughts on the M.A. in Asian Studies at Berkeley, the M.A. in Asia Pacific Studies at USF, or the M.A. in Asian American Studies at SFSU? Has anyone gone through those programs, or know people who have completed them? How hard is it to get into those 3 programs? What is it like taking those programs, what do you learn or get out of it, what are the courses/students/professors like, and what do students do after they get their M.A.? Any other schools/masters programs you can recommend to me that are in the Bay Area, close to San Francisco? I'm also open to online masters programs, but there are hardly any offered in these fields, and they're from no-name and questionable schools.