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Non-degree program as preparation for grad school application?


Kay#MENGJIA
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Hi sociology folks,

I am now considering withdraw from a master program in international affairs (which I do not enjoy for it is housed in a professional school and mostly poli sci&econ class offering). I am considering apply for non degree programs for FALL 18 and use it to take SOCI classes and ask for ROCs. I am enrolled in 3 SOCI classes for the spring quarter at my current institution as well; not enrolled in any required classes cuz I really want to move on with sociology.

FYI, 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.

I feel a bit stranded and the only option for me seems to spend a semester/quarter in some other university to take classes and write my applications for PhD in sociology.

Any advice on how this would work out and if feasible what non-degree programs should I apply to?

 

PS: I am very interested in learning about the interaction between society and individual on a theoretical level, would like to do mostly qualitative some quantitative. My interest in sociology stemmed from a hidden but strong desire to better understand how the society "taints" individuals and microsociology. Thanks for any input!!!!!

 

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How close to completion are you in the professional program? Is there an opportunity to shape that degree to be more oriented towards sociology (through classes in sociology and related areas)? Why are you interested in a nondegree program? What will you do for work/income if you're in a nondegree program? Have you considered looking for a job which will gain you some experience in the field?

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3 hours ago, rising_star said:

How close to completion are you in the professional program? Is there an opportunity to shape that degree to be more oriented towards sociology (through classes in sociology and related areas)? Why are you interested in a nondegree program? What will you do for work/income if you're in a nondegree program? Have you considered looking for a job which will gain you some experience in the field?

Hi thanks for your reply. I am in 1/3 of the two-year professional program. The department only allows 3 classes from other departments to count towards the degree and the degree require 98 units which means 4 classes every quarter (we are in a quarter system). There is no way for me to flex it towards sociology as there is no room to fit in another class and do well.

I am interested because I want to be more "qualified" for any Sociology PhD programs. 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 would like to look for a job after grad school. I find myself more interested in reading&thinking than job opportunities in corporate world (no intention to sound elitist it's my personality). Also I am an international student and I would really want to go back home to become a college teacher once I can get my doctorate here. Sorry for a long reply, but I want to get help on how to place myself in a PhD program so that I will not be paying and  study what I am interested in.

I am very interested in studying how society and individual interacts, identifying the social forces placed upon us and what authenticity is.

 

Thanks~

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I've been in your position before insofar as I was in a political science MA program and wanted to move into sociology for doctoral studies. I also recommend that you finish your current program and show your interest in and aptitude for sociology in other ways. My thesis cited a lot of sociologists and was built around a number of sociological theories. I also took 2 sociology classes, presented at sociology conferences, worked with sociologists on research projects, and got recommendation letters from sociologists. The recommendation letters were very important because people mentioned the sociologists who wrote them during my post-acceptance school visits. They also liked my writing samples and clearly thought of them as sociological works. Dropping out of programs could be a red flag for some people on adcomms, and so sticking with your current program while adjusting your research agenda towards sociology in some obvious ways may be a way forward.

Edited by qeta
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