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Hi All,

Just hoping for a bit of guidance around grad school. I was recently accepted to a three year msw at BU, but after considering the length of time it will take, I'm wondering if a 3 year program is the wrong choice. When I graduate I will be 26, which is older than I wanted to be when finishing grad school(for myself personally). On the other hand, I have to work full time while in grad school so I don't see how I can complete a two year program. 

Has anyone on the forum ever done a three year program or have any thoughts on the pros/cons of 3 yr vs 2 year? 

Thanks!

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Hi! I applied for Fall 2019 programs too and had to choose between a 2-year and 3-year program. I'm also 23 so I'm in a similar position as you.

I ended up choosing the 2-year program because I'm only working part-time and I know that the school's full-time work will be rigorous. Given your position, I think you made the right choice because if you intend on keeping your full-time work position then it'll be difficult to juggle work and school. The only times I hear people taking the 3-year option over the 2-year are if they are working full-time, and they always say it's a good idea. So I think you're good! :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
4 hours ago, Adrianna said:

Guys I'm 26 and trying to get into grad school. It's not the end of the world Lol (just trying to give you a perspective)

Seconded. I understand the anxiety, believe me, I do, but one year isn't gonna make a huge difference in the grand scheme of your life. 

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Im 31 and starting my MSW in august. There is plenty of time. This one lady i know just compelted her phd and she is 60! 

Anyways, i say do whatever time frame is going to compliment your current life. If part time makes it more managable, then go for the 3 year program. You gotta be able to survive day to day to get to the end goal, pushing yourself too hard may not have a positive result either. Personally i dont believe one year later with graduation is that long in the grand scheme of things. On the other hand, stretching yourself too thin to do a two year program may not be in your best interest either. If you know you are going to have to work, do the part time. You want to set yourself up for sucess 

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As someone who just completed a 3 year program... run at all cost ! lol 

 

No, but seriously. The third year feels like a DRAG, especially when you see the full time cohort that came in at the same time as you graduate a year ahead of you. The workload honestly does not feel significantly less, and with my program I didn't feel as though I had extra time to work a full time job and go to school. It just felt like a waste and if I could go back I would have done a 2 year program 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think what's most important is that you use your time in school to build relationships and a reputation in your field. I think it's better to excel in a longer program than do a mediocre job in a shorter one. If doing a 3-year program will give you the spaciousness to sometimes participate in conferences, for example, vs just barely keep up with the basics of your workload, then do the 3-year track. In my opinion networking, skill-building, and demonstrating your skills are the most critical pieces of any grad program. Another consideration is the debt load you will graduate with, along with opportunities for employment. If a 3-year program gives you the spaciousness to apply for scholarships, and/or excel at a level that makes you competitive for scholarships, and/or graduate with a job in hand, then it's absolutely the smarter long-term option. 

While I can see how a 3-year program might feel like a "drag," from PP's perspective, I also think it gives you the chance to build deeper relationships with faculty and affiliated community agencies. Use your time to do this.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The wonderful thing about MSW programs is that they tend to attract a gamut of ages from just recent undergraduates in their early 20s to mothers (and fathers) in their 40s.

As for 3 vs 2 yr degrees it doesn't matter: what matters if the program is CSWE accredited and if the same support in finding internships to the full-time students is offered to the part-time. The main difference is that instead of completely all your classes in the first year they'll be spread out, taking two every semester (or however it breaks down). I'd suggest contacting the program you're eyeing and asking if you can get in touch with any past or current students that were in the 3 year option for their experience. 

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  • 5 weeks later...

And as far as cost goes, you generally pay per credit hour anyways, so whether it takes 2 years or 3 years, it is going to be roughly the same amount of money. 
Just another angle to consider, if money is an issue.

 

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