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How Important is Undergrad Timing?

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I'm currently a freshman in undergrad in a communicative disorder major with a gerontology (aging studies) minor. I am thinking about possibly adding linguistics as a second major but this will delay my graduation date a semester, so instead of graduating in 4 years, it will be 4.5. I am doing this more because I find linguistics interesting and love learning about languages. I am taking the gerontology minor because I like working with adults and older populations in general. I know I can up my workload to having 6 classes per semester if I want to graduate in 4 years but am not sure if this will be smart as I also will have extracurriculars, a part-time job, and want to get good grades. I also want to make sure I am understanding all the material and retaining it which is why I don't want to take more than 5 classes a semester. I have been even been thinking about the semester I have free with the 4.5 year graduation plan of studying abroad or working as an SLPA. I would love to go to grad school in California as I am currently going to school here and know how competitive it is. I know one of my older classmates got rejected from other California grad schools despite double majoring in communicative disorder and psych, having research experience, extracurriculars and a 3.9 major GPA. Will double majoring really benefiting me or the minor or look bad? I would really love to keep both (my double major and minor) if possible but if the cons outweigh the benefits I will want to reevaluate. Will graduating a semester look bad as well to grad school? Any tips, advice or their own unique experiences welcomed?

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Hi! I think it's important to have a balance of school, work, and extracurricular activities. Getting into a grad program in California is extremely competitive, but that does not mean it is impossible. I have some friends from my undergrad program including myself who got into grad school who did not have a 3.9 CSD GPA. It depends on where you apply, the program's application process/review, who writes your recommendation letters, and your personal statement. I graduated in 6 years, I chose that route because it helped me long-term prepare for my major courses. I took 2 CSD courses each semester and that worked for me. I got into an online program with a 3.3 CSD GPA (3.6 last 60 units-so I made that clear in my essay) with below average GRE scores. My story shows you don't need super high grades/stats to get into grad school.

I believe CSD advisors wouldn't recommend double majoring because CSD is a rigorous program and it requires a lot of time, dedication, and preparation for graduate-level courses. I'm sure it has been done, I'm not trying to discourage you. Minoring in gerontology is great! Also know your limits. You don't want to spread yourself thin and your grades and your health suffering as a result. I think if you have a game plan and stay on top of all your school work (double-major or not), you'll be okay! 

Graduating in 4.5 years will not look bad to a graduate committee. I graduated in 6 years lol..They will focus on your application itself (grades/transcripts, GRE scores, essays, recommendation letters).

If you choose to double-major, good luck and stay on top of everything! Start your stuff early :) 

Let me know if you have questions!!

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  • 1 month later...

Hello, I hope my free graduate school application resource guide will be helpful for you.  My GPA was a 3.88 (pos bacc and GRE was  Q-149 and 150 Verbal 

I am finishing graduate school at a university in California. For my capstone project, I created a resource guide for first generation BIPOC students  for applying to graduate programs. This guide is catered to schools in southern California, but has tons of information you can use to help you. I hope this guide is helpful, it is a product of self-reflection and personal experiences. I hope it will be a valuable tool for you use to use. Please feel free to share freely and widely.  Also open to suggestions & questions! 


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