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Does taking graduate classes beforehand help with admissions?


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I've applied to two programs and have decided to enroll as a non-degree student (at a pretty good school) in order to take one graduate class that's an introductory course for both programs. Do grad programs see this as applicants "getting ahead of themselves", or can anyone vouch for this being a boon for the application?

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My boyfriend did it and got As for them. I think it helped him. He is 4 for 8 right now for schools he got accepted to and I think it is important cause he didn't do well on the GREs not even average and he decided to work on what he could. So he took classes to show that he is quite able to do well in their schools. I took classes too. However, I cannot say it worked for me yet, still got weeks to go for my acceptances B)

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I agree that it can't hurt, just keep in mind that most schools will probably want you to retake that course when you get to grad school.

That said, if you've already applied, then it's not like you're going to finish the course before they review applications, so I'm not sure it would be a huge benefit, either.

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can I consider my polymer course a grad level course, even though a lot of undergrads take it?

I'm taking it as something that's not required for graduation. And the course is basically the same as the grad school version, the difference being a poster presentation given at the end of the semester by grad students.

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I think it depends on the program. I'm applying for clinical psych and counseling psych PhDs and I've been told multiple times by people that having a graduate degree already and those courses can actually hinder one's chances of admission. Reasoning is often along the lines of "Masters programs tend to give out A's and B's a lot more easily than undergrad" and "Undergrad applicants are easier to "mold" into whatever style, orientation, or research being used at the doctoral level at the school."

Example: I have a 3.84 Masters GPA, a research based independent and elective Masters Thesis, and over a year of clinical experience. I have additional research experience in a science field as well. I've been rejected from 8 out of the 16 programs I've applied to so far and I have an idea that it is because my undergraduate GPA and a few bad courses from 4-8 years ago are keeping me out of even getting an interview.

So depending on your program and major, it could be a great help or a great hindrance.

Edited by quickinstinct
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can I consider my polymer course a grad level course, even though a lot of undergrads take it?

I'm taking it as something that's not required for graduation. And the course is basically the same as the grad school version, the difference being a poster presentation given at the end of the semester by grad students.

It sounds like your polymer course is cross-listed as a combined UG and Grad course. I take a lot of these courses as an UG and then do an honors contract to do the graduate work; I can't list them on my transcript as a grad (500+) course, but they are helping me graduate with honors so that probably helps. At my UG uni, as an UG I can DO the grad coursework but I can only get UG credit for it.

However, it might not help you if you aren't doing well in the class. For example, if you did the course as a UG and got an A, that is better than doing the course with the addl grad work under an honors contract and getting a B.

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