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Hi yall, New here, need your advice please :)thank u


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I graduated 3 years ago, with a degree in political science/international affairs...from a great school


I have been im limbo and all over the place


one year after graduating, I applied to the poli sci, program at my alma mater, and got in, however, i went to one class and dropped the class, i did not like the theories and stuff, i think i enjoyed the international part of my major, so i felt the theories and stuff were really boring...haha, i know, but i dropped the class, so it did not affect me or anything, because I did not really recieve a grade or anything, i dropped it within the drop date....


brings me to this past year fall 2012, i interned and also had 1.5 years working for a local business, I thought, hey why dont i apply to MBA program, so I did, and got rejected, it was really competitive, and think my local business work experience did not cut it....plus my school is located in a top metro area, they get lots of experienced career people


so it brings to this year, I landed a part-time teaching job, at a local public school, teaching 3 periods, government/history, and realized maybe I should persue my masters degree in History, I like it and looked in the syallbi of the masters programs at my Alma, and think I should apply....


my biggest question is, since I have applied to 2 different programs at my ALMA (got into one, rejected by one) and am going to apply to ANOTHER program, will they look down on me, and be like "oh this girl is crazy and unstable" look at her applying to different programs (i think they may be able to see my records etc)....I would really love to go to my alma for history MA program, and I really think 3rd time is a charm :)


Also, at my alma, I was elected to student govt, as a result I started many things on campus, was on deanslist for like 8 semesters, also graduated with honors...my gre is kinda bad, (b/c my Grams was really sick, and died, kinda did not study as well as I did, but I did get into the poli sci program, so I guess its not that bad??)  I am willing to retake, but I hope I can get in with what I have now...


also, since i was a poli sci major, in undergrad, how do history professors look at that when granting admission to candidates for history MA, I only took 3 history class in all my undergrad career, got 2 B's and 1 A: it was 2 of the required ones gen eds and one that I really liked....


thanks to all, if you read my schpell, thank u for all your advice...any advice or input/comments is much appreciated

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I'm a little confused about why you say dropping the poli sci graduate class didn't affect you academically.  The way I read this, you applied for a graduate program at your alma mater, got in, and then dropped out within several weeks of beginning the program.  Please correct me if I don't have that right.  The reason this matters is that if you're relying on your political science professors to write you letters of recommendation, you could be impacted by having dropped out of their program.


When I applied to MA programs, they asked for 10 undergraduate courses in history or an allied humanities field.  A lot of the answer to whether your academic preparation will hurt or help you depends on what type of history you want to study.  If you want to study, say, the history of election procedure, I think a political science background won't raise any red flags and might actually help.  If all of a sudden you're applying to work on medieval gender history, 3 history classes probably won't be enough.


You don't really say why you want to study history at the graduate level beyond currently teaching a government class, or why your alma mater is the best fit.  In order to write any kind of statement of purpose, you will need a strong reason for wanting to pursue history; in your case, you want your reasoning to be air-tight so it explains why you've pursued but turned away from other fields.  My advice is also to talk to current graduate students in history at your alma mater, and the graduate director to see if you're a good candidate for the program.  And if you're really interested in teaching, you might want to look to see if you can get a full-time position at a school that offers some tuition reimbursement for graduate study.

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Thanks so much for the advice, the reason why I dropped out was because it was not interesting to me, and i really did not like learning about the theories and hated the readings....your right I am relying on one of my professors to write me a rec for the program, however, he was not teaching at the graduate level, (did u think i was going to ask the professor, from the class i dropped out of?! no) and I did not dropped out "several" weeks after, literally one week to the day, I dropped it....I knew it was not for me...I had just excelled in poli sci, in my undergrad and thought hey i could do grad. too, i poorly researched it and did not know, fresh outta undergrad... I believe I want to study American History, and I believe that is tied in with political science...


Thanks again for your advice, I really appreciate it and it helped alot! :)

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My thoughts:
  • It sounds like you do have a good rationale for wanting to pursue the degree at this point in your life.
  • Moving from poli sci to history is not such a big deal, but dropping out of a previous grad program may make you seem a bit scattered.  You may have to mention this on your application, depending on what they require, but avoid drawing any extra focus to it.
  • It sounds like you want to stay in the same town, but if you're open to moving, you might be able to find some programs that offer funding (assuming your alma mater does not).
  • Be warned that an MA program in history will likely involve a lot of theory, which you said you hated.  The readings may be heavy and dense, akin to what you experienced in the poli sci program.
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Hi Roxy,


My advice to you would be to very carefully consider what you're hoping to get out of the History MA.  If you just like history and want to learn more, consider doing reading/research on your own time and you can focus on the areas that interest you.  If you want to teach history at a high school, then you might look into doing a MaT and getting licensed.  If you want the MA just to have an MA, I would recommend not applying at all because the program will demand a LOT of time and effort from you that you could be using to do something you truly love.


As Katzenmusik says, there will be a LOT of theory and dense reading at the MA level for history (or any other discipline).  I would seriously recommend seeing if you can look up the reading lists for a few graduate level history courses at your alma mater and then trying to pick up some of the texts from your local library or bookstore.  If they seem boring to you, and you can't push through the theory, then it's unlikely you'll be happy or successful in the MA program.

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Agreed on the fact that you should have a goal that getting an MA in history will service.  That being said, I think the transition from poli sci to history should be an easy one especially at the MA level.  It would probably be tougher to get into a PhD program, but terminal MA are often used for the purpose of making non-history majors applicable to PhD programs.  One of my best grad school friends did the same thing.


As far the dropping out of a previous MA program,  I wouldn't think that you have to submit transcripts or anything for it, so I don't know why it would be necessary to mention it.  I don't know why someone disliked your original post, but people are weird, especially when on anonomous message boards...  Good luck to you.  If you really want to do it, I would think you have a good shot.  Even people like myself who had history ba's when starting grad school only have a leg up for about the first semester.  Grad school is an equalizer.

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Just a few thoughts:


1) I would not apply to the same school again. Sure, it may be a good program, but a) you have already dropped out of one graduate program, and B) you have to be exposed to other ways of thinking. Try a local state university, for example. You have to start fresh.


2) I am not sure you have a clear expectation of what graduate school is going to be like. You said things have been scattered after graduation and based on what you've written, that's absolutely right. You can't be scattered in grad school. It's not at ALL like an undergraduate program, you don't take random classes based on "what you're interested in." You take classes to fulfill requirements and develop knowledge about your field(s), do a lot of reading that may not be interesting to you, but you stick it out anyway because that's what mature, grown-up people do when they start a new enterprise.


3) Based on what you've written, it appears you need to figure out exactly what you want to do and demonstrate committment to it before wasting people's time and applying to yet another graduate program. Maybe start by taking a few history courses at a local college and developing your interests and writing. Get a steady job and stick with it for a while. It's not a race and the worst thing you can do is enter a grad program when you're not ready for it.

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