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Cohort System

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I'm in a non-cohort Master's program now and love it, but let me state that is because it is a perfect fit for my personality.  I can take whatever classes I want each semester based on my own personal needs and establish my own degree completion timeline.  New people enter the program constantly so there are always new and old faces.  Each student is held to the same standard, but our grades are based on our individual merit.  This works for me because I love to work independently.  I have no interest in what or how the other students are learning, their future plans, their motivations for being in the program, and I'm not there to make friends.  I'd rather focus on my own goals and interests and seek out my own opportunities if I need to be further challenged. 


There is very little group work required in the program which I like because my experiences with group work in undergrad were horrific.  There was always some lazy jerk that did absolutely nothing and got an A because of the hard work of myself and the other group members and somehow professors find that acceptable.  No thanks.


I will be going the PhD route after this and more of those programs are cohort based which admittedly concerns me.  The idea of staring at the same people all the time and hearing the same opinions makes me wonder how that generates new thought processes and perspectives.  I don't think it will be so bad if grades are completely merit based, we're allowed to explore our own interests outside of core cohort coursework, we're not forced to make friends with others (that either happens naturally or it doesn't), and there is little group work.  I'd like the option to work above and beyond the minimum requirements for my cohort if I choose, but that's probably something I'd have to discuss with an advisor.  Of course all of that is my ideal, but if its not the case then I'll figure out a method of adapting without tearing my own hair out lol.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I guess definitions of cohort vary by program. I am in a cohort based program. All that has meant in my experience is that we are on roughly the same timeline. We had three required courses per semester the first year (1 of those was 1 credit) that everyone in our cohort took, but sometimes those classes would have people from outside our department in them. Each semester we also got to take one elective. After the first year, we were no longer bound to any class requirements. I would go for months without seeing certain people from my cohort in my 2nd and 3rd years. And our cohort was 9 people, so not huge. We never had any cohort specific group work. There has been one class that had group work, and that was an elective class.

The nice thing about a cohort is that I have had people in the same place as me, working on our thesis at the same time, now taking exams at the same time. So we can commiserate. 

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