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What to do between finishing post bac and applying to grad school?

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Hi all,


I'm an out of field applicant that is planning to start a one year post-bac next school year. If I finish my post-bac in June of 2014, am I correct in thinking that I won't be able to apply to two year programs until that next fall? If so, that means that I will have a gap year between finishing school for my post-bac and (hopefully?) starting a master's program. I'm just looking to hear how others have managed that gap year. Did you just take a temporary job for a year while waiting to hear back from schools? I'm a non-traditional student that has always had a permanent, full time job, so I wonder what I would do with myself for a year while waiting to get into grad school.


PS: Everyone on this forum has been so helpful so far, so thank you! I'm glad this community exists.



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I'm currently finishing up my Postbacc program (it ends in August 2014) and am in the process of applying to grad schools for next fall (August/September 2014). I'm not taking a gap year because I already did so in applying to schools/postbacc programs last year (Got my B.A. in June 2012, worked, applied, worked some more, then started the Postbacc). Depending on the school/program, you're able to apply without having completed ALL of the pre-reqs as long as you will satisfy all or most of them by the time you matriculate into their program. I can give you a list of schools that I'm applying to that have this policy. 


If you do decide to take a gap year, I know people typically find a job (in-field or a related field) to gain experience to boost your resume. Most schools want to see that you've gotten some exposure to the field to ensure you know what you're getting into. A job plus some sort of volunteer experience would be the best way (in my opinion) to fill that time if you decide that's what you want to do. 


Good luck!

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Hi Danielle,


Thanks so much for your speedy response! I would love to get a list of schools that only require some pre-reqs to be completed by the time I apply, so thank you for your offer! I suspect that those schools aren't close to me (I'm in the Midwest), but I would be much happier if I didn't have to wait a whole year.


Thank you again for your help!

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Here are the schools I'm applying to! (It's a ton, but I'm making it worthwhile this time around...)

I'd check their websites to see if whatever Postbacc program you'll be in offers the same pre-requisites, but in my experience, these schools are okay with you having them done by the time of matriculation. If you have a few done by the end of the Fall term, you'll just show your grades from those courses and update them with the courses that will be in progress.


Let me know if you have any additional questions!




California State University, Chico

2)   CSU, East Bay


3)   CSU, Los Angeles


4)   CSU, Northridge

CSU, Fresno

7)   University of Texas at Dallas

1)   San Jose State University (CSDCAS)


2)   Northern Arizona University (CSDCAS)


3)   Portland State University (CSDCAS)


2)   University of Texas at Austin


3)   University of Massachusetts, Amherst


4)   Arizona State University


5)   Northeastern 


6)   University of New Mexico


7)   Western Washington


?   University of Nevada, Reno


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Also, ignore the wonky numbers. I just copy-pasted it from something else :)


ALSO also----there are certainly a ton of places in the midwest you can look into, I just am not applying to them :) 

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Thanks so much for your helpful list, Danielle!! And I will have to look for programs in the Midwest, too - thanks for the encouragement. Best of luck to you, too!

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I don't think you should run into any issues. I'm in the same situation, but I'm applying for Fall admission - what matters is whether you're done with the program by the time of starting your Master's, you don't have to be done by the time of application. :)

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