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CoyoteBlue

Scared of graduate course work

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So i got into 2 schools, one is ranked 90th and one is ranked 3rd.I am literally afraid of the number 3 school in the nation because i hear the coursework is absolutely killer. WTH is wrong with me? 

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Nothing's wrong with you. But, if graduate school were easy, everyone would do it, right? :) 

That said, you should research how schools get ranked. There's a significant number of factors which contribute to formal ranking systems, not just rigor of coursework. It's very possible that the 90th ranked school will be just as challenging as the 3rd ranked school.

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I am scheduling a meeting with my undergrad adviser to talk about my options... It's all just a little scary. When I visited GATECH I cowered outside the symposium hall and a very nice professor came and sat with me and told me that nobody fails if they try. You don't have to be smart, just work hard.

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6 hours ago, CoyoteBlue said:

WTH is wrong with me? 

Nothing is wrong with you, it is just a case of facing the unexpected.

Personally, I was scared sh*tless when I went into my first master's level course, but to be honest, I actually found it to be easier to deal with than my undergrad.

I am finishing the master's now, and am starting to get scared about the PhD coursework. I will just have to adjust, and whatever happens will happen. 

 

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You're not alone. I'm going from a narrowly focused BS into an umbrella program for my PhD. It's scary that my coursework will be things that I've only seen the surface of, but I also know I'll survive. You don't get to this point in your education without proving that you are able to study, work hard, and perform. It's important to realize that your program also thinks you have what it takes to make it!

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Any school worth its weight will have classes that are challenging - they're critical to make you think like a scientist, and unfortunately most undergraduate programs don't help develop these critical thinking skills. I can tell you that taking time off before going to grad school has taken me out of the zone for studying, and this is true for more than half of my classmates. That being said, programs have an incentive to help you pass. Nobody fails. You may suffer for a bit, but it will eventually pass, and you will learn form it. And, usually after your first year, you don't take courses any more, so learning becomes up to you (whether you want to take extra classes, or to learn about things related to your thesis). 

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