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What should I fill the blank "Date attended to" when I'm a graduate research student?


Elen
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Hi,

I started my M.A. coursework in March 2015, and I finished it in February 2017, and currently I am a 'graduate research student' preparing my M.A. thesis. 
Because I finished the coursework and didn't take any class in 2017,  my graduate transcript covers only 2015-2016. I'll be awarded my M.A. in August 2018, and now I'm applying for Ph.D programs. In this case, do I fill the blank for my dates of attendance of M.A. program as 'March 2015 - August 2018' or as 'March 2015 - February 2017'? I'm still the a research student at the University where I completed the M.A. course, but I'm worried because there's no class record for 2017 on my transcript, as completed the coursework already. 
 
Or should I attach the Certificate for Graduate Research Student with the transcript? 
 
Thanks. 
 
 
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Say you are a student for the actual times you will be a student, whatever they are. Sounds like you're still a student in your department, even though you're not taking courses anymore. Note that the question isn't when your degree will be officially conferred or whether you are taking courses in semester X but whether you are an enrolled student in the department at a given time. I also assume you have LOR writers who will say things like "XYZ is currently a MA student in our department, expected to graduate at Date ABC" or some such. If you're worried, you can ask someone to say that explicitly to avoid any misunderstandings, but this may be a case of over-thinking it. 

(I suppose that attaching your certificate can't hurt, but it sounds like it's most likely unnecessary.)

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In my field, the advice would be to put the end date as the expected date of the completion of all degree requirements. Typically, this means the date of the final deposit of your Masters thesis. It is rare for the school to want the degree conferral date, but I guess it's possible. At the schools I've been to in the past, once you have finished your degree requirements, you get (or can request) a letter from your school stating that Student XYZ completed all degree requirements on date ABC. Usually this comes with a notation on your transcript too (as well as degree conferral).

So I wouldn't worry about the transcript not "matching" because when the profs check your transcript, they will see that you have not yet have a "degree requirements completed" notation. They know that grad students often complete courses before the rest of the degree requirements, so it's not weird at all if there are no courses in 2017 listed.

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