Class is in Session

Class is in Session: How I Graduated With a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree Within 4 Years

Back to school season is here! This month, CrownedwithClass will be all about education. In May 2013, I graduated high school. In August 2016, I graduated with a BS degree, and in August 2017 I received my MS degree. Is it because I am a genius? No! I set a goal, had a plan and made adjustments along the way.  Take a look at the steps I took to graduate early below:

Summer Classes Were My Friend

Each summer, I took at least two classes at a community college for a fraction of the University price.

At CMU, one credit hour costs $417, equaling $1,251 per 3 credit class.

At the local community college, the cost is $135 per credit hour, equaling $405 per 3 credit class.

The math speaks for itself.

I understand that many students do not have extra funds to spare on a class over the summer. But, if you are able to make the sacrifice, summer classes are a great way to get ahead or simply stay on track.

Online Classes Were Also My Friend

My online classes had an 8- week duration instead of 16 weeks. So, I took two classes during the time it usually takes to complete one. The first half of the semester you can take 18 credits, and then give yourself a break the second half when your online course is complete and take 15 credits.

I Aimed Higher than the Minimum Requirement

To be a considered a full- time student, I had to take a minimum of 12 credits per semester, but I always took more. Every student is different, and its all about what you can handle. If you feel that you can take 15-18 credit semesters, go for it! Know your limits, but don’t be afraid to push yourself.

I Received Credit for Two Classes by Taking One

I received credit for Spanish for 101 and 102, (which equaled 8 credits instead of 4) because I skipped Spanish 101 and got a B in Spanish 102. Read syllabi for classes before you register to look at the policies. If you excel in a subject or commit to putting in the work,  you may be able to skip a class and receive credit for it.

Accelerated Master’s Degree Program

Instead of getting upset about the graduation credit minimum, and complaining about how you are forced to take classes that don’t apply to your career, make it work for you. You can take classes to explore other fields or opt for a graduate level course that will count towards your next degree. My program allowed me to take 6 credit hours per semester during my last year of undergrad that applied to both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees. So, I was able to start my program with 12 credits (a full semester’s worth of credits).

Do I encourage everyone to get two degrees within 4 years? Only if you want to.  Remember that everyone’s path is different. No matter what your goals are, there is no one -stop, quick way to achieve them. Things may not go exactly as planned, but it is up to you to create alternative routes to get to where you want to be.

I will share the reasons why I made this a goal in my next post,


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