Friday, September 1, 2006

The Clock is Ticking...

It's the Fall semester of 2006, and I'll still have three Anthropology courses remaining after it's over (Linguistics, another Physical Anthro course, and an elective). At the rate I'm going, even taking Spanish in the summers, I'm on track to graduate with my B.A. in the Fall of 2008.

By that time, my older daughter will have finished half of her Sophmore year in college, and my youngest will be only six months away from college. I'll be 47. And a half.

Could it be that I need to accelerate things?

The truth is, I do not need to have a B.A. in Anthropology to begin a Masters. By December, I'll have 37 credit hours in Anthropology, and sufficient coursework in the various fields to satisfy the entrance requirements of pretty much any graduate program.

So how can I begin my graduate work earlier?

I have found three options, all of which would allow me to begin my graduate studies in the Fall of 2007 (one year from now, not two or three):
  • Arizona State University - I know it's a long shot, but I'm no ordinary student. At least it's conveniently located! I'll need three letters of recommendation and excellent GRE scores.
  • Northern Arizona University - It's a second-tier (mayber third?) program, only offering a Master of Arts. It would be one hell of a commute, but since they offer each of their grad courses as 3-hour sessions on a single day, it's do-able.
  • University of North Texas - Now that's a tough commute! Just kidding... they have begun the nation's first Online Masters in Applied Anthropology. You visit campus for a couple of days at the beginning to meet the faculty and other students, and then again to defend your internship report. They claim it will be equivalent to their on-campus program.
All three options require me to do the following by the end of December:
  1. Write a statement of purpose. Yikes! I don't know if I want to do Medical Anthropology, Archaeology, or something else entirely. How can I write one of these?
  2. Get letters of recommendation. this could be tough, since not enough professors know me well enough... yet.
  3. Take the GRE. It's offered in October, so I better take a sample test this weekend.
  4. file all the appropriate applications with each institution's Graduate College, as well as with each Anthropology department.
There's more, of course, but these are the big items.

Even if I'm succcessful in getting my self accepted to at least one of these programs, it's still a long road. I can count on taking at least three years for the Masters, which means I would begin work on a Ph.D. at age 49... I better get started.

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