Is this normal for graduate admissions?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by bazonkers, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    I decided to apply to the distance education MA program in History at Sam Houston State University for the fall semester. Being that I had the summer free, I decided to take 2 graduate courses at other schools while I waited on my application. I'm currently taking a course at WNMU that ends at the end of July and another course at AMU that ends on August 30th.

    Because of the fact that I decided to take these courses, SHSU is saying that they are now unable to process my application for the Fall semester until they receive these transcripts. Being that my AMU course doesn't finish until after the start of the Fall semester at SHSU, I am not elligible for Fall admissions and can re-apply for the Spring.

    It seems like I "screwed" myself by taking courses over the summer. Had I not taken these courses, my application would be on track and I'd be considered for the Fall. I've spoken with several folks at SHSU and they all assure me this is a normal process. Is it?

    At this point I wonder if I should just stick to working on my MA at AMU.
  2. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Sounds screwy to me. You would've been better off not to admit to taking those two summer term graduate courses and then you could have applied for transfer credit once admitted. Seems to me that the undergrad degree should be sufficient credential for admission to a master's program so it seems a bit anal on their part to even care about whether you have prior grad courses.
  3. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    I thought about that but the application asked if I was currently enrolled in any schools. I said yes as I wanted to eventually transfer these courses and I'd have to admit down the road that I was enrolled somewhere else in the summer of 09. I didn't want them to deny the transfer based on the fact that I didn't list my enrollment on my application.

    It sounds screwy to me too but I can't do much. I haven't been accepted yet so if I make a bunch of noise up the chain of command to the various deans, I can't imagine that would go over so well when it came time to discuss my application.

    I originally picked SHSU because it's a named state school (tier 4, not-for-profit) as opposed to AMU (unranked, for-profit). I didn't pick it because I like the curriculum better at SHSU. What would you suggest? Should I stick with AMU? I'm thinking that down the road, the fact that SHSU is a Tier 4 isn't going to make that big of a difference. After this degree, I'm hoping to go onto an MLIS program. If I ever go for a PhD, it will have to be an online program or a UK research PhD as I have no plans to uproot my family and move for school.
  4. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    I don't know about this. Traditional grad schools usually make admissions decisions before one has completed the bachelor's. I'm guessing that most traditional undergrads graduate in the spring term with summer term graduation chiming in second and winter term graduations coming in dead last. Even though the order of liklihood of graduations for traditional undergrads would be May/June first, August second, and December dead last, the most usual application deadlines would be March (flagship state universities) or even December/January (high prestige schools) with there being some rolling admissions for small open admissions schools (apply as late as August for fall term), they take your application during your senior year and evaluate you based on that (with the stipulation that you forward future transcripts to prove that you completed your degree) for fall admissions. But in your case, you already have the degree, so that raises the question of why they can't admit you now with or without the WNMU/AMU transcripts for this summer term.
  5. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    That was my exact point to them. It didn't seem to matter. They claimed it was due to accreditation.
  6. Princeofska

    Princeofska New Member

    That is strange, usually a grad school will let one in "conditionally" if they are currently enrolled in a class. This means that you can usually take a semester, and then apply for full admission after you have your transcripts.

    If you are going to get an MLIS, I would just do that instead, why would you want a history MA? They are virtually useless. But, if you need to get one, I would go with a brick and mortar with an online program (if you must do online) as the online only programs will have even less use.
  7. Radek Gadek

    Radek Gadek New Member

    I have seen such requirements at a few grad schools. Some would specifically state that ALL transcripts must be in before an application may be considered, including any grad school credits. By taking these 2 classes you have essentially "dug your own grave," but I think if you were to take this matter up the ladder you may be able to push that application through. I would usually contact the dean of the program, and go up from there. Especially, if your intentions were sincere and would not cause conflict with your studies.

    There's really nothing fishy with such requirements, as they are often posted on the school website or within the fine print of the application, and each school can creates their own application requirements. Nonetheless, it sucks very much!

    Sam Houston is a good pick, and if you can, try to persuade the admission committee to take you in. Good luck!
  8. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    Thanks for all the advice. I'm going to have to chew on this a bit more to figure something out.

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