Change of course from Under graduation to Masters

Often I have students approaching me with an idea to do masters in a different stream other than what they did in their under graduation. It’s absolutely not an issue in changing the discipline, provided, the applicant shows or demonstrates that they have the interest and the aptitude for the chosen field.

How do we do that?

The best possible way is finding a job in the stream you are interested in, for eg, if a student is in ECE or Mechanical or any engineering field, and wants to go for a master in CS, then, he can get a job in the IT industry for a couple of years. Apart from the work experience, it will be necessary to take up a few pre requisites as expected by the university. There is no rule that your UG should be in CS, but it’s necessary that the applicant proves to have a strong aptitude for mathematic, programming and logical reasoning. A basic degree in a technical field will set you up for success.

It’s necessary to understand that the programs offered are not fixed set of courses; it’s possible to construct your own course of study in consultation with your study advisor. Most students with a CS background will be able to complete the course in 3 semesters, but if you are switching fields, you may need an additional semester to fill the gaps in your undergrad courses. The minimum pre requisites for a MS in CS consists of knowledge in C language, and familiarity with object oriented concepts and work with object oriented languages such as java or C++.Data structures and mathematics ( calculus, probability and statistics ). A course in algorithm analysis is worth considering, computer organization, and may be operating systems also.

If in case you are keen on taking a computer related course with a few management , then I suggest you look at courses like masters in information systems, or masters in IT management, or technology management, Information systems management.

All these programs are more or less related to each other, i.e., application of computer related technology to managerial programs. Students will explore the application of computerized information systems to run a modern technology based business

Another area of study which is a little difficult to get is masters In genetic counseling with a biotechnology back ground. Well…!!, as long as the pre requisites are met.It is mandatory that students with Biotech background should have taken courses  in behavioral sciences, particularly in genetics, bio chemistry, molecular biology, psychology and human development. A course in statistics and human anatomy is also advisable. Apart for this, applicant should have had an experience that involve counseling, such as being a resident advisor, peer counselor in college, working , may be on crisis telephone hot line or helping disabled individuals, may be a few months of experience as a teacher, researcher, nurse, or a social worker will be an added advantage.

Apart for the pre requisites, or the work ex, its also advisable to take up the GRE subject test in the area of study if available. This will definitely be an additional advantage.

Students with technical background getting into fine arts will be another challenge, I have been asked for programs like masters in music, masters in cinematography, masters in acting, game design, film, photography, screen writing etc.well ..!!, again, its quiet challenging because, universities does expect you to have a clear cut reason as to why you intend taking up this program, there is no requirement for an y particular UG field, but , a narrative statement , describing the reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in their chosen disciplines and their intended contribution into the field. The essay should take into account the students creative experiences, contemporary influences and inspirations and overall artistic goals.

Portfolio is also another mandatory requirement, students aspiring to become a screen play writing , samples of the original screen play, spec or short story ,articles or essays relevant to the topic, samples of critical essays examining a literary or cinematic work etc.

In case of masters in film making, submission of a DVD or a hyperlink, of a fiction or a nonfiction film, in case of masters in acting, a hyper link or DVD with an introduction and a few mts of contrasting monologues from either a published play or screen play. For masters in photography, photographs, 15 maximum, with an accompanying description contextualizing the submission, with knowledge of the DSLR camera exposure and mac computers, photo shopping, and also will be given a written or oral test.

In case of masters in game design and 3D animation, 5-7 drawings, paintings, cartoons, comics, conceptual illustrations, graphic renderings, digital images, slides of 3-D models, sculptures, or other visual designs which display the applicant’s creative abilities.

Its quiet simple to move from one area of study to another, provided you show your passion and interest to the subject in  any form