PhD mamas: advice on my timeline? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 04-29-2010, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Background: I've got a BA (English Lit) and JD. I got the JD thinking I could teach after a few years of working, but that's not the case. I've been doing to corporate thing (using my degree) for 6 years. Now I'm going to aim high and try for a PhD - in a different field, but something I discovered late in the game that I like and has a huge deficit in professors.

So, the plan: I'm starting to take classes this summer to make up for the classes I didn't take as an undergrad. I've registered for school and my company is reimbursing me (YAY!). I'm planning on 2 classes a semester (including summers) online though an in-state university. I have an unofficial advisor (letter of reference eventually I hope!). He teaches much of the program and suggested the classes I should take. Since I'm not trying to get a degree, I'm pretty flexible.

The question: I was originally figuring on taking 2 classes a semester through spring of 2012, hoping to start a PhD full time in fall of 2012. That means I'd be doing the application process and all it entails fall of 2011. I'm wondering if that's too short a time-line. I'd like to hear some pros and cons of finishing the classes and then applying for fall of 2013.

Is the application process and GMAT and all that time-consuming enough to wait until I finish my classes?

I'll need some sort of writing sample--I'd be two semesters away from where I intend to be by the time I'd need one. But all of my classes would be super focused...I suppose I can make sure to schedule a research class or something with a large writing requirement before then if everything else is caught up. I'd just hate to be the dork who submitted a paper from an entry level class. That's one of my biggest concerns.

I'm 34 now. I'd be 36 or 37 starting out with a 5 or 6 year old. But from here, that doesn't really feel like it matters any more. Single. STBX doesn't mind if I move - which I will have to do. I suppose a pro of delaying a year would mean another year of decent income, but I don't want to put it off forever.

I'm open to not being ready, but don't want to close that door either. I'd really love to hear some input from people that have been there.

Seriously...any and all opinions welcome! I need some more viewpoints on this to think about!! Thanks!!
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#2 of 3 Old 04-30-2010, 01:55 AM
 
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wow - sounds like lots of decisions can be made. I'd say - go with the flow a little and see if you're ready by the 2011 - you can often defer a year if you need to. No advice on anything else though - I'm in a hard science program, it works in a very different way...

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#3 of 3 Old 04-30-2010, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marinak1977 View Post
wow - sounds like lots of decisions can be made. I'd say - go with the flow a little and see if you're ready by the 2011 - you can often defer a year if you need to. No advice on anything else though - I'm in a hard science program, it works in a very different way...
Thanks for taking time to respond. I'm definitely not doing things the typical way...esp going from relatively fluffy undergrad to law school to a business field. But I'm hoping my years in the business world will help out. And I had a semester of grad school before I got this job where I took some related course work and really excelled at it. So...there are a lot of ifs still...but I am pretty confident I can pull it off. Worst case, I learn some skills relevant to my current job, and company pays for it.

When I look at the whole picture, it's a bit overwhelming, but one step at a time...I can do it. And the nice thing about law school---it taught me how to study!

Oh! I was looking at my top 4 schools last night, and only 1 of them wants a writing sample!! So that might help out a lot with some of these worries!
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