Academic Career or Runaway Train?

The past few days have been rather interesting regarding my academic life.

The first year of the Master of Arts in Sociology is pretty well planned out for me in regards to core courses. Each semester there are 2 courses I have to take and then there are 3 – 6 hours which I may do with as I wish. In planning for the spring semester I decided that I do wish to take on 12 graduate hours. Given the load of my current courses, I can handle it.

One of the plans I had involved taking a class with Chris. Typically I would simply take an undergraduate class and not worry about graduate level credit, unless the course happened to be cross-listed between graduate and undergraduate. This time the class is one that is not cross-listed, but is in the department of philosophy and taught by a faculty member that I am familiar with. I decided it may be worth a shot to attempt to get the course upgraded to graduate level utilizing an independent study. It would seem that there is no recent precedent for this being done and the academic policies on the topic are somewhat sketchy. It went from being as straight forward as registering the independent study and submitting an IS contract to the department to use the course as the base level requirement to now determining whether or not I have to register and audit the undergraduate section to make the course work out.  Seems like a lot of work just to take an Existentialism class.

After the Existentialism stuff was starting to work itself out I got an e-mail from my HCI instructor from last spring, attempting to get interest in a special topics course in Tactile Computing, offered by one of her colleagues. I contacted the instructor of the course to get more details and found out that she will be deciding based on the profiles of each student which of us she would like to have in the class, assuming there is high enough demand for it to matter. Assuming I’m selected, that is another course that may appear on my schedule. I am hoping that if I take the class I may be able to use it toward my Cognitive Science graduate certificate.

While on the College of Computing and Informatics website to find out more about the professor responsible for the Tactile Computing class I ran across the degree requirements for the Master of Science in Information Technology. I discovered that if I take the Tactile Computing class I will have met all of the requirements for the Human-Computer Interaction concentration of the degree. I am therefore considering applying to the degree program. Even if I do not complete the degree it would be nice to have it active on my record so that if I do wish to complete the degree I may utilize those courses that I have already taken. However, if I complete the MSIT degree, I will likely drop the Cognitive Science certificate, unless I can find a way to complete all of the requirements for it inside the MSIT degree.

I have a lot to think about and a lot of options to consider. I do not know what would be best at this point.

One thought on “Academic Career or Runaway Train?

  1. Hey Curtis—Great black & white pics! You know what my favorites are!! Interesting choice on degree. I haven’t noticed you around on Messenger–Are you still planning on heading up this way next week?? —–George

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