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So what's the deal with Master degrees?

A photo of sllencer sllencer
I hear ppl talk about them and they say that it's sometimes not worth it to pursue one unless you're being funded by a research grant or some scholarship... what's up that?
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A photo of ktel ktel
That's my personal opinion. There's also a large difference between the US and Canada. In the US it is much more common to directly enter a PhD program, hence a lot of Master's programs aren't funded while the PhD programs are. In Canada the route is typically Master's to PhD, so both are funded.

As a grad student you contribute a lot more to the university than an undergraduate. Research is typically what drives a university in terms of gaining excellent faculty members and obtaining funding. As a grad student you're contributing to this literal wealth of knowledge, and as such most good programs will compensate you. If you're not receiving funding in a program/school where funding is typically provided, it's an indication that they don't really want you as a student but will let you attend if you pay your own way.
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A photo of sllencer sllencer
^ ok, I get that now. But, like you said, universities do research, discovering new knowledge, I can see that for math and sciences, but what about engineering prog, I know some ppl doing research in engineering, but wouldn't indivual companies's engineers do that, wouldnt it make more sense for them to do it and not for universities to do it?
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A photo of ktel ktel
Engineering is a science just like anything else. Some companies do invest in research within their own company, but not many do. Instead they funnel money into universities so that they can do research for them. Why do you think engineering departments are so rich.

I'm in engineering, by the way.
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A photo of sllencer sllencer
Cool, me too. Where do you go?
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
I'll be doing a Masters. A BA is nothing these days; companies worth working for and especially the government require a Masters or even a PhD for many of their jobs.
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A photo of ktel ktel
I graduated in April, Mechanical Engineering at U of A. Doing my Master's at U of T (with funding, obviously. U of T has good funding, so does U of A actually)
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A photo of sllencer sllencer
Congrats to both of you! And about what army said, is a bachelor in eng good enough? And bout funding, is it hard to get? Lol and if you don't mind me asking, i am asking lots, what gpa you got or what sort of gpa is competitive?
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A photo of ktel ktel
Yes a bachelor in engineering is definitely good enough to get you a job.

Funding in engineering is pretty easy to get. It would be a waste of your money to do an engineering Master's unfunded. U of T guarantees at least $15,000 in funding plus an $8000 tuition waiver. I received an NSERC scholarship which is $17,500 so my department is giving me $12,000 but no tuition waiver. For my second year I'll be guaranteed at least the $15,000 + waiver unless I get external scholarships again.
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A photo of sllencer sllencer
So with waivers, some people might actually end up being "paid to go to school" ?
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A photo of ktel ktel
Yes, that's what I mean by funding for grad school. Your tuition isn't just getting paid for, they're giving you money to live on as well. I'm receiving nearly $30,000 in my first year, and at least $10,000 in my second (it's $15,000 per 12 month year, I'll probably do 18-20 months). I also plan to apply for external scholarships in my second year which could boost funding. I also applied to be a TA which gives an extra $2000 or so a semester.
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A photo of sllencer sllencer
Very nice.Haha...so do ppl laugh at other ppl who actually do pay out of their own pockets ? I mean is it a joke to pay for a master's?
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A photo of ktel ktel
It depends on the field. In a lot of humanities fields you're simply not going to get funding, so it's up to them whether they think grad school is important enough to go into debt for. In engineering, I will say it again, I think it's silly to pay for your own post-grad education when so much funding is available. In fact a lot of schools won't even take you unless you are funded by them or an external source.
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A photo of sllencer sllencer
So to get funding, other than a respectable gpa ,you need like networking connections?
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A photo of ktel ktel
NSERC is awarded based on three factors: 50% academic excellence, 30% research ability or potential and 20% communication, interpersonal and leadership abilities. So good grades, some research experience or the ability to write a good research proposal and extracurricular involvement.

My experience with U of T is if you get accepted you get funding. In order to get accepted you need to find a supervisor who will take you on as a student. So it is essentially networking. I simply contacted a few profs and sent them my CV and transcript. After my application was sent in a few more profs contacted me after they saw it.
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A photo of sllencer sllencer
Must've been quite the CV. Thanks for answering my questions.And good luck!
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A photo of sllencer sllencer
uhh i just got one more question O.o
Does the reputation of your school play a factor? Would a school like U of T consider certain school's applicants as a joke/ lower tier?
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A photo of ktel ktel
If you're a Canadian applying within Canada I doubt reputation will be a big factor. I was talking to my summer research supervisor today and he obviously prefers international students who went to certain schools. He even characterizes them by country. He seemed to lump all Canadian students together though.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous

@sllencer wrote
uhh i just got one more question O.o
Does the reputation of your school play a factor? Would a school like U of T consider certain school's applicants as a joke/ lower tier?


Not as far as I've ever heard. The whole "OMG U of T is here and Western is here!" dichotomy seems to only be prevalent in high school students. Once you're actually in university, it doesn't matter. Once you're looking for a job, it doesn't matter: no employer is going to say "oh, your BA from UBC is worth less than your BA from Western."
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A photo of sllencer sllencer
Ok so uhm... so I was pointing towards Engineering degrees, but what you guys said should remain true for them as well?
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A photo of ktel ktel
I'm talking about Engineering degrees, because that's the experience I have applying to grad school.
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A photo of sllencer sllencer
Ok, about grads, is it like undergrad? Go to class but on the side you assist in research? And is it hardier, easier to meet ppl during grad years?
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A photo of ktel ktel
No it's definitely not like undergrad. In undergrad I took 6 classes a semester, now I'll be taking 2. I'm expected to do a ton of research and I'm not assisting, I'm going to do my own project.

I haven't started grad school, but I am moving away from friends and family. I'm going to play varsity rugby so I plan to meet a bunch of people that way.
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A photo of sllencer sllencer
If I'm in undergrad, would Intramurals worktoo lol I'm no where near good enough to play varsity in any sport
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A photo of ktel ktel
Yes, intramurals or any other sports team would also work. Joining a club would also work. I joined an engineering design team (albeit many of my friends were already on it) but I made more friends and met my boyfriend.
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A photo of sllencer sllencer
So uhm about the courses you take in a masters program, it's knew stuff you learn? So, I guess what I'm trying to get at is... do you get to stand on the edge of knowledge?
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