Change Majors in MS after admission and Arrival to US? ECE to CS?
The way it works in India and maybe few other countries is, once you take up a Major (or Branch) in Bachelors, it is very hard to change that Major. You do not see many schools encouraging changing of majors unless you are in a flexible top notch school. Unlike, in America it works differently…Let me share few thoughts on this.
Can you change Majors in MS after Admission and Visa stamping?
Short answer, yes you can! Let me share an example, let’s say you have studied Electronics and Communications (ECE) in Bachelors (B.Tech) and you applied to Engineering for Graduate School in US and got accepted to Electronics program and got your visa and came to US….after coming to US, you realize that you need to change major because you feel like changing career to Computer Sciences. What do you do then?
How Does the Change of major works in MS in USA ?
Well, most of the times, you would talk to the Academic adviser or admissions coordinator for that Departments both you plan to switch and your current. You get their advice and then apply to that department. The good part is, because you are already a student and Graduate school has all the paperwork …you would just apply and to that program, they would review your application and tell you the admission decision. Most of the times, you should be fine to get an admission unless it is very competitive. If you are transferring majors within same school ( ECE and CS belong to same Engineering school) it is much easier because the admission committee would be mostly same. But, if you are applying to major in different schools like MS in Computer Sciences to MA in English (that’s quite a change ) then it would take more process. End of the day, change of majors is a simple thing, provided you have the credentials to get admission…
You transferred Majors, what next ? Additional Classes? Cost ? Time?
You got the change of majors done, if you notice your admission comes with a set of requirements i.e. Pre-requisites or Foundation classes that you have to do before you begin the program. The reality is, they want you to have enough background and knowledge to study Graduate school. You may get anywhere from 3 to 5 classes or even more….In reality, you may get few of them waived(if you have a similar class in Undergrad), but most of the times, they will not waive core ones and you would have to do it. What it means for you is, as a student (if you do not have any funding), it is additional cost to your MS and additional time for graduation. But, the good part is you are doing MS in what you want to do rather than doing one thing and then realizing it was waste of time…
Bottom line, in US you can change majors, it is possible….just takes more time depending on Foundations. Most common major changes are from Electronics to Computer Sciences, Computer Sciences to MIS, Computer Sciences to Software Engineering, Mechanical to Computer Sciences, Electrical to Computer Sciences, MIS to MBA, etc.
Did you ever change a Major in US? What are your experiences ?
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