:: Preparing for Grad School with UEX

Posted: September 3, 2010


Preparing for Grad School with UEX

Like many University Extension (UEX) students, Tania Jordanova used UEX courses to prepare for graduate school.

When Tania started exploring graduate programs, she discovered that the courses she had taken to earn her undergraduate degree in architecture had not included the science courses that were prerequisites for the public health programs she found most appealing.

Tania took economics, biology, and chemistry courses with UEX. This fall she began a graduate degree program at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill in Urban Planning, and she hopes to add a dual degree component in Public Health, in the Fall 2011 semester.

Learn more about Tania’s experiences taking UEX courses in the interview below.

How did you learn about University Extension?

I learned about UEX from my husband, who was a graduate student at UT Austin at the time. I was new to Austin, but I knew that most universities offer continuing education classes, so I researched the UEX options online. I thought taking classes at a respected university, such as UT, would be a great opportunity to work towards my academic and career goals.

What was your goal in taking courses with UEX?

My goal was to take classes that were prerequisites for graduate programs that I planned to apply to. Since my architecture coursework was very specialized, I was unable to take basic courses such as biology, chemistry, and microeconomics in undergrad. Thus, I decided to enroll in these courses through UEX.

How did taking courses at University Extension help you to reach your academic goals?

The microeconomics (ECO 403K) course that I took through University Extension helped me reach my goal of being accepted into a competitive master’s program in urban planning. The biology and chemistry courses have given me the background and confidence to apply for a dual degree in public health with a focus on environmental science.

Did you take evening or online courses? What was the benefit of this type of course for you?

I took evening classes. These worked well for me since I had a full-time job and thus had to take classes that started at 6 pm or later. I liked interacting with the instructors, and taking these classes was also a good way to meet other students in similar career changing situations as myself.

What were the classes like? Were they what you expected?

The classes were exactly what I expected. The lectures were very similar to those I had experienced in a full-time undergraduate program, except the class sizes were much smaller, which provided for a better learning environment. All of my classes had fewer than 20 students.

What would you say are the biggest benefits of taking courses with University Extension?

The biggest benefit is having the opportunity to learn and earn credit in a way that works with your schedule. UEX courses allow you to explore topics to see if they are something you enjoy and find interesting, without having to sign up for a full degree program. Another benefit is that the courses are from an accredited, well respected university and will easily transfer towards a degree at any other school.

Challenges?

Trying to find free parking on campus.

Any advice to someone considering taking a course with University Extension?

People who sign up for classes in the evening usually have a busy schedule during the day, so time management is crucial. Setting aside a few hours to do homework every week was a key to success for me.

Also, remember to sign up for courses early!

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