A Second Major In A Second College?

Actinguy1Actinguy1 Registered User regular
edited August 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey guys! I'm thinking of getting a second bachelor's degree...but not at the school I got my first one from.

Background:

I'm former military. While I served, I picked up an associate's degree in Public Affairs (Government's version of Public Relations), plus a few extra classes towards a bachelor's degree.

Now that I've left the military, I am receiving the post 9/11 GI Bill to go back to school. For those unfamiliar, it pays 100% of my tuition (up to the maximum tuition of my state's most expensive public school) PLUS a significant "living stipend" that goes straight into my pocket. Plus it pays for books and tutors and such. I have three years worth of benefits.

My dad works at Penn State Beaver, and so I enrolled there. Thanks to the classes I've already taken, plus work experience etc, I was accepted as a sixth semester student, and am on track to graduate in December of 2011 with a bachelor's degree in Communications, with a Corporate Communications focus.

This will leave me with almost exactly 1.5 years worth of benefits remaining. I like school all by itself, but the fact that I'm literally being PAID to go to school (as opposed to the opposite) makes me want to keep going.

Penn State Beaver only offers one master's degree, in education. I'm not particularly interested. Penn State main campus offers far more degrees of course, but this would require packing up and moving from Pittsburgh to central PA (several hours) and I would rather not.

This leaves me considering Pitt, which is another fine, public school in the area. I had originally intended to go there for my Master's in Political Science, thinking that I could then do PR for politicians or government groups or whatever. However, the fact that my bachelor's degree is not in poli sci makes me think this will take significantly longer than 1.5 years to accomplish, and I'd rather sink as little of my own money into this as possible.

So...now I'm thinking of getting a second bachelor's degree (Poli sci) at Pitt once I've graduated from Penn State. Has anyone ever done this? I haven't taken many poli sci classes at Penn State, but I will have all of the core classes out of the way, and since I was already considered a sixth semester at Penn, I assume that it shouldn't take me more than a year and a half to get a second bachelor's at Pitt.

What say you?

tl;dr: Graduating from Penn State Beaver, Communications, December 2011. Thinking of getting a second bachelor's, Political Science, from Pitt. Things I should be aware of?

Thanks!

EDIT: I'm hard working, dedicated to my education, and...thanks to the stipend, plus my live-in girlfriend's support, going to school full-time for three years is not a significant financial issue.

Actinguy1 on

Posts

  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Both of those BAs are ones that you should REALLY accompany with a Masters.

    Esh on
  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    If you're getting paid for it, I say go for it. A lot of graduates in our generation are paying for graduate school and racking up new loans for the lovely, lovely loan deferments they merit. You can do the same thing, but make money for it.

    admanb on
  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    admanb wrote: »
    If you're getting paid for it, I say go for it. A lot of graduates in our generation are paying for graduate school and racking up new loans for the lovely, lovely loan deferments they merit. You can do the same thing, but make money for it.

    Yeah, if it's free, no loss. But if you can have even part of your masters paid for, you're still streets ahead of everyone else debt wise at that point.

    Esh on
  • admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Quite true.

    admanb on
  • VeritasVRVeritasVR Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    It's great that you're committed to more education. I'd definitely narrow your studies with a masters instead of broadening yourself with another B.A., since your current B.A. is rather broad to begin with. People do get two undergraduate degrees, but they are usually obtained at the same time due to the overlapping classes of similar degree paths. If you already have an undergraduate degree complete, you should absolutely pursue a masters. Your career would benefit much more from that, considering your undergrad degree(s?) will not be as marketable.

    For the record, PSU and Pitt are both great schools and your Communications coursework should fulfill most (if not all) pre-reqs for Poli Sci. It is typically encouraged for students to obtain their masters at another school. Please do not think sinking some money into a masters is worthless! You are getting a great deal as it is.

    VeritasVR on
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  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    VeritasVR wrote: »
    It's great that you're committed to more education. I'd definitely narrow your studies with a masters instead of broadening yourself with another B.A., since your current B.A. is rather broad to begin with. People do get two undergraduate degrees, but they are usually obtained at the same time due to the overlapping classes of similar degree paths.

    I'm currently doing this with Applied Linguistics and French. It's a nice combination.

    Esh on
  • Folken FanelFolken Fanel anime af When's KoFRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    One masters looks better than 2 bachelors.

    Folken Fanel on
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  • UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Before you take the plunge for the Master's you should make sure the GI Bill covers post-Bachelors education now, as I know when my ex-husband looked into it a few years ago he was limited to only an additional BA degree

    Usagi on
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited August 2010
    The only reason to get a second degree (like I'm doing, like you it's at a different school from my first one) instead of or before a graduate degree is that the graduate degree you are after requires an entirely different knowledge set than your first degree provided.

    If you are going from a language degree to applied science, that's not going to work. If you're going from a language to linguistics, there's almost certainly no need for another undergrad.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    ceres wrote: »
    The only reason to get a second degree (like I'm doing, like you it's at a different school from my first one) instead of or before a graduate degree is that the graduate degree you are after requires an entirely different knowledge set than your first degree provided.

    If you are going from a language degree to applied science, that's not going to work. If you're going from a language to linguistics, there's almost certainly no need for another undergrad.

    I'm not sure if you're addressing this at me or the OP since you seem to be referencing my intended degrees. Also, are you saying that it's useless for me to get those two degrees together?

    Esh on
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited August 2010
    Esh wrote: »
    ceres wrote: »
    The only reason to get a second degree (like I'm doing, like you it's at a different school from my first one) instead of or before a graduate degree is that the graduate degree you are after requires an entirely different knowledge set than your first degree provided.

    If you are going from a language degree to applied science, that's not going to work. If you're going from a language to linguistics, there's almost certainly no need for another undergrad.

    I'm not sure if you're addressing this at me or the OP since you seem to be referencing my intended degrees. Also, are you saying that it's useless for me to get those two degrees together?
    I was actually talking to the OP. There's nothing wrong with double-majoring, and I never said otherwise. :P There's little wrong with anything anybody wants to do, education-wise. But if you're going for a second degree after you've already graduated with your first degree, and if the subjects of the two degrees are closely related, you would probably be better served (financially at least, if not time-wise) taking on a graduate degree instead of the second Bachelor's.

    It sounded to me like you were describing a double-major with your degrees, which is different from graduating and then coming back ages later.

    edit: To further clarify, my first degree is a language degree, so it was just the example that came to mind. If I'd wanted to go back for linguistics, I probably would have skipped to a MA instead of taking a second Bachelor's. Instead I decided that I wanted to follow my dream of getting a graduate degree in Molecular Biology, and no grad school anywhere cares about my degree for talking gud in another language when it comes to doing science.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    ceres wrote: »
    Esh wrote: »
    ceres wrote: »
    The only reason to get a second degree (like I'm doing, like you it's at a different school from my first one) instead of or before a graduate degree is that the graduate degree you are after requires an entirely different knowledge set than your first degree provided.

    If you are going from a language degree to applied science, that's not going to work. If you're going from a language to linguistics, there's almost certainly no need for another undergrad.

    I'm not sure if you're addressing this at me or the OP since you seem to be referencing my intended degrees. Also, are you saying that it's useless for me to get those two degrees together?
    I was actually talking to the OP. There's nothing wrong with double-majoring, and I never said otherwise. :P There's little wrong with anything anybody wants to do, education-wise. But if you're going for a second degree after you've already graduated with your first degree, and if the subjects of the two degrees are closely related, you would probably be better served (financially at least) taking on a graduate degree instead of the second Bachelor's.

    I'm doing the double major because there's enough crossover between the two and I'm spending a semester in France that'll leave me with beaucoup credits in classes that wouldn't go anywhere else. That, and between my Pell Grants and all the grants Oregon likes to throw around, I can basically go to school for free up to 290 credits or until I finish one degree. So, the plan is to basically get both degrees up to one class short and then finish that, leaving me to pay for one class on my own. I think the total extra commitment for the second degree will be like...2 semesters or so. Easy.

    Esh on
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited August 2010
    Esh wrote: »
    ceres wrote: »
    Esh wrote: »
    ceres wrote: »
    The only reason to get a second degree (like I'm doing, like you it's at a different school from my first one) instead of or before a graduate degree is that the graduate degree you are after requires an entirely different knowledge set than your first degree provided.

    If you are going from a language degree to applied science, that's not going to work. If you're going from a language to linguistics, there's almost certainly no need for another undergrad.

    I'm not sure if you're addressing this at me or the OP since you seem to be referencing my intended degrees. Also, are you saying that it's useless for me to get those two degrees together?
    I was actually talking to the OP. There's nothing wrong with double-majoring, and I never said otherwise. :P There's little wrong with anything anybody wants to do, education-wise. But if you're going for a second degree after you've already graduated with your first degree, and if the subjects of the two degrees are closely related, you would probably be better served (financially at least) taking on a graduate degree instead of the second Bachelor's.

    I'm doing the double major because there's enough crossover between the two and I'm spending a semester in France that'll leave me with beaucoup credits in classes that wouldn't go anywhere else. That, and between my Pell Grants and all the grants Oregon likes to throw around, I can basically go to school for free up to 290 credits or until I finish one degree. So, the plan is to basically get both degrees up to one class short and then finish that, leaving me to pay for one class on my own. I think the total extra commitment for the second degree will be like...2 semesters or so. Easy.

    Yeah, see, this is an entirely different thing from going back to school later. Take a few extra courses a term, stay an extra 6-12 months, bam! Two majors done at once. When you're going back, it's never that easy. Even if the classes aren't hard, it's a LOT of extra time, so if your second major would be similar or related I'd advise skipping to grad school. When you're double majoring you can choose History of Timbuktu and Moon Science or whatever you want and, related or otherwise, you usually don't lose much time to it if you take on a few extra courses each term.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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