During your undergrad career, registering for classes can be a bit of a hassle and cause panic, but in grad school the registration process is painless. Graduate students at Graduate students at Florida Tech get the opportunity to register in the first tier, which means first pick of classes. This is a wonderful change from the undergrad experience because no matter how many credits you have, grad students always get first pick along with the senior undergrad students and varsity athletes.
When you begin your graduate career, you are matched up with a professor to be your advisor and mentor. I met with my adviser this past week to discuss numerous topics including registration. For my aviation human factors degree, I am required to take a minimum of 36 credit hours to earn my master’s degree. That equates to nine credit hours for four semesters, or two years of schooling. One of the oddest transitions for me was getting used to the reduced credit hour load. I have always taken 15 credit hours or more during my undergrad studies, and I still feel compelled to take as many credit hours as I can. As a grad student, it is important to not spread yourself too thin. Just because you are only taking three classes doesn’t mean that you won’t be busy. Most graduate advisors will recommend their students take only nine credit hours. Graduate school allows you to be more independent in the courses that interest you. Obviously there are core requirements and deficiencies that need to be made up (like I had to do for my lack of aviation background), but after taking these classes the program can be tailored to your interests and career prospects. In addition to your adviser, you can also check out Florida Tech’s Graduate Program’s Office for any questions or problems during your graduate career.
The first two semesters of grad school are pretty straightforward in terms of classes, but in your second year more doors open in terms of class options. Your advisor is there to help guide you through your grad career, and help focus your interests, so don’t be afraid to get to know them and ask questions. After meeting with your advisor, you are ready to register for classes. The registration window tends to open at midnight the first day of registration. Timeframe options for grad school classes aren’t as numerous as undergrad classes, which means that if you need to take that one class and there is only one section available and it is at night, then that is what you have to work with. For next semester, I will be taking Statistics, Human Performance 1, and Sensation and Perception. I have one class online and then one class each day, Monday through Thursday. It is odd to know what my grad schedule will look like for the rest of my time here at FIT, but I am excited to continue forward.