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Shadowing A Graduate Class

Shadowing A Graduate Class

By Tami Akerele

Last week I had the great opportunity to shadow a Statistics graduate class, a required class under Texas A&M’s Industrial Organizational Psychology Masters Program. As an undergraduate student, I was curious to see how graduate classes differed from undergraduate classes. Having taken only one Statistics class during my time as a student, I wasn’t sure how it would differ from my Statistics class.

Coming into class, I noticed that it was much smaller than the average college class. Most people had laptops to take notes from PowerPoint slides, just as many undergrad students do. Class times were similar and lasted about an hour and a half. Classes still revolved around note-taking and taking down information. However, most of the material taught in class was application-based and had a specific use for projects grad students would face when working. I noticed the information taught was more specific and more advanced. Students were also more involved in class, and the professor spoke to them more casually. Most graduate students have about three classes per semester and as a result, they invest more time on average in their classes. Most of the note-taking in the class did not revolve around preparing for an exam and rather how they would use this information when working or pursuing further education. From my understanding, there wasn’t any weekly assignment to be completed, instead, they had long-term projects to be completed through the semester.

Overall I had a really great experience in the Statistics class. It was an enriching experience and cleared up some misconceptions I personally had about graduate classes. Most of the information was easy to follow and made sense to me, and I understood why the information taught would be relevant when working.