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Engineering Can I still do an ms program in ee after 15 years?

  1. Jul 3, 2016 #1
    Hi, everyone. This is my first post and I'm glad I found this forum because I have some problems that I can't get much feedback for.

    I graduated from college about 15 years ago with a BS degree in electrical/computer engineering. My gpa ranged somewhere from 2.8 to 3.0. Based on USNews, my undergrad ranked somewhere in the bottom of the top 40 schools.

    I eventually never did work as an engineer. I never even touched or glanced back at my undergrad subjects until maybe within the past year, which is when I realized that EE still interests me a whole lot more than what I currently do for a living. Yes, I admit I forgot much of what I studied back then but, sadly, it wasn't until recent when I rediscovered, with more intense fervor, as to why I majored in EE at the first place.

    My current employment ( healthcare, as a practitioner ) is not even remotely close to EE and I don't remember a lot or all from my undergrad studies.

    Would like some feedback as to whether I can get accepted to decent and affordable online ms programs in EE. And would also like to know if a person of my current ability and knowledge can actually finish the ms successfully.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 4, 2016 #2


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    Realistically, you are going to have an extremely hard time getting into any MS program in EE in any capacity what so ever. However, some programs may allow you to take a class or two on a trial basis (not correct term). You pay, and you do as best you can. If you manage a B or better, you may be able become admitted.
    However, your being out of the field for so long will make anything but the most remedial Graduate class nearly impossible to pass. I might even suggest you consider an undergraduate course as a refresher. You may even want to audit vs enroll for a grade (hey, you already have an EE, or take a class from your previous institution and maybe they will factor it into your GPA).
    You may even consider just opening up a previous text and seeing how much you actually remember or take an online exam and gage your actual knowledge base.
    One author I read, likened knowledge of a subject area to sand in a hourglass timer bottle. You can add sand continuously, but when you stop, eventually the sand (knowledge) will run out. As you have been away for so long, you may have to do A LOT just to get back to when you graduated.
    You may consider studying for the EIT exam in electrical. You will need to study a lot, but it would be self study and you would be able to actually measure your progress, should you pass (this assumes you have an EE degree from an ABET accredited school).
  4. Jul 5, 2016 #3


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    You should seek an academician at a desired school and impress him/her with your desire. They have a soft spot for old people because they risk much and cause fewer issues than the young and wildly ambitious.
  5. Jul 18, 2016 #4
    I got my B.S. in biochemistry and then went back three years later. I am working on my M.S. in materials science/engineering and nuclear engineering while working in a steel mill. I had a lot of negative thoughts as to how this time around might be very different. New subject, I never really took on the academic version of, and this time around I had a full time job, mortgage, decent stake of land, wife, and 2 dogs. It hurts... but in a good way. "It" won't all come back to you, but your previous thinking processes might. I don't know about you but what I lacked from life was the IF I DON'T GET AN "A" ON THE FINAL I'M SCREWED! sense of urgency (unless you were a really diligent student all of the time, but I bet you at least had "that one class"). Honestly, I doubted whether or not I had any of that learn or burn kind of studying capacity left in my head.

    I hope I am being motivational here but, what I am trying to say is go for it.. or at least make it an elaborate hobby. I know in comparison you have been out of the game a lot longer but, I experienced the same daily grind "turning your brain into a less efficient machine" kind of feeling. Knowing you can take that back with a little sense of forced urgency might just feel good or, (depending on how many all-nighters it takes) really good.... in a horrible kind of way haha.

    As far as getting in is concerned, it really shouldn't be that hard. All you should have to do is take the GRE exam to get into an M. S. degree program.

    Actually study a GRE book. The kind of math they expect you to be fluent in is mid to upper high school (depending on what kind of classes were offered in your location.. at that time... ect..). They won't make you take integrals and derivatives, just the more fundamental stuff you probably haven't used in awhile (on top of that you are timed). The language portion of it isn't that hard, just buy a GRE vocabulary flashcard pack.

    If you do well on the GRE, and work into your application letter that you are motivated, will not be accepting any financial aid from the university, and that you have means to pay your bills on time.... you should be in a good position. I'm sorry, I can't weigh in on the online school options. I hope that helps!
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