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Do full time research actually mean working the whole day?

  1. Jun 28, 2012 #1
    I am going into third year (junior) in the coming fall and I plan to do some research over the summers with a prof I know. I've talked with the prof and he seems to be willing to take me on.

    However I have one concern is if I can graduate within four years. To make that happen, I have to take two summer classes.

    Is it doable to conduct research, take summer classes and have a 12hr/week part-time job (TAing, I need the money).

    If it really comes down to it, I have to give the research because I just don't have enough finance to extend my degree to five years and I know this goes against any grad school hopefuls. Has anyone been in my situation? I am not in the same town as my college, so I don't want to just send an email out of the blue to my professor (whom I know is extremely busy )

    One last info is that all research in my university is considered the whole summer (16 weeks).

    Thank you very much for reading
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 28, 2012 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Not if you want to do a good job at all of them.
  4. Jun 28, 2012 #3


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    No. Most summer classes meet for 2-3 hours each day and can assign anywhere up to 6 hours of reading and homework each night. There are typically weekly tests. That alone can easily take up all of your time. You're not going to get any research done, and your professor is going to be very sorry he wasted his time on you.
  5. Jun 29, 2012 #4
    Concur that this is a very bad idea. I don't think you'll have the time, and if one wheel falls off then everything else will fall apart.

    Any chance of taking a light load one semester and pulling in research then?
  6. Jul 1, 2012 #5
    I don't and part of the reason is because I go to a very very very small university and the courses that I need aren't offered every year. So if I take a "light load" for even one semester, I risk extending my degree to SIX years.

    I don't even know how I am going to tell the professor about this. He'll probably be extremely disappointed about this.

    Thank you anyways
  7. Jul 3, 2012 #6


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    You say that you don't have the finances to extend your degree to 5 years. I'm wondering if the 2 courses that you need to take has a duration of an entire year to complete (i.e. from Sept to April-May) or are of shorter duration (i.e. courses last from Sept-Dec and Jan-April/May).

    If the latter, perhaps you can take the required 2 courses you had intended to take in the summer in the fall of a 5th year as a part-time student (and with reduced tuition). If you really need money during that time, you could go to the career centre of your school for a job during that time to help cover expenses.
  8. Jul 4, 2012 #7
    I'll be taking Computer Science. It's broken into two terms in the summer.

    One from May to end of June and then July to mid August
  9. Jul 5, 2012 #8


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    I see. If that is the case, then I really don't see any alternative than to drop your research plans over this summer, and focus on finishing your course work.

    When you discuss this with your prof, tell him your exact situation, and ask about the possibility of doing a research internship next summer (since you are in your 3rd year, I presume you have one more year prior to attending graduate school, if that's your intention).
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