Hello, I am a second year master's student at a so-so engineering program, and am trying to determine what the downside to finishing my degree sooner rather than later might be (if any). My undergraduate major was physics with a math minor (beyond the substantial math I learned, I have yet to see any real value in all that work I did). I am taking courses this spring and am in a position to graduate either over the summer, having taken a summer course or two, or in the fall. My concentration area is embedded systems, and I have A LOT to learn on this topic; I'm even auditing a 300 level course on microprocessors this semester because I know I lack the nuts and bolts knowledge of this area of EE. Now, my dilemma is whether it would be better for me to try to graduate asap (this summer), or graduate in the fall, having perhaps used the summer for an internship or or thesis project. Also, my gpa sucks (2.5). I know it, no need to hammer the point home. By the time I graduate it will at least be above 3.0. My focus at this point is on doing well in my courses, and doing whatever I need to to demonstrate my ability and commitment during the coming months. I'm wondering how essential an internship is in my field to eventual employment. Based on conversations with a couple friends, once you graduate and are no longer a student, it's much harder to find a job, and internships are restricted to full-time students. The opportunity cost of taking longer in my case is another semester working part-time, or maybe not at all, while I complete the degree. Basically it's the foregone income of 6-8 months more in school- assuming of course, I were employed during that time. I'm leaning toward taking one year so I can make the most of my remaining time and complete an m.s. thesis and/or internship. I think my impatience stems from the fact that I'm already 26, spent several years working dead-end jobs before determining to take this path, and am now chomping at the bit to finish. Any advice from experienced professionals, or anyone who understands the kinds of options I'm trying to weigh, would be much appreciated. Thanks a lot.