Full-time work, part-time grad school?

posted 3 years ago in College
Post # 3
8483 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I haven’t, I had to be in school full time. You really just have to look at the individual program, some require you to be a full-time student at all and some are perfectly fine with part-time work (think MBA).

I think some higher ed admin programs require you to “work” as part of receiving your tuition/stipend. It is specific work that is approved and allowed by them within their university setting.  Sort of like being a GRA in grad school.

I do know someone that got their MBA while working a full-time position at a University.  University allowed 1 free class per semester as a benefit so she did it over a # of years taking 2 classes a semester.

Post # 4
599 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

@juliana192:  I know I had a few lab instructors do that. They were allowed 2 free classes a semester, but the issue is that they only gave it to you if you worked their first before enrolling. If you applied before getting the job the offer didn’t stand. Its a nice bonus especially for people changing career paths or wanting to test the waters in higher degrees. They seemed to easily do it. I even had a pair of friends get married faster because he could get his PhD program(full-time) for free since she was employed by the university.

Post # 5
127 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

My FH is currently in a graduate program, they waived his tuition and pay him money each month for being a TA in his program. He was offered a position in the PhD program here, but after being here for a year, he decided it would be better for his future to just get his Master’s degree.

They waived his tuition and he had to work 20 hours a week at first while he was registered as a PhD student, but now that he has decided to change to a Master’s, they cut his work down to 10 hours a week and they pay him half of what he was getting in the PhD program. They still pay his tuition, and he will graduate this December after 3 semesters here- no summers involved in that. During the summers you do not get paid, so I would recommend having some money saved up just in case.

The work he does doesn’t seem very hard, and it doesn’t take up much time. Office hours takes up more time than anything else he has to do (grade homework, write quiz questions, etc…). I think that someone could have a part time job and still be able to do what he does. 

Post # 7
3 posts
  • Wedding: June 2013

@juliana192:  Are you sure that’s the policy? I would assume that if it is a high enough percentage assistantship (e.g., at my university as long as you are employed with at least a 33.3% assistantship) you will not have loans for tuition – you get tuition remission along with the stipend. That is the function of assistantships for grad students, they aren’t salaried positions but you also don’t have to pay for school that way.

Post # 9
55 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I am currently doing this. I work full-time for a university and I am taking two masters courses part-time towards a masters degree. It is possible, however, I think your time frame is unrealistic. 

This is my first term doing this and taking two courses is one course too many. For the rest of my degree I am going to take one course a term which means my degree will take 7 years!

You have to keep in mind that although the university will give you free classes, you still have to work your full hours. If your class is during work hours, you will have to make up the hours you miss. Readings & Assignments take a lot more time then you are expecting and are designed for students who are doing the course full time. If you have a husband/fiance and want to still see him or have a social life – it is REALLY difficult.

I think it’s a great idea but do not try to take 2-3 courses a term.

Post # 10
308 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I worked full time during full-time undergrad, and FI worked full time during a full-time MBA program. It depends on the program, the flexibility of your work schedule (we were both in retail at the time, which is much more flexible than most office environments), and whether you are willing to give up the vast majority of your free time, but it can be done.

Post # 11
24457 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I wasn’t in an education degree or working at a school but for the second half of my masters I was working full time and taking classes part time.

Post # 12
720 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

In college, I worked in an office within my university and many of the non-student employees worked there solely because they got free (like 98% off) tuition. They were all super happy with their situation and took classes at their own pace. Some took 2-3 like you and others only took 1. 

Post # 13
11598 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I did – part-time (2 classes/semester) and working a 40+ hour a week job (usually more).  It’s all about balance, being organized, and scheduling.  You have to be diligent with doing all your work and commiting to your job.  It is 100% doable.

Post # 14
11598 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@alexisatk:  2-3 classes isn’t that outrageous, depending on the subject matter.  I took two courses a semester with ease, and had several where I could have handled three.  It really depends on the individual program. I did my part-time masters in 3 years with only taking 1 summer class, and that was because I only wanted to take one class the semester I was getting married.

Post # 15
6786 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!

@juliana192:  I have a friend that is a teacher and is getting her master’s online while she is teaching full time. It’s through Western Governor’s University. I’m not sure how much tuition costs, but she can take assessment tests that allow her to pass out of several courses, so I think it will only take her about a year to get her degree. It works really well for her since she teaches full time and is a new mommy. 

Another friend of mine worked as a lab tech at our med school so he could have his MBA paid for. I think that’s a really good option.

Also, I don’t know too much about your major, but I know for hard sciences like engineering our graduate degrees are fully funded. I didn’t pay a dime of tuition for my master’s degree and actually got paid quite well to do research at the university. For my PhD I make a salary that’s not too shabby and all of my tuition and fees are covered. My package is worth about 80k a year when tuition is added. Try to find a program that supports graduate work!

Post # 16
2150 posts
Buzzing bee

@juliana192:  Some programs guarantee assistantships, some do not. Those who do not guarantee them are VERY selective in giving them out. I would try to secure the assistantship before enrolling in classes. A lot of times they aren’t offered until a week or two before classes start. 

I tried my hardest to get an assistantship in my two years of gradschool but I could never get one.

All I can say is don’t bank on an assitantship unless the school actually offers you one. 

Leave a comment

Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors