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Grad School Questions


Just wondering how many people on here have gone through it. [I'm going in for my Masters this fall Comp Sci]

How much time on average a week were you guys putting into the classes and the thesis?

I've just come back from an unintended break from working out and I know I can spare 45 mins a day to hit the weights, but how much of social life am I gonna have left after the classes?

Also did you find it worth while to even finish the degree?


Masters in Foods and Nutrition. I did about 3-4 hours per day classroom. 2-3 hours per day homework and studying. And I was working enough to maintain 30 hours per week throughout a year.

I didn't workout at the gym, I just rode my bike on weekends. I had no social life except for the occasional Saturday night girlfriend. And my thesis took an extra 2 hours per day for about ten months. Was it worth it? I don't do it for a living, but I do have a masters degree, and that's cool.


Doing my PhD in computer science. Quite honestly it's a roller coaster ride as far as time is concerned.

When I was in classes, I had a heavy load, but I managed to find time to work out 5 or 6 times a week. I still had some kind of life too, but it was mainly study groups.

Now I'm done with classes. I have months of only working 40 or 50 hours per week. Then a deadline comes up and I work 100-120 hours a week for a month or two. During times like that, I can kinda kiss my workouts goodbye. I still try to get one or two sessions in per week, but the quality isn't the same (believe it or not, sleep is actually important!).

Grad school's a blast though. Good luck!


M.S. was at a fairly easy State U. and my undergrad was at a harder engineering school so it seemed like a break in comparison. I would say 25-30 hrs week working, 10 hrs a week of classes, and 2-3 hrs a day of thesis with some marathon sessions the last few weeks. Partly the thesis tied in with the working too.


I'm doing a PhD in neurobiology, this is my second year. I put in about 50 hours/week of lab time, study time varies, I should be doing about 2 Hrs/day of reading. I do make time to lift and I do MMA. When things get really hectic I substitute training with biking to work.
Sticking to your dayly plan is key, I lost a lot of time during my first year just taliking to people and checking out the internet. I am doing an MD/PhD so time is really of the essece for me.


Just finished an MA in exercise phys. and a MS in nutrition in May. I finished them both in exactly 2 years. I did a thesis with the MS and research hours with the MA. I did classes during the summer. Very busy, but worth it. I loved learning everything! I didn't have a social life/free time (except on x-mas breaks). But I did do my workouts first thing in the AM six days per week!

good luck


MBA, Wharton School. Long time ago. Spent about 50-55 hrs/ a week devoted to studies and class. Worth every penny.


MS in biology. Had a fellowship and worked as a TA, so I had to do my research, study and teach classes. I'm also married, so I also needed to devote quality time to my loved one.
I think it depends on the curriculum and how you do it. If you don't have to work for a living, that's great, but most of us do. It also depends on your research. My field was pollination ecology so it was very seasonal. In addition, field ecology is very difficult as you cannot control everything like a lab environment. Lots of surprises!
I loved grad school. Had a blast doing my research, but writing the thesis sucked. Hated the format nazis.
And a very important point is that an advanced degree will put you at the head of the pack when it comes to competing for that dream job. So it's well worth it.


phd biochemistry...its a long hard grind. worked hard and consistantly. i maintained my sanity by not allowing work to engulf my entire life. i advise you to do the same...life is too short. best of luck!


Currently tackling the MBA. Family, 40+ hours at work, one hour a day dedicated for 5 days a week to exercise.
2-3 hours a night homework. Saturday 6am-10am homework. Sunday as needed.

Worth it? That is up to you. For me? Yes.


MA in PE from SJSU. Did all my course work early and then got stuck on the thesis. Almost didn't make it. Time consuming and stressful. It is different than undergrad though and I really liked that. The thesis can be a bitch. Glad I did it, glad its over. Except I'm going back to finish my teaching credential. Maybe its never over. Good luck!


Thanks for the replies guys and gals. It pretty much summed up what I thought, alot of work and the rewards will be worth it. And judging from some of the replies gotta plan early for thesis lest i get behind the 8ball on one again. [Curse you, honors degree!]


I'm currently in the physical therapy program at UK and though this summer hasn't been so bad, this past spring was terrible and the fall will force me to quit my jobs and put lifting and jiu-jitsu on the back burner. It is going to suck, but I know if I can do this, I can do anything.


You'll be okay if you can find a pace that works for you. I did MS and PhD in engineering and found that I could take 2 classes at a time while working a half-time assistantship and still have time for working out and a social life. 3 classes at a time cut into my personal time too much.

Totally do-able as a full time student. Much harder as a part-timer while working full time, and you don't get the full experience of still being in college. You know, going to sporting events, playing pick-up games at the gym, going to parties, even spending time in the department or lab with the other grad students - you learn a lot from them and working together makes the whole experience much easier.

Also, now is a good time for going to grad school in engineering or CS, since many grad schools were hurting for students during the dot com boom (everyone went for high pay jobs right out of undergrad and didn't go to grad school, now they're too tied down with debt and families to go), so there's more funding available than there was back in the day.

So advice:

  1. Find your pace.
  2. Don't neglect your non-academic life.
  3. Make friends with many other grad students.
  4. Have fun and don't worry about it.

Good Luck.


Masters Science Forensic Science...full time night class...20 hours week prof assistant grading papers...20 hours week S&C coach at Yale...depending on your study habits and difficulty of program, you can train...it actually helped me stay sane, the more I did the better...training is a good way to shut the brain off for a little and relieve stress, recharge your batteries...

my first two years undergrad were at Air Force Academy...the load was so heavy and with additional military and athletic demands, I got used to high stress...transferring to Colgate was easy...grad school was even easier...I imagine if you are going med school, law school, or a top MBA program you might have to put more time in and it would be a heck of a lot more difficult. I found in grad school some classes would only go as fast as the slowest person, so it kept it at a comfortable pace. As well many grad programs are geared towards not just full time students, but also alot of full time career people going part time school, and its not as difficult as I percieved.

Finishing a masters? Well if you start and put that time and $$ into it, might as well ride it out. I dont want to go into forensics at all, and am biding my time paying back this MS so I can go back and get another MS in what I really want...so if you are not totally sure its what you want to use later on, be careful of spending that time and $$!!! I am happy I finished though, its something that opens doors by having a masters under your belt.


M.B.A. just completed. I forced myself to do it in 2 years regardless of work or anything else. I was busy but it wasn't overly difficult for me. I did very well in the program 4.0 all the way through, top honors.

I would do it again and I'm sure it will benefit me in the long-run.


I went to law school and I hated every moment of it. I can offer this advice to you, see if you can come across old exams, use those exams as an additional outline to your notes. Also, if you are forced to work in groups with other students, don't just pick partners because they are your friends, pick partners who you know will work. As other have also pointed out, don't neglect making time for yourself, it helps to blow off stress.

Was it worth it to me? I am about 40 grand in loan debt and am now a project manager doing systems implementations for hedge funds. A pretty far cry from law :slight_smile: