I had an underwhelming GPA in a difficult major from a top 10 but underrated public research university. I'm also in my lat 30s - I've been thinking of grad/professional school for a long time, but I know it will be very challenging, and probably not worth it.
For a while now, I'm been thinking of applying to the MA program in Asian Studies at UC Berkeley, with maybe USF as my safety school. I'd much prefer Asian American Studies, but very few schools offer in MA in that - the closest one seems to be UCLA, and I'd like to stay local and commute to school. There's an MA in Asian American Studies at SF State, but I know that SFSU doesn't have anywhere near the name recognition of UCB.
Any thoughts on the MA in Asian Studies at Berkeley or USF, or the MA in Asian American Studies at SFSU? Has anyone gone through those programs, or know people who have completed those programs?
How hard is it to get into those 3 programs? Any other school/programs you can recommend to me that are in the Bay Area, close to San Francisco? I'm open to online programs, but there are hardly any offered in these areas, and they're from no-name and questionable schools.
My goals for those programs is to write, get published, be a "thought leader" in those areas (sorry if it sounds arrogant; it's not meant to be), possibly lecture, and possibly teach in some capacity. My main goal would be to be a published author, whether through books, articles, journal papers, etc. I just think of these programs as giving me a jumping point into what I want to do. I'd also love to go through the grad school experience - it would probably be very personally enriching. Also, I've always thought I would go to grad school, and like many people, it would be great to go to grad school at a top university.