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Master in the US for British student and how to get college experience as an undergrad?

theoriginaltheoriginal Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
Hi,

I have two seperate questions and would extremely appreciate your help.

1) As a second year student from the UK, is there any other possibility to experience American universities apart from doing a semester abroad? Unfortunately, a semester abroad would interfere with my degree too much so even though I have been accepted to the programme, I was unable to match the modules I need to take. Are there any other ways to go abroad?

2) I would like to do some further study after finishing my course and I am considering to do it in the US. My budget limit would be about $10-15k for tuition fees (as far as I know it is two years in the US so the limit would be for both). Is it possible to find a good university offering the degree while sticking to that limit and could you please recommend some? Also, what are the usual entry requirements and would I have to take any tests? The degree I would be looking to do would be in the Life Sciences (Genetics, Molecular Biology).

Thank you!
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Replies to: Master in the US for British student and how to get college experience as an undergrad?

  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 27,483 Senior Member
    1) Consider a full year abroad rather than just a semester. The classes might work better for you.

    2) Your budget limit is much too low for an MS program. If that is all you can afford, you need to focus on your studies now so that you can be a vialbe candidate for a PhD program. Those usually offer full funding. Normally you would be expected to take the GRE exam.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 36,705 Senior Member
    You should aim for a PHD, which means getting research experience (with conference presentation and/or publication) as an undergraduate. You'll need to take the GRE, which you can train for (I think Khan Academy has some training modules) and aim for a top 5-10% score.
    The difference between a Master's (which you'd have to pay for) and a PHD is that the PHD is funded (you don't pay tuition).
    Finally, I agree that if you want to experience study abroad going for the full year may help matching US classes to UK Modules.
  • theoriginaltheoriginal Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    Okay, thank you! I see, how much would I usually need to expect to pay for tuition fees? As an example, Bemidji State charges $8,000/year, is that an exception or did I look at a bad university? As for a PhD, I don't think my uni offers any research experience for undergrads. Do you think I would still be able to get in without any research experience? (other than the honours project which is a dissertation we have to do in our final year but it is more like a literature review, although sometimes a small study is involved)

    My programme leader advised me to not do a full year abroad as this would interfere with the accreditation. I was thinking more of a summer semester if that is available?
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 36,705 Senior Member
    edited June 13
    Bemidji State is an exception because it doesn't charge extra for out of state or international students. Also, that's just tuition - it doesn't include rent, food, books, transportation.
    To have an idea of price ranges, you can look at UNC Chapel Hill, UMN Twin Cities, UCLA, Mizzou, SUNY Buffalo.
    For a PHD, you need to do research (most graduate programs will expect research experience - American undergraduates who want to go to grad school make sure to get involved, which would be another reason you could try to join an exchange program in the US).
    Can you do the year abroad as a "sandwich" year, ie., you'd do year 2 in the UK, year abroad, then Year 3 in the UK?
    Is your university part of ISEP?
    An alternative is to stay at your university and do the Master's there, in order to get research experience. Apply during your year of Master's.
  • theoriginaltheoriginal Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    Thanks. I would be fine paying about $15k just for tuition fees as my loan would cover that.

    Unfortunately, a sandwich year is not possible as I would lose funding for the year. My university is not a part of ISEP. I've got permission to do one semester abroad at any US university that matches my modules as their partner unis didn't. This seems to be insanely difficult though and I've had no success yet.

    Also, my university doesn't offer masters degree in the life sciences. I could apply to other universities, though tuition for the one year degree would be £7,600 which isn't exactly cheap either.

    So keeping trying to find a way I can study abroad or somehow manage to get research experience and then apply for a PhD would be my best bet? Is it not worth it trying to find a university that charges low fees as well?
  • b@r!umb@r!um Registered User Posts: 10,298 Senior Member
    I was thinking more of a summer semester if that is available?
    Available but not recommended. Summer terms at most universities are rather different from the regular terms. Summer courses are usually introductory or low-intermediate level, targeted at students who fell behind in their degree program. Many courses will be taught by graduate students, not professors. Most of the regular undergraduate students will be gone. Lots of people (including high school students) coming and going for various summer programs and academic conferences.
    I've got permission to do one semester abroad at any US university that matches my modules as their partner unis didn't.
    What's the list of courses that you need, and in which semester (fall or spring)?
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 36,705 Senior Member
    Please list your degree program and the classes or modules that you need.
  • theoriginaltheoriginal Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    edited June 14
    It is Perspectives of the Life Science Industry (bioproduct development and legal/economic issues), Applications Mini Project (a independent project carried out with a full analysis) and Drug Design. Especially the first two modules were really difficult to find at any university undergraduate level, although I found some of them on 5xx level.
    They are in the spring semester and the programme is Biomedical Science. Thank you!
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 36,705 Senior Member
    Are you in an applied chemistry course?
    The first module would be two courses (in the us, course = module); the second would be called Independent Study or Independent Research. So, that'd be 4 courses. You'd have to take a fifth one, which I'd recommend to be Intro to American studies (since you're in the US it'd be an easy, broad overview of American culture. It'd be fun and relevant to your study abroad semester even if you don't get credit for it in the UK).
    Look at offerings at CPP (Cal poly Pomona) and Cal poly SLO, Case Western, Washington state, most flagships?
  • theoriginaltheoriginal Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    edited June 14
    Thank you. No, it is actually Biomedical Science.
    After looking through quite a few course catalogues, I have finally managed to find one university that matches the modules: California State University Los Angeles
    BIOL 4440 - Drug Discovery and Development
    BIOL 4080 - Experimental Design and Advanced Biostatistics
    MGMT 4330 - Healthcare Regulations and Ethics.

    Now I am not sure, because they are all 4th year courses and I have been told they are more difficult than our 3rd year modules, is that true?
    Also, would the Mini Project count as research and be sufficient for a PhD?
  • b@r!umb@r!um Registered User Posts: 10,298 Senior Member
    edited June 14
    Be mindful of the course schedule. MGMT 4330 is a spring semester course at Cal State LA. BIOL 4440 and 4080 aren't on the current course schedule at all. http://www.calstatela.edu/registrar/university-scheduling-office

    How close to the modules at your home university do the American courses need to be? The courses you found may have very little overlap with the modules you'll be missing at home. For example, MGMT 4330 may focus on direct patient service providers (like hospitals). BIOL 4080 looks like a second course in statistics, not a project course.
    Now I am not sure, because they are all 4th year courses and I have been told they are more difficult than our 3rd year modules, is that true?
    You can look up the prerequisites for each course in the course catalog. For example, BIOL 4440 has prerequisites of organic chemistry and biochemistry. BIOL 4080 has as a prerequisite a first course in biostatistics. If you have the prerequisite background, the course should be accessible to you.

    http://ecatalog.calstatela.edu/content.php?catoid=25&navoid=2604

    Generally speaking, 4th year undergraduate courses in the US should not be more advanced than 3rd year undergraduate courses in the UK, since American undergraduates need to fulfill general education requirements in addition to their major. It also wouldn't be uncommon for an American undergraduate student to take a handful of graduate courses, though the policies on that vary between universities and departments.
  • b@r!umb@r!um Registered User Posts: 10,298 Senior Member
    One more important thought I wanted to throw out there: Visiting students usually get the lowest priority for registration. You may not know until the first week of classes whether you can get a seat in the courses you need, even if you do find a university that teaches them all in the same semester.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 36,705 Senior Member
    edited June 15
    Look for courses (classes) in biomedical engineering departments. Don't look for a "biomedical science" major which is very rare here.
    Focus on CPP and CAL poly SLO (as previously mentioned), Case Western, Montana State, Colorado State, Arizona State, Ohio State, Penn State, UVermont ...
    I don't think CSU la would be a good choice at all (no campus life, no affordable housing, lower tier academics) but 4th year classes if offered, would be ok for a Year 3 British student.
  • theoriginaltheoriginal Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    Thanks to both of you!!
    The modules should be as close as possible but if the majority of the content is covered that would be sufficient.
    Is that the case at every university in the US that visiting students have a low priority for the modules? It needs to be guaranteed, otherwise I'll be unable to get permission.

    Colorado State University
    BMS 450 Pharmacology 3 credits
    BMS 401 Laboratory Research in Biomedical Sciences 4 credits
    ECON 325 Health Economics 3 credits (not close but maybe close enough).

    The problem now is that unlike CSU LA they do not have a special fee (reduced) for study abroad students so tuition is almost $15,000 for one semester. My loan would only cover up to $5,300 in tuition fees for a semester abroad. Is it worth asking for a scholarship or some discount?

  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 36,705 Senior Member
    No. Hm. If CSU la has it, look into all other CSU campuses. Good/residential csus, beside CPP and Cal poly, are SDSU, CSU Chico.....
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