Thursday, April 26, 2007

Senior Standing

If I were to enroll at UT as a transfer student, I would have 100 hours from Rice that would transfer, making me a senior, since senior standing starts at 90 hours. (Their web site has a nice automated transfer program that lets you put in your courses from other TX universities and it shows the equivalence at UT.) Only 4 of my classes didn't transfer at least for elective credit: 2 classes of supervised research in psychology (the semester I ran a professor's cognitive psych experiment at U of H and the semester I did my own social cognition experiment using the Rice psych lab), Psychology of Learning, and Introduction to Language.

The reason I went through this exercise was not because I intend to get a second bachelors degree from UT (though at one time I happened across information on that on their web site, never to locate it again), but because UT is one of those monstrously large schools where classes regularly fill up months in advance (which is something well beyond my experience; at Rice, you would cross your fingers and hope enough people signed up for the class to make; it was a different kind of disappointment) and the pecking order for enrollment is based on your standing as a senior, junior, sophomore, freshman, or "non-degree seeking student." In truth, I am going to be a non-degree seeking student, but after following on the internet the enrollment for the fall semester over the past week or so, I have found that many of my classes of interest would already be waitlisted by the very earliest opportunity I would have to enroll. So that won't work. My current plan is to apply to UT as a transfer student seeking a BS in Mathematical Sciences - Specialization in Statistics, Probability, and Data Analysis. (I am using the degree plan for that major to guide decisions about what math classes I will take. There is also a sort of parallel fantasy world in my head in which I actually do get some kind of math degree.)

Of course, I am laughably far away from having the credits for that major, UT's distribution credit requirements, or fulfilling the inane general requirements for all public universities in Texas (American history, Texas history, and government), so I will give the appearance of a person who will be a senior for some time. My intention is to be there part-time for 3 semesters. I have 3 math classes and 3 stat classes I definitely want to take as quant prep. I need to take 2 or perhaps 3 upper-level psych classes, not for the knowledge or the grade, but to get the recommendations I need. There is some potential awkwardness there because many classes are "restricted" to psychology majors, but there is some indication that professors can over-ride that; I still have investigating to do on how that will work. I hope that the instructors will see the logic that since I already have a degree in psychology, I am at least as qualified to take the class as any psych undergrad at UT. If all else fails, maybe I can get the opportunity to audit the class and impress upon the professor that I am a brilliant person for whom they should write a glowing endorsement for going to a very good social psychology PhD program. I am also considering taking an upper-level econ class if I can fit a really interesting one into my schedule - something like game theory, with applicability to a decision-making program, would be perfect. (That was a class that did not make during the total of 7 years that Robert and I were at Rice. As Robert points out, this was an area that got big right after we left.)

I am looking at taking 3 classes a semester, which by current standards is about a 75% course load. I am trying hard not to get overwhelmed considering the logistical nightmare that this is going to create, especially in conjunction with any part-time job I might have, assuming I can fit something in around the messy class schedule I'm likely to have. (Traveling to UT and to a job could easily quadruple my current daily commute. Yuck.)

1 comment:

Tam said...

You'll do great, Sally. How fun!

I too am a senior (don't hit me!) and so I get to register early for classes.