Can someone with experience help me with College?

I'm a 17 year old male, in my senior year of high school. Lately my future has been on my mind a lot. Almost everytime I sit and think that's what I tend to think about. After my mess up with school last year, being I never went. I changed, went to summer school, and have gotten back on track and am dedicated. I grew up and realized education is very important, and that I would like as much as possible.

I started looking at Associate degrees and have limited it to three choices: Criminal Justice with a strong focus on Psychology, Engineering Science, or Liberal Arts Math and Science. My mother and I figured Psychology would be a great path for me to take, and I'm interested in it.

I think I've decided I would like to try for the Criminal Justice degree with a strong focus on Psychology. After receiving that I will transfer to a University and receive my Bachelor's degree in Psychology, then get my Master degree at very minimum. I'm just not sure what happens after the Associate degree, my family has never went further than that. My brothers trying for his bachelor's degree right now after he gets his Associates.

I just don't know what the difference is between say undergraduate and graduate degrees. Does it mean that if I'm going for at least a Master's then I would need a graduate? Also can I receive my Master's at a say SUNY school? Or would I need to go to a special school for that? I just don't know.

I would love to get a PHD but I know I probably NEVER could just because of my work ethic. I have the smarts to do so, just not the work ethic. I love to learn, and really want to succeed in life. I want to make good money, and have a lot of achievements. That's a reason I'm going for at least a Master's, also the jobs I would like require at minimum a Master's. I definitely an trying for at least that. Any help you guys can give me? Advice? Thoughts? Please don't be a dick. Thanks.


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What Girls Said 1

  • You should start with your associates and then go on to your bachelors if you still have the motivation and the same goes for your masters. I know I was DONE by the time I was in my senior year of college.

    Just try the Criminal Justice thing and then see how it goes. You can always change once you start.


What Guys Said 2

  • Associate's degrees and Bachelor's degrees both represent the undergraduate level, essentially your first 120-130 credits (approximately 8 4-class semesters). After that, yes, you would have to apply to a graduate school in order to pursue a Master's or a PhD. I don't know much about the SUNY schools, but most reputable universities build their reputations off of their graduate schools. Your typical state-schools are almost guaranteed to have graduate programs. Getting into grad school is kind of like applying to college after high school, except it is almost entirely based on your undergraduate GPA. Also, if you plan to go to specialized grad schools like Law or Medicine, you would need to take the LSAT or MCAT exams, but I don't think there is such a requirement for graduate psych programs.

    • Alright, thank you for clearing that up. I do know SUNY schools have undergrad and grad programs available. So if I was to get an associates degree, then transfer and receive my bachelor's. I would just have to see if I'm available to get in to a graduate school, correct? You've really helped

    • Yeah pretty much. I think as long as your associate + bachelors GPA is at least a 3.5, you will be admitted to most graduate schools. One thing to keep in mind though is that graduate school can be an immense financial burden and has less aid policies than undergrad. Only attend grad if you think it will really boost your earning potential.

  • There are NO jobs in criminal justice. There are no jobs in psychology unless you have a doctorate.