Graduate Study

Graduate Study

Not long ago, I finished the last class in the graduate program I was taking at Boston University. I wanted to provide a brief review of the program that I took. I started the program in September of 2013, the admission process was overall pretty straight forward. So long as you have good grades, a strong statement of purpose, and your transcripts ready, it seemed very easy to make this dream a reality.

The classes were moderately difficult in my opinion; as graduate courses should be. They definitely challenge you to think outside of the box. My favorite classes were ones where there was a large project involved. The delivery speed can make it difficult for people to keep up, classes are 7 weeks long, 1-6 focus on the content and the last week is devoted to the final exam. Some of the classes offered an open book exam for the final, and others did not. Generally, the open book exams were more involved and required more writing, whereas the closed book exams were limited to more multiple choice questions.

The most fun class was probably CS 625 (Business Data Communications and Networks). I felt that while the class was still challenging as I do not have the strongest network background, the facilitator made the class fun and really did a great job providing feedback on the term project to make the submission really stand out. At first he was a little skeptical about my project idea, but was supportive and ended up liking the final product I produced. This was my first class in the program and I felt that it is a great class to start with.

Only one class I took involved a large scale group assignment, CS 632 (IT Project Management). This was the last class I took in the program. I made some new friends in this class, working with them for six weeks was tough at times, but we ended up with an amazing final project and many late nights making small changes for the perfect submission! This class can be a challenge to most working professionals to balance with their schedules. The group meetings can occur 2-5 times per week, and the work can be really intensive on your IT project management project. I was very fortunate in the sense that despite that my group and I were geographically everywhere, we used our time zone differences to our advantage.

I thought the most difficult class was CS 669 (Database Design and Implementation for Business). The class gave students the option of using Oracle or Microsoft SQL. At the time I took this class, I was working 70 hours per week in Afghanistan with horrible internet, so it made this class a real challenge. The material is difficult, I had a minimal SQL background, and the project was massive. The facilitator was really what made this class more fun for me, despite the challenge he was able to work with me one on one to better understand the material. The final project is creating a small database system that is similar to a company like Netflix would use to process DVD delivery to a customer ordering on a site, perform inventory control, manage fees for lost products, etc. The labs in this course really added value, it felt like some things that had real world applications, not just something you would use once in a classroom.

Overall I learned a lot through the program at Boston University. I would recommend it to any one that has the financial resources and grades to do it. The total cost was almost $35,000 with textbooks. I look forward to graduation in January 2016.

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