I have recently started my graduate studies and I am still new to some of it. I always worked in the summer during my undergrad, but I've heard that working in the summer while working on a masters isn't what I am supposed to do. I can believe this, but I am confused. What are the benefits to taking a few classes in the summer? I don't need to retake anything because I failed or need the requirement, because I am just starting out. I need some advice on this.

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    I've heard that working in the summer while working on a masters isn't what I am supposed to do. - Heard from who? What did they say you should do in the summer? (Internship? Research? Classes?)
    – ff524
    Apr 1, 2014 at 0:27
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    Do you really mean a "summer school", or just "taking courses over the summer"? Summer schools usually last for a few days or so, and you listen to talks, maybe do something hands-on, socialize, and stuff like that.
    – mrm
    Apr 1, 2014 at 9:29
  • @mrm I mean taking courses over the summer. And ff524, I heard that I should take more classes instead of working like I used to during my undergrad.
    – akinmytua
    Apr 1, 2014 at 17:49

1 Answer 1


The trouble with "what you're supposed to do" is that it often applies to some imaginary archetypal student or, worse, students of a very specific class and privilege. Not all students have the means to go without working, to help pay their own way through school. Academia is just starting to wake up to this fact, thanks to the consciousness raising of folks like Sarah Kendzior.

If you can find a part-job related to your field of study, then it's definitely OK for you to work over summer break. I was able to do this while in my MLS program.

If you are unable to find work related to your field of study--and if you aren't involved in student organizations or showing that you're otherwise productive in your "non-school" hours by starting to attend conferences, write papers, etc--then I could see it being a drawback to have a job in your "off" time.

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