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I was recently conditionally admitted to a Master's program for Computer Engineering at a University in the United States, the condition is that I complete 3 graduate level courses in order to be officially accepted into the program. I would like to put on my resume and social media websites that I have a Master's degree in progress, I believe I am in the right to do so because I am taking graduate level courses that are part of the process of receiving the Master's degree.

Is this bad practice or unethical to label as the Master's degree as "in progress" if I do plan on meeting the conditional requirements to get myself officially into the program?

Thanks for the help!

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    So, if I plan on someday going to the moon then I am an astronaut "in progress"? Sorry, but that sounds like a ridiculous rationalization. Your mention of social media only reinforces the impression that you want to enjoy the social capital that comes with being a graduate student before you actually become one. Do the hard work, get in the program unconditionally and then brag away if that's your thing. (Off-topic: you may discover that it will not help that much with attracting beautiful dates, but that's another story...) – Dan Romik Oct 16 '15 at 1:57
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I don't think you should claim that you have an MS in progress until you are actually admitted to the program and have (or some has on your behalf) started paying tuition for that program and not just the classes required for your actual admission. You're not in the program until you satisfy the conditions.

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  • I like this answer the best. When I hear I am admitted, have signed up for classes, and paid for tuition, I will consider myself "in progress". I did hear back from the school and they said I have been admitted and the classes I have to take will count as electives towards my degree. Once I register for classes and pay tuition it will go on my resume while stating the start date – northsideknight Oct 16 '15 at 2:43
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If you're planning on attending this Master's program, it's not clear what you have to gain from a more impressive resume and social media profile right now. You already got into the program, and by the time you're applying for jobs or further graduate study, this issue will have long since disappeared. I don't think the university would revoke its offer if it found out you were publicly advertising yourself as admitted into their program before you really are, but it could come across as unprofessional. After all, taking three graduate-level courses is much more than a formality. The odds of a bad outcome may be minimal--most likely no one will care--but why risk it?

By all means, brag to your friends and family, but do it verbally.

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