As mentioned in my other post [How negative to go in a statement of purpose? I tried grad school once before and now I am applying again. The first time I did not feel I got much from the experience for lots of reasons. The program then and the program I am applying to now are both coursework based not research based.

For this question I want to focus on the feelings of the courses. Mostly the class topics were interesting, like in the catalog, but lectures and homeworks were not very hard. Almost like intro level classes even though it was grad school. Or like an extra year of undergraduate. I thought I would be expert or closer to expert but I did not feel different at all after those classes. I feel like I should have got more out. And yes it was a real accredited university not a for profit school or diploma mill.

I want things to go better next time around. My question is what I can do different to get more from the experience? Appreciate the advice!

EDIT: The answer helps but I asked because I feel like I do not know enough even to know where to start with approaching instructors with higher order questions. I did not mean the class was so easy because I am expert. I meant the class did not add much to what I already know. The program is designed for skills for industry not preparing for academia or research if that matters. In other words I did not really feel I got new skills.


If I understand correctly, you are yet to be admitted to a graduate school and wish to know how to absorb the course in its maximum if you get admitted.

When you are attending the course and not feeling that you are getting enough, which you mentioned as your earlier experience, the way forward is to contact the instructor personally for higher order questions with evidence that you are indeed interested and capable of solving them. I am sure that if the instructor has had research experience in the particular subject or at least a closely related subject, which is almost the case in universities, he/she would be able to help you in this regard.

Now, how to approach the instructor is a different question. You must do an initial search on your own about the core problems in the topic, find a problem and try to come up with a solution of your own. Success or not, you may then submit with explanation your analysis and ask them for their comments. Chances are that you will be rewarded for your work, at the very least you may get a contact recommendation to another faculty who is working in the field.

All of this are referenced to a future period of time, I think this case is valid since you have clear plans to join a graduate program from the spirit of your question.

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