I am currently a first-year master's student in a field of study with a strong international focus. The school's program that I am enrolled in is ranked in the top ten for the major, and the school is located in an ideal location. However, I have serious doubts about my program, and I am a disillusioned student. Other than the fact that I had gained acceptance to the school, the main reason that I chose to enroll at my current school was because of its emphasis on professionalism. Most of the professors in my program seem to be adjuncts who are employed full-time elsewhere and teach at my school on one of the weekday evenings. I thought that by learning under such instructors, I would be able to gain a more practical, realistic knowledge. However, I feel that I am proven wrong. All of my courses are scheduled in the evenings to allow students to work or intern during the daytime.
I am just a second-semester student, and I have taken four courses the first semester and am taking four courses this semester. So, out of my eight courses, only one last semester and one this semester are taught by a full-time professor at the university. The other courses have been or are being taught by adjuncts who work full-time elsewhere. The problem is that the ones being taught by adjuncts, especially this semester, lack clear guidelines for the expectations for the course. Also, most of them do not even have office hours, nor do they respond to emails. I only feel very lost and frustrated. Grades are highly unpredictable, too. In terms of how grades go, I am in the situation of crossing my fingers and hoping for the best. At my current university, strangely enough, undergraduate grades seem to be inflated, while graduate grades seem to be deflated.
Also, what else frustrates me is that my courses seem to only revolve around theory. It's about trying to apply the theory in real-life situations. They don't even encourage creative thinking, just theory. One of my current courses gives out a lot of abstract reading assignments, but the instructor who is an adjunct does not make an attempt to explain them. In each session, it's like, "Hey, what did you think of the readings? I want you to talk about them."
Is it common for a master's program to have so many adjuncts who lack availability? Is it also common in most master's disciplines to feel totally lost without any faculty guidance? Would the situation have been different for a PhD program? Is my situation common or unique? If my program is in the top ten for its discipline, would it be beneficial for me in the job market? I feel very embarrassed to tell anyone, especially family members about how I actually feel about my program. I don't feel motivated about challenging myself further because I feel that taking a unique viewpoint is risky to obtaining a decent grade.