A Balanced Approach to A Graduate Education

To be completely honest, I never intended on ending up in EMU’s M.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice program. Originally, I had planned to go directly from undergrad into a Ph.D. program in Sociology, but that plan never came to fruition. Before starting my program at Eastern, I had a few concerns: was this the right program for me, would it help me move closer to reaching my ultimate goal (Ph.D.), would the benefits of this program outweigh the economic costs, etc. Yet upon beginning my studies at EMU, I was pleasantly surprised. After taking the time to research many of the professors in the department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology, I realized there exists a fantastic balance of theory and application, as well as qualitative and quantitative research among the faculty. I also discovered that the Criminology program is rather multidisciplinary by nature, incorporating a significant number of Sociology courses into its curriculum and offering students the option to include courses from other disciplines as electives. In addition, after speaking with an advisor, I applied for a Graduate Assistantship, which not only covers a significant portion of tuition costs and provides a stipend, but also offers the opportunity to work closely with an established professor who can serve as a mentor. Through my GA position, I have been able to both assist a professor in his individual research and gain experience in the classroom as a teaching assistant. I now realize that coming toEMU was the right choice. I feel confident when I say that the program’s wonderful faculty, its multidisciplinary approach, and its foundation in both theory and application have all contributed to bringing me one step closer to a Ph.D.

Maya Barak
Graduate Program in Criminology and Criminal Justice, College of Arts & Sciences
Class of 2011

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