Choosing A Major for KGSP

This is a very important step in your application process.

First of all, I should say that in my personal opinion you should think very carefully about whether you really need a Master’s degree or not, and whether you are ready to do that Master’s degree or not before applying. If you already have a Master’s and are applying for a PhD, then I assume you know what you are getting into, but I feel like a lot of people choose to do Master’s degrees for the wrong reasons.

I should know… I did that once…

If you just want the chance to study in Korea and you’ve already finished university, a Master’s degree might not be the right thing for you.

If you want to study something completely unrelated to your university degree or anything you’ve ever done before then a Master’s degree might not be the right thing for you.

Or it might be, but you have to think long and hard about it.

The primary goal of a Master’s degree is to gain deeper knowledge in a field you already have knowledge in. A Master’s degree is a continuation of a Bachelor’s degree, not a second shorter Bachelor’s without the General Education requirements. This is why many universities will require that your Bachelor’s degree was in the same, or a very related subject. Look carefully at these requirements when you are choosing a university and a major because if you don’t fit the requirements your chances of getting into the school you choose will be very small, no matter how good your grades and test scores are.

The exception to this rule would be if you have extensive work experience in your field of choice. The reality is that businesses hire a wide variety of people, regardless of major, so if you have managed to gain real life work experience in the field you would like to get a Master’s in (like Investment Banking or Computer programming) then it might not matter that you majored in English Literature or History (or whatever).

Ultimately, a Master’s degree is a lot of work (especially if you are doing any part of it in a language that is not your native one), and it requires a vested interest in the field. It’s not something to do just because you want to go to Korea, or just because you want to put off looking for a job. It’s good to have a goal for what you plan to do after the Master’s degree is finished, and it’s best if the Master’s degree is an integral part of achieving that goal.

If choosing a major is difficult for you, then doing a Master’s degree might not be the right thing for you right now.

I should also note that once you have been selected for KGSP, you will not be able to change universities or majors without giving up the scholarship, or reapplying for the scholarship. When you apply to a Master’s program you are applying to a specific department within a university, so with or without a scholarship, switching to another department means submitting another application. The scholarship is not just yours to take with you wherever you decide to go. It is a specific agreement between NIIED, a university department, and yourself. Within a department at a university, you may be able to change the specific focus of your studies if the policy at your university allows that.

This was one of the points that NIIED emphasized at orientation, and is really something you should be aware of before you apply.

Think through your choices carefully, and choose the best path for you.

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