In the fall of 2016, I was gearing up to begin my first semester of graduate school… and I couldn’t have been more excited! Getting a Master’s degree was going to be the thing that set my career on the fast-track, I just knew it. I had done months of research trying to find the perfect program. After taking the required exams, gathering all my transcripts (why are those things so difficult to get?) and paying all the application fees, I was ready to begin.

But that first semester wasn’t as exciting, informative, or useful as I expected. In fact, it was boring. “I love to learn,” I thought to myself. “For crying out loud, I used to read the encyclopedia for fun when I was a kid! But these classes are just…blah.”

I hammered through as best as I could and did well on my projects and exams. I received A’s, but the online program that I had chosen wasn’t as interactive as I hoped it would be and I found myself disappointed after the semester. I was always the first person to celebrate an A (so much hard work!), but I was just glad it was over. I selected more intriguing courses for the spring of 2017, thinking it was just a fluke semester. “Things will get better when I get into the meat of the program,” I told myself.

But that semester was even more disappointing than the first. After a lot of thought and prayer, I decided to withdraw. My hopes were crushed, and it was such a mess having to officially withdraw because I was in a cohort. I had to explain to so many classmates, professors, and administrators all the ins and outs of my decision. I just wanted to hide. My biggest regret about graduate school was that I didn’t get to try out the program before making a commitment.

Stories like this are more common than you might think. Graduate programs want all the details of your life and your academic history so they can make sure you’re the right fit for the program. But after you jump through all of their hoops, do they give you a chance to make sure they are the right fit for you?

At Catholic Distance University, we allow students to take a course before they apply to a degree program. We are confident that students will love our professors, staff, user-friendly software, and distinctly Catholic curriculum. But we want our students to really feel like they know the programs they are entering. So as long as students meet the prerequisites for a course, we encourage them to try it out before they apply to a degree program.

CDU is committed to keeping tuition as low as possible, recognizing that many of our students are motivated by a desire to serve the Church. We believe that value and quality should go hand in hand. We also have decades of experience in delivering course material online, small class sizes, and faculty members who give students the personal attention they deserve.

You get to test drive a car before you buy it, why not graduate school?  Learn more about our Master’s programs and test drive one today!

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