I’ve settled on a professional grad programme I’d like to attend. It’s fairly competitive. Like almost every other such programme in Canada, minimum entry criteria include a four-year BA with a B+ average or higher (likely, much higher) in the final two years of study. Most will not consider applicants with any other profile, e.g., a three-year BA + GRE + additional courses taken as a visiting student, as has been suggested in other questions. I’m writing because I suspect I’ve got the stinkiest background imaginable - two undergrad attempts, and more. I sincerely thank in advance anyone with the patience to read further.
I’ve got a decade-old three-year BA in a tangentially-related subject, in which I obtained wildly bipolar results. (As + Fs = Cs. If I didn’t feel I’d mastered an essay, I didn’t turn it in. Contributing factors: ADD, perfectionism, depression, highly unsettling and awful personal circumstances.) I'll call this is BA-1.
I later attempted another BA and obtained similar results, owing to more of the same, and poor decision-making – this time I was driven and deluded enough to think I could do well in full-time study while working a 60-hour week, and commuting 3 hours a day. This is BA-2. Abandoned it in the second year for a working holiday that wound up lasting five years.
While there, I eventually enrolled in a qualifying programme in the subject I’d like now to move into. This effort was compromised – and initiated – by more dumbass choices. I was in a nightmarish relationship with a(nother) troubled person, and thought school might save me. (I also neglected to read the fine print and turned in three essays 5 minutes after their [coincident] deadlines – at this uni, that meant an automatic fail. I appealed but lost.) (Dip-1.)
Some time after that – still in the crapulous relationship – I undertook a post-grad certificate (related to the job I was doing at the time, not the career I’m after) and achieved an A-. (Dip-2.) I finished it last September. (The rationale for this one reflects compromises made with the expectation of staying ‘abroad’ and working on aforementioned relationship. It blew up; I’m back home and facing my past and future. I’m determined to take up what I believe is what I ought to be doing.)
I’ve read this
. Also this
). Apologies for my arrogance, but I don’t think anyone’s made quite so many ill-fated attempts.
Would it serve me better to
- try to salvage BA-2 (would mean reapplying as I’ve engaged in study at another institution. I’d also have to take additional courses later in the discipline in which I actually want to work) or
- go for a third BA in my preferred subject?
I’ve rung up relevant grad admissions staff at the relevant universities; all confirm the need for a four-year BA, and wouldn't commit to suggesting one route over another.
FWIW – I’m managing my personal issues satisfactorily, and intend to take things as slowly as needs be this time.