How to get 2nd Bachelor's Degree from UCLA after foreign-based Bachelor's?
April 17, 2012 8:17 PM Subscribe
Seeking 2nd Bachelor's degree in Applied Mathematics from UCLA, then PhD.
posted by Hassoon to Education (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I have rigorously sifted Metafilter for "2nd Bachelor's" questions that may provide some of the answers I'm looking for, but I've yet to find anything similar to my situation.
- A little background:
I have a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Saudi Arabia. I came to the United States in 2006 with my father in order to look after him while he waits for a new liver.
Between my care-giving duties, I've managed to take the odd job here and there, and mustered the time and the means to put myself through graduate school. In a few short weeks I will also have a Master's degree in Computer Science from San Diego State University.
Over the past year and a half I've worked at a world-class Visual Effects facility, providing technical and programming support. However, there are certain "nuts & bolts" aspects of Visual Effects which require great mathematical fortitude, an area of which I'm currently lacking.
I've always had a strong affinity for Mathematics, but there was simply no opportunity to pursue or develop it when growing up in a developing country like Saudi Arabia. As outlandish as this may sound, the "Computer Science" degree I took was %80-%90 laced with Wahhabist propaganda, and only minimal instruction towards programming and software engineering towards the end of the degree. Every practical programming skill I've accumulated so far has been self-taught. I will painfully admit that my undergraduate experience has been simply abysmal.
As I've already mentioned, I refused to become a refugee of my sub-par education, and managed to hustle through a both a graduate program here in the U.S. and a get a well-paying job at a top VFX facility. However, since Mathematics have always been a passion for me, I am now intent on going back get another degree in Applied Mathematics. My ultimate goal will be to get a PhD in the field and apply my knowledge towards research.
- My Main Problem:
Since my academic experience is embarrassingly lacking in Math, I will essentially have to start from scratch. More importantly, most accredited institutions aren't too keen on giving out 2nd Bachelor's degrees to those who have already been through the academic gutter.
I'm really keen on UCLA for a multitude of reasons, mostly because they apply the kind of research I would like to participate in.
Through personal research and asking around in both UCLA and community colleges, I've been told that my best bet is to take some "required" Math courses through a given choice of California community colleges, and then transfer from there. My current choice is Santa Monica Community College, due to proximity, decent reputation, and Math instructors that also happen to work at UCLA.
I came here to the MeFi community seeking any advice and/or useful insights into my situation.
Things To Note:
I realize that it is a fairly bold decision to give up a fairly secure employment opportunity in this economy to start over academically. That said, I am now in a position to pursue this dream of mine on my own terms. Challenging as it may sound, putting myself through the throes of academia again does not seem challenging at all; in fact, I find a great since of peace and relief when I know I'm making positive steps towards my true calling in life, however small and far between they may be.
Last but not least: tuition money (thankfully) is not a concern.
If you feel like I need to provide more details, please don't hesitate to ask.
You have my unbridled appreciation and gratitude for any thoughts you may have.