Makayla Moster


CS Ph.D. candidate at Clemson University
Human Factors Software Engineering

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Grad Student tries #MasteringComputerScience!

06 May 2021 - Makayla Moster
Announcements, GradSchool

I got my Masters degree in Computer Science yesterday! :)

Makayla in her Masters regalia

I can now say that I 'Mastered' Computer Science. Lol. It's been a wild two years here at Clemson University, and I'm glad to announce that I graduated with my Clemson degree yesterday. I'd like to shoutout everyone who helped get me here, but I'm pretty sure my following is fairly small or nonexistent. But thank you to my family, friends, lab, and my boyfriend for keeping me sane and supporting me for the last two years (and in the years to come). Y'all are great!

What do I do now?

My plan was to obtain my Master's degree en-route to my Ph.D. Which is exactly what I intend to do, so now I've got the rest of my Ph.D. to finish - which involves coming up with a novel research project and researching it for the next few years and writing my dissertation. I also plan on finishing Clemson's Engineering and Science Education Certificate program! I'm sure I'll have some exciting stuff coming down the pipeline, so stay tuned!

How did you get a Master's while in a Ph.D. program?

Many universities offer students coming in with just their Bachelor's degrees (and even with a Master's) the opportunity to get their Master's on the way to their doctoral degree. This way, students are funded through their Ph.D. program (advisor, TA-ing, fellowship, whatever) while still progressing through their degrees. It's not a necessary degree, but I wanted to get mine. I thought it was a smart thing to do, and I also wanted to get all of the degrees available to me (B.S. -> M.S. -> Ph.D. [eventually]). It also helped that it was free for me to do since I am funded through an assistantship.

Would you recommend a Master's en-route?

YES! Most definitely! I chose not to complete a thesis project due to switching labs the same time COVID-19 forced all universities in the United States online. (No, I've never met my labmates or advisor in person as of this post.) So there was already a lot going on and I didn't want to add more onto my plate than necessary. However, I do think that it is definitely worth it to do either via coursework-only or a thesis option.

Am I doing anything cool over the summer?

Research... and I'm working with really cool people to run the Computer Game Coding Camp! (Check out the website, I helped create it!)

Other than that, not much - blogging, recipe hunting, crafting, reading, all the usual things.


Do you have any questions about getting a Master's degree en-route to your Ph.D.? Feel free to leave a comment below!

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