2 answers

Does completing your undergraduate degree in three years as opposed to four negatively affect your prospects of professional school??

Updated Florida, Florida

I'm hoping to attend graduate school for veterinary medicine, but I'm curious as to whether finishing my undergraduate studies early would hinder me even if I acquired lots of experience beforehand and completed all of the necessary credits. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks. #college #medicine #graduate-school #medical #school #veterinary #veterinary-medicine #veterinary-school #vet-school #degree

2 answers

Roger’s Answer

Updated Walnut Creek, California

I can’t see how completing your undergrad degree in 3 years will hinder you as you eventually move on to graduate school. I see it as a brilliant move where you will automatically reduce your college costs substantially by graduating in 3 years. 


Typically colleges charge the same price for 12 - 18 units. You get more for your money by taking 18 units.  Take 18 units each semester, take 6 units in summer school or 6-9 units for study abroad during summer and you’ll graduate in 3 years. 


You can even take community college general education classes while in high school to get a head start. 

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

Sometimes when people take a shortcut in getting a degree, they miss out on opportunities which might allow them to get to know their career area better and learn how they might best fit into it and develop helpful networking contacts. Coop and Internship Programs and other career exposure opportunities are vehicles through which a student can get a better insight into themselves and their intended career area and are opportunities which should be sought out through contacts within your career area and in your intended school.


First, however, it is important to get to know yourself better to see how your personality traits relate to those who are successful in your intended area and then talk to people who are successful in that area to see what they do, how they got there, and what advice that they might have for you.



Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .

Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
  • • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##
  • Here are some good tips on reducing college costs, as too many people spend too much money on an education and end up with unnecessarily high debt: ## http://www.educationplanner.org/students/paying-for-school/ways-to-pay/reduce-college-costs.shtml ##