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Pros and Cons of having a summer start instead of fall start at an US university.

User: Sidarth_Narayanan - 28 January 2021 14:36

Hello All,
I have got an admit to Purdue University for the MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics program and just wanted to know how the time of start (Summer/Spring/Fall) would affect my academics and future job opportunities. Please do enlighten me.

User: Shortbread - 07 February 2021 12:59

Congratulations on receiving an offer! I also started my MA in June and graduated in August, one year later. I was not at Purdue but elsewhere in the US, studying a completely different subject, so please be aware of this while you read my reply. From my experience, starting in the summer does not make much difference than starting in the fall. One disadvantage could be, though, that things are much quieter in the summer (limited choice in terms of courses offered and limited support available on campus). Nonetheless, this could also be an advantage could be, as it would give you a slightly slower start and an easier time getting adjusted to the new environment. The point you made about employment prospects may be one to consider carefully, although you may still be able to find some options to complete some work. I guess this highly depends on the industry you are able and willing to work in and I am not able to comment on this, as I am not familiar with your field.
Personally, I was happy with my choice because I did not wait long after receiving the offer. I was also lucky enough to find a part-time job opportunity a few months before graduating. This was related to my field and, although it was not in the industry but in my department, I still think it was a valuable experience for me. In retrospect, I probably would not have rushed my choice to start my studies and considered a few more options.
Everyone has different priorities and see things differently. There is no right or wrong answer to your question and what is ideal for one may not be good for others. Also, these choices are highly dependant on your personal situation, field of study and university. If I were you, I would ask your future department to put you in touch with former/current students. Some of them may be willing to share their experience with you and tell you things you may not be aware of at the moment. I would talk to as many (former and current) students as you can and try to understand what the options could be for you and what your priorities are.
My recommendation would be not to rush your decision and collect as much information as possible. You will always discover things you wish you knew before making your choice. Therefore, try to make the best decision you can at this time, with the information you have.
All the very best!