Master’s Degree Statistics

Thesis is done. My life can resume. That is all.

On Friday I handed in my thesis and completed two and a half years of study toward my Master of Public Administration degree. (In case you are curious, it is entitled “The Creative Fabric of the City: The Relationship Between City Governments and Arts Organizations in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia.”) One thing I learned in my MPA program was not to be afraid of math. In fact, while I entered a math skeptic, I emerged a math enthusiast. After required courses in statistics, budgeting and financial analysis, economics and an elective in the economics of public finance (yes, I really did take that out of my own free will) I am constantly channeling my budgeting professor and telling other math skeptics (especially artists), “Don’t be afraid of numbers! Numbers tell a story! A budget is just the story of your project told in numbers!”
Just a few books to kick off my thesis reading.

So, in that spirit, here is the story of my Master’s degree, in numbers:

Total number of months in program: 27

Month GRE was taken: February 2009

Month I was accepted to the program: May 2009

Month program began: September 2009

Date I turned in my thesis: December 16, 2011

Age when I began my degree: 28

Age when I completed my degree: 30

Total number of courses: 14

Total number of credits: 42

Length of a weeknight class: 2.5 hours

Total number of hours spent in class: 560

Approximate number of cups of Earl Grey tea consumed before or during class: 150

Approximate money spent on Earl Grey tea: $250

Total tuition and fees paid to the City University of New York: $14,229

Total student debt incurred: $0

Total library fines incurred: $30

Number of citations in my thesis: 177

Number of pages in my thesis: 146 (includes full interview notes)

Number of inane power point presentations by my fellow classmates I had to sit through: 70

Number of inane power point presentations I had to give: 9

Times I went to class with the world’s worst hangover: 1 (it was a Sunday class, after a CHERYL dance party, forgive me)

Maximum number of flights of stairs I had to climb due to broken escalators to get to class in the “Vertical Campus:” 12

Year the broken escalators in the vertical campus were supposed to be repaired: 2011

Year when the broken escalators will actually be repaired: ??

Pairs of shoes that I bought this fall to deal with the stress of working full time and completing my degree: 11 (oh no, that’s embarrassing, I might have spent as much on shoes this semester as I did on tuition, with graduation comes a rethinking of my financial priorities)

Number of Master of Public Administration degrees earned: 1

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