I am writing to a Professor as a prospective graduate student. I want to tell him that I will be one step ahead at the begging of my masters program since I have taken several graduate courses already. So my tone should convey that I am a promising candidate and should not be boastful. I want to tell him that by assessing this knowledge I will start my master thesis sooner and I would be more successful. I guess that there are good ways in English to state this point. I would be very grateful if anyone could help me to express it.

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    I am not expecting anyone to write a letter for me! I am just asking for a verb or word or a sentence to convey my point. My English is basic I can not make advanced point. However I am sorry if my question is irrelevant to your websites's purpose and feel free to delete my post. Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 19:53
  • Don’t go “begging” though.
    – David
    Commented Dec 7, 2019 at 23:49

3 Answers 3


We could say you have a 'Head start'.

"the advantage of beginning before others in a competition or other situation"


You could say, "Because I have already completed X, X, and X graduate courses at X university (or through X program), I am poised to hit the ground running as a graduate student and commence my master thesis ahead of schedule."

Alternatively, you could say, "...I am poised to begin my master thesis ahead of the standard trajectory through the program."


"have a leg up on"

from Merriam-Webster:

: to have an advantage over others


The company has a leg up on the competition thanks to the recent publicity.

Another example in a conversation in Stargate Atlantis between Drs Lee and Weir:

LEE: ... I'm uh... level 75, Mage. I'm specializing in engineering and jewelling. You?

WEIR: Oh, wow... level 75? Eh... Me? I'm only 50.

LEE: Ah, well, I had the beta of the expansion pack, so I sorta had a leg up on most people. What's your race?

  • Leg up generally refers to getting help rather than doing something yourself, so it might not be the best way to say "I'm great! I'm ahead! Pick me!"
    – Stuart F
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 12:16
  • @StuartF Thanks for the clarification. I just thought the beta expansion that Dr Lee got is exactly like the graduate course that the OP had, something they had ahead of time that most others don't have: in Dr Lee's case, a preview version, in the OP's case an advanced course most undergrads don't have until their graduate years.
    – tinlyx
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 13:38

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