PHOENIX -- Paul Goldschmidt is now a college graduate.
The D-backs first baseman graduated from the University of Phoenix with a bachelor's of science degree in management after taking online classes over the past two years.
Goldschmidt completed three years at Texas State University before being drafted by the D-backs in 2009.
"I worked hard for three years, so I didn't want that all to be a waste," Goldschmidt said of why he decided to go back to school. "I love playing baseball, and I want to do it for as long as they'll let me, but you don't know -- that could end any day -- so you want to be prepared for whatever is coming forward in the future. A college degree can help you if you're trying to find a job or other stuff you're trying to do."
Goldschmidt learned of the University of Phoenix program while in Minor League camp with the D-backs after he saw some teammates taking courses. He began taking classes in April 2012, and other than a two-month break this past spring he has been going at it non-stop.
Goldschmidt could often be seen working at his laptop in front of his locker in the D-backs' clubhouse or on team charter flights during the season.
"Maybe," Goldschmidt said when asked if he might pursue a master's degree. "No immediate plans. Not right now for sure, definitely take a break for a while."
Part of the coursework included group projects done online, and occasionally one of his classmates would recognize his name.
"I had a few people that asked, 'Hey do you play for the Diamondbacks?'" Goldschmidt said. "Everyone was really nice and supportive."
Assistant hitting coach Turner Ward is also enrolled in the University of Phoenix, and Goldschmidt has shared his experience with other players like others had done to get him interested.
"It was nice to see other guys show me how convenient it is, because I didn't think it was going to be possible during the season," Goldschmidt said. "I talked to a lot of guys during Spring Training. I talked to a lot of the Minor League guys. I know guys were interested [in enrolling]."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.