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Graduate School Selection and the Application Process Autumn Sutherlin October 6, 2003.

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Presentation on theme: "Graduate School Selection and the Application Process Autumn Sutherlin October 6, 2003."— Presentation transcript:

1 Graduate School Selection and the Application Process Autumn Sutherlin October 6, 2003

2 Outline General Information General Information School Selection School Selection Application Application

3 Reasons for going to grad school “Bad” Reasons “Bad” Reasons I don’t know what else to do I don’t know what else to do Better than getting a job Better than getting a job I was told too I was told too Everyone else is going Everyone else is going “Good” Reasons “Good” Reasons I want to further my education I want to further my education I need a higher degree to achieve my career goals I need a higher degree to achieve my career goals I want the challenge of designing my own projects I want the challenge of designing my own projects

4 Myths About Graduate School A continuation of undergraduate work A continuation of undergraduate work You can’t get a job with a bachelor’s degree You can’t get a job with a bachelor’s degree You need to know exactly what you want to study when you start You need to know exactly what you want to study when you start You need to go directly from undergraduate school You need to go directly from undergraduate school Students from “big” schools are better qualified Students from “big” schools are better qualified There are no politics in grad school There are no politics in grad school

5 General Facts About Graduate School In the sciences you just do a straight Ph.D. program In the sciences you just do a straight Ph.D. program Consolation Master’s Consolation Master’s Stipend Stipend It’s all about commitment and stubbornness It’s all about commitment and stubbornness

6 Educational considerations What do you want to do? What do you want to do? School reputation/ rankings School reputation/ rankings Research interests of faculty Research interests of faculty Number of openings in labs Number of openings in labs Interdisciplinary Program vs. Department Interdisciplinary Program vs. Department

7 Personal Considerations Location Location Church Church Stipend versus cost of living Stipend versus cost of living Paid tuition Paid tuition Cost of Application Cost of Application Spouse Spouse

8 How to get information on schools Interviews Interviews Web sites Web sites Send in for information Send in for information Cards from fliers Cards from fliers Professors Professors Students who have already graduated Students who have already graduated Books Books Gourman’s Guide, Peterson’s Guide, US News and World Report Gourman’s Guide, Peterson’s Guide, US News and World Report

9 But you do have to narrow it down Pray Pray Choose a wide range Choose a wide range Apply to at least: Apply to at least: 2 dream schools 2 dream schools 2 average schools 2 average schools 2 safety net schools 2 safety net schools Talk to professors with expertise in your chosen field Talk to professors with expertise in your chosen field

10 Application Apply online Apply online Paper applications Paper applications Most are due in December or January Most are due in December or January Components Components Transcript Transcript GRE’s GRE’s Recommendations Recommendations Statement of purpose Statement of purpose

11 What are they looking for Ability Ability Foundation Foundation Maturity Maturity

12 Transcript Schools vary in how they want these sent Schools vary in how they want these sent ACU’s policy ACU’s policy /registrar/transcript.html /registrar/transcript.html

13 What schools look at on a transcript GPA – 3.2 or higher GPA – 3.2 or higher Grades in major subjects vs. non-major subjects Grades in major subjects vs. non-major subjects Did you avoid unpleasant subjects? (P-chem, calculus) Did you avoid unpleasant subjects? (P-chem, calculus) Hard sciences Hard sciences Did your grades improve in a two semester course? Did your grades improve in a two semester course? C to an A or B is good C to an A or B is good

14 GRE’s If you haven’t taken it, hurry up! If you haven’t taken it, hurry up! Prepare Prepare Math is high school level Math is high school level Vocabulary Vocabulary Subject exam Subject exam

15 GRE’s Not as important as they used to be Not as important as they used to be Are the scores consistent with your grades? Are the scores consistent with your grades? High expectations in mathematical and analytical reasoning High expectations in mathematical and analytical reasoning A low GRE will be taken into consideration if grades and recommendations are good A low GRE will be taken into consideration if grades and recommendations are good Really study if you retake it Really study if you retake it

16 Recommendations Make or Break Make or Break Who should you ask? Who should you ask? Research Advisors Research Advisors Other professors who know your capabilities Other professors who know your capabilities Who should you not ask? Who should you not ask? People who do not know your science capabilities People who do not know your science capabilities A professor you do not know well and goofed off in their class A professor you do not know well and goofed off in their class

17 Statement of purpose Reasons Reasons Enthusiasm Enthusiasm Experience Experience Explanation of problems in application Explanation of problems in application

18 Things they are looking for Commitment Commitment Informed decision Informed decision Negative reasons Negative reasons Didn’t make it into med school Didn’t make it into med school Didn’t want to face the real world Didn’t want to face the real world Undergrad was easy so surely graduate school will be Undergrad was easy so surely graduate school will be

19 Other Things Considered Experience Experience School School Outside considerations Outside considerations Were you working? Were you working? Did you have a high GPA and did nothing else? Did you have a high GPA and did nothing else?

20 What do you need to do right now? GRE!!!!! GRE!!!!! Get in a research program Get in a research program Research schools Research schools Start working on your statement of purpose Start working on your statement of purpose

21 For more help Autumn Sutherlin Autumn Sutherlin Sci 277c Sci 277c Brian Cavitt Brian Cavitt Other professors Other professors

22 Future events Interviewing Interviewing Final selection Final selection


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