Presentation on theme: "Applying to Graduate School CBSE RESEARCH MENTORING INSTITUTE."— Presentation transcript:
Applying to Graduate School CBSE RESEARCH MENTORING INSTITUTE
Understanding Graduate Education What is graduate school? Why should I go to graduate school? How is graduate school different from college? How is graduate education structured? Should I complete a master’s degree first? Should I work first? What can I do to prepare for graduate school?
What can I do to prepare for a graduate education? Clarify your career plans and goals Research the requirements of your career path Maintain a competitive undergraduate GPA Develop positive relationships with faculty Participate in undergraduate research programs Begin talking with graduate students in your prospective field of study Do research on campus
How do I research graduate programs? Step 1: Talk to people Professors Graduate Students (TA’s) Career Center Advisors Graduate Division, Department, and Program Advisors
What should I say? Tell them what you are interested in studying Ask them if they can recommend schools or particular programs of study Ask them how you can best prepare yourself academically for graduate school Ask them what their experience of graduate school was like
Step 2: Literature Review the literature from your classes. What were some of your favorite articles, books, studies? Collect authors and citations and then see where those people are working. Develop a vocabulary that will allow you to feel comfortable with the special discourse of the research community you hope to join.
Step 3: Internet Research Visit Graduate Division websites at the schools you are interested in UCSC http://graddiv.ucsc.edu/programs Visit department websites Search for professional academic organizations in your filed (MLA, AAAS, APA, ASA, etc.) Try a Google search using terms such as “choosing a graduate school” http://www.phds.org http://www.phds.org http://www.phds.org http://gradschool.about.com/cs/choosingaprogram/a/select.htm http://gradschool.about.com/cs/choosingaprogram/a/select.htm http://gradschool.about.com/cs/choosingaprogram/a/select.htm
Remember, choosing a graduate school is not like choosing an undergraduate college. Make your selection based on a variety of considerations, including the status and composition of the particular program, not only the reputation of the university.
Factors to consider when choosing schools …. Intellectual environment (grad students, faculty, collaborative, interdisciplinary) Reputation of department, faculty Financial and professional support for graduate students. Social environment (esp. among grad students) Demographics of students…% minorities…% women
Factors to consider when choosing schools (cont.) Focus on graduate students vs. undergraduates? Are you interested in multiple professors’ work? Faculty publishing record. Sufficient library, laboratories, research infrastructure. Size of the program and the school. Location (geography relative to family/significant other, city characteristics, available extracurricular activities) Housing, transportation.
What to do next? You should apply to 5-10 schools Find online application materials and email the department with any questions you have. Contact faculty that you are interested in working with.* Tell them you are interested in applying to their program. Tell them you are interested in applying to their program. What research are they currently conducting? What research are they currently conducting? Contact students in the program Have them share their own experiences/satisfaction. Have them share their own experiences/satisfaction.
How is the Grad Application process different? Decentralized among UC campuses You apply to each campus separately You apply to each campus separately Decentralized among departments Your application must specify an academic department Your application must specify an academic department Role of the Department vs Graduate Division Departments make “decisions” and Graduate Divisions handle administrative details (and finalize financial packages) Departments make “decisions” and Graduate Divisions handle administrative details (and finalize financial packages)
When should I apply? Spring of Junior Year (Information Gathering) Begin researching graduate programs Begin researching graduate programs Visit websites, order catalogs and publications Visit websites, order catalogs and publications Research examination test dates and fees Research examination test dates and fees Summer after Junior Year (Materials Preparation) Identify specific department deadlines and requirements Identify specific department deadlines and requirements Get research experience Get research experience Begin preparing application materials (letters, statements, etc.) Begin preparing application materials (letters, statements, etc.) Fall of Senior Year (Application Submission) Decide where to apply Decide where to apply Complete application materials and submit by required deadline(s) Complete application materials and submit by required deadline(s) Register and take the required examinations (GRE, CBEST, etc.) Register and take the required examinations (GRE, CBEST, etc.)
What are the components of the application? Application Form Statement of Purpose Letters of Recommendation Exam Scores (GRE, LSAT, MCAT, CBEST) Transcripts Application Fee (Waiver?) (Supplemental Materials-- writing sample, lab hours)
Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement Part 1: Introduction Part 1: Introduction This is where you tell the admissions committee what you want to study.This is where you tell the admissions committee what you want to study.
Part 2: Summarize what you did as an undergraduate student Classes, specific projects Classes, specific projects Research, with whom, title of the project. Research, with whom, title of the project. Work experience, especially if you were testing, designing or researching. Work experience, especially if you were testing, designing or researching.
Part 3: If you worked for a while after your undergraduate degree and are returning to grad school, indicate what you’ve been doing while working and talk about what you have learned. Expand on how these work experiences have motivated you and helped you to focus on graduate studies.
Part 4: Talk about what you want to study in greater detail. Elaboration of opening paragraph Area of interest, state questions you have surrounding this topic Area of interest, state questions you have surrounding this topic Mention the professors that are currently conducting research that you are interested in. Mention the professors that are currently conducting research that you are interested in. End statement in a positive and confident manner, eager and ready for the challenges of graduate study. End statement in a positive and confident manner, eager and ready for the challenges of graduate study.
RESOURCESRESOURCES UNIVERISTY OF CALIFORNIA-Continue the Journey http://www.ucop.edu/journey/documents/ctj2008_report.pdf http://www.ucop.edu/journey/documents/ctj2008_report.pdf UCSC CAREER CENTER-Guide to Graduate School Application- includes timeline for application preparation http://careers.ucsc.edu/student/gradapply.html http://careers.ucsc.edu/student/gradapply.html UCSC LETTER SERVICE http://careers.ucsc.edu/letters/index.html http://careers.ucsc.edu/letters/index.html
Other Get apps in early Find out approximate notification date Don’t be afraid to follow up with calls and email Get ready to move.
ZIA ISOLA, Ph.D. CBSE RESEARCH MENTORING INSTITUTE (RMI) E-2, 537A firstname.lastname@example.org (831) 459-1702 www.cbse.ucsc.edu/diversity/rmi