Presentation on theme: "Going to Graduate School: How to Apply and What to Expect Once You Get There Based on a presentation by Sheila Rosenberg, former student in USC Neuroscience."— Presentation transcript:
Going to Graduate School: How to Apply and What to Expect Once You Get There Based on a presentation by Sheila Rosenberg, former student in USC Neuroscience Graduate Program (NGP)
Applications require: Official Transcripts GRE Test Scores Letters of Recommendation Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement Research Experience
Personal Statement Why are you interested in grad school? What type of research are you interested in? (including some description of your past research experience) Why do you want to be a neuroscientist?
Interview Tips Research your interviewers ahead of time Prepare what you want to say about yourself Talk to current students Ask questions! Write thank-you notes as a follow-up
Do your homework: check out program websites; select at least 3 faculty whose research interests align with your own
Look over lists of publications; select at least one paper to look over for each person you are interested in
Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. ~Werner Von Braun
Myths You must know what you want to study coming into grad school – not true, but you should define your specific interests and be able to articulate them clearly You must be familiar with the techniques performed in the lab you wish to join – also not true. But you need to provide a compelling argument for why you want to work in a particular area of research.
What to expect once you get there: here is a typical timeline: Fall SemesterSpring SemesterSummer 1st Year Core Class 524 Neurolunch Elective Coursework Tuesday Seminars Lab Rotations Core Class 525 Neurolunch Elective Coursework Tuesday Seminars Lab Rotations Choose a thesis advisor Research 2nd Year Neurolunch Elective Coursework Neurolunch Elective Coursework Written Qualifying Exam Research 3rd Year Oral Qualifying ExamResearch 4th Year & Beyond Oral Research Presentations Thesis Defense
Expectations for completing a PhD Written Qualifying Exam Oral Qualifying Exam Dissertation based on original research Publishing original papers in high-quality journals (and this last is essential for advancing your career!)
Choosing an Advisor There are many factors to consider here: Is the lab publishing in high-quality journals? Is the lab well funded so that it can support your research activity? Is the head of the lab a good mentor who will be supportive and help you learn to do research and communicate your results, both oralluy and in writing?
The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he's one who asks the right questions. ~Claude Lévi-Strauss, Le Cru et le cuit, 1964
Resources Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student’s Guide to Earning a Master’s or Ph.D., Robert L. Peters, Ph.D. A former version of this file was prepared by Sheila Rosenberg, Graduate Student in Neuroscience, University of Southern California, 2008