Presentation on theme: "Grad School and Research. Top 10 Reasons to Attend Grad School 10.Get to defer student loans. 9.Can defer dress code 8.Can defer contact with the “real."— Presentation transcript:
Grad School and Research
Top 10 Reasons to Attend Grad School 10.Get to defer student loans. 9.Can defer dress code 8.Can defer contact with the “real world” – going to bed and getting up on time. 7.Significant other hasn’t graduated yet. Need to hang around town. 6.Want people to call you “Doctor” but faint at the sight of blood.
Top 10 Reasons to Attend Grad School 5.Love taking courses, want to take even more. 4.Want more letters after your name – hope it boosts starting salary. 3.Like doing research – discovering and inventing new things… 2.Want to be the world’s expert at something. 1.Need to for the job you want (e.g. professor).
Grad School Misconceptions (that are sometimes true) 5.Grad school is like undergrad work, but with more advanced classes 4.Grad school can always be a fallback plan, if I have trouble getting a job 3.I can get the graduate degree I want anywhere 2.Graduate degrees maximize my earning potential 1.Grad school will cost me more money
Top Issues Faced in Making Choice Grad school or job – what is research? Which degree - MCS, MS, or PhD? Which school - TAMU, UT, Rice, Berkeley, MIT? Which advisor – Dr. A or Dr. B? Which research topic - what am I incredibly interested in? Start by asking faculty questions!
Research Research is about the generation/creation of new knowledge –It is not looking up/synthesizing information –It is not just implementing something new For most degrees, research is the key part of graduate work Most admission decisions are made based on “aptitude for research” –Standards for admission are now higher –Grad schools want to see interest in research, and preferably experience
Experiencing Research #1 grad school question – Do I like research? Undergrad Research –TAMU USRG Program –Computer Science REU Program –Summer Programs Nationwide CSCE 491 projects with faculty –Ask faculty who might have mutual interest –Most faculty interested in this, but might need to bug them at first –Some might have $$$
Applying to Grad School: Which Degree?
Master’s (Coursework Only) Multiple names: MCS sometimes MS Basically take several more advanced courses –TAMU’s MCS: 30 hours Seen as a “terminal” degree – not intended to prepare you to go on to Ph.D. –Little actual research Sometimes can be “fast tracked” with undergraduate studies Most realistic option for “rapid” degree
Master of Science Typically take quite a few courses, but usually less than coursework-only option Complete a Master’s Thesis –Usually accounts for ~6 hours of credit, but more work –Thesis topics/depth vary, but usually have to show a research component –Will be far more in depth than any prior school assignments –Thesis defense Typically take 2-3 years after B.S.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) In depth, research focused Usually requires a bit more coursework than M.S., but not a lot Typically takes 5-7 years after B.S. –Cut 2 years off if coming from M.S. (maybe) –You finish when you finish Major product is the dissertation: –A thorough exploration of some topic in which you make a significant contribution to the field in that are
Applying to Grad School: Which School?
Choosing a Grad School Research Interests Reputation by Area Acceptance Rates Financial Issues Post/pre Acceptance - Visits
What Grad Schools Look For Are you likely to be successful at the graduate level? –Grades –Test Scores –Experience –Motivation –Letters from Faculty Do your interests line up with those at that university? –Prior experience –Huge issue for Ph.D., less for M.S.
Life in Grad School: Progress over time
Coursework Varies significantly between schools, from undergrad Usually ~2 years, but can be more or less –Ph.D. usually requires a little more coursework Deeper, more specialized courses –Less hand-holding, more projects Typical student takes about 9 hours/semester –Usually do other work, also – not full time coursework –If full time, sometimes take 12 hours (maybe 15 hours, in extreme cases)
Length of Graduate Programs
Life in Grad School: Choosing an Advisor
How Grad Students See Faculty Funding Instructor Ideas “Parent” Job finder
How Faculty See Grad Students MCS –Like undergrads, but more knowledge –Help fill classes MS –Will do some research –Require moderate investment –Might or might not get much “return” PhD –Will do lots of research –Require lots of investment Guess which faculty prefer? Make the right choice for YOU!
Life in Grad School: Paying for It All
Research Assistant Work on research for an advisor –Usually your own advisor –Usually on topics related to your dissertation Research is paid through some funding source –Typically, these are government grants –Sometimes company support
Teaching Assistant Grading, running labs, holding office hours Typically assumed to be 20 hours a week of work Some schools require this (for Ph.D.s) Work on research for an advisor –Usually your own advisor –Usually on topics related to your dissertation
Fellowships A wide variety of sources, public, private, university-specific Some are very prestigious (e.g. NSF) Often have various restrictions –U.S. Citizenship –Underrepresented groups –Work requirements/options Can vary in quality, from full coverage for several years to a small “extra” amount
Other sources Outside jobs –Some will work while pursuing graduate degree –Part-time jobs – e.g. other departments –Very difficult to do full time job and work on graduate degree, unless you tie your job closely into your studies Loans –Not as commonly used in grad school, but do happen sometimes –Much more common in other fields Company paid grad school –Less time/choice –Company wants a return on investment
After Graduation: What Good Was This?
Jobs for Grad Degrees Master’s degrees: –Tend to be the same “types” of jobs as undergraduates –Sometimes more advanced projects –Tend to head toward more leadership and advanced roles Ph.D. degrees: –Usually more flexible, often research-based –Fewer jobs, but more interesting/advanced –Some people will go to postdocs –Not necessarily more money – might not be financially beneficial factoring in time spent