Presentation on theme: "Beyond the BS Degree: Options for NCSU Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Students."— Presentation transcript:
Beyond the BS Degree: Options for NCSU Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Students
OPTIONS: Graduate or professional school Continuing education (e.g., AIChE) Internal/external company training courses Professional Engineering licensing process Education beyond a BS degree is critically important Need to stay abreast of your profession
Should I be thinking about going to graduate school? What do I enjoy most about school? summer jobs? co-op experience(s)? work experience in research laboratories? What are my career plans? Is graduate school the path of least resistance? What is my personal situation? MS or Ph.D.? What about other areas besides chemical engineering? Can I work first and go later? Can I work and go to graduate school at the same time?
Will I qualify for graduate school admission? Admission is done by a committee of faculty and varies from school to school and year to year. Below are some approximate guidelines GPATest ScoresAcceptance ≥ 3.75Q ≥ 750, V ≥ 600, AW ≥ 5.5 Nearly all (if not all) schools ≥ 3.5Q ≥ 700, V ≥ 550, AW ≥ 5.0Many schools ≥ 3.25Q ≥ 650, V ≥ 500, AW ≥ 4.5Some schools ≥ 3.00Q ≥ 650, V ≥ 450, AW ≥ 4.0Some schools possible Consider coursework M.S. (typically no financial support) < 3.00Will depend on test scores, recommendations and overall national interest in graduate school, professional experience, mitigating circumstances
Financial Aid for Attending Graduate School - Not need-based in most instances - Package includes tuition, fees, stipend (~$22-25K/year in 2007) and may get supplementary funds in certain cases - Comes in several basic forms: Research assistantship - Research grant/Contract Teaching assistantship - Department/College Research fellowship - External (e.g., NSF, companies) or Internal (endowment) resources - Differences in financial aid offers from school to school may not reflect cost-of-living variations
Recruiting weekends What happens? Impressions gathered from undergraduates about the graduate program at their institution may not be helpful What should be my objectives during visit? Deportment - be a class act? Where should I go to graduate school? Decisions, Decisions, Decisions - April 15 Make sure choice is a good fit - emphasize career issues Amount of offer should be secondary to quality of program Are there at least 3 groups you would want to join? If more than one, be sure to decline other offers graciously Recruiting process
Should I return to school? Career objectives - do you like what you are doing? What kinds of things do people do with > 5-10 years of experience? Can you pull this off financially and personally? How do you start the process? May need to keep intentions quiet until decision is made Use vacation time for campus visits Work experience strengthens application - can offset lower GPA/test scores to some extent Make sure your personal life is in order - grad school can put pressure on relationships Once you know you are returning to school, leave place of employment on good term - ChE profession is a small world Going back to graduate school after working
How is the typical M.S. program organized? Year 1Arrive and get acquainted with location, department Research advisors usually assigned in Fall Typically take 6-8 graduate courses (mostly ChE) May serve as teaching assistant for 1-2 semesters Begin research in spring semester/summer Must make significant headway during first summer Year 2Research project progresses May need to take a few more courses Finish project/thesis/manuscripts from thesis Interview for positions and accept job
How is the typical PhD program organized? Year 1Arrive and get acquainted with location, department Research advisors usually assigned in Fall Typically take 4-6 graduate courses (mostly ChE) May serve as teaching assistant for 1-2 semesters Qualifying exams/project taken by end of year Begin research in spring semester/summer Year 2Learn about fundamentals related to project Experimental/computational/theoretical concepts Take additional courses (1 or 2 per semester)
How is the typical PhD program organized? Year 3Prepare and defend research proposal Coursework usually completed Start to make significant headway on project May begin preparing research papers Begin to take leadership position in lab Begin to take “ownership” of project Year 4Often most productive year of program Need to see project results (publishable) May orient newer student to project May supervise undergraduate student Begin considering career plans Year 5+Finish project/thesis/manuscripts from thesis Interview for positions and accept job/postdoc
Think long-term and not short-term Do not expect instant gratification in graduate research Being “over-qualified” with a graduate degree need not be a concern Don’t go because you don’t feel ready for a “real job” Academic “burn-out” may be only a temporary problem Be prepared to work hard and have a good attitude Advice to NCSU undergraduate students considering and attending graduate school
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