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"Being a (Ph.D.) graduate student is like becoming all of the Seven Dwarves. In the beginning you're Dopey and Bas PowerPoint Presentation
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"Being a (Ph.D.) graduate student is like becoming all of the Seven Dwarves. In the beginning you're Dopey and Bas

"Being a (Ph.D.) graduate student is like becoming all of the Seven Dwarves. In the beginning you're Dopey and Bas

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"Being a (Ph.D.) graduate student is like becoming all of the Seven Dwarves. In the beginning you're Dopey and Bas

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  1. "Being a (Ph.D.) graduate student is like becoming all of the Seven Dwarves. In the beginning you're Dopey and Bashful. In the middle you are usually sick (Sneezy), tired (Sleepy), and irritable (Grumpy). But in the end, they call you Doc, and then you're Happy." Ronald T. Azuma Computer Science Graduate School Survival Guide http://www.cs.unc.edu/%7Eazuma/hitch4.html

  2. Choosing and Applying to Graduate School Brian W. Tague Department of Biology Wake Forest University

  3. Time table for graduate school ACTIVITY SUGGESTED TIME . Start earning good grades Freshman Approach faculty about research experience Sophomore/Junior Seek related work/volunteer experience Sophomore/Junior Take GRE Summer Before/Fall of Senior Year Request information on graduate programs Junior/Senior Finalize decision about which programs to apply to Early Fall Senior Year Request faculty to write letters of recommendation Mid-Fall Senior Year Perfect your Statement of Purpose Mid-Fall Senior Year Submit applications and Late Fall, Winter Break, Senior Year check deadline for each application Check to be sure your applications Late Fall, Winter Senior Year are complete Interviewing and visiting Winter, Spring Senior Year

  4. How does graduate school differ from undergraduate programs? Research first, classes second Teaching experience Focus on process, not just information Scientific process Experimental design Critical thinking Problem solving Costs

  5. Financial support for graduate students $15-25,000/year Teaching Assistantship Research Assistantship Training Grants Fellowship Tuition Waiver

  6. How can you judge if you would enjoy graduate school? Enjoy independent research Enjoy teaching Work before entering graduate school Talk with faculty Intellectual aspects Practical aspects

  7. A bad reason to go to graduate school

  8. When do people go to graduate school? Immediately after undergraduate school After several years of practical work experience After a career change

  9. Choosing a graduate program M.S. vs Ph.D. Institution Department Individual Research Lab

  10. M.S. versus Ph.D. programs Duration 2-3 vs 4-6 years Career options Area of study Certainty of research direction Amount of independence

  11. What can I do with an M.S. degree? Enter a Ph.D. program Research scientist: Industrial, academic, government lab Teaching: Community college, high school Science policy or administration Other professions: Law, MBA, health professions

  12. What can I do with a Ph.D.? Post-doctoral research Teaching and Scholarship College and university professor Research Director Corporate Research Government Research Academic Research

  13. Choosing a graduate program MS vs PhD Institution Department Individual Research Lab

  14. Judging graduate institutions and departments Research reputation and productivity The key to your future! Range of research options Medical school vs. academic department Potential research advisors Size, geographic location, urban/rural Contentment of graduate students

  15. Resources for evaluating programs Peterson’s guide: Searchable database of schools http://petersons.com/ Jobweb: directories of graduate programs http://www.jobweb.com/catapult/gguides.htm Getting into Graduate School: an applicant’s look http://dave.burrell.net//guide/guide1.html US News and World Report: Rankings of graduate programs http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/beyond/bcphd.htm Talk to your professors! Surf the web to particular departments Visit schools, interview, meet current graduate students

  16. Judging graduate institutions and departments Research reputation and productivity The key to your future! Range of research options Medical school vs. academic department Potential research advisors Size, geographic location, urban/rural Contentment of graduate students

  17. Growing up and undergraduate Graduate School Applications Eugene Santa Cruz Santa Barbara San Diego

  18. Judging graduate institutions and departments Research reputation and productivity The key to your future! Medical school vs academic department Range of research options Size, geographic location, urban/rural Contentment of graduate students Visit schools, interview, meet current students

  19. Choosing a graduate program MS vs PhD Institution Department Individual Research Lab

  20. Choosing a research advisor Common research interests Peterson’s guide, web sites Laboratory rotations Compatible working styles Visits, interviews and rotations Laboratory environment Visits, interviews and rotations Availability of the advisor E-mail, snail mail

  21. Applying to graduate school

  22. Research experience One of the best ways to be competitive is to have worked in a laboratory At your home institute NSF and NIH Summer Undergraduate Research Experiences Volunteering or working summers Intensive summer lab courses

  23. Taking the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Visit GRE website http://www.gre.org/atglance.html Register well in advance Most schools require the GRE general test Many require (“strongly recommend”) the GRE subject test

  24. Makeup of GRE general test Verbal Analyze and evaluate written material 30 minutes, 30 questions Quantitative Basic math skills and concepts 45 minutes, 28 questions Analytical Reasoning skills, deduction, evaluation of arguments 60 minutes, 35 questions

  25. Preparing for the GRE general test Kaplan GRE preparation books good software Barron’s GRE preparation books Sample questions at www.gre.org

  26. Taking the GRE general test Where? Prometrics Testing Service (336-854-4230) 3 Centerview Drive Greensboro, NC Also in Asheville, Boone, Charlotte, Durham, Fayetteville, Gastonia, Greenville, Raleigh, Wilmington Full list at www.gre.org

  27. Taking the GRE general test When? General test Anytime, online Register well ahead of time Saturdays are difficult to schedule Allow about 4 hours total Cost: $105.00 Fee waivers available

  28. Taking the GRE subject test • When? • Designated dates: 11/10/01, 12/8/01, 4/6/02 • Where? • On paper: Wake Forest University • Other locations: see www.gre.org • Cost: $130.00 (Fee waiver available) • Format: 100-200 questions, ~3 hours • Subjects: • Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology • Biology • Chemistry • Physics

  29. Application deadlines for graduate school Apply to 7-10 schools From very competitive to “safety” schools Many schools have on-line applications Wake Forest Application fee: $25 Fall application deadline - February 1st. Reply deadline - April 15th Others Application fees: $0-100 Fall application deadlines: 12/15 – 4/1

  30. Letters of recommendation (3) Ask a teacher you know well. Helps to have research experience Cultivate relationships with a few of your professors! Best if professor is in your field, in science Provide recommender with a resume. Ask well in advance of the deadline. Provide any necessary forms and an addressed envelope with instructions on whether it is to be sent to the school or returned to you.

  31. Statement of purpose Similar to essays written for undergrad applications Read the directions! Be familiar with the school Discuss the science you have performed or an interesting topic from your classes Mention particular faculty members Specific reasons you are interested in a field and in the particular school Be concise! Be focused! Rewrite! http://www.rpi.edu/dept/llc/writecenter/web/gradapp.html

  32. Interviewing • Usually arranged and financed by department • Individual interviews • Group interviews • Go to department web site • Learn about school • Read/review journal articles by faculty • E-mail faculty and ask for reprints of recent articles • A couple of intelligent questions go a long way!

  33. The realities of graduate school • You are being paid to do science! • A great privilege • Things won’t work for a while! • Different than undergraduate experience • Long hours • Work hard/play hard • Tremendous satisfaction and achievement

  34. Graduate school: One final view