Major Professor/AdvisorDifferent than undergraduate - in undergrad, you learn a little about a lot; graduate digs much deeper in one particular area. In grad, if you pursue a PhD or Master’s thesis, research becomes key element; you take fewer credits (9 is typical), but it’s very intense.“Research” not necessarily like chem lab. – historical research, economic research, social research (relationships. Communication, education)Expected to make contribution to field – your contribution to MBA classes may be your unique work experiences and “real world” perspective.Whether researching cure for cancer or developing a business plan to help a company become more successful – real world applications. Relevant.Professor become your colleagues; your career network2-7 years+
Vocabulary varies by field and by institution.Basic classifications with “graduate degrees” on the left, “professional degrees” on the right – not hard and fast rule – many terminal Master’s degrees are part of grad school vs. professional school.PhD – research degree; Master’s may/may not be research degree; it depends on your field.Terminal master’s – specialized training in an area; the highest degree in that field; some schools will call terminal masters if it is a degree separate from the PhD; could place MBA in here too
Funding for graduate school can be time-consuming, but there is money out there. Consider public and private organizations, government agencies, philanthropic foundations, your department, etc. Many online sources exist. When weighing funding offers, don’t forget to consider the cost of living for each location. Living expenses can vary drastically and make a big difference in your financial situation.
Learn about professors’ work to determine if there is a fit with your specific goals. By researching professors’ interests, you gain knowledge and will have the ability to demonstrate in your statement of purpose why you would be a good match for the program. There may also be funding opportunities available from some professors who need assistants to help them with their work.In addition to learning about other institutions’ professors, a valuable source of information about graduate school and specific programs is your current professors at your institution. They can provide excellent recommendations and information about academic reputation and program suitability. Collect a variety of information from the Internet (gradschools.com, Grad Source, Peterson’s, Facebook, Twitter), graduate school guides, rankings from professional organizations and major publications (US News & World Report, Peterson’s Guide, Business Week, WSJ), professors, current graduate students, professionals in your field, career centers that have individuals who focus on graduate school advising, etc.Be careful not to put too much weight on any one source; rankings are often controversial, since not everyone always agrees with the methodology behind them. Ultimately, you should look for the trends in the information you collect.
Consider the best professors as well as emerging experts in the field. Advantages and disadvantages to both are:Experienced experts may have less time, so you may get less personal attention, but they are who others immediately look to for guidance. They’ve worked with lots of grad students and are an experienced mentor, but may be focused on the outputs vs. you.Emerging experts often can give more personal attention and may be more empathetic, since they’re a relatively recent graduate. However, they may not have worked with many grad students and are learning how to be an effective mentor as they go. They often are enthusiastic, full of energy, and want to collaborate for mutual benefit.Who you choose to pursue comes down to your individual preference and what you’re most comfortable with.Your current professors may also suggest others they think will be a good fit based on your personality, learning style, work style, etc.Consider reputation in the academic world as well as rankings.
Grad School is very decentralized, so applying is more complex than what you’ve experienced as an undergrad. Pay close attention to deadlines and what needs to be sent where. GRE is being revised. 50% discount for tests taken in August/September 2011A writing sample, portfolio, or other supplemental materials may also be required. Check the directions.Relevant achievements, academic background, potential, and the contributions you can make to an institution are emphasized. Grad school is more intense and depending on your discipline, you may be expected to study and work in environments that aren’t familiar (i.e., teams vs independently). Requires self-discipline; while you may have mentors/advisors that can help, ultimately you are expected to do well on your own. Admission committees are typically comprised of professors. The process varies by institution/department, but the above are factors that committees consider. Publications may also be taken into account.If someone has a low GRE score with exceptional research experience, letters of recommendation, and a compelling statement of purpose, the program may not place as much emphasis on the score. Obtain relevant experience through summer research, internships, or co-ops to enhance your competitiveness for grad school or employment.
Allow 1 month before deadline; scores sent 10-15 days after testThe GRE tests three main skills: analytical writing, verbal, and quantitative. There are 7 subject matter tests Subject tests are only offered 3 times a year: September, October, April. At Purdue, physics requires subject test; math and computational programs require math subject test; literary studies recommendsNo GRE req’d for Chem, CS2013: $185; 4 free scores; $25 add’l scoresOn test day, when viewing your scores at the test center, you can choose not to send your scores at this time OR you can select to send most recent or send all from last 5 years. After test day, can send by date for a fee
Begin now – highest GPA possible, obtain experienceOrganize your application – separate folder for each one.
Founded in 1869. Located about 2 hours south of Chicago, IllinoisLarge: resources, a lot of things going on hereRanking: what the ranking indicates is what is important, quality faculty, research environment, interdisciplinary opportunitiesWorld Food Prize and Nobel Prize winning facultyLocation: cost of living, access to cities, middle of USstudents from more than 120 countriesNetwork when you graduateNeil Armstrong & Gene Cernan; this is Andrew Feustel; 23 astronauts
Immediately following undergrad: some disciplines may expect an advanced degree; once you leave school, there are no guarantees you’ll return. It depends on you – study habits, discipline, you may change your mind or decide you can’t go back to living like a student, what if you get married or start a family, etc. Will you be able to or truly want to go back?After working or taking time off: You may get a job with an employer that will fund your grad education (ask when you interview), some programs may require or seek certain experience that you don’t currently possess (e.g., MBA strongly prefers full-time work experience; executive programs for people that employers expect to be executives) or you may be able to gain international experience or other experience that would make you more competitive during the admissions process. You may simply be burned out and ready to get out of school, move, etc.
For rankings and reputation, focus on the department/program and faculty. You want to attend the institution that offers the research/activities you are interested in foremost with the best reputation.When evaluating financial assistance options, consider the cost of living and benefits, such as health insurance, time off, the lowest fees, etc. Cost of living can make a huge difference in your stress level and just how comfortable you are. You want to ensure you know exactly how far any stipend you get will go in the community you’ll be living in.Other factors to consider can include the length of the program. Ask is how many grad students has the professor had, how many actually completed grad school, what is the average length of time it took those students to complete, and what are they doing now.
2013 grad school 101
Grad School at Purdue
Mariheida Córdova Sánchezcordovas@purdue.edu
Cecille M. Villanueva-Birriel
Sascha M. Vega Alvarez
Office of Graduate Admissions
Janet Beagle, Ph.D. Director
Where is Purdue?
• Coeducational, stateassisted system in
• Founded in 1869
• Named after benefactor
• One of the nation's
institutions with a
reputation for excellent
and affordable education.
Purdue University Ranking
U.S. News Best Grad School Rankings (<25)
Computer Engineering (10)
Electrical Engineering (10)
Mechanical Engineering (8)
Chemistry (2: Analytical Chemistry, 16: Inorganic Chemistry)
Speech-Language Pathology (5)
International student population ranks 2nd for public school.
Purdue's College of Engineering graduate program has been ranked second in the country for
Purdue University is one of the top 50 institutions worldwide with the most articles published in
the prestigious Nature research journals.
Hosted every fall at Purdue!
• Workshops, networking, grad school fair & more!
• For students interested in
science, technology, engineering, math & related
What is Graduate School?
Provides in-depth, specialized training
Requires original research and/or
Impacts society in relevant ways
Develops intellectual relationships
Requires intense commitment, passion, drive
Types of Advanced Degrees
• Direct Ph.D.
• Master’s first
What Grad School is REALLY like…
Grad School is a JOB+
How do I pay for Graduate School?
70% of Purdue’s full-time graduate students
• Graduate assistantships are the most common funding
− You receive a stipend and your tuition is waived
− Other benefits may apply
− Include research, teaching, or administrative positions
• Grants (fellowships) are free money, but competitive
• Loans are also available
− federal government and other financial institutions
− complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid
Researching Graduate Schools
• professors & advisors
• professionals in your field
• current graduate students
Use a variety of sources:
• professional organizations & conferences
• research publications/professional journals
• career centers
• graduate school guides & major publications
• university websites
Questions to Ask
Who are the best professors & emerging leaders in your
What projects are they working on?
What universities do they work at?
Where did they get their degree from?
Which professors & schools do others suggest you
At what universities do current professionals find their
What graduate programs have the best reputation in
Understand the Application Process
• Admissions committees are made up of professors
• Decisions are typically based on the following factors:
• Statement of purpose
• Letters of recommendation
• Standardized Test Scores (GRE/GMAT)
• TOEFL or IELTS (international students)
• Grade Point Average (GPA)
• Previous work experience
• Research experience (REU & SRO)
• Curricular activities
• Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV)
GRE: www.gre.org; www.number2.com
− Biochemistry, Cell & Molecular Biology
− Literature in English*
Application Requirements by Program:
*Subject test required or recommended at Purdue
Statement of Purpose
Use a standard font
Keep language simple and specific.
Answer: “Why should I care?”
Show mutual benefit
Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/969/01
Letters of Recommendation
• Give plenty of notice
• Choose recommenders who can talk about
• Make their job easy
• Follow up before the deadline
• Send a thank you note
Contacting a Professor/Department
• Use your network
• Do your research first!
• Keep your email short, polite
• Look for “graduate contacts”
• Do not e-blast multiple people
• Most common entry term is “Fall” (August)
• Begin at least one year before you want to enroll
• Identify schools you want to apply to; research their
application requirements & deadlines
• Allow time for test scores, transcripts, letters
Many programs begin making
decisions in January - March,
and may ask you to accept an
offer by April 15th.
• Begin now
• Get to know your current professors
• Research and network with faculty you may
want to work with later
• Customize your statement of purpose
• Stay organized
• No, really, proofread!
Benefit from quality facilities & faculty
• Top 25 U.S. public institution
• Labs, equipment, faculty, & more!
• Centrally located
Enjoy a global connection
• International Enrollment: 2nd in U.S.
• Alumni: 140 countries...and BEYOND!
Programs at Purdue:
How do I Choose a Graduate School?
Make a list of potential schools & compare:
• Campus visit experience
• Research & scholarly opportunities
• Reputation of the school, its programs, & professors
• Program job placement rates & information
• Financial assistance
• Student services
• Location’s cost of living
Office of Interdisciplinary
• Computational Science &
• Ecological Sciences and
• Food Science*
*Started since OIGP began
PULSe (Life Sciences)*#
Philosophy and Literature
#Housed in Grad School
Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs
APPLY THROUGH ELECTRONIC APPLICATION FOR:
Ecological Sciences and Engineering
Philosophy and Literature
Other Interdisciplinary Graduate Program Opportunities
FIRST APPLY THROUGH ACADEMIC DEPARTMENT:
Then, apply to IGP after admittance for the following:
Computational Life Sciences
Computational Science and Engineering
Computational Life Sciences
Computational Science and Engineering
Ecological Sciences and Engineering
Philosophy and Literature
Total student enrollment
• Over 170 faculty members from 27 different departments
• PULSe Stipend for 2013-2014: $24,000.
• Training Groups:
Biomolecular Structure and Biophysics
Chromatin and Regulation of Gene Expression
Integrative Plant Sciences
Molecular Signaling and Cancer Biology
OIGP Student Activities
• IGP Student Advisory Board
• Nominated representative from each program
• Explores avenues to showcase IGP research on
• Instrumental in planning OIGP’s Annual Spring
• Diversity and Inclusion Initiative
• Builds community across IGPs
• Plans events: Graduate Student Seminars, focus
groups, panel sessions
• Science in Schools community outreach program
Diversity at Purdue
• LGBTQ Center
• Black Cultural Center
• Native American Educational and Cultural
• Latino Cultural Center
• Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation
• Puerto Rican Student Association (PRSA)
Office of Multicultural Programs
• Dwight E. Lewis, Director of Multicultural
– (765) 494-3232 or (765) 494-0945
• Historically Black Institution (HBI) Visitation
Purdue Summer Research
Opportunities Program (SROP)
• Application deadline: March 1, 2014.
– Minimum GPA of 3.0.
– Interest in pursuing graduate education.
• Program Components:
Round trip transportation
University housing for 8 weeks
Research Stipend ($4,000/8 weeks)
Workshops on preparation for GRE
Poster and Oral Research Presentations
Access to Recreational Facilities, Libraries, Computers, Research Labs,
& Health Center
– Weekend fieldtrips