Myths on Graduate School


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Presentation for undergrads considering graduate study. Debunks myths on what graduate school is and isn't about.

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Myths on Graduate School

  1. 1. More Education, More Problems? Debunking the Myths of Graduate & Professional School<br />GO-MAP/ECC Graduate and Undergraduate Diversity Mixer <br />February 10, 2011<br />Kane Hall, Walker Ames Room<br />Presentation compiled and adapted by: Sabrina Bonaparte<br />
  2. 2. Someone in your family told you to go<br />Your best friend is going<br />Nothing else to do at the moment<br />Doctors get better seats in restaurants<br />You aren’t ready to start working for a living<br />It’s a good place to meet girls/guys<br />Why should you go to Graduate School (Poor Reasons)<br />
  3. 3. Why should you go? (Good reasons)<br />You have found a subject or discipline that you can’t put out of your mind. If you could, you would work at this 24 hours/day. You can’t get enough of it.<br />You have done an undergraduate research project and it was a real turn on.<br />You have always wanted to teach at a college/university/community college.<br />
  4. 4. More Reasons to Go<br />When you encounter a problem, you think about it until you solve it, even if it takes days. <br />You want to cure cancer or build the first controlled fusion reactor<br />You would prefer to have others working for you, rather than you working for others<br />
  5. 5. Should I go straight to grad school or work first?<br />Short Answer: IT DEPENDS! (and it’s different for everyone!)<br />
  6. 6. Common Graduate Programs That Require Work Experience (at UW)<br />Masters of Business Administration (MBA)<br />Full time MBA has “preferred” business experience, all others required<br />Computer Science Professional Masters Program (MS)<br />2-20 years required<br />Master of Communication (MC)<br />For mid-career professionals<br />Executive Masters in Public Administration (MPA)<br />For senior managers in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors<br />
  7. 7. Most PhD programs do not require work experience (except maybe business)<br />What will set you apart is RESEARCH experience<br />With a program (McNair, undergraduate research, summer research programs, etc)<br />With a professor (paid, unpaid)<br />With a graduate student <br />What about PhD programs?<br />
  8. 8. The Graduate School Application<br />
  9. 9. Parts of the Graduate School Application<br />Grades<br />GRE/MCAT/LSAT (Standardized tests)<br />Writing Sample<br />Letters of Recommendation<br />Statement of Purpose/Letter of Intent<br />Optional Personal Statement<br />Portfolio (for some fields)<br />
  10. 10. Myth 1: I am the only person who is unfamiliar with the application process<br />Reality: MOST people are not familiar with the process. Only those who have friends/family who have been through the process recently or are involved in academia are familiar with it. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help! You’re not the only one! <br />
  11. 11. Reality: Graduate school admissions is a holistic process, meaning you will get in based on your complete application. If your GRE scores are a little low, compensate by showing strong writing skills and good letters of recommendation, etc. <br />Myth 2: If one part of my application is weak, I will not get in<br />
  12. 12. Myth 3: If I have a perfect GRE and GPA I will be guaranteed admission to any graduate program<br />Reality: You will only get into programs where the faculty think you will “fit”, meaning you have similar interests with faculty in the department. <br />Moral of the story: tailor your personal statement to each school you apply to!<br />
  13. 13. Graduate School Myths<br />
  14. 14. Myth 1: Grad school is good for anyone<br />Reality: Grad school is good for those looking to expand their knowledge<br />
  15. 15. Reality: This CAN be true in some STEM fields but is not necessarily true for others. You will not become rich as a professor! Also, keep in mind you may have to take out loans, so the extra money made might not be as much as you think! <br />Myth 2: A graduate degree will get me more money<br />
  16. 16. Reality: Work experience fixes your resume just as well! <br />Myth 3: Grad school will improve my resume<br />
  17. 17. Myth 4: A Master’s degree is the ticket to the top<br />Reality: It can definitely help put you over the top, but is not a sufficient stand-alone for success<br />
  18. 18. Myth 5: It’s all about the degree<br />Reality: Even if a degree is a mandatory requirement for a job, you get what you put into your degree. If you don’t work hard and get good letters of recommendation, you just having the degree won’t be enough to get you a job<br />
  19. 19. More Common Myths about Graduate School<br />Only people with 4.0 averages get in<br />Only people with 1600 GRE scores get in<br />Graduate classes are just like under-graduate classes only more intense<br />If you have a bad grade in any class you will not be accepted<br />
  20. 20. You need to be very good at what you do<br />You need a “fire in the belly” or passion for your chosen field<br />Graduate classes are unlike undergraduate classes; a different skill set is required and must be developed for success<br />Drive and motivation counts as much or more than native intelligence (having both is nice, of course)<br />The Reality of Graduate School<br />
  21. 21. Master’s degree, 1-2 years of FT study<br />Plan A (Thesis master’s)<br />Plan B (Coursework master’s)<br />Professional master’s (MBA, MPH, etc. Some programs require a thesis or capstone project)<br />Professional doctoral degree (MD, JD, PharmD, etc.), time is variable<br />Research doctoral degree (PhD), typically 4-7 years of study<br />Some doctoral programs require a master’s along the way, others don’t<br />Quick Overview: Levels of Graduate Study<br />
  22. 22. ECC ( <br />EIP (<br />GO-MAP ( <br />McNair (<br />LSAMP (<br />Undergraduate Research Program (<br />Where can I get help on campus? <br />
  23. 23. Citations <br />Much of this PowerPoint was adapted from Applying to Graduate School: Myths and Realities (ppt) by Dr. Jim Henkel and Dr. Harold Bibb <br /><br />Grad School 101: The Truth About the Top Six Grad School Myths by Tiffany Monhollon<br /><br />