Similar to what you think about for college applications, with the exception of faculty research, which probably wasn’t a big consideration
Posting rankings not to say that’s the most important factor, but just like applying for undergrad, it’s a good idea to apply to a range of schools—there’s no reason not to apply to top schools, but it’s also important to apply to some less-known schools so that you’ll have a variety of options
Unlike undergrad, each school has a different ranking in each area of chemistryI’ve shown biochemistry here as an example, but you can also look up organic, inorganic, physicalYou don’t have to know what area of chemistry you’re going into, but it can help make your decision if you have on you’re interested in
This is a factor that I didn’t realize was a consideration when I was first thinking about grad school, but your research advisor is going to be the most important part of your grad school experience, so it’s important to pick schools with multiple people you might be interested in working with. Again, you don’t have to know exactly what you want to know, by any means, but no one’s research at a particular school appeals to you, then that’s a good indication you might not want to apply there.So, how do you find out more about a particular faculty member?
The school’s webpage is often a really good source of information about faculty members, for instance here’s Emory’s page
And for example, we’ll look at Prof. Davies, Felicia’s advisor
Aren’t always completely up-to-date, but can usually give you a good idea of their research interests
Which brings us to….
Most important in these are your grades and coursework, your recommendations and previous research experience
A rough timeline to help guide you a little bitUndergrad research is important not only to help your application, but also to help you decide if you really like research, since that’s most of what you’ll be doing in grad schoolA great experience that really helped me was doing research over the summer, lots of schools have programs you can apply to for the summer and it can be a great way to get a taste of a big research institution before grad schoolAnother important thing you can start doing, which we’ll talk more about this semester, is to start reading articles from chemistry journals, like JACS. Again, that’s something else you’ll do a lot of in grad school, and it can also help you decide where to apply. For instance, if you’re reading an article and you think it’s really cool, you might notice who the PI is and consider applying to their schoolYou can also start coming up with a list of schools you’re interested in at any point. Here’s where your faculty can be a lot of help. They tend to know a lot about which chemists are at which schools and might even be able to help you figure out which places might be a good fit.
Most of the deadlines for applications are during your senior yearSome schools require the chemistry GRE, and others just the standard GRE, which is offered seven times a semester, and the chemistry GRE is offered less frequently, so it’s important to be aware when those dates are if you need to take itMost schools applications open late fall, and they all have different application deadlines, so it’s important to look those up for the specific schools you’re applying to
It can be helpful in narrowing schools down and often applications will ask you to talk about your research interests, but you’re in no way tied to that when you’re accepted. You could write all about how much you love pchem, then get to the school and decide organic is totally for you, and that’s okay.Also, something a lot of people don’t realize about chemistry programs is that you don’t pay for it. Tuition is covered, and then you’ll also receive a stipend that covers living expenses, so you shouldn’t have to take out any student loans.As far as the expense of applying, schools will typically have fee waivers and often the criteria is if you meet the requirements to have your GRE fee waived, you may also get your application fees waived at the schools you’re applying to. So, that’s something to look into if that applies to youUnlike undergrad, you will actually visit the schools you’re accepted to after you’re admitted for visitation weekend, which like I mentioned is usually paid for by the school you’re visitingAnother thing that can be discouraging during the application process is that people usually score pretty poorly on the chemistry GRE, but it’s a really small factor in admissions for students from the USAnd a final tip they won’t tell you about, while there are some 1 or 2 year masters programs that you can apply for (and in more cases pay for), all PhD programs can award you a masters degree after a couple years if you decide not to continue on for the PhD. There’s often an attitude in PhD programs that leaving with a masters degree is a “consolation prize” but if a masters is what you want to get, there’s nothing wrong with stopping before your PhD and receiving your masters.
Grad school intro and id ps
Graduate School Intro and Individual Development Plans September 20, 2012
Choosing a Grad School• Rankings• Faculty research!• Atmosphere
Overall Rankings1. Caltech1. MIT1. University of California—Berkeley4. Harvard4. Stanford6. University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign7. Northwestern7. Scripps Research Institute7. University of Wisconsin—Madison http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate- schools/top-science-schools/chemistry-rankings
Biochemistry Rankings1. Harvard2. University of California—Berkeley3. University of California—San Francisco4. Scripps Research Institute5. University of Wisconsin—Madison6. MIT7. Stanford8. Caltech9. Yale10. University of California—San Diego
Whose research interests you?• Adviser will be most important factor of your research experience…• Choose schools with more than one faculty member whose research interests you.
Tips• Apply to a variety of schools (don’t be afraid to apply to a great school!)• Have back-up choices• Start gathering application materials early…
Application Requirements• GRE/Chemistry GRE• Recommendation letters• Transcript• Personal statement• Previous research experience and/or interests statement
Any time!• Look into/begin doing undergraduate research.• Consider doing a research program during the summer.• Read journals and learn about research from faculty at other schools.• Start working on your list of schools to apply to (ask faculty for help)
Senior Year• October – request recommendation letters/transcripts – Register for GRE/chemistry GRE• November – Take GRE (or earlier), chemistry GRE (October or November)• October—Mar 1 – Apply to schools (look at your choices’ deadlines)• Jan/Feb – Hear back from schools• Feb/March – Visit accepted schools• April 15 – Deadline to accept or decline
Visitation Weekend• Travel/accommodations usually covered• Learn more about faculty research• Talk with current students• Atmosphere of the program!
Myths• You have to know what area of chemistry you want to study.• Grad school is expensive.• Applying to grad school is expensive.• You should visit schools before you apply.• You have to have a great score on the chemistry GRE.• If you want a masters, you should apply to a masters program.
The specific objectives of a typical IDP:• Identify specific skills and strengths that you need to develop (based on discussions with your mentors). Mentors should provide honest and constructive feedback -both positive and negative -to help you set realistic goals.• Identify a research project (or research opportunities/internships) and necessary level of commitment to match your abilities and career goals.• Define the approaches to attain the research/career goals you have chosen and obtain the specific skills and strengths (e.g., courses, technical skills, teaching, supervision) you need to acquire and/or build upon.• Define milestones and anticipated time frames for goal acquisition. Developed by Dr. Pat Marsteller, Emory University
Questions to Ask Yourself• What are my objectives in entering graduate school?• What type of training do I desire?• What are my strengths?• What skills do I need to develop?• What kinds of research or creative projects will engage me?• How much independent versus team work do I want to do?• What type of career do I want to pursue? Developed by Dr. Pat Marsteller, Emory University
Basic Steps for IDP• Step 1 – Conduct self-assessment• Step 2 – Write an IDP. Share IDP with mentor and revise• Step 3 – Implement the plan.• Step 4 – Survey opportunities with mentor