Statement (1-2 Pages), typed. Have a faculty member proof read it!
What is your
motivation for pursuing an advanced degree?
Why is the
specific university of interest to you?
What are your
particular research or academic strengths?
experience do you have? Classes you enjoyed, research (Be specific; include a
brief description), teaching experience, employment in a technical field,
conference presentations, publications, involvement in your department/college/ACS
At least two
from CHEMISTRY faculty (NOT part-time instructor, laboratory coordinator or
letter should not be from high school teachers, English/history professors,
from ALL colleges attended. Unofficial (photocopy) is probably okay initially,
but the university will need original copies prior to formal admission.
Record Examination (GRE)
ETS send a copy to the department. You may want to send an unofficial copy
Scores are not always required; depends on school.
fees vary from school to school. This may be an expense to take into account
before seriously applying to several schools.
if possible send all of the above in a single envelope (unofficial GRE,
transcripts in sealed envelopes, and letters of recommendation in sealed
envelopes if writers are willing to give these to you). Receiving all the information
at once makes the graduate coordinator's life simple, and will not reflect badly
B. The best thing you can do to
improve your application: Undergraduate Research
Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program (10 weeks) after sophomore or
C. How do admission committees
review your application?
D. If your application is
elsewhere if there is time.
department again in the spring, but do not have any high expectations of
taking graduate courses as a non-degree student, and then reapply.
Look at your
application for deficiencies; retake GRE?
Work for a
couple of years.
E. Your application is accepted
and you get 10 offers!
How are do
decide which offer to accept?
How can you
visit ten departments between January and March?
Phase 4: Visiting the
A. If accepted: Go on a visit to the university. The university should pay for the cost of the
visit. They may ask you to coordinate your trip with a nearby institution to
which you are applying (and split the cost).
B. During the
about research, financial support, teaching responsibilities, scholarship
and current graduate students.
questions: housing, academic requirements, qualifying exams, matriculation time,
employment opportunities, etc.
C. Follow-up the
faculty members in whose research you were interested. Request copies of their
publications; ask if they are accepting new students into their group.
Phase 5: Making a Decision
A. Decide Where
to Go: This is either the easiest or the most difficult part of the whole
Things to Consider
university, department, division, faculty
research assistantships (usually not first year)
department: large, medium, or small?
Suggestion: If you
are planning on attending a particular program with the aim of working with one
particular faculty member: MAKE SURE THAT YOU ESTABLISH CONTACT WITH HIM/HER
BEFORE YOU COMMIT! For example, are they taking new students? Do they have
funding for you? Will they take YOU into the group? It is usually a better
decision to attend a program where there are a number of groups in which you are
B. $$ MONEY! MONEY! MONEY!
$$: You should
expect to be paid and to receive a tuition waiver while
you are pursuing graduate studies in the sciences.
fellowship support from the department.
financial support from other agencies (NSF, Merck-UNCF, DoD, Hertz Foundation,
GEM Foundation). Do this often done in conjunction with the department.
Schools (Graduate Coordinators) of Your Decisions
delighted to accept your offer of a position in your Graduate Program…”
“I regret that
I am unable to accept your offer of a position in your Graduate Program…”
A. Things you
should be doing now:
in your department
faculty (helps in writing letter of recommendation)
searching and investigation of graduate schools
B. Spring of
junior year/Fall of senior year:
(General and Subject). Remember: It takes 6-8 weeks for the official score to be
fellowships (NSF, DoD, Ford , etc.).
letters of recommendation. Your letter writers will appreciate a 2-3
weeks to get these letters out! Your statement of purpose, unofficial
transcript, resume, and an electronic mailing list with due dates are helpful
items. Some faculty may have specific items that they require.
November/December or no later than early January of Senior Year
complete an application as possible.
universities only accept complete applications. This will be difficult for you
unless you have taken GREs early.
C. Late Fall/Early
Spring of Senior Year :
or invitations to interview.
Departments (request travel expenses!!)
This is a VERY
busy time. Trips take 1-2 days, while you are still in school! May
schedule visits during Spring Break.
D. APRIL 15
deadline for acceptance of an offer.
finished the process!
E. After APRIL
applications, visits, offers, acceptances… but don’t bet on it!!
F. GO TO
Do not look
back. Do not second guess.
yourself in your studies and new environment.