Academic Guidence- Considering Gradschool

In summary, the new student has been through a lot of changes in the last year and is unsure of what to do next. He is a decent student with a good GPA, but is concerned about his extra time in undergrad and his research experience. He is also holding a graduate student teaching assistant position.
  • #1
MRM2294
2
0
Hello!

I am new to the forum. Actually, I enrolled in the forum because of this question... It's been eating me for a while now.

So I'll give you some background on my (convoluted) educational path. I started college undecided, then switch to a preprofessional chemistry path with hopes of becoming a pharmacist. I ended up falling in love with chemistry and switched my universities ACS certified chemistry track. Please keep in mind that these changes all happened within 3/2's a year. My most recent switch (1 year after being a declared chemistry major) was from chemistry to chemical engineering. The reasons for this were: I was advised by a coworker at my internship that "Engineering degrees can get you chemist positions, but chemistry degrees don't qualify you for engineering jobs," and because I felt like nothing I was learning in chemistry courses would prepare me for the real world.

Ok... I know I'm coming off as an indecisive guy, but it is my future I'm dealing with! Also, as a result of careless advising from my adviser I am stuck in undergrad for an extra year. Couple that with the fact of my multiple major changes and I'm looking at a total of 6 years in undergrad. I needed to find some way to make full time status and ended up adding a mathematics major. So I am officially double majoring the math (I'm following an applied math track) and chemical engineering.

I've been thinking a lot about grad school and if i were to go, it'd be for an applied mathematics Ph. D. I like the idea of pursuing mathematics because the research can put you at the forefront of engineering problems (among other things). The only reason why I am hesitant to fully adopt mathematics is out of fear of getting stuck on the financial/actuarial side of things, I really have an interest in the "technical world." Let me also say that I could have a masters in math in the same time it would take me to receive my engineering degree (darn gen ed courses/1 time per year course offerings for prereqs). Can anyone offer advise into whether or not the "technical security" of the engineering degree is worth the extra time at my current university?

Also, can someone provide insight into what it typically takes to get into an applied math Ph. D program? I've done a decent amount of self research, but all the information I've stumbled across is case-dependant.

Finally, I want to note that I have a near flawless gpa and have been through almost all the "weed-out" classes for both programs so GPA isn't my concern. My concern is extracurricular activities/research experience/ all other things considered by admission committees. I am also currently holding a grad student teaching assistant position in my universities organic chemistry department, which is supposedly something admissions committees will look kindly towards?

Thank you all... I am at a formidable mental block and any input will be appreciated.
 
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  • #2
It looks like you have some time left, why not start doing research?
 
  • #3
That's a good question. Like I've said, I'm working as a teaching assistant this semester and next semester (presumably). When the spring semester begins I'll start applying for summer research opportunities. However, I have to go with the highest paying opportunity at the moment and an internship at a major corporation is what I've got my eye set on for summer 2016. I finally feel "qualified" enough to submit a resume to the few connections I have at these Cleveland based companies.
 

Related to Academic Guidence- Considering Gradschool

1. What is academic guidance for grad school?

Academic guidance for grad school is a service offered by universities and academic advisors to help students navigate the process of applying to and successfully completing a graduate degree program.

2. When should I seek academic guidance for grad school?

It is recommended to seek academic guidance for grad school as early as possible, ideally during your undergraduate studies. This will give you ample time to plan and prepare for the application process and make any necessary adjustments to your academic and career goals.

3. What can I expect from academic guidance for grad school?

Academic guidance for grad school can vary depending on the university and advisor, but typically it includes assistance with choosing a program, preparing for standardized tests, writing personal statements and essays, and understanding the financial and logistical aspects of grad school.

4. How can academic guidance for grad school benefit me?

Academic guidance for grad school can benefit you in many ways. It can help you make informed decisions about which program to pursue, improve your chances of being accepted into a program, and provide support and resources throughout your graduate studies.

5. Is academic guidance for grad school only for students pursuing a master's or doctoral degree?

No, academic guidance for grad school is also available for students pursuing certificates and other post-baccalaureate programs. The guidance may differ slightly, but the overall purpose remains the same – to help students successfully navigate their academic and career goals.

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