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Admissions Seminar about applying to graduate school - tips?

  1. Mar 20, 2016 #1
    Here's a long shot...

    I go to a very small school with only ~8 graduates per year. Of those 8, 4 or 5 will apply to graduate school, and every year only 1 or so will be accepted.

    I'm preparing to approach the chair of the department to propose a one-hour seminar every year (or semester) to tell everyone interested in graduate school about the following:

    • The importance of doing research in the department during the semester (we only have 3-4 professors who work with students, so probably a list of who does what)
    • Summer research opportunities (REUs, DOE-funded national lab internships)
    • the physics GRE (including the book Conquering the Physics GRE and the free CWRU flashcards)
    • fellowships (NSF, DOE, Hertz) and scholarships (Goldwater)
    I was wondering if any of you might have other ideas of what to include in this seminar. Once I got into grad school this past month, I have received plenty of advice from professors about how to prepare myself, so I'm not looking to focus on information about this, but just the application process. The past 4 years, I never once heard professors talk about summer opportunities, the physics GRE (in fact, many people have to take a gap year since they didn't know it was a thing), or scholarships/fellowships (in fact, they told me I couldn't apply for the Goldwater as a sophomore). I want to get the information out there.

    Once I learned about these things and began to apply, I was fully supported by the department, but for some reason there is no communication that these opportunities even exist, hence the seminar.

    Also, I'm wondering if there is any data out there for how doing summer internship opportunities corresponds to graduate school acceptances.

    Thanks so much for your advice! :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 21, 2016 #2
    Something that has helped me quite a bit (I'd imagine it would be more helpful to grad students) is the American Physical Society. Maybe at the seminar they could cover different societies such as APS, SPS, or the AIP, all of which congregates tons of useful information.
  4. Mar 21, 2016 #3


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    Ask them to read my "So You Want To Be A Physicist" essay?

    I know! I have no shame!

  5. Mar 21, 2016 #4
    That's hilarious, because I actually have it printed out and was thinking of distributing copies... Way ahead of you :)
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