Tour Grad Schools: Tips for Making a Decision

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In summary, the conversation discusses touring graduate schools, meeting with prospective supervisors and research groups, and what to look for and ask when making a decision. Suggestions include considering personal criteria such as the approachability of professors, communication between professors and students, and overall satisfaction of graduate students. Additional advice includes inquiring about funding for the first summer and obtaining preparation materials for the PhD qualifier.
  • #1
CaptainQuaser
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Hey all. I am going next week to tour all the grad schools that accepted me and to meet with prospective supervisors and research groups. Any hints on what to ask or what to look for when making a decision?
 
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  • #2
It depends on your personal criteria. You should see if the professors you want to work with are nice and approachable, whether there is a good level of communication between professors and graduate students, whether the graduate students work well with each other, and whether they look like they're happy to be at that school.
 
  • #3
Go with whichever one serves the best wine
 
  • #4
Well, you might talk to the professors in whose reseach you're interested in, and ask if they have RA funding for your first summer. You don't want to go somewhere to study cosmology only to find out that the cosmologists can't fund you your first summer (well you can, you'll just have to be a summer TA). Also, see if you can get the preparation materials for each school's PhD qualifier. Most schools give you a "free shot" your first summer, in which you can take the qualifier without any penalty if you fail. If you study hard, getting this beast out of the way before you even start grad school will be a HUGE load off.
 

Related to Tour Grad Schools: Tips for Making a Decision

1. How do I determine which graduate program is the best fit for me?

Choosing a graduate program that is the right fit for you can be a daunting task. Start by researching the programs that align with your interests and career goals. Consider factors such as the program's curriculum, faculty, research opportunities, and location. It is also helpful to speak with current students and alumni to get a better understanding of the program's culture and atmosphere.

2. What should I consider when evaluating the reputation of a graduate program?

The reputation of a graduate program can greatly impact your future career prospects. Look into factors such as the program's rankings, accreditation, and job placement rates. It is also beneficial to research the reputation of the faculty and their research within the field.

3. How important is the location of the graduate program?

The location of a graduate program can play a significant role in your overall experience. Consider factors such as the cost of living, transportation, and access to resources and opportunities. It is also important to evaluate the surrounding community and determine if it aligns with your personal preferences and needs.

4. What financial aid options are available for graduate students?

Graduate school can be expensive, so it is important to explore all financial aid options available. This can include scholarships, grants, fellowships, and assistantships. It is also beneficial to speak with the financial aid office at the specific graduate program to learn about any additional funding opportunities.

5. How can I make a final decision between multiple graduate programs?

Choosing between multiple graduate programs can be challenging. Consider creating a list of pros and cons for each program, speaking with current students and alumni, and revisiting the programs to get a better sense of the atmosphere. Ultimately, trust your gut and choose the program that aligns best with your academic and career goals.

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