on picking a graduate school
April 17, 2009 | LOGAN -- The most important decision
to make when deciding to attend graduate school is whether
you want to do research or teach, says Rebecca Smith,
a USU Ph.D. student.
"Think about what it is that you really want to do,"
Smith told a free graduate seminar hosted by Alpha Kappa
Delta on Wednesday in Old Main.
Donna Crow, director of career services, said when
choosing a school do not pick it for its name or national
ranking, but rather pick a school based on the professors
and what projects they are working on.
Identify three faculty members within the area of
interest, contact them and find out their current research
project, said sociology assistant professor Christy
Glass, who has a Ph.D. in sociology from Yale University.
"Do not hesitate to contact the faculty members,"
she said. "We're really egotistical when it comes to
our research projects. We like to hear that students
are excited about our work."
Also, do not be afraid to ask about funding, housing,
opportunities to co-author and the atmosphere of the
place, she said.
Hala Hadawar, a graduate student studying neurobiology,
is a teaching assistant and teaches three labs per week
and receives a monthly stipend. Before making a decision
on which graduate school to attend it is important to
know the professors that the student is going to be
working with, said Hadawar, who received her bachelor's
at University of California, San Diego, adding, "Professors
For a lot of students who are contemplating graduate
school it's usually money that makes them hesitate.
Patti Kohler from the Financial Aid Office said that
once students receive their bachelor's they will not
be eligible for Pell grants from the federal government.
Once students are in graduate school it's all loans
from there on out, she said. High tier schools, such
as Stanford and Harvard, require more than $20,500 a
year, she said, which is the maximum amount a student
can take a loan from the government every year.
She listed two Web sites students can visit for loans:
Crow encourages students to attend a graduate school
other than where they received their bachelorís. Go
out and see different cultures, be diverse, she said.
Hadawar said when it comes to graduate school it's
up to students to take the initiative. "No one is going
to stand behind you to tell you to get off your butt
and get to work."