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Graduate School Senior Design Seminar 2004. Arthur Overholser, BME Mark Stremler, ME. Outline. I. What Degree? II. Why (or why not)? III. When? IV. Where? V. How? VI. What is it like in graduate school? - timetable - financial support - selecting an advisor. I. What Degree?.

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graduate school senior design seminar 2004

Graduate SchoolSenior Design Seminar 2004

Arthur Overholser, BME

Mark Stremler, ME

outline
Outline

I. What Degree?

II. Why (or why not)?

III. When?

IV. Where?

V. How?

VI. What is it like in graduate school?

- timetable

- financial support

- selecting an advisor

i what degree
I. What Degree?
  • M. S. without thesis (M.Eng. at VU)
    • May be a terminal degree oriented toward practice, often paid for by student
    • May be en route to Ph.D
  • M. S. with thesis
    • A research degree
    • May be terminal or toward Ph.D.
    • Financial support usually provided
  • Ph.D.
ii why or why not
II. Why (or why not)?
  • To better prepare for technical engineering practice (particularly the M.S.)
  • To prepare for responsible industrial research (Ph.D.)
  • Ph.D. required for an academic career.
  • Money?
iii where to go to graduate school
III. Where to go to graduate school?

Depends on…

  • Specialty
  • Reputation
  • Geographic preference
  • Your future plans

 Get information from…

  • Your faculty
  • Peterson’s Guide
  • The Web
  • From the graduate departments
iv when to go to graduate school
IV. When to go to graduate school?

 For MBA, get experience first

 For M.Eng., may wish experience first

 For M.S., Ph.D., as soon as you can.

v how to go to graduate school
V. How to go to graduate school?
  • Make the best grades you can. Minimum is usually 3.0. Better is required for competitive departments, best chance of support.
  • Take the GRE by the fall of your senior year. Do well; 2000 total is a reasonable goal.
  • Apply in the fall of the senior year to a spectrum of schools.
  • For thesis M.S. and for Ph.D, expect support. Apply for NSF or other fellowships, expect school to offer fellowship, research assistantship, or teaching assistantship.
vi what is graduate school like
VI. What is graduate school like?
  • You’re not an undergrad anymore…
    • Expectations higher
    • Greater academic independence
    • Relationships with faculty quite different
    • Personal and social life are different
    • Focus is research, not classes
      • Open-ended
      • Demanding and rewarding
what s my timetable
What’s my timetable?
  • Depends strongly on school, program, research

Typically 2-3 courses a semester at first

Expect to work on research or project during summer(s)

  • M.Eng. or non-thesis M.S.

courses (VUME: 30 hours) and maybe a project

1-2 years to complete

  • M.S. with thesis

Courses (VUME: 24 hours) and thesis

Typically 2 years to complete

  • Ph.D.

Courses (VUME: 24 hours) and thesis

3-5 years to complete

  • M.S. + Ph.D. (same advisor & topic)

4-6 years to complete

what about financial support
What about financial support?
  • Fellowships
    • From the government (NSF, DOD)

Free agent anywhere

    • From the school

Free agent within the school

  • Research assistantships
    • Paid for research activity with money from a research grant
  • Teaching assistantships
    • Paid for teaching duties within the department
how do i choose a thesis advisor
How do I choose a thesis advisor?
  • Identify potential advisors early on
    • Research interests (now)
    • Reputation and scholarship (now and visit)
    • Work environment (visit and beyond)
    • Personality (visit and beyond)
  • Fit + Opportunity = Match
  • Consider options, stay flexible
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