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  1. Applying for Graduate Schools Andy Wang Operating Systems

  2. Myth 1 I cannot afford graduate school…

  3. Reality • Graduate school is FREE (pretty much) • For both public and private schools • If you are good enough to get into a graduate school… • Scholarships/grants • Research assistantship (work for a lab) • Teaching assistantship (work for a class)

  4. If you work for the state It will pay up to 6 credit hours per semester

  5. How about my student loans? • No repayment/interest accrual while enrolled half time • Can be consolidated • Interest is tax-deductible • Possible repayment cap and cancellation • Six-month grace period • Reset if back to half-time within 6 months

  6. Myth 2 I won’t have a chance to get into a graduate school…

  7. Reality • You are in luck • If you are a US citizen or permanent resident… • Not enough US students are pursuing graduate schools • Your major advantages • Eligible for many funding sources • No language barriers • Lower cost to hire you as a research or teaching assistant

  8. Myth 3 Graduate curriculum is just like the undergraduate curriculum…

  9. Reality • Take fewer classes per semester • Master • Emphasis on development • Ph.D. • Discover something new • Emphasis on research • For people who love to solve puzzles

  10. Some Cool Research Areas • AI and robotics (hoarding ducks) • Olfactory research • Wearable computing • Life-long storage

  11. A Typical Graduate Course • Not as much guidance • Project-oriented • You need to develop your own projects

  12. Metric of Success • Undergraduate • GPA • Master • Projects, thesis, skill set • Ph.D. • Number of quality publications

  13. Nature of Your First Job • Undergraduate • QA for large companies for 2 to 5 years • Will pick up graduate-level skills • Development for small companies • Master • Mostly development • Ph.D. • Professor, researcher, industry, grant manager

  14. Some Ph.D. Perks Office Flexible scheduling Salary Secretarial support Terms for termination

  15. Application Process • Requirements • Personal statement • GPA, max(overall, major, upper division) • Two GRE exams • 3 to 4 recommendation letters • Relevant upper-division courses • Independent studies • Internships

  16. Personal Statement • Interested research areas • Why are they intriguing? • Research experience/projects • What have you tried and learned? • Why do you need a master/Ph.D? • Why do you pick this school?

  17. GRE Exams • Computer science GRE • Theory • Systems • Architecture • General GRE • English • Math • Writing

  18. Recommendation Letters • How to approach? • If you receive an A in a class • Ask the professor as quickly as possible • Try to use the letter of recommendation service • Interfolio • Submit an envelope • Graduate program names, degrees, schools, deadlines • Photo, personal statement, resume, transcript • Envelopes and beautiful stamps

  19. Whether to waive your rights to access the letter • If you don’t • The letter will carry less weight

  20. Other Approaches • Volunteer for… • Independent study • Internship for companies