Pre-Professional and Pre-Graduate Advising Program
If you thought it was tough to pick a college for your bachelor's degree, it may be even more difficult to pick your graduate school. Here's some ideas that may help in choosing where to apply:
When searching for graduate schools, do not limit your search to "biology," "chemistry," or "mathematics." Most universities have multiple departments in the sciences. For example, a biology major could pursue graduate studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia in a variety of departments, such as: animal sciences, agronomy, biological sciences, biomedical sciences, entomology, fisheries and wildlife, food science, horticulture, molecular microbiology and immunology, natural resources, nutritional sciences, pathology and anatomical sciences, and plant microbiology and pathology. However, another university, such as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will have differently named departments, such as animal biology, cell and developmental biology, molecular and cellular biology, and plant biology. It will be important for you to identify your specific interests in your discipline as you begin your search for graduate programs.
- Talk to faculty at your current school. They may have the same research interest as you, or they will know colleagues at other schools. Remember, they were graduate students too.
- Look for a school with faculty who can best assist you with your research program or academic goals.
- Speak with graduate students you know who have come from other universities (especially doctoral students who may have done a master's degree elsewhere). As graduate students, they are another good source of information regarding the graduate experience they had at their previous school.
- Consider geographic/demographic location of prospective graduate school.
- Visit the school(s) you are considering before applying. Be sure you can "see" yourself on that campus and with those faculty members.
- Websites are ideal to find newly established programs that may be of interest to you. New graduate program areas, such as bioinformatics, are being developed every year to respond to the academic marketplace.
- Faculty and graduate students you spoke with may not be aware of these new programs.
- General information about graduate schools also is available on line. Try the following websites: