How to Get Started

Freshmen Year

  • Interact with your advisor, create a 4 year course work plan.
  • Pay very close attention to sequential courses and grade minimums.
  • Align electives with your scientific interests and long-term goals.
  • Explore opportunities for service, volunteering, and extracurricular activities that will help you meet your goals.
  • Volunteer in a research lab.
  • Attend departmental seminars and career-related sessions that focus on research.
  • Identify summer opportunities for shadowing, volunteering, service, internships.
  • Get to know your professors –THIS WILL BE IMPORTANT LATER!

Sophomore Year

  • Focus on identifying a possible academic field of specialization.
  • Meet with your advisor and the Pre-Graduate advisor regularly.
  • Explore career opportunities and potential programs.
  • Attend informational sessions about regional graduate programs.
  • Volunteer!
  • Explore summer research opportunities.
  • Participate in a summer research program.
  • At the end of the year, review your progress.
  • Are you meeting your goals (GPA), time-management skills, interacting with faculty?

Junior Year

  • Discuss possible graduate programs with your advisor.
  • Hone in on your time-management skills.
  • Acquaint yourself with the application process and timelines.
  • Continue involvement in service, volunteering, and extracurricular activities.
  • Conduct a research project on campus or volunteer in at a local laboratory.
  • Attend research seminars in your department and nearby graduate schools.
  • Apply in the fall or early in the spring for summer research opportunities.
  • Try different disciplines with each experience.
  • Meet with the Pre-Graduate advisor, reflect on your goals, interests, and motivation.
  • Study for the GRE; take the exam in late summer/early fall.

Senior Year – The Home Stretch!

  • Continue a research project on campus or volunteer in at a local laboratory.
  • Continue to attend research seminars in your department and nearby graduate schools.
  • Explore graduate fellowships and scholarship programs with the Pre-Graduate advisor.
  • Finalize the list of graduate schools you would like to apply.
  • Complete applications.
  • Submit all committee requests and forms.
  • Interview with committee.
  • Request letters of recommendation.
  • Attend interviews; send thank you notes.
  • Revisit schools if accepted to multiple programs.
  • Consider a plan of action if not accepted.
  • Schedule a meeting with Pre-Graduate advisor if you would help establishing your plan.
  • Enjoy your Senior Year!