Prof. Elizabeth Raymond Department of Chemistry Western Washington University

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1 Prof. Elizabeth Raymond Department of Chemistry Western Washington University

2 Keys to Success 1. Be informed. 2. Do not self select. 3. Find something that interests you have FUN, but do not limit yourself.

3 Why Go to Graduate School? Consider your professional goals: Industry, academics, government Where do you want to be on the food chain? Do you want a job or a career? Consider your life goals: Family / personal issues Consider your talents & abilities: Do you like lab work and research?

4 Degree Levels Bachelor s Degree (B.A., B.S.) Master s Degree (M.S.) Doctorate Degree (Ph.D.) What types of positions/career do each allow you to pursue?

5 Bachelor s Degree Generally little decision-making responsibilities. Types of Positions Industrial or Government Technician, chemist, sales, customer service Natl. avg. starting salary: ~ $39k Natl. avg. salary (all experience levels): ~ $67k Academic Elementary / high school teacher w/certificate Natl. avg. salary: ~ $46k Source: Chemical & Engineering News, July 2010

6 Master s Degree Generally little decision-making. Some supervisory duties possible in smaller companies. Types of Positions Industrial or Government Technician, chemist, sales, customer service Natl. avg. starting salary: ~ $55k Natl. avg. salary (all experience levels): ~ $81k Academic Elementary / high school teacher w/certificate Community college Natl. avg. salary: ~ $56k Source: Chemical & Engineering News, July 2010

7 Ph.D. Degree Generally little decision-making responsibilities. Types of Positions Industrial or Government Team leaders Scientist / managers / directors Salaries vary substantially by region Natl. avg. starting salary: ~ $70k Natl. avg. salary (all experience levels): ~ $100k Academic Positions (9-Month) Ph.D.-Granting PUI Assistant Professor ~ $60k ~ $52k Full Professor ~$120k ~ $82k Source: Chemical & Engineering News, July 2010

8 What is Graduate School Like? Financial support yea! Teaching assistantships

9 What is Graduate School Like? Financial support yea! Teaching assistantships Research assistantships

10 What is Graduate School Like? Financial support yea! Teaching assistantships Research assistantships Fellowships Federal Private Organizations (portable) Institutional

11 What is Graduate School Like? After you get there... Year 1: May require a series of exams Qualifying exams (taken at the very beginning) Cumulative exams (taken over 1-2 years) Take courses Pick an advisor or do a rotation Start research Year 2: Research Remaining coursework Preliminary oral exam (may occur in fall of Year 3) Year 3 n: Research, Research, Research,.... Year n: Write thesis (3 6 months) Average time is 5 years, but varies by specialty.

12 What is Important for Admission? Grades (3.0 minimum) Research experience Letters of recommendation Statement of purpose GRE General Test (www.ets.org) Verbal, quantitative, analytical writing sections Computer-based; make appointment (1 st come, 1 st served)

13 GRE Subject Tests 170 minutes Chemistry: questions Biochemistry: 180 questions All info taken from GRE website: $140 (financial aid is available from ETS) Given 3 Times per Year: Test date: Registration due: 10/15/2011 9/16/ /12/ /7/2011 (Friday of 3rd week of WWU classes) Scores not reported until 12/23/11 4/21/2012 3/16/2012 (Too late for Fall 12 admission) Practice Subject GRE (Chem or Biochem) next Thursday, 5:00 pm, SL 130 contact:

14 Chemistry Test Breakdown 30% Organic 30% Physical 25% Inorganic/General 15% Analytical 1 point given per correct answer ¼ point subtracted per wrong answer 0 points given for blank answers Scaled scores range from No calculators allowed! Sample Scoring Raw Scores Scaled Score Form A Form B Form C Number of Questions Used to Compute Raw Score data: 920 = 99 th %, 460 = 1 st %, 680 =50 th %

15 Biochemistry Test Breakdown 36% Biochemistry 28% Cell Biology 36% Molecular Biology and Genetics 1 point given per correct answer ¼ point subtracted per wrong answer 0 points given for blank answers Scaled scores range from Sub-scores for each section are reported. No calculators allowed! Sample Scoring Raw Scores Scaled Score Form A Form B Form C Number of Questions Used to Compute Raw Score data: 760 = 99 th %, 300 = 1 st %, 520 =50 th %

16 Where Should I Apply? Important Considerations: M.S. or Ph.D program? Quality of program in your chosen area. Chronicle of Higher Education survey Your professors / advisors / mentors Check out websites of departments Geography and personal issues.

17 Where Should I Apply? What factors are important to me?

18 Where Should I Apply? Go to the best school you can! What makes a department/program good? Faculty Facilities Other students! Am I good enough? Aim high, but be realistic Get advice from faculty and advisors

19 Where Should I Apply? Some schools are good in ALL areas of chemistry Cal Tech MIT UC-Berkeley Stanford Harvard Scripps Illinois Wisconsin Cornell Columbia UCLA U Chicago Northwestern UT-Austin Yale Penn State Princeton Michigan UNC-Chapel Hill UC-San Diego Penn Purdue Texas A&M UC-Irvine Minnesota Georgia Tech UC-Santa Barbara US News & World Report rankings; 2011 data

20 Where Should I Apply? Some schools are good in specialties: Analytical UNC-Chapel Hill Purdue Illinois Indiana UT-Austin Wisconsin Arizona Penn State Michigan Florida Washington Iowa State Michigan St. Minnesota Utah Florida State Texas A&M UC-Berkeley Northwestern US News & World Report rankings; 2011 data Italics = school not in overall Top 20

21 Where Should I Apply? Some schools are good in specialties: Inorganic MIT Cal Tech Northwestern Berkeley Texas A&M Illinois Wisconsin Stanford Cornell UNC-Chapel Hill Harvard Minnesota UCLA UC-San Diego U Chicago Michigan Yale Iowa State Washington Purdue UC-San Diego US News & World Report rankings; 2011 data Italics = school not in overall Top 20

22 Where Should I Apply? Some schools are good in specialties: Organic MIT UC-Berkeley Stanford Harvard Cal Tech Scripps Illinois Wisconsin Columbia UC-Irvine Penn Princeton Michigan Yale Cornell UT-Austin UCLA Boston College UNC-Chapel Hill Colorado State Utah Pittsburgh US News & World Report rankings; 2011 data Italics = school not in overall Top 20

23 Where Should I Apply? Some schools are good in specialties: Physical UC-Berkeley Cal Tech MIT Stanford Harvard Illinois U Chicago Northwestern Wisconsin Colorado Columbia Cornell Georgia Tech UT-Austin Princeton Yale UCLA UC-San Diego Penn Italics = school not in overall Top 20 US News & World Report rankings; 2011 data

24 Where Should I Apply? Some schools are good in specialties: Polymer U Mass-Amherst Akron Cal Tech MIT Virginia Tech Case Western So. Mississippi Minnesota Penn State UNC-Chapel Hill US News & World Report rankings; 2011 data Italics = school not in overall Top 20

25 Where Should I Apply? Some schools are good in specialties: Theoretical UC-Berkeley Cal Tech MIT Northwestern Harvard U Chicago Columbia Illinois Wisconsin Minnesota Stanford UC-San Diego Yale Cornell Princeton UT-Austin Georgia Penn US News & World Report rankings; 2011 data Italics = school not in overall Top 20

26 Where Should I Apply? Some schools are good in specialties: Biochemistry UC-Berkeley MIT Harvard Stanford UCSF Scripps Wisconsin Cal Tech Northwestern Yale Johns Hopkins UCLA Michigan Washington UC-San Diego Colorado Illinois US News & World Report rankings; 2011 data Italics = school not in overall Top 20

27 Where Should I Apply? Some schools are good in specialties: Biophysics & Structural Biology Harvard MIT Stanford Cal Tech UCSF Yale UC-Berkeley Johns Hopkins Rockefeller Duke UC-San Diego UT SW Med Washington U. (St. Louis) US News & World Report rankings; 2011 data Italics = school not in overall Top 20

28 Types of Education Masters Degrees M.I.T. (Master In Teaching) For people with a bachelors degree in another discipline Certification is fulfilled as part of degree program M.Ed. (Master in Education) For practicing teachers Many programs designed for the working teacher Research oriented M.A., M.S. Research oriented Given within a discipline (e.g. educational psychology) Not always designed for working teachers 3 rd option: Post-Baccalaureate Program Like MIT program but does not come with masters degree Enables you to get into teaching earlier and to receive an M.Ed. later on.

29 Types of Education Doctoral Degrees Ph.D. For those interested in conducting research in education Two choices: 1. Ph.D. with a science education specialization, within a college of education 2. Ph.D. in a chemistry department, with a specialization in chemistry education (only at select universities) Ed.D. (Doctor of Education) More practitioner oriented (eg. for people wanting to become school or university administrators) Many programs require experience as a school administrator Harvard only offers this degree.

30 Chem. Ed. Recommended Programs WWU (MIT, MEd) UW (MIT, MEd, PhD, EdD) Miami of OH (MS, PhD in chemical education) UNC (MS, PhD in chemical education) Purdue (MS, PhD in chemical education) Good PhD in education programs: Michigan State, Northwestern, Montana State, Texas, Colorado (CU), Georgia Tech.

31 Interested in a Different Science? Check out US News and World Report for yourself

32 How Do I Apply? Most applications are now online. If paper application, type it! Statement of purpose get advice and feedback from faculty. Solicit at least 3 letters of recommendation Application Deadlines Top schools as early as December 1 st for the following fall term!

33 How Do I make a Final Decision? Visit the schools Ask your professors/advisor/mentors. Visit the schools Look more specifically at which faculty you really want to work with leave yourself choices Visit the schools Talk with current graduate students when you VISIT THE SCHOOLS!

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