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Offline TheUnfocusedOne

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New Grad Students
« on: July 03, 2012, 03:09:10 PM »
Anyone else starting their first semester of grad school this fall?

Seems like it's taken forever, but I'm finally leaving my job at the end of this week. Looking forward to starting school again in a month or so.

Any suggestions from current/past grad students?
"Like most heavy metals, thallium is highly toxic and should not be used on breakfast cereal"

Offline Jorriss

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Re: New Grad Students
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2012, 08:16:07 PM »
I'm starting in Fall too. I'm pretty nervous about being a TA.

Offline TheUnfocusedOne

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Re: New Grad Students
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2012, 08:35:26 AM »
Yeah it's gonna be interesting. My friends who've been in grad school say it's not as bad as you think. You don't have to know everything, you can always admit that to them and maybe tell them you'll look into it for them.

Where are you going again?
"Like most heavy metals, thallium is highly toxic and should not be used on breakfast cereal"

Offline Jorriss

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Re: New Grad Students
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2012, 12:52:20 PM »
U. of Chicago, and yourself?

Offline TheUnfocusedOne

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Re: New Grad Students
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2012, 02:20:38 PM »
Johns Hopkins down in Baltimore. I'm excited but nervious since I've been out of school for two years now. I gotta start reviewing for entrance exams.
"Like most heavy metals, thallium is highly toxic and should not be used on breakfast cereal"

Offline Jorriss

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Re: New Grad Students
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2012, 06:58:07 PM »
Johns Hopkins down in Baltimore. I'm excited but nervious since I've been out of school for two years now. I gotta start reviewing for entrance exams.
Ahh, yeah... I'm contemplating reviewing... I probably could only pass p. chem at this moment.

Offline zs3889

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Re: New Grad Students
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2012, 10:32:35 PM »
Johns Hopkins down in Baltimore. I'm excited but nervious since I've been out of school for two years now. I gotta start reviewing for entrance exams.

It seems like you are quitting your job and continue grad school, mind if I ask why did you make this decision? Or this was your plan to work for a period before going to grad school?

And also what are the entrance exams? I know there are some chemistry exams that you are required to take before entering grad school (chemistry department), but I am not quite sure what are the exams gonna be like?

Thanks
« Last Edit: July 07, 2012, 10:55:05 PM by zs3889 »

Offline Jorriss

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Re: New Grad Students
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2012, 06:24:29 PM »

And also what are the entrance exams? I know there are some chemistry exams that you are required to take before entering grad school (chemistry department), but I am not quite sure what are the exams gonna be like?

Different schools have different exams. Some schools require you to take exams right upon entering which, upon passing, exempt you from course work not in your area of specialization.

Offline zs3889

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Re: New Grad Students
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2012, 03:47:04 AM »

And also what are the entrance exams? I know there are some chemistry exams that you are required to take before entering grad school (chemistry department), but I am not quite sure what are the exams gonna be like?

Different schools have different exams. Some schools require you to take exams right upon entering which, upon passing, exempt you from course work not in your area of specialization.

I see, thanks. According to what I heard from my senior, who went to grad school last fall, he had to take a few exams which include a few areas of specialization out of his area. Is that the common case? where exams like pchem, organic, inorganic and analytical are included in the entrance exam.

On the other hand, do you guys have any thoughts on winter admission?

Actually I have few more questions but I am not sure to post them here or to open a new thread instead. Hope this thread opener wouldn't mind cause my questions will be greatly related to the application process, the timeline and stuff, and I believe new grad students would have a bunch useful information to me.


Offline Jorriss

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Re: New Grad Students
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2012, 10:57:44 PM »
I see, thanks. According to what I heard from my senior, who went to grad school last fall, he had to take a few exams which include a few areas of specialization out of his area. Is that the common case? where exams like pchem, organic, inorganic and analytical are included in the entrance exam.

On the other hand, do you guys have any thoughts on winter admission?
I don't know what is common but at U. of Chicago, iirc, the way it work is upon entering, before we even start classes, we take three exams: physics, organic and inorganic. If you do not pass one you need to take a proficiency course in it.

If it is an option, I may just skip the p. chem and inorganic exams as I am going to be doing work in p. chem and most of us take inorganic I the first quarter anyhow so I would just try and pass organic.

Actually I have few more questions but I am not sure to post them here or to open a new thread instead. Hope this thread opener wouldn't mind cause my questions will be greatly related to the application process, the timeline and stuff, and I believe new grad students would have a bunch useful information to me.
These threads dont get a ton of activity so posting a new thread or here does not make much of a difference, your choice!

Offline zs3889

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Re: New Grad Students
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2012, 09:49:32 AM »
Thanks for the information!

These threads dont get a ton of activity so posting a new thread or here does not make much of a difference, your choice!

I know right, i guess most of the forumers don't visit this subforum.

What about winter admission? Do you have any thought on that? I just graduated this May and I am trying to look for a job at the moment, which is not really working out.

I had plans going to grad school when i was doing undergrad but i didn't start the application because i thought i needed some time to consider my options. So if most of the schools have winter admission, I would just go right ahead and start applying for it now. But from what I heard, winter admission is not very common and that way I will have to wait until fall' 13 admission.

I have been looking at faculties and schools that interest me, should I send enquiry emails to some of the faculties that interest me? Is that what most of the grad school applicants do in the very beginning? (contacting the faculty that you are interested)


p/s: If there is any online guide to the application process that you guys found useful, please share it with me here  ;) thanks
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 10:09:41 AM by zs3889 »

Offline Jorriss

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Re: New Grad Students
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2012, 11:00:11 PM »
Thanks for the information!

These threads dont get a ton of activity so posting a new thread or here does not make much of a difference, your choice!

I know right, i guess most of the forumers don't visit this subforum.

What about winter admission? Do you have any thought on that? I just graduated this May and I am trying to look for a job at the moment, which is not really working out.

I had plans going to grad school when i was doing undergrad but i didn't start the application because i thought i needed some time to consider my options. So if most of the schools have winter admission, I would just go right ahead and start applying for it now. But from what I heard, winter admission is not very common and that way I will have to wait until fall' 13 admission.

I have been looking at faculties and schools that interest me, should I send enquiry emails to some of the faculties that interest me? Is that what most of the grad school applicants do in the very beginning? (contacting the faculty that you are interested)


p/s: If there is any online guide to the application process that you guys found useful, please share it with me here  ;) thanks
I don't know of any PhD programs with winter admission, I generally would not want to start in winter.

My only real suggestion for applying to grad schools is to be legitimate. If you want to e-mail professors, because you actually have reason to want to email them, then go for it. Don't try and look up how-to guides and do what you think admission committees want, just be legit.

Offline zs3889

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Re: New Grad Students
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2012, 12:42:37 AM »

I don't know of any PhD programs with winter admission, I generally would not want to start in winter.

My only real suggestion for applying to grad schools is to be legitimate. If you want to e-mail professors, because you actually have reason to want to email them, then go for it. Don't try and look up how-to guides and do what you think admission committees want, just be legit.

It seems like you are the only one who is actually keeping up with this thread, guess other new grad students are trying to enjoy their summer as much as possible since they are starting school in a month or so  ;D

Your replies have been helpful and thanks. Are you currently in a phd program too?

My problem is that I am an international student and I graduated this May so legally i will not have a legit status to stay in the states after like september or october (if i dont get a job (which is very likely), or if im not enrolled in any academic program (which is too late)). That way I will have to go back to my home country, maybe get a job while going through the application process.

I believe its somehow harder for an international student to get accepted into a graduate program (due to funding issues because international/non resident students are bound to pay a higher amount of tuition fees), and i feel it would get even harder if im not in the states? and this is what concerning me the most at the moment. Correct me if im wrong!

Offline Jorriss

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Re: New Grad Students
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2012, 01:14:11 AM »
Are you currently in a phd program too?

My problem is that I am an international student and I graduated this May so legally i will not have a legit status to stay in the states after like september or october (if i dont get a job (which is very likely), or if im not enrolled in any academic program (which is too late)). That way I will have to go back to my home country, maybe get a job while going through the application process.

I believe its somehow harder for an international student to get accepted into a graduate program (due to funding issues because international/non resident students are bound to pay a higher amount of tuition fees), and i feel it would get even harder if im not in the states? and this is what concerning me the most at the moment. Correct me if im wrong!
I'm about to start a PhD program and as such, I do not know about how the process works for international students =/. You'll want to contact specific departments or look at their websites.

Offline zs3889

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Re: New Grad Students
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2012, 11:39:31 PM »

I'm about to start a PhD program and as such, I do not know about how the process works for international students =/. You'll want to contact specific departments or look at their websites.

From what I learn, I believe in general international students face a more competitive situation, due to funding issues. But the good thing is that my undergraduate degree was obtained in the us.

I see that you are going to University of Chicago and actually it is one of the schools that is under my consideration. Somehow I feel that choosing school is not as complex as choosing/evaluating faculties. Ranking of schools shows that where a particular school stands in that field, and I know the ranking is not always and exactly accurate but I would able to have an idea of how good that school is, and from that I would be able to come out with a list of schools that fit me.

However, I am having difficulties on evaluating/judging a particular faculty. People often say that it is important to choose a good professor to work with since you are going to be working with this individual for the next 5-6 years, and I believe choosing the right faculty is more important than choosing the right school. So I was wondering can anyone here give me an insight based on their experience on choosing faculty, or even school.

First thing I would do is look at the research interest and include whoever that their research interest me, then start reading/digesting their recent publications.

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