2019 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit

Navigating a Successful Transition from Undergraduate to Graduate Education

Thursday, December 5
9:30 am – 11:30 am
Hynes, Level 3, Room 300

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Christine OrtizChristine Ortiz
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Station1

It is one of the most exciting times to embark on graduate education and research in materials science and engineering as technological transformations are ongoing in computation, instrumentation, and fabrication.

Today, materials research has enormous potential to address humanity’s grand challenges and is at the core of advances in sustainability, clean water and energy, infrastructure, medicine, and countless other areas.

A graduate degree also provides the ability to apply greater depth of knowledge to a field, creates more options for career flexibility, growth, and satisfaction, and can significantly increase earnings potential. Graduates can pursue pathways to a diversity of careers – from leading edge research in industry and academia, to science policy, to entrepreneurship, to STEM education, to intellectual property and law.

The path to graduate school requires careful planning and preparation. To take advantage of the exciting opportunities that a graduate degree presents, understanding the graduate admissions and transition process is critical.

This workshop will provide comprehensive information, practical approaches, resources and reflection, all set within the real-world context of materials science and engineering research, that support successful admission and transition to graduate school.

Topics will includeF19-MRS-Foundation-Logo

  • Selection of a research area to study in graduate school aligned with personal passions, interests, values and vision
  • Undergraduate activities and opportunities supporting competitiveness in graduate school applications (i.e., summer internships, research experience, global education, publications, etc.)
  • The application components, the evaluation criteria and process: Preparing personal statements, considerations and strategies for letters of recommendation, CVs and resumes, GRE, etc.
  • Interviewing: Communication strategies, FAQs, behavioral questioning
  • Selecting a graduate school: Making the most out of campus visits, geographical considerations, departmental culture, departmental research strengths, interpreting financial offers, etc.
  • Considerations in the selection of a research advisor, project and group
  • Understanding offer letters and graduate funding mechanisms, sources and opportunities
  • 21st century skills: The science of learning, development of expertise, resilience, balance and growth mind-set

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