PhD study and a career in research is both arduous and exhilarating! Prepare to start strong!
Learn about PhD applications and admissions:
- Graduate School Application Overview (picking schools, writing personal statements and interviewing) Watch Video >>
- What Admissions Directors Think About Getting into Graduate School: Watch Video >>
- Why do I want to go to graduate or medical school?
- Where do I see myself in the future?
- What training will I need to reach these goals?
- Why am I interested in this field?
- What experiences have stimulated this interest?
- What skills or personal characteristics enhance my chances for success?
- What sets me apart from other applicants?
- What are my biggest accomplishments?
- What are my career aspirations?
- Have I overcome relevant obstacles in my life?
- Are there any gaps or discrepancies in my academic record?
- Why THIS school and program?
The answers should be in your personal statements
Reflect on your interests and readiness:
- Understand PhD career paths and expectations--interviewers are interested in your career goals
- ScienceCareers.org - Find a job in science - searchable by location, field, and keyword.
- PhD Jobs - Includes jobs in Biological Science, Engineering, Health & Medicine
- Develop time and stress management skills
- Reflect on your interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence
- Research is largely done by groups working in teams
- Maturity and willingness to sacrifice
- Take appropriate classes as an undergraduate
- Your academic record is important, it tells us about your interests
- Classes without solid research won’t be as useful for PhD
- Practice your ability to comprehend research papers
Build Research skills
- Consider a research capstone or undergraduate honors thesis
- Work as a research technician after college
- Be sure your boss supports your scientific and professional development
- Consider working somewhere you might like to go to school
- Do a research-oriented postbac after college
- At the NIH (NIH POSTBAC IRTA PROGRAM)
- At a University (NIGMS PREP Programs)