Make Yourself Competitive for Grad School with This Advice
Beyond the usual GRE preparation, are there any specific tips or resources for students to help make them competitive for neuroscience graduate programs?
J. Patrick Card: The most important thing is to engage early and to try to get a good perspective on exactly what your ambitions are. Then become actively involved. There is absolutely no substitute for experience. You want to make sure that you’re making an informed decision, and also that you’re in the best position to achieve your goal. Then you should find out what the requirements of the programs are and work very hard to build your credentials. For our program, research is the answer. You really need to get engaged early and develop a good track record in terms of having participated in research and showed promise.
Paul McGonigle: One of the most outstanding elements of an application is practical experience. For many of our programs, we look for students who have research experience, and if they have extensive research experience, so much the better. It really does prepare them. It makes them more attractive candidates for all of the laboratories here and it helps facilitate both their entry and then, once they’re here, their success in the department. Also be aware of the requirements of a program and ensure that your undergraduate curriculum is strong in those areas. So if you’re going into a science-based program, make sure that you focus on and do well in the basic sciences and take all of the appropriate courses.
The above Q&A is adapted from the webinar, “What’s in a Master’s? Different Programs for Different Needs”.