Everyone has different “needs” and “wants” when applying to grad school, but some factors are more important than others. Everyone is looking for something unique to them: a great environment, a fantastic city in which to live, specific labs of interest, fun activities outside of lab. What should you consider?
What were your “non-negotiables” in your grad school match and what were you willing to negotiate?
- Core Facilities
- Type of science/available labs in that field (i.e. neuroscience labs)
- Location, type of introductory course requirements, class size, qualifying exam setup
- The school needed to have a reputation for good research
- I wanted to feel like I could live comfortably in the surrounding area using my stipend
- The school needed to have faculty members whose research interested me
- The weather in the area, the distance from my hometown
- Research Fit
- Guaranteed Funding
- Balanced Lifestyle
- Location, cost of living, rank (within top 30)
- Diverse, quality research
- Funding guarantee
- Exceptional career guidance and placement
- An umbrella program to explore and learn about many different departments and programs.
- Several rotations before selecting a final mentor and lab.
- A collaborative university.
- I was willing to negotiate on city location, and university rankings.
- Guaranteed stipend
- Compatible research interests
- Successful outcomes
- Location, type of program (umbrella vs direct admit), size of program