Advice for M.S. student

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Advice for M.S. student

Post by z2xz2 » Sun Feb 11, 2024 3:29 pm

I will be starting my M.S. this upcoming fall and want to increase my chances of being accepted into a top Ph.D. program as much as possible.

Does anyone have advice for how I could do this?

Also, how could I make the best of this experience?


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Re: Advice for M.S. student

Post by Oliver_w8 » Mon Feb 12, 2024 1:50 pm

As someone who graduated with an M.S. in 2020 and has (thus far) had no success getting in to any Ph.D. programs, my advice would be to take advantage of the connections you build to either get your name on a publication or just make introductions at conferences and among faculty at the universities you intend to apply to.

I did my M.S. with a coursework option at my undergraduate alma mater, and took courses in a wide variety of fields. I did so because none of the research faculty at my home university were doing work in fields that compelled me. I would strongly advise that you do not do this.

I don't regret how I spent my time, but all of the professors I had rapport with recently retired or were non-research faculty. The only researchers I really interacted with were my classmates in the Ph.D. program, so I have had to resort mostly to 'cold emails' to make introductions with professors at other universities, which can be really hit or miss.

Lastly, if it is a multi-year program, there are all sorts of funded or partially funded opportunities for graduate students over the summer. The SLMSI (formerly MSRI) summer school I attended has been the source of more connections & recognitions than I anticipated, even though the actual material covered was slightly more advanced than I was prepared for and not a primary interest of mine.

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