Coursework for Prospective PhD Candidates

Each program should have a list of required courses. Your coursework should be a mixture of science and non-science courses which will give you breadth in your knowledge base.

You should review the courses required by the programs that you are interested in to make sure you have taken the necessary courses to meet the requirements. Your coursework should be a mixture of science and non-science courses which will give you breadth in your knowledge base.The following is a general timeline for the undergraduate years.

Freshman Year

  • Introductory level courses
    • Basic science courses
    • English
    • Reading
    • Writing
    • Research Techniques
  • Participate in a summer research experience
  • Begin to develop a curriculum vitae (resume)

Sophomore Year

  • Advanced science courses
  • Advanced research techniques
  • Take non-sciences courses to give you a broad education
  • Serious discussion/planning about graduate schools
  • Participate in a summer research experience
  • Continue to develop your vitae

Junior Year

  • Advanced science courses
  • Independent research
  • Prepare for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Start collecting information on graduate schools and funding agencies from
    • Internet
    • Faculty advisors
    • National science meetings
    • Peers
  • Continue taking non-science courses
  • Take the GRE in the Spring semester
  • Participate in a summer research program
  • Continue to develop your vitae

Senior Year

  • Review/request/download informational/application materials in the early Summer/Fall for school
  • Explore funding opportunities
  • Retake GRE in the Fall semester if necessary (pay attention to application deadlines)
  • Meet with/contact advisors/mentors to request STRONG letters of recommendation
  • Write the personal statement (should start in the summer)
  • Order transcripts
  • Complete the requirements for graduate school, including advanced courses
  • Include some non-science courses if there is room in your schedule

Post-baccalaureate Year(s)

You may decide to take a year or two after college to enhance your credentials. Some may want to work as a research technician in a laboratory or enroll in a more formal training program.

 

Applying to Graduate School Booklet

Each program should have a list of required courses. Your coursework should be a mixture of science and non-science courses which will give you breadth in your knowledge base.

Laboratory Rotations During Graduate School

scientist working in a lab
Think of your laboratory rotations as auditions. You're not only trying to decide if the mentor, lab, and research project are right for you; you're also trying out for a position in the lab.