Preparation Leads to Success

As an undergraduate, your preparation for graduate school will be slightly different depending on whether you plan to pursue a master’s degree or a doctorate degree.  With a master’s degree in engineering, your career focus will continue to be on doing applied engineering work as it is with a bachelor’s degree. If you will be pursuing a doctorate degree, the focus will shift to preparation for a career in research or teaching. In preparation for graduate school, if you think a PhD might be in your future, then participating in a research project as an undergrad is a very good idea.  The experience will help you decide whether or not research truly appeals to you and you will begin developing research skills. Then you simply need to decide which degree, school and focus area is right for you.  See the section on Researching Graduate/Professional Programs for more information on this topic.

Once you made those decisions the next important pieces to help you stand out are your GPA and your resume. GPA is very important when it comes to schools selecting applicants for Graduate Programs and Research. Selection Committees look for those with the highest academic performance first as they believe those individuals will be better contributors for their programs and research. It also important that an applicant’s skills and interests align with the work they will be doing, so providing a resume that effectively shows that will greatly help your chances.