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Additional Tips from Amy Elliott and Ken Brown

As a follow-up to this aticle posted yesterday, Amy Elliott and Ken Brown offer some additional tips for those interested in pursuing a doctorate degree in engineering:

Amy Elliott

  • Take as many graduate classes as you can during your undergraduate career. Graduate classes can really take up a lot of time in your Ph.D. so every credit helps!
  • Do undergraduate research with the professors at your university as often as you can (they love free labor!). This will help you get fellowships assistantships (this is the money that pays for grad school).
  • Apply for an NSF (National Science Foundation) graduate fellowship the year before you graduate with a B.S.
  • Finally, pick an adviser and a project that you can enjoy. You will be spending several years with your adviser and your project, so either keep an open mind or choose wisely!

Ken Brown

  • Start with an M.S. degree and see if you like it.
  • Get internships and work so you don’t get so engulfed in the academic world that you ignore what the other side of the engineering world is like. Figure out what you want to do.
  • If you decide to do it, you have to like doing it. If you don’t like it, it’s miserable. Do it because you’re interested in the field, not because you want the degree or the money.
  • Find a good advisor. This can really impact your performance in grad school. Sometimes they are bad, sometimes they are good.
  • Is this a good school to attend for it? Find your advisor no matter what school he is at, as long as you are not downgrading from your undergraduate school.