Collection of Tips for Students

The first year of grad school is really hard. Instead of spending time thinking about whether or not you should be in Grad School, spend that time doing your homework. Then after your first year you can think about whether you really want to be there. — Kendra Redmond, Program Coordinator and Assistant Editor, Society of Physics Students, Podcast Episode #1

Physics can be hard, and you spend a lot of time doing homework, preparing for the GRE, etc. But do some activities that remind you why you love it, and keep you enthusiastic about what you’re studying. — Kendra Redmond, Program Coordinator and Assistant Editor, Society of Physics Students, Podcast Episode #1

You want to be at a school where you’re going to be happy, because this will facilitate your ability to finish your degree. Choose locations and programs that offer a work-life balance in order to maximize your potential for success. — Crystal Bailey, Education and Careers Program Manager at the American Physical Society, Podcast Episode #2

Apply to as many schools as you possibly can. Maintain your focus but cast a wide net in order to increase your choices when it comes time to accepting offers. Be sure to research the specific characteristics of each program, such as degree length, faculty, class sizes, fellowship opportunities, research specialties etc. as these factors may drastically influence your decision. — Crystal Bailey, Education and Careers Program Manager at the American Physical Society, Podcast Episode #2

Visit the campus you’re considering and talk to current graduate students there. You want to get a real sense of what their life is like and hear their honest feedback about the school. — Gary White, director of the Society of Physics Students and Sigma Pi Sigma, Podcast Episode #3

Get a summer job, or summer classes, in the school you are going to study in. You don’t have to commit to anything long-term, but you can start in the summertime before your program starts. This way, you can also secure your accommodations and avoid competing with other students for housing during the fall. — Gary White, director of the Society of Physics Students and Sigma Pi Sigma, Podcast Episode #3

The best thing you can do as an undergraduate or early graduate student is get as broad a training as possible, in both science and communications.
Communication skills are extremely important, especially to aspiring scientists. Scientific research is funded as a public good by the federal government and various institutions. To get this funding you must compete with many others who want the same funding.
— Dr. Fred Dylla, Executive Director and CEO of the American Institute of Physics, Podcast Episode #4

Today, the frontiers of science are mostly interdisciplinary and multidimensional, and the field requires scientists and engineers from various fields. Graduate school prepares your way of thinking, but your best preparation for scientific work would be to broaden your horizons and cooperate with other disciplines or specialties. — Dr. Fred Dylla, Executive Director and CEO of the American Institute of Physics, Podcast Episode #4

Relax, don’t panic! Grad school can be very hard and exhausting, especially in the beginning, but it will get better. — Dr. Nicole Gugliucci, Astronomer, CosmoQuest, Podcast Episode #5

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Advice to Students

Relax, don’t panic! Grad school can be very hard and exhausting, especially in the beginning, but it will get better. — Dr. Nicole Gugliucci, Astronomer, CosmoQuest, Podcast Episode #5

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