Category: Before Graduate School

Who Are You? (AKA Survey Says, Part 1)

Students being cool at APS March Meeting... with GradSchoolShopper swag bags.

We met a lot of you at the APS March Meeting last month.  Dozens and dozens of you. And, not being ones to miss an opportunity to gather data, we took advantage.

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Reaching for an Astronomy Degree? You’re in Good Company

U.S. astronomy degrees awarded 2001-2011. Source: AIP.

If you’re thinking of pursuing an undergrad or grad degree in astronomy, you’re not alone.

In fact, 2011* set a record for most astronomy degrees awarded in the United States — Bachelor’s had the highest number ever (ever!!) while the number of Ph.Ds awarded missed tying 2008′s all-time high by one measly degree (160 were awarded in 2011, 161 in 2008).

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Nuclear Physics @ Central Michigan U (Podcast #8)

Redshaw, Wimmer, Perdikakis NSCL

Greetings from GradSchoolShopper headquarters! We recently talked with some of the folks at Central Michigan University’s graduate physics program about the very cool work they’re doing, and their proud collaboration with the National Superconducting Cyclotron Lab (soon to be the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams). Keep reading to find out what CMU can offer you as a student.

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Citizen science and astronomy career (Podcast #7)

Dr. Pamela Gay

Our special guest in this episode is Dr. Pamela Gay, an astronomer, educator and writer, the co-host of the weekly AstronomyCast, and a professor of astronomy at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. We will discuss her projects in open-source citizen science, and different aspects of an astronomy career.

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International Students: What is the TOEFL, and what is it good for?


The TOEFL exam (the Test of English as a Foreign Language) is the main tool that universities in English-speaking countries use to evaluate how proficient a foreign student is at reading and writing in English. The goal of having students take the test is not necessarily to find the students with the best speaking or writing abilities, but rather to make sure that the international students they accept will be able to succeed in studying English at an academic level.

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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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