The university selection process for Ph.D. is much different from the Master’s program.
If you don’t have experience applying for Graduate Schools programs in the USA, then you are likely to struggle to apply for Ph.D.
But, worry, not!
There will be a learning curve you will face.
Once you get past that initial anxiety, you will be able to make progress.
Make sure to get started as early as possible for college and admission planning.
If you plan to attend the Fall semester of 2020, then you should start planning at least two years.
Question from a reader:
I’m applying for PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. I don’t have research experience and just completed Bachelors in Biotechnology. How do I approach the college selection? Can you help with university selection for PhD?
University Selection for PhD
Having someone elite schools for Ph.D. is wrong, and that’s not something we advocate here in Happy Schools.
Please don’t go to a consultant who gives you a list of universities for Ph.D.!
- You have decided to study in the USA – Good
- You want to do Masters – Great
- You want to do Ph.D. – Awesome
- You want someone else to select universities – Meh!
Ph.D. comes with greater responsibility, which means you approach university selection should be different. Follow these simple principles (or rules) when it comes to college selection for Ph.D.!
HSB Ph.D. Rules
- Never ask anyone to select universities for PhD
- Don’t apply to university without getting confirmation from the professor.
- Don’t apply for Ph.D. because you can’t get a job
- Don’t apply for Ph.D. because you can get a higher salary
- Don’t apply for Ph.D. to get Green card Faster!
- Don’t apply for Ph.D. if you don’t know what Research work involves is!
If you cannot research universities, professors, or programs to select universities for Ph.D., how are you going to do your actual research work for Ph.D.?
Did you know about 50% of students drop out from Ph.D. Why?
If you are applying for Ph.D. directly after your Bachelor’s degree, you better have a real passion and high energy to sustain your interest for the next 5 to 7 years.
Burn Out is a real problem.
I have seen my roommates and close friends drop out of Ph.D.
They did very well in Masters, but they were not mentally tough to handle the rigor of Ph.D.
If you have decided to Ph.D., then get to work.
Take baby steps.
Break down the Humanganous problem of finding the right university and professor from 1000’s of schools to solvable problem chunks.
- Pick a broad research area
- Find a few most recent research papers on that topic
- Read them and see if you find it interesting.
- If not, find a different topic.
- Make a note of the authors and if professors are involved in the university.
- Reach out to them about your interest in working under their guidance
- If you have a productive conversation, then apply to that program.
The process of finding a research paper, reading and contacting the professors sounds challenging.
It will be challenging.
And that’s all part of your learning and study abroad experience.
Don’t chicken out at the university selection stage, then Ph.D. may not be the right choice for you.
- Start with the Master’s degree
- Pick Thesis Track in Masters Degree
- Figure out how research works
- Pick a problem to solve for your Ph.D., if you got what it takes.