Grad School Resources

Thinking about grad school - and eventually, a career in research? The GCURS team has put together some resources to help you as you navigate the application process in pursuit of a Ph.D.! Have questions you don't see addressed below? Reach out to one of Rice University's Grad Student Ambassadors here!

Applying to Grad School

Considering Grad School? Start here!
The Rice Center for Career Development has a handy guide to help you decide if pursuing a graduate degree makes sense for you. Use their checklist to organize your thoughts and make the best decision for yourself.

Applying to Grad School? Three tips from Rice University
"Think carefully about who you would like to write your letters of recommendation. Make a short list of who you'd like to see write a letter, and reach out to them to see if they would be willing to advocate for you."

Grad Applications 101: Getting Letters of Recommendation
" Who should you ask for a letter of recommendation? How do you ask? What kind of information should you provide for letter writers? This article seeks to offer some insight on how you can get your letters of recommendation together for your grad applications."

Grad Applications 101: Give yourself time
"It is important to give yourself time to research which programs are a good fit and then compile a list of programs to apply to. One strategy is to narrow your list down in stages."

Writing your Statement of Purpose
This slide deck from Dr. Susan Cates of Rice University outlines the SoP and provides examples of what to do - and what not to do.

Grad School 101: Writing the Personal Statement
"The personal statement is a chance to advocate for yourself. It is a very important piece of your application in which the real you—beyond GPAs and test scores—can shine through."

International Perspective: Preparing for the GRE and English Proficiency Exams
"Even though standardized tests have been a staple for graduate school applications for years, remember that they are only that – a test. They do not define your worth as a potential candidate for graduate school and most universities are taking that into account."

International Perspective: Connecting with faculty
"It is extremely important that you state in your email why are you interested in working with the professor. A good way to do this is by mentioning some of their publications that you have read or their current research projects stated in their website and associate them with your own research interests and overall goal for grad school."

Grad School 101: Finding an adviser
"The student-adviser relationship is one of the most important aspects of graduate school for a multitude of reasons. Your adviser is likely going to serve as your biggest mentor in graduate school, helping you navigate both academic and professional spaces in your field."

Grad School 101: Make visiting weekends work for you
"On top of wanting to make a good impression, you also want to make sure that you learn what you need to learn about the program in order to make the best decision for your graduate career."

Grad School Life

Grad School: Expectations vs. Reality
"Graduate programs, especially PhD programs, are not “just more school.” Many people do not know that PhD students get paid and have responsibilities that go beyond their own studies, such as teaching and aiding faculty research."

Staying Current with the Latest Research
"New research can enrich your current projects by providing valuable theories, methodology, and data. Staying up-to-date with new research can inform you about which directions your field may be going."

Grad School 101: Building Your Online Presence
"The internet and social media can be powerful tools when it comes to establishing yourself as a scholar, networking, and promoting your research. Many grad students are also going far beyond just a personal website."

International Perspective: Feeling at home in the U.S.
"Being in grad school in a foreign country might mean that your friend circle is very culturally diverse, but that does not mean that they can’t help you cope with homesickness. Some activities that I’ve been able to do with my friends to share my culture and traditions. Sharing your culture will always bring you closer to it, even when you are miles away from your home country!"

Grad School 101: Four easy ways to prep for your first year of grad school
"Don't be afraid to reach out to your new cohort members! Many graduate programs are organized such that you will be spending a lot of time with your cohort due to taking seminars together, occupying the same office space, etc."

Discovering your research interests
"Every senior-level grad student will have a unique story of how their research agenda developed. This article offers some insight on the process of developing your research interests as you navigate grad school."

Applying for academic fellowships
"A fellowship can provide you the freedom to work on a research area of your choosing. Another reason to apply for fellowships is that some provide a greater stipend than what the department is offering, and some may offer a summer internship."