California Forum for Diversity in Graduate Education
SMC Faculty and Staff are invited to take an active role in the day’s events. Please volunteer to be a speaker, panelist, or moderator to help Saint Mary’s shine as a possible destination for the 1,000+ potential graduate students who will be visiting our campus. SMC undergraduates are encouraged to take advantage of this unique opportunity as an attendee. We hope that our own SMC graduate students will volunteer to help facilitate the day.
Workshop/Discipline Panel Descriptions:
How to Finance Your Graduate Education
This session will focus on the resources available to finance a graduate education. Special emphasis will be placed on campus-based and external fellowship support available as students advance in their graduate programs. Included in this workshop are ways in which students can effectively negotiate their financial awards and options available at the dissertation and post-doctoral stages of the graduate school experience.
How to Prepare for the GRE
This seminar will introduce students to Princeton Review's approaches, techniques, and strategies for dealing with GRE verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections. An overview of the GRE will be provided, and then a few specific techniques for tackling GRE questions will be presented.
Demystifying the GRE
This seminar will provide students a framework for preparing for the GRE. We'll discuss how the GRE is used by admissions committees and talk about what the GRE scores mean. Most of the seminar will focus on a) how to put together an effective overall preparation strategy for getting competitive GRE scores, b) how to manage test-related apprehension and anxiety, and c) explaining the role of techniques from coaching companies like Princeton Review.
How to Select, Apply to, and Prepare for Graduate School
This workshop will discuss the merits of graduate school, the nuts and bolts of
applying, and everything you need to know to submit a strong application.
Discipline-based panels: (Physical Sciences/Math, Life Sciences, Engineering/Computer Science, Social Sciences, Fine Arts/Humanities,
Business/Management and Education, Health and Human Services)
Different disciplines have different norms and ways of operating. These panels are intended to provide students with an understanding of various aspects of graduate study within a given discipline area. For each of the discipline areas listed above, panelists offer insights on such topics as how to prepare strategically for admission into a graduate program within the discipline area, what a graduate program entails (content, workload, process, time to degree), and career options (including a snapshot of the life of a faculty member). Most panels include two faculty and on graduate student. Panelists are asked to direct their remarks toward their specific disciplines (e.g. physics) without focusing too specifically on their own departments’ idiosyncrasies.
Keys to Success and Survival in Graduate School
This panel permits students to hear directly from current graduate students about their experiences in graduate school -- the problems they have encountered and the solutions they have found. Topics may include coping with isolation and finding support groups, cultivating academic and personal mentors, inside tips and strategies for passing qualifying exams, and successful time management.
How to Write a Winning Statement of Purpose
The goal of this workshop is to help students understand the role of the Statement of Purpose (SOP), the value of investing time into developing a strong SOP, and the necessary components of a SOP. The key objectives are as follows: (1) explain the role of the SOP in a graduate school application package; (2) outline basic components of SOP; (3) timeline/strategies for writing a strong SOP (examples of what to do and what not to do); and (4) additional items as appropriate, including demystifying rumors about SOP.
Undergraduate Research in Graduate Admissions
The goal of this workshop is to help students build a solid foundation for understanding the basics of an undergraduate research program. Information that will be covered includes: application components, program components, timelines, web sites and helpful resources, benefits of participating in such a program, and how to choose the right program for oneself.
The Relation of the Master's Degree to the Ph.D.
Students often pose these questions: What's the difference between a Master's program and a Ph.D. program? Should I get a master's degree first or go straight to a Ph.D. program? This workshop helps to demystify the role of the master's degree both as a stand alone degree and its relationship to the doctorate. Students will hear from presenters from Ph.D.-granting institutions, such as the UC and certain private and independent universities, as well as those that award up to the master's, particularly the CSU. Among the questions answered: What careers can I have with a master's degree? What is the transferability of a master's program to a Ph.D. program? Should I earn a master's degree first? Will a Ph.D. program give me credit for my master's work? How much time will it take to earn a Master's? What is involved in earning a master's in terms of course work and thesis?
Managing Health, Wellness and Disability in Graduate School
Managing multiple and competing responsibilities is a priority for graduate students. Given personal, professional and academic responsibilities it can be a challenge to develop a healthy balance. This workshop will highlight campus resources and strategies that can foster a healthy graduate experience. Future graduate students will learn to focus on the importance of managing personal and academic life, maintaining an emotional and physical balance, and responding to known or unanticipated disabilities. The presentation will also explore the question of how to address disability as a point of diversity both in the graduate statement of purpose and throughout time in a graduate program.