GRAD SCHOOL INFO SESSION
The following is a rough transcript of the question and answer sessions from the Pi Tau Sigma and GAME sponsored Course II Graduate School Information Session. Please review the Presentation before perusing through here. The Panel consisted of Joan and Leslie from the Mech E Graduate Office (they do admissions) as well as 4 current graduate students. Audience questions are highlighted in bold.
What is the Meng in manufacturing?
The master of engineering in manufacturing is a professional degree...not a research degree....there is no research thesis, but you write a project based thesis at a participating company, not MIT. It is a 1 year degree...and you must pay for it, no TA, RA, etc. It requires 4 courses during semester 1, 3 courrses during semester 2. You can only take 2 courses as RA or TA...so that cant happen. Fellowships are available through the Singapore MIT alliance. To qualify, you must go to Singapore for one year. They take courses at MIT in fall, then from jan to may they take courses at university in singapore....internet courses (MIT profs but you are in singapore). You do a project at singapore company over summer, in fall you are at university to do research, then you get a masters in research as well as professional masters....extends the original program by 4 months. Program is for people wanting a job in a manufacturing field...not for PhD or people who want to be a professor.
must you go to insdustry first?
no....just as long as you have interest.
Only the third year the program has been offered, it gets more competitive every year.
how do I apply?
Use the same website as reg ME, but at some point select mEng in manufacturing.
Different that LME (leaders in manufacturing)?
yes, leaders for manufacturing you get SM in mech E and an MBA. This is Meng in manufacturing and SM in mech E (if singapore alliance is done).
talk with prof hardt in bldg 35 for more info...email works as well firstname.lastname@example.org
Are recommendations from internship supervisors ok or not ok?
The preference is faculty....but if you can’t get three, somebody you worked with is ok...definitely make sure one recommendation is from your advisor
For early, is it a 4.8 overall or course 2?
This cutoff is just for early?
how important is it to talk to somebody about research before applying?
'you can do that'. Stands in your favor.
Do you have to go on internet, talk to profs at other schools, etc before applying?
in general no....but people do it, try to see if funding exists, faculty can write 'willing to support' in rec -MIT profs dont reply to email...but some schools do, they all get email asking about research....sometimes this works, sometimes it doesnt, it cant hurt...you are here, so you can make personal contact with people at MIT.
how do I apply early?
submit online by nov 1 and they will know its for early.
if we want to apply for LME, is it possible to apply early?
they dont take in early...they want 5 yeays work experience...so this isnt a good idea...they want work experience
when i applied, one question was 'did you apply to other schools?' how does this effect your application?
statistical only...has no bearing on the app
2A undergrads, is it good to have recs form outside course 2?
They like their own profs within ME...they just do. they like to see them come from here....but if its a big name in another department, there is a lot of interdepartmental communication...Leslie says stick with ME people first…they like colleagues recommending you....so its better. keep in mind faculty from other departments have appointments in ME...
For a program like mit-singapore which is new, is there any way to talk to people who have been through it to get their experience?
Lots are international, approach Leslie and Joan (in graduate office) for contact...they may have alumni emails for people who have done it so you could email them and see what they thought about it....atleast one MIT undergrad did it, Leslie could give you his address
thinking about time off....how would this affect my chance of getting into grad school 3 years down road (he will have job in something other than engineering).
REALLY DEPENDS on what you are doing, who is looking at it, no firm answer.
can we apply now and then defer or take time off?
we defer one term only...so maybe you can ask them to 'hold on' to application, there would be a new admissions committee then.
how are chances coming from MIT? help or hurt?
not an issue here, 'they love us’. The never say 'oops too many MIT students' and stop.
comments section on app, what kind of comments?
DONT WRITE ANY
how focused must the objective statement be?
hone down to one thing, be focused...faculty know you arent really aware of what you want to do, so many thing goings on that students havent seen...be specific in an area (not interested in everything) and dont say you’ll do anything, but it doesnt have to be a research proposal. you can change this mission statement once you get in and here too.
back to recs...choice of prof outside of ME or internship guy?
go with faculty
what happens when you are in? Is there a period where you visit labs?
There is a open house at MIT where top group of students and MIT students are invited for a weekend of events, meet with faculty, socialize, etc.
#1 mistake students make on their apps?
They send EVERYTHING...we dont want it...we dont want pictures of prizes, we dont want books...just what the app asks for.
We have over 800 apps...so give us the meat
how important is being published.
its nice....but there hasnt been a 'he’s not published, lets not let them in' discussion ever
is there a scale system like for undergrads? (the box system)
that will come into play this year...its a new thing. We dont know if its a good thing or not...we dont know how it will work yet.
what was in your app that helped you the most (addressed to grad students in panel)?
-project with prof outside of Mech E...The prof had done well recently in field...another prof within mech E that pulled hard also helped a lot.
-personal statement, specific about what she wanted to do....why interested.
-recs and work experience
-strong gpa, internships
how much emphasis on gpa versus recs, leadership, etc?
equal this year, will be competitive. GPA is always important, as are letters, etc.
Do we complete the list of classes you took as undergrad on app?
LEAVE THIS BLANK!!
is mech E gpa looked at seperately?
committee may look specifically but office doesn’t.
what if you know that advisor rec wont be as strong?
they want to see the advisor rec.....
is lab instructor at MIT better than internship supervisor?
PHD lab instructor...especially if Dr blanco or something.
in personal statement, did you talk about profs or labs you would want to work with?
no...that goes later in the app, another section asks that
do they take research area into account when admitting?
yes...maybe....they are overloaded in some areas (robotics, systems,
controls...) so competition there is higher.
any other overpopulated areas?
-robotics, systems, controls
where can students decide what research projects are available?
nobody really knows, always changing, nobody knows if they have money, etc...new person hired to try to put things on internet and put projects online, work with profs...they are making strides....hope is to get that up to date online...funding for those is questionable...
DONT GRAB PROJECTS WITH FUNDING BECAUSE THEY HAVE FUNDING!
there is no reliable resource to go and get a list of labs, projects, etc....this hopefully will be up by the first of the year…talk with TAs...they can tell you about what they do in their lab and point towards profs. The key is knocking on doors...talk with people, profs will talk about what they do, what YOU do, and they will guide you to profs in your field....
how helpful is research in internships before senior year?
they like them
if you are doing a UROP you want to continue, can you turn that research into grad school?
depends on the faculty, if they are willing to make a project work at the higher level.
how did you FIND what you wanted to do (addressed to grad students)?
-was open to options, talked with lots of profs, found a half TA position with slocum and he had funding research, ‘if this interests you do it’ he was told...he did it.
-open when he came here, talked with a prof...if you talk with a prof and get excited, this might be the place for you...if you are drifting or thinking 'i dont want this' then YOU SHOULDNT...do something you like, not something convenient.
-main reason she didnt go immediately to grad school was because she didnt know what she wanted to do...the job allowed her to try out many things and find what she wanted...
-go to seminars...this made her want to go to grad school, read abstracts and if interesting go on out to it and see if it interests you. go through 'courses offered' list and find which interest you to help find field
-GAME organizes grad student seminars where students present research first and third wednesday of every month.
how much are TA, RA-ships worth?
All are full tuition, all pay for single coverage medical insurance…on top of that:
-1939 a month RA
-TA get 2175 a month.
-Phd gets 2121
-RA you go directly to faculty. TA are more difficult...profs tend to hire own students who are high up and taking only a few courses etc.
MOSTLY they want to know you took the course
what is benifit of fellowships?
flexibility, more money, you are your own boss, you arent answering to somebody else.
What is the woodshole program?
within OE and EAPS, its a joint PHD with here and woodshole...so you do classes here and over summer get paid housing on cape cod to work with woodshole to do research....great opportunity.
do we find these programs after being admitted?
look now..sometimes you need to indicate on the application.
even if you are just planning for a masters, should you still apply for full phd?
it depends...a lot of institute fellowships want PhD...so indicating a terminal masters degree, you may not get it...they want PhD candidates.
99% say initial degree master, ultimate PhD….EXCEPT from MIT. they say masters for some reason....
what is realistic time frame for getting a PhD?
about 4 years beyond masters (beyond quals)
masters is 1.5-2 years
total is about 6 years
what about taking off during 'year 3' or something?
MIT has NO leave of absence program besides med leave...students can ask head of grad committee for leave...but MIT has no record of this, they say you 'withdraw' from MIT and then you are 're-admitted' without really re-applying.
How do I choose a good advisor?
talk with other grad students and advisees of people before choosing an advisor to make sure you dont get 'stuck'
was it hard to come back to school after industry (addressed to panel member who took time off to work in industry)?
first semester is a little rough...(having homework was a little
shocking) but after month 1 and 2 it was easy...back into the swing of it.
Where can we ask more questions, get more info?
Joan and Leslie are in 1-112, so come by!! but not too early, they stay late.
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