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Undergrad research?


esgalerin

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Does anyone know how common it is to be admitted to a master's program without having done any research in undergrad?

I'm going to try and get in on a research project once the school year starts up again, but I was wondering whether I should even try applying this year if I'll only have done a few months of research by then.

On a related note, does anyone have any advice on how to approach a professor to ask about research? Should I just send them an e-mail saying, "Hi, this is esgalerin from Class X. I understand that you're working on Y and was wondering whether you had any room for an undergrad to help out."? Or should I go to the undergraduate advisor first and ask if he knows whether anyone is willing to take on undergrads?

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I'm not sure how helpful it is to do undergrad research in the fall semester when you are also applying, but it is definitely a plus to it. I am also going to apply myself. I guess you will get more insights on the merits of undergrad research experience from other people who have already gone through this process.

In terms of approaching a professor, you can try to contact the professor who knows you well and is doing some research in the field you are interested in. You may want to get recommendation letter from this professor as well. You can also contact the undergrad chair of the Linguistics Department or your academic advisor in the college. Besides, you will see some research assistant positions on the student employment website. Anyways, take full advantage of your department resources and the school resources. Good luck with school and your application!

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Even if you won't get much research done by the time applications are due, it's better to say that you've started something. It shows that you will have the experience by the time you arrive and that you actively were looking for a spot. If you don't do anything, it might come off as being disinterested in research!

Usually, the best time to randomly email profs for research position is around Jan-March asking about summer positions. But the type of email you suggested (just contacting profs you're interested in) worked for me really well!

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I took a year off after my undergrad so that I had more research experience when applying to grad programs. I had worked on a couple of projects in a psychology lab, but I didn't feel i had enough (or any) experience in linguistics. I'm very glad I took a year off, as well, because I've continued linguistics research and am working on finishing up a couple of manuscripts this summer before I head off to grad school in August.

In the end, I think it paid off & helped me get into a good program with funding. I was worried about applying to schools too early & maybe getting accepted to a mediocre program and just going with that as my only option. Taking an extra year helped me narrow my interests, as well, & therefore pick better-fitting programs when I did eventually apply. Really it's a totally personal decision & this is just how it played out for me. Applying this year doesn't mean you can't apply again the next if you're not satisfied with what comes of your applications.

Hope this helps -- let me know if I can clarify anything. :)

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Thanks for all the replies, guys!

I just found out that my school actually has an Undergraduate Research Center to help out with this sort of thing, so I'm setting up a meeting with them for some advice. I guess I should also start sending out e-mails to professors now so I can start doing some research as soon as possible. (Worst thing that can happen is that they say no, but it's so intimidating somehow!)

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  • 2 months later...

Hey! So I did an undergraduate senior thesis, and didn't even mention it min my application. (which is something I regret!!) Now, I am in a MA program,a nd because of my undergraduate work, am doing a presentation in one of my classes, but more importantly am involved in a major research project that is getting tons of of funding. It doesn't start until spring, but my point is I got that, because I mentioned my undergraduate research to a professor. I would recommend doing something.....and I agree 100% with the poster above that said even if you can say you have started something on your application it would help!

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