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Preparing for the next wave of applications

Monochrome Spring

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As I'm preparing to apply to graduate schools for the first time, I was wondering, how did everyone else go through the process of choosing which schools to apply to?


I first filtered down schools by overall strength of the program, then by faculty with interests similar to mine. I'm finding that my biggest hurdle is that my field-of-interest isn't common, though. I'm interested in tropical biodiversity conservation (specifically plants) in an ecology and evolution program. I'm finding that most programs aren't using tropical study systems or aren't interested in plants, so my application choices are becoming limited.


Did anyone else encounter a similar problem, or was there another glaring issue that came out when looking up programs?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I found that a good way to pick schools was to research professors whose research I enjoyed.  When you read cool articles about the field you would like to study, look up the authors and see where they teach. 

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For your research interests, I would highly recommend not restricting your search to ecology or evolutionary biology departments. You will be surprised to find others working on similar topics in a totally different department. For instance, geography programs may be helpful to look into (check out this professor's research: http://www.geog.ucla.edu/people/faculty.php?lid=2737&display_one=1&modify=1). 

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