Lab Experience or Courses??

Fri Aug 29 12:21:48 EST 1997


        I agree completely with everything "taguebw at" had to say
about the value of laboratory experience to admissions in graduate school. 
Grad admission committees want to know a) are you "good enough" to get in
and b) are you "good enough" to get out (i.e. do the research necessary to
finish a thesis).  They can tell from your GPA that you can study and take
exams, they can tell from you GRE scores that you know biology, and they
can tell from your letters of recommendation that you are a hard worker and
a nice person.  But they have no idea if you can step into a lab or out
into the field and generate data on your own.  If a student cannot do the
latter, then he/she will never finish.  And you don't get that type of
experience from taking lab courses.  Is it 100% required?  No, of course
not.  But the more independent research experience an undergraduate can
accumluate, AND DOCUMENT, the more attractive s/he will be to admissions
        Also, to reiterate a point that "taguebw at" made, research
(or a particular type/style of research) is not for everyone.  It's a lot
better for a student to find that out before they commit to a graduate


Dr. Robert R. Wise
Department of Biology
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Oshkosh, WI  54901

(920) 424-3404 tel
(920) 424-1101 fax
wise at

Note:  area code changed from 414 to 920 on July 26th, 1997

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