The Cognitive Science major provides an excellent background for those interested in pursuing graduate school. If you are interested in graduate school, start preparing early. You will need to keep up your academic performance while also networking, and gaining relevant work and research experience.
Graduate Program Resources
Here are some things to consider and links to resources that may assist you.
- Talk with advisors. The undergraduate advisors, career center counselors, peer advisors, CSSA, and instructors should be your first resource when considering graduate school.
- Gain research experience. This is especially important if you plan to attend a Ph.D. program. There are several things you can do to obtain research experience such as participating in CogSci 199 projects, completing an honors project.
- Get involved. Join a CogSci student organization and meet other students interested in the field. Join Berkeley Connect in a related field to receive mentorship and meet folks with similar interests. Volunteer in the community through the Public Service Center to help others, learn valuable skills, and hone your academic interests.
- Attend Career Center events and workshops. Meet with a Career Center counselor to learn about the possible graduate study tracks and their application processes or request a critique of your graduate school essay and application.
- Learn about what it takes to apply successfully for grad school.
- Plan early. Know all the deadlines. Be aware that graduate school application deadlines are often in the late fall.
- Obtain good references. Letters from faculty members describing your ability to excel in graduate school strongly influence admissions decisions. If faculty doesn't know you, they can't write a good reference letter for you. Ask questions in class, go to office hours, and show interest in the subject. Work in a lab (via CogSci 199 courses, URAP, or as a volunteer) so the professor will be familiar with your work. Also, review the Career Center's tips on obtaining letters of reference.
- Prepare for graduate entrance exams (GRE's). These exams may be a pivotal aspect of your credentials, and completing a practice exam may be helpful.
- Spend time writing a good essay. Review the Career Center's Statement of Purpose guidelines, become familiar with faculty and their research, and review recent books and articles written by them. Be specific when explaining your goals.
- Search for graduate programs:
- The Cognitive Science Society offers a comprehensive listing to search for a variety of programs related to CogSci.