Grad School Suggestions?

nugget

Arachnopeon
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Jan 6, 2017
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Hello everyone!

Its time for me to start looking at graduate schools (in Entomology)! I have yet to decide if I am going to go for my PhD or just my Masters at the moment, however, I realized that I currently know very little about which schools even offer entomology! As of right now, I am leaning towards going to Ohio State University as it is close home, but my options are open to all over the states.

If you guys have any tips, school suggestions, or just facts in general, please let me know! I need all the advice as possible as I am graduating a year early from undergrad.

Thank you guys!
 

CyclingSam

Arachnoknight
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May 22, 2016
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I am currently finishing a professional degree at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. I know that there is a graduate entomology degree offered here. I have a friend who finished his PhD in entomology from Nebraska about a year ago. I think it is a quality university and worth looking into. Go Huskers!
 

Anoplogaster

Arachnodemon
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If you're willing to come to California, Cal State Northridge has a good program under the advisement of Dr. David Gray. It's a masters program. Typically, the CSU system doesn't go up to PhD level. Although it takes longer, I always suggest people do the masters before the PhD, rather than just jumping straight into PhD work. A masters program teaches you vital skills and is generally more forgiving of mistakes, especially as you're formulating a thesis project.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
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I am currently finishing a professional degree at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. I know that there is a graduate entomology degree offered here. I have a friend who finished his PhD in entomology from Nebraska about a year ago. I think it is a quality university and worth looking into. Go Huskers!
Fellow Husker! :D

Yes, UNL's entomology department is one of the best in the country for obvious reasons. That state's economy depends on farming, which is largely reliant of pollinators. They also deal with insecticides, so of course entomologists come in to play. I took a couple entomology courses while there, and it is spot on.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
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Before hopping into degree program, you MUST ask yourself what your goal/s are once you obtain said degree.

For example, if your goal is to be a PI, run your own lab, the degree you need is a PhD, a MS will not allow for that level of autonomy or funding.

Also, if that's your goal a MS is a waste of time generally speaking.

If your goal is to "just do research", you must ask in what capacity and at what level? A PhD is not necessary for many avenues if one wants to do research.
 

Anoplogaster

Arachnodemon
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Also, if that's your goal a MS is a waste of time generally speaking
I'll respectfully disagree here. Not to start a debate or anything, but I believe the extra time spent is definitely worth the added experience.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
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believe the extra time spent is definitely worth the added experience.
Why?

The median time to complete a PhD in the biological science is ~7.1. - 7.2 yrs.

A MS program doesn't cover anything a PhD program won't cover.

If you are going to suggest that one who has a PhD has missed out on something by not getting a MS you are not providing the best careeer advice in this context so far.
 
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viper69

ArachnoGod
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See my previous post now amended.

That's not an answer. If one is disagreeing, one needs to provide cogent ideas, not a question to a question.

No doctoral or MS committee would accept that hahah.

Also some doctoral programs confer a MS even though a student is earning a PhD.

It really depends upon what the person wants to do, be an independent PI vs something else.

Generally speaking a MS is 2 yrs

PhD covers those 2 yrs, plus a minimum of 3 yrs of thesis research, usually more unfortunately.

There is no value in getting a MS in Grasshopper legs if one's goal is to get a PhD in Grasshopper legs.
 
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viper69

ArachnoGod
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All things being equal, do not attend OSU because it's close to home unless it has the program and more specifically the research programs, faculty research.

You want to attend the best possible school for your program. If that's UKansas so be it etc
 

Anoplogaster

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See my previous post now amended.

That's not an answer. If one is disagreeing, one needs to provide cogent ideas, not a question to a question.

No doctoral or MS committee would accept that hahah.

Also some doctoral programs confer a MS even though a student is earning a PhD
Well, your pre-edited response was simply "why?" Not exactly a scholarly question, in my opinion. So it was met with the equally vague "why not?" response;). Thanks for amending your response to make it less ridiculous, btw!

Every member of my committee has gone through the process step by step, taken the experience that you simply can't race through, and they don't regret a second of it. Regardless of what your future is, you can't make the claim that a MS program is wasting time because you are gaining experience in the process. You spend the time working a project, messing up a bunch, learning from it, and coming out with (ideally) some publishable work. Then, if you pursue a PhD, you might work a different project, learn even MORE, mess up just a little less (hopefully), and come out with MORE publishable work. That's more experience under your belt and more literature under your name. I fail to see how that's a "waste of time."

OP beware: If you pursue academia, it'll completely change the way your mind works. You'll end up staying awake until 1am on online discussion forums, picking battles with people like @viper69 :angelic:
 

viper69

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Well, your pre-edited response was simply "why?" Not exactly a scholarly question, in my opinion. So it was met with the equally vague "why not?" response;). Thanks for amending your response to make it less ridiculous, btw!

Every member of my committee has gone through the process step by step, taken the experience that you simply can't race through, and they don't regret a second of it. Regardless of what your future is, you can't make the claim that a MS program is wasting time because you are gaining experience in the process. You spend the time working a project, messing up a bunch, learning from it, and coming out with (ideally) some publishable work. Then, if you pursue a PhD, you might work a different project, learn even MORE, mess up just a little less (hopefully), and come out with MORE publishable work. That's more experience under your belt and more literature under your name. I fail to see how that's a "waste of time."

OP beware: If you pursue academia, it'll completely change the way your mind works. You'll end up staying awake until 1am on online discussion forums, picking battles with people like @viper69 :angelic:
I edited your response so you would understand what I wanted clarification on. Scholarly, seeking clarification in the most direct manner is about as scholarly and clear as it comes :D

Anyone that thinks going from B.S. to Ph.D. is "racing", is simply full of it, esp considering the median time to complete is 7.1 yrs. for a PhD, that's hardly racing.

There's also another factor. If one has a MS in Making Pizza, and the next school they choose their PhD in is for Making Pizza, the program is typically only 3 years.

Historically, a RESEARCH based MS was 2 years- 1 yr of course work, 1 year of research, followed by 3 years of research for the PhD, a total of 5 years.

The average PhD time is often 5-6 years, w/out a MS. They have 1 year of course work and 4 yrs of research. There is NO skipping or racing through anything.

"Learning even more", nothing wrong w/that, but there is absolutely no need to spend more time in school "learning more" when said information can be learned outside of school. The only time it's helpful or necessary is if one needs additional training, such as a Fellowship etc.

If one wants more publications, do a fellowship.

If one's goal is to get a PhD, one should go for it right away. There is no need to delay something by 2 years, particularly when a PhD provides everything and MORE than a MS degree provides.

There's also another factor, many schools make you pay for a MS.

Obtaining a PhD is free, and they pay you a stipend depending upon many, many, many things.

Again it depends on what one wants to do.
 
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Anoplogaster

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Anyone that thinks going from B.S. to Ph.D. is "racing", is simply full of it, esp considering the median time to complete is 7.1 yrs. for a PhD, that's hardly racing.
You keep quoting a "median" time, which serves nothing more than to inflate your argument. All the median means is that a handful of people happen to have taken a ridiculous amount of time. The average, as you mentioned, is 5-6 years. And some folks pull it off in 4 (my advisor is a great example of that). The length of time your research takes is completely dependent on your project.

In the spirit of ending yet another lengthy online debate, I'm not going to tell you you're wrong. But I still disagree with you. And I'm not going to "waste more time" humoring you with further responses;)
 

EulersK

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I'll respectfully disagree here. Not to start a debate or anything, but I believe the extra time spent is definitely worth the added experience.
It really, really depends on the field you're talking about. I can't speak for other fields, but a PhD in engineering tends to largely be a waste of time unless you either want to be a professor or want to lead massive programs. An MS is sufficient for high positions. On the other end, many schools don't even offer an MS in pure mathematics anymore. It's just worthless in that field - just go for the PhD right after the BS, because in mathematics it's usually the same classes and same amount of time (yes, even including a thesis). An MS would be an utter waste of time in that field.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
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You keep quoting a "median" time, which serves nothing more than to inflate your argument. All the median means is that a handful of people happen to have taken a ridiculous amount of time. The average, as you mentioned, is 5-6 years. And some folks pull it off in 4 (my advisor is a great example of that). The length of time your research takes is completely dependent on your project.

In the spirit of ending yet another lengthy online debate, I'm not going to tell you you're wrong. But I still disagree with you. And I'm not going to "waste more time" humoring you with further responses;)
I'm quoting median because it's the value at which most students finish their PhD in the biological sciences. The median gives a prospective student a much better idea of when to expect to graduate, NOT the average. In this context, the average is a useless piece of data.

If you don't know that, you don't understand this aspect of statistics.

I still haven't read a cogent argument from you detailing what a MS provides a student that is NOT covered in a PhD???..... When you have that nugget of knowledge inform the OP.

As I'm sure you know, all those PhD students go through the same course amount of coursework as a MS student, some take more, and all do more research as a student than a MS, that's a fact, the program is longer.

And again I will reiterate what I said before, what matters is the student's GOAL, what do they want to do with their degree.. THAT'S what is important.

If the person tells me they want to run their lab, mentor grad students get the big grants in an ivory tower, a PhD is mandatory. If that's not their goal, a MS is fine.

There are a lot of professions that do not require a MS or a PhD and one can still provide meaningful contributions to science.
 
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viper69

ArachnoGod
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It really, really depends on the field you're talking about. I can't speak for other fields, but a PhD in engineering tends to largely be a waste of time unless you either want to be a professor or want to lead massive programs. An MS is sufficient for high positions. On the other end, many schools don't even offer an MS in pure mathematics anymore. It's just worthless in that field - just go for the PhD right after the BS, because in mathematics it's usually the same classes and same amount of time (yes, even including a thesis). An MS would be an utter waste of time in that field.
My friend is an engineer, one of the few science areas where your BS can be your terminal agree. His company paid for his MS, but it wasn't mandatory, it just increased his salary by $5,000 upon completion.
 
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