Students will need active application coaching in order to prepare strong applications to PhD programs. Timing the application process will vary for each student depending on preparation level and should be tailored as necessary. Connecting students to faculty experienced with graduate admissions can be invaluable during the application process.
- Provide students with preparation for the Physics Subject GRE. This can include connecting students with a web-based prep course, the APS GRE webinar, or providing an in-person, structured prep course on campus over the summer (e.g. weekly over several months). Avoid holding weekend prep sessions since attendance will likely be low.
- Be prepared to spend more than one year preparing students to apply. One year bridge programs have very short transition periods, and application coaching needs to happen the summer/fall when students begin. Many students will not be prepared to apply to a doctoral program within a few months of arriving on campus and it may make sense to have them apply in their second year.
- Give students the opportunity to gain research experience and a significant connection with a faculty research mentor.
- Provide students with informal advising from faculty experienced with graduate admissions.
- Offer a STEM Professional Development Course, if available, to introduce students to the skills they will need in the future (e.g., efficient use of the scientific literature, grant writing, communication, ethical responsibilities).