Home » Study in USA » Importance of undergraduate research experience for MS, PhD, Career in USA

Importance of undergraduate research experience for MS, PhD, Career in USA

Article by Guest Author

Why Research Experience is so important for MS or PhD

When applying for graduate programs in US, whether PhD or Masters level, research experience is important and sometimes Undergraduate Research Importance for MS PhD and Careercrucial.  The research may be conducted as part of a class or on the side, but the most important thing is that you are experiencing the making of a contribution to the field.   At the graduate level there is a high expectation to conduct research, and having some experience before will aid in doing so.

How to get involved into research in Bachelors

At the undergraduate level (at US universities) there are often many opportunities to get involved in research.  Step one is to start talking to your professors.  You want to find out what their interests are, what kind of research they are working on, and if there is any chance that you could help.  In some disciplines this may be easier than others, but it can’t hurt to ask.

There are also REU’s which are Research Experiences for Undergraduates, these look great on your resume.  They are usually held during the summer at various universities across the country.  This gives you a chance to mingle with other people who share your passion as well as network with other professionals in the field.

How to take advantage of Research publishing Opportunities :

If you have the opportunity to publish a paper or something, go for it ! But there are also chances to present your research in poster sessions or as a talk at the numerous conferences held every year.  You can often talk your department for sponsorship to conferences that may be far/out of state.  It is also a great way to really get to know your professors that you work with, these are the people that will be able to write wonderful letters of recommendation for you in the future; for school applications and job applications alike.

Research Experience for Career (Job)

Even if graduate school is not on your agenda, this is still a great opportunity and experience for the workplace and your education.  I know several people who were able to talk about their projects during interviews and say that that was what got them their job.

About Guest Author :Kristal recently graduated from a State University in US with B.A and B.S in Economics, Mathematics, and Spanish Majors. She is going to attend a reputed University for PhD in Economics in fall 2010 with full funding. She will share her undergraduate experiences and PhD admission tips with our readers.

Image credit : http://www.whitmorepark.co.uk/images/research_zone.gif


Other Articles


  1. Hi i have done my masters(biochemistry)in India..Now m n us as i ngot married recently.can u plz suggest me the courses or what should i study further to get job n us.Right now im n H4 visa

  2. wow, I did not know that a master’s level thesis can help us land a job. I was thinking if I should do the thesis option or only-course option. my dept. offers both.

    • Another question I have in this regard – how long can a master’s research take(3 credits)? Would it be possible to finish the reaearch in one semester and then write the thesis in the following semester? My only concern is I need to gradaute in time. And typically how hard is it to get research and thesis done as compared to doing only courses?

  3. Hello,

    I am currently on an F-1 visa pursuing my graduate studies. I am graduating on December 18, 2011. Thereafter, I would enter my 60-day grace period. During this time, I would transfer my SEVIS record to another university to begin my Ph.D program. This program at my new university would begin on May 14, 2011.

    Now, I became aware that, After graduation students who wish to pursue another degree program have a maximum 5 month time limit to begin their classes at the new university. Which basically means that there cannot be a gap of more than 5 months between the last day of classes at current university and the start of classes at the new university.

    So, in my case between Dec 18th 2011 – May 14th , 2012 there are 5 months and 4 days. I surpass this rule by 4 days. I went to ICE website to check the actual rule and found this information:


    But, I am still confused and not able to figure out this issue.

    Since when should one start to count 5 months ?

    Am I really exceeding 5 months or Am I calculating wrong ?

    I need somebody’s second opinion on this. Please help me figure out my problem.


  4. i want to pursue PhD in US. I ma confused about how to go for selection of universities and colleges.moreover i want to know how to approach to professors there.

  5. Avinash, that is a great idea. It needs some research, will keep this in mind and post in future. I wonder if many schools allow part time PhD, unless you fund your own PhD.

  6. Hey why not put information about how much PHD’s make vs MS vs MBA’s ?
    Most important stats to look at will be demographic , timeline , age wise and IQ stats ,
    base degrees.
    Also What about part time PHD’s 🙂 ..

    • I think it would be nice to read about career prospects for PhD’s. And , as kumar says, very few schools will allow part time Phd. Grad school is a full time job(MS or PhD)!!!!


Leave a Comment