Graduate Students To Hold Talks, Q&A, Clarify Phi Beta Kappa Selection Process

Students will learn about academic life after undergraduate education in a seminar titled “Graduate School: Everything You Need to Know” today at the Student Resource Building.

The event will feature talks and Q&A sessions with roughly a dozen UCSB graduate students from around the country who have successfully enrolled in and completed post-graduate programs. Questions about choosing schools, applying and achieving funding will be addressed at the event, as well as tips on becoming eligible for election to Phi Beta Kappa honors society.

Debbie Fleming, Associate Dean for Student Life, highlighted some of the topics that students would focus on at the event.

“I think it’s going to be kind of a nice opportunity for undergraduates to just get a lot of different perspectives on why people are choosing graduate school [and] how do you go about making that decision,” Fleming said.

The “fairly informal” panel, Fleming said, was student-facilitated and even moderated by a student who acts as an officer in the Regents and Chancellors Scholars Association.

She also referenced some of the questions raised by students at the last such event several years ago. Many students asked how to develop relationships with faculty while being an undergraduate, according to Fleming, in addition to questions on funding.

Sociology Ph.D student Ali Hendley, who will be speaking as a member of the panel, the event seeks to talk about the entire grad school experience, such as “the process of deciding whether to go, deciding where to go, applying, getting funding once you’re there, doing research.”

In describing the experts attending the event, Hendley said many of the graduate students come from a variety of academic backgrounds.

“There will be grad students from a variety of disciplines there, presumably in different stages of their programs, so there should be a good diversity of experiences represented,” Hendley said.

Hendley also said the event highlighted the honors association Phi Beta Kappa during the panel, as the university program is well-respected and highly competitive.

“We’re hoping to also draw students’ attention to Phi Beta Kappa and give them advice about how to maximize their possibilities for being selected for induction,” Hendley said. “Here at UCSB, the selection process is not done by a computer — there are actual Phi Beta Kappa members who go through stacks of transcripts and decide on who should be inducted. So it’s a very selective process.”

The free event is open to all undergraduates and will include refreshments and snacks.


A version of this story occurred in the Monday, April 7, 2014 edition of the Daily Nexus.