StudentsReview :: The California Institute of Technology - Graduate (MS/PhD) Ratings
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The California Institute of Technology

Total Grad Surveys 4
Females 2
Males 2
Avg years at University 2.0
Research Quality B+ (7.6)
Research Availability B (6.6)
Research Funding A (9.6)
Graduate Politics A (9.2)
Not Errand Runners C- (3.5)
Degree Completion A- (8.2)
Alternative pay [ta/gsi] C- (3.5)
Sufficient Pay C- (4.0)
Competitiveness D+ (3.5)
Education Quality C (4.3)
Faculty Accessibility C- (4.0)
Useful Research C- (4.0)
"Individual" treatment C- (4.0)
Friendliness C- (3.6)
Safety C- (4.1)
Campus Beauty C- (3.7)
Campus Maintenance C- (4.0)
University Spending C- (4.1)
Extracurriculars C- (4.0)
Scholastic Success D+ (3.4)
Surrounding City D+ (3.4)
Social Life/ Environment D- (1.9)
Social Life/ EnvironmentD-
Research FundingA
I have always excelledAug 18 2007Genetics
I have always excelled in my CORE courses,regardless of setbacks, as a graduate student I look forward with enormous motivation to focus intently on the Graduate subjects in all of which I have the keenest interest. I am now freed from setbacks that were obsticles during my under grad.years.
Research Topic(s): HerpesVirusSimplex same organism, prod.different displasya on Bucol m
I graduated from Caltech with a PhD inFeb 22 2005Astronomy
I graduated from Caltech with a PhD in 1975, after arriving in 1970, with a degree in Planetary Sciences from what was then the relatively new planetary sciences group in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences. To my surprise, this was not in the astronomy group, which is a part of the Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy. My experience with P.S. reflects a very friendly, mostly concerned group of faculty, a few of whom are extremely elitist and arrogant, all of whom define the cutting edge of their respective specialties. However, when I arrived there were 5 new graduate students; 14 months later (after qualifying orals) only I was left. In a more typical year, more than 50% survive past qualifying orals. There were always great opportunities to join observing runs with the faculty at some of the world's best observatories: it was Palomar then and Keck now. Faculty were not only easy to reach, when they were in town, they often sought you out.

I had no problem getting into a Postdoc and then remaining at a NASA field center, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I note that one of the "dropouts" in my year was still provided with a "terminal" MS degree and works as an astronomy- and space-science oriented programmer at JPL.

Now, all that said, I add that I had two roommates with entirely different experiences in Biology and Chemistry. In either department, one joined the inner group of your faculty advisor and there you stayed through your entire graduate-student career. My biology buddy put up with a major "name" with all of his elitist tendencies and royal pretentions, but did well with the extremely good recommendation this guy provided his subsequent career: "OMG, you did your work with Dr. ____ and you survived!"

My chemistry buddy was so despondent, he dropped out without even a Master's degree and disappeared from the face of the earth so far as science is concerned.No matter what area of science or engineering you're in, you are nowhere else going to find so many Nobel laureates per square km, and so many scientifically notable people in the faculty club (which you CAN join as a graduate student, for a fee...just like the slightly higher-paid faculty). Before coming, talk to the people you're going to work with, unless you just want the prestige and figure you'll deal with the personality quirks one way or another. Talk especially with other graduate students!

Research Topic(s): Physiochemical Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Jupiter
The California Institute of Technology
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