Welcome to the first edition of the Brain Waves Program Corner. In this forum, I will aim to provide students and faculty with key program information relevant to that stage of the academic year. As February and March continue to batter us weather-wise, today I turn to a sunnier topic, Program Admissions.
While the authoritative source of information for all things relating to graduate students and their admission is the McMaster Graduate Calendar, this column will discuss the specifics of the MiNDS admission process.
Selecting a Student
While many students contact potential supervisors prior to the opening of the application portal in mid November, the formal interview and admission process begins in late February with the Admissions Committee’s screening of applications. In late February to early March, approved applicants’ files become available to potential supervisors to view online. In their application packages, students are asked to list three potential supervisors. Examining this component of the applications can help supervisors to identify potential students.
Once you have found a student that you are interested in potentially taking on as a part of your group, we encourage you to make contact with them and determine their appropriateness for your laboratory. While many supervisors already have a system in place to determine if a student is a good fit for them and their group, more novice supervisors may be at a loss for how to predict potentially successful students. I have a bank of questions that have proven helpful to supervisors in the past and would be happy to provide them to anyone who is interested (Just email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Formal Program Interviews
Once you have identified the student(s) that you wish to consider for acceptance, you should notify the program (email@example.com) so that you can conduct the formal MiNDS telephone interview. This standardized and structured interview was developed in consultation with an industrial/organizational psychologist and helps to predict success in our graduate program. Once the program is notified, you will be contacted by the Director (Dr. Kathryn Murphy) or the associate director (me) to arrange a time where you and the program representative will call the prospective student for their interview.
If a supervisor wishes to accept the student and the student performs satisfactorily on the telephone interview, the graduate program will make a recommendation to the School of Graduate Studies who makes the final determination as to whether an offer of admission will be made or not. In the majority of cases, the School of Graduate Studies’ decision is consistent with the program’s opinion.
I hope that this brief walk through the admissions process helps to clarify the admissions process for potential supervisors. If you have any questions about this process, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Sandra Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself.