Since your thesis requires a big chunk of your time where you will have to be honestly passionate about it, it is wise to choose or find a topic that you are deeply interested in and then find the right university for your PhD dissertation. If you are someone who discovered a passion or a topic that is close to your heart, during your undergraduate studies, and you do not want to lose focus on it during your academic career. In both these cases, it is very important to apply to a university that will be able to fulfil these dreams and also has the resources to support your project during your Masters or PhD.
In this article, you will learn how you can explore options and arrive at the right decision about applying to the right university for your research work. There are many factors that you need to consider while looking for the university to pursue the idea in your mind.
The degree program of your choice
You have done sufficient brainstorming and roughly decided upon a research topic for your future career. You now have to define which program will give you the freedom to pursue this idea further. Make a list of all the courses (undergraduate or postgraduate) that have the topic of your interest. If you are a high school student who has identified a topic of interest then it’s useful to look for undergraduate programs that lead to Masters degree programs or a doctorate degree that have expertise in your area of research. Some ways of looking for a good research institute:
- Look for the QS ratings of universities in that subject area
- If you are aware of any research awards in your area of interest, search for the latest winners
- Read renowned research journals (you can access them online or in your campus library) and see which professors/ experts in the field are getting recognition
- Which institute has a high research expenditure
While you are searching for universities this way, try to also look back and find the source of the works that you have admired in the past. This research work is going to be the source of your income for some years so you have to make sure if the environment suits your personality and calibre as well. Did a particular university’s name pop up in your mind? Yes, note that down.
Funding, visa and other eligibility criteria
After you have compiled the list of your desired courses, you have to go and find out about the university and whether your admission in the university is possible. Another important factor to consider here is the financial means to support your education. If the university’s tuition fee is too high and the campus is located in an expensive city, you will have trouble affording it. Financial aid and scholarships also help in these circumstances but if those are not available, you have to look elsewhere.
Some countries are also very selective with their student visa process so this can also compromise your plans. Read up on the eligibility criteria of the degree programs thoroughly. Once you have crossed out the universities that you can not apply to, it is time to focus on the ones that seem feasible.
Research and contact the faculty members
Visiting the university’s website will give you access to their research faculty with their professional profile in every field. Some universities also indicate which faculty member is available for supervision. What most students do not know is that they can approach and contact these professors by emailing them in a concise and straightforward manner (do not spam them) conveying your experience and further interest for higher research degree. In most cases, the professors do reply and if they do give a positive response, you can then apply to the university and it will give you some guarantee that your topic of interest will not be ignored during your degree.
The right resources
When you are researching for the right university, it is also important to check the facilities and labs available for your area of research. They should be functional and available for use.
One way of making sure if these equipment are in a good condition, is to contact the current students enrolled in the doctorate degree as well.
If you have enough thought to this topic and it still seems like you can not arrive at a conclusion, our mentors can help you narrow down your options. With any research related topic, tutoring lounge is the perfect place to explore. Maybe the research topic of your choice still needs some polishing or you need guidance regarding the approach you need for your research study.