to take a broad variety of classes outside your primary discipline that might be useful later. For example, a mathematics major who takes accounting is better equipped to do actuarial work. An ecology major would gain perspective from classes in environmental engineering or environmental policy that can have lifelong benefits.

Classes in economics, sociology, history, philosophy, English (with emphasis on composition), foreign language, and psychology, spread through the undergraduate years, are immensely useful in helping you to acquire understanding, different experiences, and maturity. As science and technology become more central in our society, scientists and engineers become more involved with other, nonresearch domains of human experience.

An effective way for students to learn about graduate education is to join (or form) a study group to discuss homework and share concerns. In a university setting, you can meet with graduate students and postdoctoral researchers and gain insights about specific graduate programs, possible careers, and the current job market. You can join student chapters of scientific and engineering disciplinary societies, both general (such as the Society of Women Engineers) and specific (such as the American Chemical Society). These can help you gain leadership and communication skills and can often assist in networking with senior members who can provide advice and possibly employment opportunities once you graduate.

Work with your undergraduate adviser not only to plan the science or engineering courses you will need, but also to ensure a well-rounded experience in this, your last general educational experience. Ask your adviser to provide guid-

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement