This section, by its nature, cannot be prescriptive. However, deciding what field you want to get a PhD in can feel like a big step in your career. Here is some advice and a few questions to consider as you reflect:
- Take your time. You should not rush to commit to a PhD if you have doubts. It’s OK to apply to graduate school even if you graduated several years ago.
- Think about what went well for you during your undergraduate degree. What classes or projects did you enjoy most? In which classes did you feel the greatest sense of accomplishment? Look through your transcript and reflect on how you felt during these defining classes. They will be a good indication of what you like doing. Can you find a program or research project for your PhD that aligns with these interests?
- Do a bit of research on the fields you may be interested in. Search some of the keywords that come out of your reflection. You can search Google Scholar or other academic literature databases. Scroll through the titles and read abstracts of some of the papers that seem relevant. Does the work happening in the field feel exciting to you? Can you see yourself contributing to these kinds of projects (with regard to both technical skills & interest)?