Advice for Grad School and Program

<p>Hi all!
I am new to the forum, but I am looking for some advice. Here is my situation:</p>

<p>I am currently pursuing an undergrad in Elementary Education emphasizing in Math and Science.</p>

<p>It is my ultimate goal to be a professor at a large university, preferably in Chemistry.</p>

<p>I would also like to obtain a PhD.</p>

<p>Some ideas that I have bounced around are:
1. A second undergrad in chemistry, then a PhD in Chemistry.</p>

<ol>
<li><p>A PhD in Chemical Education (is that possible with an Education Undergraduate Degree?)</p></li>
<li><p>A masters in Chemical Education, then a PhD in Chemistry. (Again, is that possible?)</p></li>
</ol>

<p>I am open to any other "chain of degrees" that would ultimately lead to a PhD in Chemistry (or Chemistry Education -- how well versed in Chem do you become from this degree?).</p>

<p>Time of the programs is not a huge deal, as long as I could complete in less than 12 years.</p>

<p>As for the school, I am looking for something reasonably priced (currently I am thinking $25,000 a year -- but that may be flexible). I would also like a school that is very strong academically.</p>

<p>When I took the ACT, 2 years ago I got a 30.
My current college GPA is 3.73
My current GPA in the area of the physical sciences is 4.0</p>

<p>Thank you in advance for any/all information and ideas about colleges or tracks of study!</p>

<p>-J</p>

<p>I would think you're best bet is to get an undergrad degree in Chemistry. Most people that specialize in this field are in Chemistry Depts.</p>

<p>There might be some doctoral programs in science education in schools of education, but I think even for those you'd be best served by an undergrad science degree.</p>

<p>Chemistry</a> education - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia</p>

<p>ACS</a> Division of Chemical Education</p>

<p>If you're already far along in your undergrad academic career with the elementary education degree, I don't think its worth the time and investment of getting a second BS in chemistry. </p>

<p>You're right that if your goal is to be a chemistry professor at a research university, you'll need a PhD - and have an affinity to chemistry research. So, perhaps to get into a chemistry PhD program, you'll need the BS in chemistry - I don't know.</p>

<p>One option is looking into science education masters degree programs - then pursue teaching chemistry or science at a high school or community college. Our nation needs good science teachers at the secondary level.</p>

<p>Teaching at a Secondary Level is something that I would love to do along the way. Do you think I could go on to a Doctoral program with an undergrad in Elem. Education and a Masters in Chemistry Education?</p>

<p>Thanks for the information!
-J</p>

<p>I highly recommend the master's route in science education.</p>

<p>tenisghs,
I would love that, but I do not (after reading more) think that I can leap from there to a PhD in Chem... right?</p>

<p>Also, what are your reasons for that suggestion, and what avenues will that open for me that a degree in Education and a PhD in Chemistry would not?
-J</p>

<p>Only you can decide what is right for you. However, look at it this way: what are your bigger interests/passions? Helping young people learn chemistry or chemistry research? </p>

<p>You have to be super passionate about chemistry research and working long hours in a lab environment to earn a PhD. You're talking about huge opportunity costs here - perhaps taking a couple more years to earn a BS in chemistry then five years at least earning a PhD. The PhD is only necessary if you want to teach at a university....if this is what you really want, then certainly it is a noble goal to put in the time and money to achieve. </p>

<p>However, if really your passion and desire is to teach, you could have a fantastic career with much less time and expense involved in getting to your goal. Because even when you're a PhD and a prof at a research university, research will come first....if you're not good at research, kiss the tenured PhD professor goal good bye.</p>

<p>^ I agree with UCBChemGrad. Chemistry PhDs are primarily research degrees. They are most useful in academia, corporations, and research labs. If your goal is to teach K-12 science, then get a master's degree in science education. </p>

<p>There are plenty of education graduate programs that have science education tracks:</p>

<p>UM</a> SOE: MAC Secondary Professional and Pedagogical Preparation</p>

<p>UM</a> SOE: Science Education (Ph.D., M.A.)</p>

<p>^ Chem*E*, not Chem ;)</p>

<p>Thanks so much for the information everyone! It is a big help in making up my mind.
-J</p>