Hi! My name is Rachel Padget, and I am a Master’s of Science in biology student here at Missouri State University! I graduated in spring 2015 with my B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Central Missouri. I have 10 reasons why MSU would make an excellent choice for your graduate school education!
1. The research projects available within the biology department. To be accepted for a doctoral program, you must have research experience. At my smaller university, there wasn’t much opportunity for undergraduate research so I knew I had to go elsewhere. MSU has some amazing projects, where as a MS student, you can help lead experiments, which doesn’t typically happen if you attend where there are also PhD students.
2. The location is amazing. Springfield is such an interesting city. I’ve always been a small town person, so Springfield is the largest place I have lived in so far. In addition to that new experience, the Ozark area is rich in history and is beautiful. Sometimes, it is nice to take a drive to the lake to relax and study.
3. The rec center is amazing here! The pool is gigantic and even has a zip line. The weight area is always very clean and has a lot of variety. There are also a lot classes, like different styles of yoga or core class. The rock and bouldering wall are amazing, too!
4. My assistantship. I won’t pretend like getting paid to go to school wasn’t a big part of my choice to go here. The McNair assistantship is awesome! I work five hours a week in graduate admissions and then the other 15 hours, I work for the biology department. That means that I get to teach classes, which has been one of the best experiences of my life. There is a saying that you really know and understand the material when you have to teach it, and I would agree with that! Plus, the stipend is nice. It is hard at large universities to find funding for a master’s degree.
5. The professors in the biology department. The department here is a nice mix of wildlife and cell/micro professors but they are all so kind and knowledgeable. I have not regretted taking a single class, and I feel comfortable talking to many of the professors. The department also has picnics and lecture series every semester.
6. There are many events and opportunities that tour to Springfield. This past October, the Magna Carta was at MSU’s library. The Broadway musical, Wicked, toured for two weeks in February. There are some amazing events that many people don’t get the chance to see because of location, but not here in Springfield.
7. The sheer number of resources available on campus. The library is quite large and has many empty rooms and computers for public use. There are also clubs and groups on campus for every interest.
8. Springfield has a big effort for conservation and recreation. Some of the lakes and rivers that run by the city. Between the Nature Center by Springfield Lake and the Watershed Center, it is completely beautiful and are excellent places for a hike or run.
9. Springfield is a cheap area to live, and when you’re a grad student on a stipend, that is always a huge plus!
10. Braum’s chocolate chip cookie dough milkshakes, enough said. – Rachel Padget
Rachel is currently a second year Biology Master’s student and will graduate in May. Her future goal is to pursue a Biomedical PhD program.