1. Actively seek out information about PhD programs

2. A PhD program is not simply a continuation of your undergraduate program.

3. Take a break between your undergraduate education and a PhD program.

4. Your current area of study does not dictate what you have to study in graduate school.

5. Make sure the PhD program has a variety of research options, and learn about as many research groups as possible in your first year.

6. Location is more important than you think — but name recognition is not.

7. Those time management skills you developed at undergrad? Develop them further.

8. Expect to learn research skills on the fly – or take advantage of the training your department or career center offers.

9. There are no real breaks.