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Dean of Graduate Studies with SUNY Upstate President Dr. Mantosh Dewan and students at a Grand Rounds discussion

Message from the Dean

Mark Schmitt, PhD

As dean of the College of Graduate Studies, I am often asked, “what sets Upstate apart as a place to do my PhD in biomedical research?”. Typically, I point out that we care about all our students and their future success. Upstate is a small but active community of researchers, and most of that research is being driven by our graduate students. We are big enough to cover many research areas and brag about our large amount of funding, but small enough to consider everyone part of our family. Students get to interact with their advisors on a daily basis without having to go through someone else. They also have their own projects that they are responsible for driving forward. They are never under the direction of a postdoc or fellow whose name would go first on any publications.

Graduate school is never easy. Having a built-in support system from day one is critical to providing students with the resources they need to succeed. Students learn how to ask a question, find the answers, and look critically on their science and the science of others. These become life skills that employers value and opens the door for our students to all types of employment opportunities.

Many of our graduates follow the traditional academic track. This leads to faculty positions at both research and teaching universities. However, more graduates are now landing in biotechnology, pharmaceutical or start-up research settings. Another growth area for our graduates has been in non-research scientific careers. These include patent law, national and international science policy, national defense and homeland security, journal editors, management consulting and finance.

Our training opens doors to opportunities that would otherwise be difficult to achieve. We hear back from our alumni often. Their excitement over their occupations and lives is clear. They are working at what they love, which makes a job fun instead of a burden. I would encourage you to apply to Upstate. You will receive a first-rate education from faculty dedicated to your intellectual growth, career development and long-term success. I hope you will take time to see for yourself what we have to offer. I promise you will be impressed, and will want to join our endeavor to be part of our noble mission.

Mark E. Schmitt, PhD
Dean, College of Graduate Studies