Selecting the graduate field, program and lab that are the right match for you is no small feat!  We encourage all prospective students to read the “Applying to Graduate School” guide compiled by the Animal Behavior Graduate Group’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. It provides information on how to identify potential graduate programs, and outlines steps that you should consider taking before, during and after you complete the application process. 

If you have not yet done so, please confirm that the lab’s research focus aligns with your areas of interest by looking over the information on the “What We Do” page and reading a few of our lab’s most recent publications . If you believe our lab to be a good fit, email Dr. Makagon to discuss current research and funding opportunities in the lab. Your email should include your reason pursuing graduate studies in our lab, and should summarize your relevant preparatory experience. Not sure which aspects of your prior experience are relevant? Please scroll to the bottom of this page for Dr. Makagon’s perspective on graduate school preparation and relevant experience.

Graduate programs at UC Davis are administered through cross-departmental graduate groups. The Dr. Makagon accepts new graduate students through the Animal Behavior Graduate Group (PhD only), Animal Biology Graduate Group (PhD and MS), and the Avian Sciences Graduate Program (MS only).  Please review the linked graduate group information carefully as the programs differ in scope, focus, coursework, application deadlines (December or January), and even the specifics of the application process.  Please contact each program’s administrator and/or Dr. Makagon to determine which program(s) align with your interests and goals.

A note about preparation for graduate studies from Dr. Makagon. I am often asked about the type of preparation that makes prospective students particularly competitive for admission to this research lab. Creativity and innovation are the building blocks of scientific discovery. In my experience, creativity and innovation come about dynamically where different viewpoints and skills sets meet. Therefore, there is no single set of characteristics or experiences that make prospective students particularly competitive as potential lab members.  However, as graduate programs build on previous knowledge, there are some broad aspects of preparation that are expected of incoming students. Please note that these are in addition to the pre-requisites listed on specific graduate group admission pages.  Prospective students should demonstrate a strong interest in and ability to learn the skills necessary for carrying out poultry behavior research. Applicants to our lab should have a background in either animal behavior or poultry science (typically acquired through coursework and/or research activities and/or professional experiences). Applicants should demonstrate a potential for succeeding in graduate-level science and math courses (typically by demonstrating successful completion of undergraduate coursework in STEM). Students should have basic Microsoft Word and Excel skills, as we use these tools on a daily basis. Independent research experience is only expected of students who are applying to a PhD program. Please remember that all graduate programs are competitive. Demonstrating the aforementioned skills should be viewed as a minimum criteria for the Makagon Lab,  and does not guarantee admission. If you have questions about your preparedness for graduate school, please contact me.