BE Board: 2005 Annual Survey Questions

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Please select your BE graduate program track. Please enter the year in which you started your BE graduate program.


If you are a student in the graduate entering class of 2003 or earlier (i.e. a 3rd year or later) you can skip this section and resume with Section 3.)

[2.1]Rank the reasons that made you choose to join MIT's Biological Engineering Division. Please rank in terms of importance. (1=most important,8=least important)

[2.1.1] research opportunities

[2.1.5] MIT prestige

[2.1.3] potential advisors

[2.1.2] course work/overall curriculum

[2.1.7] location/atmosphere of Boston

[2.1.6] financial considerations (stipend, foreseen expenses)

[2.1.4] framework of the qualifying exams

[2.1.8] other

[] Please specify any "other" reasons that made you decide to choose join BE.

[2.2.1] It was easy to find information about the BE graduate program.

[2.2.2] The BE website was useful in that respect.

[] Where did you find information about the BE graduate program?

[] Where else would you wish it to be available?

[2.3.1] Before I joined BE, I was aware of a distinction between BE (biological engineering) and BME (biomedical engineering). (1=yes, 2=no)

If you attended the recruitment weekend, please answer this section (2.4a).

If you did not attend the recruitment weekend, please proceed to section 2.4b if you were able to arrange an on-campus visit at a later time or section 2.4c if you had a telephone interview

[2.4a.1] The recruitment weekend was informative and helpful.

[2.4a.2] The question and answer session was long enough.


[3.1.1] The BE Division has too many/too few/just enough graduate students. (1=too many,2=too few,3=just enough)

[3.1.2] The BE Division has too many/too few/just enough faculty members. (1=too many,2=too few,3=just enough)

[3.2.1] The average time it takes to graduate with a PhD in BE is approximately 5.5 years. This is too long/too short/just right. (1=too long,2=too short,3=just right)

[3.3.1] I feel that the four core courses prepare me well for the first year written qualifying exam

[3.3.2] I feel that the four core courses provide a good foundation for my PhD degree.

[3.3.3] I feel that the four core courses are relevant to my research and/or future career goals.

[2.4a.3] The question and answer session was informative.

[2.4a.4] The informal activities (campus tour, dinner, post-dinner party) with current students were valuable.

If you did not attend the recruitment weekend but did arrange a separate campus visit, please answer this section.

[2.4b.1] My visit to campus affected my decision to attend MIT.

[2.4b.2] My campus visit was a reasonable substitute for the recruitment weekend.

[2.4b.3] BE should offer multiple recruitment weekends.

If you did not attend the recruitment weekend but did arrange a separate telephone interview, please answer this section.

[2.4c.1] Having a telephone interview was a reasonable substitute for oncampus interviews.

[2.4c.2] A campus visit would have affected my view of BE.

[2.5.1] Having a graduate student advisor was helpful.

[2.5.2] My interaction with my graduate student advisor was: (1=too much,2=too little,3=just right)

[3.4.1] I find the elective requirements useful for my curriculum in BE.

[3.4.2] I am offered a good selection of bioengineering electives.

[3.4.3] I do NOT have trouble taking electives because of schedule conflicts

[3.5.1] I had a positive interaction with the professor(s) during my TA experience.

[3.5.2] I find that the time commitment during my TA experience was reasonable.

[3.5.3] I find that my TA experience was educationally valuable.

[3.5b.1] Do you feel the disparity in the workload of different TA's is unfair? (1=yes,2=no)

[] If so, what could be done to improve this disparity?

[3.6.1] I feel that I was well informed about the oral qualifying exam process.

[3.6.2] I feel that I was well prepared for the oral qualifying exam.

[3.6.3] The written qualifying exam is a fair and worthwhile test.

[3.7.1] I attend nearly all of the BE research seminars.

[3.7.2] I attend because the seminars are generally interesting /relevant.

[3.7.3] I attend because it is a subject requirement.

[3.7.4] I go to socialize with friends from other buildings.

[] In your eyes, what is lacking/over-emphasized in the graduate curriculum?


[4.1.1] On the interview day, I was made aware of the research opportunities in BE.

[] What research area would you like to see covered in BE that is presently lacking?

[4.3.1] One semester was enough time to choose an advisor.

[4.3.2] Meeting with at least three professors was a positive approach.

[4.3.3] I had freedom to choose an advisor.

[4.3.4] The faculty research presentations helped me choose an advisor.

[4.3.5] If the BE Retreat had been held before the advisor selection deadline, it would have aided my decision.

[4.3.6] A formal lab rotation system would have helped me choose an advisor.

[4.3.7] I would like this rotation system to be available / compulsory. (1=not in favor of rotation system,2=in favor of optional rotation system, 3=in favor of compulsory rotation system)

[4.3.8] I had the flexibility to pursue research opportunities with dual advisors.

[4.4.1] My advisor provides me with adequate scientific guidance.

[4.4.2] I feel unreasonable pressure from my advisor.

[4.4.3] I feel unreasonable pressure from my coworkers.

[4.4.4] There are enough interdisciplinary interactions in my lab.

[4.5.1] I have a good understanding of the procedure by which professors in BE become tenured.

[4.5.2] I feel that student feedback should be factored into BE tenure decisions.

[] Comments about the BE tenure process:


[5.1.1] I think that two terms of required TA service is reasonable for a graduate student in a full department.

[5.1.2] I would be willing to serve as an associate advisor for my professor's undergraduate advisees without financial incentive.

[5.1.3] A stipend for TA service beyond the requirement would be enough incentive for me to TA as many times as necessary.

[5.2.1] I am concerned about what might happen to the availability of my advisor and committee members if they take on extra undergraduate advisees and teaching requirements.

[5.3.1] I see a BE undergrad program as a great opportunity for my own education.

[5.3.2] I would be interested in hearing about the development and content of new BE undergraduate courses and how they fit into the overall curriculum.

[5.3.3] I think it would be a valuable educational experience for graduate students to play a more active role in developing the undergraduate curriculum.

[] If so, what suggestions do you have for such interactions?

[5.4.1] BE has enough faculty to become a full department.

[5.4.2] BE has enough facilities (space) to become a full department.


[6.1.1] There is enough social interaction between students in the Bioengineering and ABS tracks.

On a social level, I enjoy interacting with

[6.2.1] Lab mates

[6.2.2] BE community

[6.2.3] Other groups at MIT

[6.2.4] Other groups outside of MIT

[6.3.1] The physically non-centralized nature of the BE division hinders social interaction.

[6.4.1] I like attending BE events.

[6.4.2] I enjoyed BE 526 after the BE seminar (weekly)

[6.4.3] I enjoyed the BE TGIFs (monthly)

[6.4.4] I enjoyed the BE Holiday Party (December)

[6.4.5] I enjoyed the BE/ChemE BBQ (August)

[6.4.6] I enjoyed the social activities during the BE Retreat (March)

[6.4.7] I think we should join efforts more often with other MIT departments for social events.

[6.5.1] I prefer the BE.526 social hour at the Muddy Charles Pub to the “cookie hours” that used to be held prior to the BE Thursday Seminars.

[6.6.1] I enjoy participating in BE IM sports.

[6.6.2] I prefer to participate in non-BE sports teams.

[] What BE social events would you like to see more often organized?

[6.7.1] I feel an online BE student directory of each class with photos and contact details would be useful.

I would be willing to include the following information for such a directory:

[6.7.2] Photo (1=yes,2=no)

[6.7.3] Contact phone number (1=yes,2=no)

[6.7.4] Address (1=yes,2=no)

[6.7.5] Email Address (1=yes,2=no)

[6.7.6] Laboratory/PI (1=yes,2=no)


[7.1.1] BE organizes enough diversity related events.

[7.1.2] There should be more structured diversity related discussions and interactions.

[7.1.3] There should be more informal cultural events within BE to foster awareness of diversity in other peoples’ backgrounds (e.g. food, crafts, arts, movies…)

[7.2.1] I am aware of the BE Diversity recruiting trips.

[7.2.2] I would be interested in going on one of these trips. (1=yes,2=no)

[7.3.1] BE should actively try and become more diverse.

[7.3.2] I feel that BE has effectively addressed issues related to diversity.

[7.3.3] I do NOT see diversity as being an issue in BE.

[7.4.1] I would be interested in helping to organize a diversity related event in BE and/or would like to become involved with the BE Diversity group. (1=yes,2=no)


[8.1.1] The BE Student Board initiatives have been brought to my attention.

[8.1.2] I know the names of a few members of the BE Student Board.

[8.1.3] I know how to get in touch with members of the BE Student Board.

[8.1.4] I have used the BE Board website.

[8.1.5] I am aware that elections are held to yearly renew the BE Student Board.

[8.1.6] I would like the BE Student Board initiatives to be advertised better.

[8.2.1] When the BE Student Board holds meetings, I am informed of them.

[8.2.2] I feel comfortable attending the BE Student Board monthly meetings.

[8.2.3] I would like the agenda of the BE Student Board meetings to be sent to me via email.

[8.2.4] I would like the minutes of the BE Student Board meetings to be sent to me via email.

[] Are there novel projects you would like the BE Student Board to be in charge of?

[] What could the board do more effectively to make the settling in process easier for new 1st years?


[9.1.1] I am interested in pursuing a post-graduate career opportunities in academia/industry/other. (1=academia,2=industry,3=other)

[9.2.1] I am well informed about post-graduate career opportunities in industry.

[9.2.2] I am well informed about post-graduate career opportunities in academia.

[9.2.3] I am well informed about post-graduate career opportunities outside of research and development.

[9.3.1] I am aware that the BE Board sponsors an Industrial Seminar Series (ISS).

[9.3.2] To date, I have attended a total of 1/2/3/more than 3 ISS seminars. (1=1,2=2,3=3,4=more than 3)

[9.3.3] I feel that the ISS seminars are conducted too often/not often enough/just often enough. (1=too often,2=not often enough,3=just often enough)

[9.3.4] I think the diversity of topics covered in the ISS is appropriate.

[] What could the BE Division and/or the BE Board do to aid in career decisions?


[10.1.1] The BE Division is responsive to my needs.

[10.2.1] I feel that my stipend provides adequate financial support.

My major concerns in graduate school are:

Please rank in terms of importance (1=most important,8=least important)

[10.3.1] thesis work

[10.3.2] relationship with my advisor

[10.3.3] graduating

[10.3.5] finding a job

[10.3.4] relationship with my lab

[10.3.6] social life

[10.3.7] money/stipend

[10.3.8] housing

[] What would you like to change in BE?

[] Please submit any comments (general or specifically applying to this survey) to the BE Student Board in the field below: