Department of Physics and Engineering
Letter from Chad Smith



Dr. Popson,

In planning for my education after Wesleyan, I applied to five different graduate school programs in either Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering. My decision to apply to a particular program was based on the types of research projects available, and also was based on your recommendation or Dr. Wiest's.

I applied to the graduate programs at Johns Hopkins University, Vanderbilt University, Duke University, the University of Tennessee and the University of Virginia. All five schools accepted me.

The University of Virginia gave me all-expense-paid visit. They offered me a research assistantship to work on their hypersonic propulsion project. I was offered the special Ph.D. stipend for the entire time, not just the latter part of my graduate work there.

I had a similar visit to Vanderbilt University. They offered me a research assistantship to work on a project involving microgravity engineering, geomechanics or biomechanics. Much like the University of Virginia, this assistantship covers all tuition and fees, plus a stipend of $18,600 per year.

After much thought, I decided to accept the offer from the University of Virginia.

Chad Smith

Return to Letters from Our Graduates