Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [graduate-school]

On schools that award advanced academic degrees, such as masters and doctoral degrees. This tag is mainly for questions about the structure and organization of a graduate school or the fundamental experience of being a graduate student. Do not use this tag for questions about research in graduate school (use [research] instead), coursework in graduate school (use [coursework] instead), gaining admissions to graduate school (use [graduate-admissions]), etc.

531
votes
12answers
59k views

How should I deal with discouragement as a graduate student?

I am a third year (starting fourth year in the fall) PhD student in mathematics. I've passed all qualifying exams and am currently doing research. As far as I can tell, I am not doing poorly. I have ...
214
votes
8answers
24k views

“I've somehow convinced everyone that I'm actually good at this” - how to effectively deal with Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon wherein an individual is convinced that they do not deserve the success that they have achieved despite (perhaps extensive) empirical evidence to the ...
66
votes
9answers
149k views

Is transferring to another university an option for an unhappy PhD student?

I've heard of people transferring between graduate schools because of their advisor moving to another school and taking their students with them. Do students ever transfer for other reasons? If a ...
54
votes
10answers
7k views

Age and Graduate school

I am 33. I live in the US. I am a neither a US citizen, nor a green card holder. I have worked in various jobs as a research assistant (physics, biology, economics) usually involving programming, ...
78
votes
9answers
10k views

Am I reading enough of the scientific literature? Should I read for breadth or depth?

Ever since starting graduate school I've tried to make scientific reading a part of my daily ritual; I track pages read using Beeminder, and the graph doesn't lie. It keeps me honest. I aim to ...
37
votes
4answers
8k views

Details an applicant should include/exclude in an introductory letter to a prospective grad school adviser?

I'm applying for graduate school (PhD in computer science), and I'm considering writing to faculty whose research areas match with what I intend to pursue, to understand: Whether they'd be looking ...
24
votes
4answers
46k views

Importance of GPA and GRE scores for grad school admissions

I was reading the following article by Mathew Might. HOWTO: Get into grad school for science, engineering, math and computer science I saw the following the paragraph What doesn't matter GPA? ...
29
votes
3answers
90k views

How much detail to include in first email to potential PhD supervisor?

First, I must mention that I found these questions helpful: Prospective PhD contacts potential supervisor but receives no answer after 2-3 emails, what to do? What to do when emails to a potential ...
18
votes
4answers
15k views

Academic dismissal from PhD program. What next?

A couple semesters after beginning my PhD program (in the US), I was dismissed from the program because: My GPA was slightly below the program's minimum (after being on academic probation for one ...
35
votes
2answers
64k views

What are the 'right questions' to ask professors at a visit day for prospective graduate students?

I'm in mathematics, though I don't know if the answers to this will be field-dependent. There have been previous good questions that answer what to ask graduate students here and only somewhat ...
39
votes
7answers
24k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages to completing a Masters program before applying to a Ph. D program?

I've been considering applying to graduate school of some form or another in Mathematics. During my undergraduate years, I did decently on my undergraduate coursework (mostly A-s, some As, a B) but ...
40
votes
7answers
16k views

Why are US PhDs different from European PhDs?

So apparently I heard from here, here and here about the differences in PhDs in the US and in Europe. To sum up, it takes longer, on average, in the US than in Europe to finish a PhD since US PhD ...
25
votes
4answers
34k views

What are some good questions to ask current graduate students when visiting schools?

For the record, I'm visiting the University of Chicago as an accepted PhD student (in the geophysical sciences) next week. In particular, I'd especially appreciate creative questions that few other ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Should I link my research in my SOP?

I have done some independent research that I wish to mention in my SOP. The full account of what I have done till has been published as an e-print on arxiv.org. Can I give a hyperlink to this e-print ...
28
votes
6answers
2k views

When is it a good idea to let an academic department (or a professor) know that I have Asperger's (or ADD)?

With Asperger's, the trick is always when to explain it (in a non-awkward situation). I'd like to avoid mentioning it if possible, but it has gotten to the point that I only mention it after ...
66
votes
7answers
14k views

What can I do to recover from a short term burnout?

Over the past few days, my advisor and I had been going really hard. We got a really good idea and the preliminary results looked good, so I started spending long days in the lab, going home only to ...
14
votes
9answers
15k views

What are the goals and benefits of doing a PhD?

I'm a master computer science student in a German university and I will be graduating soon. I'm in a situation between accepting a PhD position or leaving academia to start looking for job. This is a ...
49
votes
18answers
11k views

In teaching, what are the advantages of using slides over doing board work?

At my university, most lecturers and professors use slides in teaching. This is true for most engineering, mathematics and science courses. I am more comfortable with doing the board work and then ...
24
votes
6answers
3k views

Having the knowledge of a graduate student but not having the degree requirements for graduate school?

Let's say that you're a 27 year old autodidact who has gained enough knowledge in a particular field of the formal sciences - like mathematics, for instance - to be able to take the highest course ...
15
votes
3answers
6k views

Who should pursue a Ph.D degree?

I am asking myself the question "Should I do PhD or should I leave academia and go for an industrial career?" My life-goal is being a professor. And I love to do research. PhD is surely a bite that ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Switching from one area of graduate study to another?

Is it possible to switch from one area of graduate study to another in US universities? For example, suppose someone has enrolled in a computer science phd program. Can he switch over to math(or ...
107
votes
8answers
16k views

How to stop feeling guilty about unfinished work?

My biggest challenge as a PhD student is best summarized by the following from PHD Comics: "Piled Higher and Deeper" by Jorge Cham www.phdcomics.com A consequence of working in research is that the ...
46
votes
5answers
4k views

Can one excel in graduate school with a demanding family life?

The essential gist of my question relates to what the real, unvarnished realities are of graduate, post-graduate, research, fellowship, and professorship attainment - when you aren't a single person ...
18
votes
2answers
4k views

What are some good practices for applying to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program?

Is it possible if I could get 4 letters of recommendation? How far in advance should I notify those who are writing my letters? Does activity on sites like Quora, Stack Exchange, and Reddit's ...
20
votes
5answers
7k views

What's more important in choosing a PhD program, advisor or institution?

In terms of judging a doctoral program--and possibly also relevant for postdoc-ships(?)--which is the more important consideration, who your advisor is or the institution at which you study? ...
19
votes
4answers
4k views

Graduate early with average GPA, or later with better GPA?

I've seen similar questions here, and I wish there was a narrower tag than the broad soft-question and career-development. I am currently a freshman/sophomore-to-be at a top ten math program in US. ...
9
votes
5answers
6k views

How can I enter into the mathematics field at the graduate level when I only took a few math courses as an undergrad?

Background I was ignorant as an undergraduate and didn't focus heavily in any specific area. I finally graduated with a single math/computer science degree that consisted of 5 math classes beyond ...
27
votes
6answers
51k views

Attending graduate school at my undergraduate university

I've been told by numerous people that (1) my undergraduate university will be disinclined to bring me on as a graduate student, and that (2) it's a bad idea to attend grad school where you completed ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Value of having done applied math research when applying to PhD programs in pure math

I will be a second year math under-grad in September, and currently doing an internship at applied math research institute. Most probably, I will come up with a research paper at the end of the ...
1
vote
2answers
418 views

What is common in most PhD application procedures in the UK?

I am almost done with my master's degree in mathematical finance. I'm done with thesis and have one course left to take. I am taking it in a 3rd world country and am interested in applying for a PhD ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Are Identical Make-up Exams Fair?

I recently took an exam, and our professor told us that we should submit our question sheets since 2 other students in our class are going to take a make-up exam. We were also told that we were not ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How essential is your GPA for admissions to PhD programs to US universities in Theoretical Physics?

I am a Physics undergrad aspiring to pursue mathematical physics(string theory etc) as a future career. How much importance is given to your GPA by grad schools in the US or Europe for admitting ...
58
votes
15answers
82k views

I am currently debating whether to leave my PhD program- any advice

TL;DR: Young graduate student in his first year of a PhD program who has lost a passion for the academic world. Seriously considering quitting but don't know what to do. Science background. Would love ...
33
votes
3answers
3k views

How to efficiently read mathematically and theoretically dense books in STEM fields?

When it comes to reading, there are literally thousands of methods from Speed Reading to SQ3R to Sequential(Word by Word till the end). My question is regarding reading mathematically/theoretically ...
23
votes
7answers
1k views

How does one keep herself updated with new research without forgetting older results?

The title is fairly generic in nature, so I'm trying to elaborate in the body. I'm interested in answers pertaining to Theoretical Computer Science (TCS), but I'm certain the question would be equally ...
16
votes
4answers
20k views

Acceptance into graduate math programs

I have been hearing different views about my likelihood of getting accepted into a math graduate program. Which of the following factors contribute most to the acceptance of a non-math ...
19
votes
2answers
9k views

How many research interests should be included in a statement of purpose/objective

I am wondering how many research interest should be included in a statement of purpose. Is it better to include just one core interest or to include up to three as in my case?
43
votes
6answers
2k views

Will people judge me negatively for skipping department seminars?

I'm a graduate student in the Earth Sciences. The breadth of my departments runs the gamut from geobiology to geophysics and everything in between. As a result, a large number of the department ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

As someone with low grades how can I prepare myself to study MSc in CS in USA?

I have completed Bachelor in IT from a third world country in 2008. I have achieved 49% marks. I am 30 and working in a bank. Now I want to study MSc in CS in the USA and eventually PhD. I believe ...
19
votes
5answers
8k views

Usefulness of prior industry experience before entering grad school?

I'm wondering what impact does prior industry experience (by which I mean 2+ years in a non-trivial functional role in any established organization) lend to the profile of someone who is entering grad ...
19
votes
5answers
5k views

How is a research direction determined between a graduate student and their advisor?

My question applies to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math disciplines (STEM). Q: By what process does a graduate student determine his or her research direction? (Assume that the graduate ...
27
votes
2answers
6k views

Advice for having children during graduate school

My wife and I just found out that we're having our first child. While this is a wonderful thing, it also concerns us a bit. Particularly because we're on limited funds (TA & RA combined salary) ...
40
votes
6answers
3k views

What are the benefits/detriments to graduate students joining unions?

The graduate students at my university (a relatively large state school in the US) are considering joining a union. To help decide whether to sign a union card in support of joining the union, I'm ...
21
votes
4answers
15k views

What is the difference between Ph. D programs with coursework and those without it?

I have been looking into PhD programs in the Engineering field, and I have found different types of programs, such as some with coursework, and others without any coursework. What is the practical ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of having multiple advisers?

Could multiple advisers mean that it might be easier for you to get funding? (since you're not just limited to one person?) Could it also mean that you get more overall input in your project (the ...
12
votes
4answers
64k views

Do all universities have a minimum required GPA for graduate school application?

I am a senior undergraduate (electrical) engineering student, exceedingly interested in physics. 4 years ago when entering university, for some reasons (better: illusions) I chose engineering as my ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Am I too old for academia after a PhD? [duplicate]

Currently, I am applying for PhD positions at United States and Canadian Universities. I will be 35 when I start my PhD in Computer Science/Machine Learning, and probably I will finish it around the ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

Which is preferable, to go to graduate school at same school as undergrad or to go to a lower-ranked school?

I've heard from people that generally, it's a bad idea to go to the same school as your undergrad to get your graduate education. However, in the situation that you get into only your undergrad ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

Deferring Admission to reapply for some PhD programs next year

This question is related to one of my previous questions: Changing University in First year of Phd I just completed my senior year. I have been accepted to a grad school (say University X). I want ...
25
votes
5answers
2k views

Professor withholding course grade until submission of conference paper

I have recently been told by the professor of a particular course of mine, that our final grades will be withheld (given as an "Incomplete" which is later replaced by the final grade) until we ...