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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.

9
votes
2answers
292 views

Do school-wide holidays count against personal vacation time?

I keep hearing different things from different people and it seems there is no clear policy laid out at my institution regarding the definition of graduate student vacation days; I'm curious how PIs ...
25
votes
5answers
2k views

Doing a PhD with significant external time obligations (e.g., marriage)

Graduate school has a reputation for being a tremendous time-sink. I'm currently married with kids, and I have a fairly busy extracurricular schedule. Is it common for married people - or anyone, ...
20
votes
4answers
761 views

Does Pop-Science involvement hurt one's reputation?

There is a divide between the scientific community about involvement in popular science. I would define it as involvement in NatGeo/Discovery type documentaries, writing columns for newspapers/...
15
votes
2answers
840 views

What is the typical time period after which an incoming grad student is expected to start publishing?

An incoming graduate student is typically required to help out as a TA, take courses both related to their research and required by the program, as well as to start reading up on the research topics ...
22
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I not get impatient when other people ask me to describe my research?

I mean, I really should be glad when they ask me this question. But inevitably, different people will ask me the same question many different times (over many different interviews), understandably so, ...
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 ...
16
votes
1answer
481 views

What are the options for fellowships for international grad students in USA?

I'm looking for fellowships that an international grad student can apply for, to support him/her while working towards a Ph.D. (additional to whatever funding that may be available as TA). So far, I'...
27
votes
6answers
49k 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it possible for a student in first year of Ph.D to secure funding for attending conferences?

Note: I'm primarily interested in answers relevant to Computer Science (Theory), but answers in different areas in CS / totally other disciplines are equally welcome. In most (if not all) PhD ...
21
votes
7answers
2k views

Are master's degrees in the US mostly meant to prepare you for a Ph.D?

I am a Canadian undergraduate student intending to get a master's degree, but not intending to get a Ph.D. A Canadian graduate student told me that master's degree in the US are really only designed ...
26
votes
2answers
2k views

Advisor isn't advising

I'm having the problem that my advisor isn't providing me with any real guidance. To avoid making this a rant post, I'll just state the facts: my advisor is an MD/PhD, working almost full-time as an ...
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 ...
13
votes
6answers
492 views

Evaluating Grad Schools on grounds other than research

Assuming that an applicant does his research and applies to a bunch of schools for a PhD. He gets accepted by a few of them with full aid. Assuming that the research and faculty at all places is more ...
19
votes
5answers
7k 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
7answers
606 views

Should I take courses that are not directly part of my research topic?

I've received conflicting advice as to whether I should choose my coursework based on my research topic or not. The main pro usually is that I'll quickly be able to get up to speed on my research. The ...
77
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 ...
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 ...
14
votes
3answers
330 views

How do I select a graduate program?

I've applied to several graduate (MSc) programs overseas, and I've received several acceptance letters. Now I have the problem to select one of those programs. How should I do it? What should I look ...