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.

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28
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3answers
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Advisor transferring to better school

I am currently at a Top-20 engineering school in the US. I am making great progress on my PhD and have an excellent relationship with my advisor. My advisor is transferring to a Top-3 engineering ...
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How common is it for women to drop out of graduate school because they have children?

I am a 29 year old female. I want to go back to school. I have been told that I have a very good chance at getting into a very good graduate computer science program (machine learning, AI, robotics, ...
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How do I impress my prospective grad advisor? (first meeting)

I am supposed to meet with a PI to discuss the possibilities of joining his lab as a MSc student. I have had one meeting with another PI last week, but it went bad. Essentially he was repulsed when I ...
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What should I do if the professor I intended to work with has moved to a different school?

So, without giving out the details about the school. I joined a graduate program at school X, because I was really interested in work of professor Y. I met him during the graduate school visit and I ...
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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 ...
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When does a PhD end?

When does a PhD end? I know this is a very general question on this forum, but let us consider a CS-engineering group. What is the usual and primary consideration for letting the student finish ...
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Are 16 schools too many for a professor to provide recommendation letters to?

I plan to apply to approximately 16 schools and am wondering whether that's too many for my recommendation letter providers. It's happened before that a professor of my friend refused to provide all ...
27
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5answers
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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 ...
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How to test (admitted) grad students before hiring them in your lab

Recruiting "bad" PhD students who only become emotional, temporal, and financial drag is not good for anybody. I was listening to the recent freakonomics podcast episode, and thought it would be great ...
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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) ...
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How to answer “Why is graduate study important at this time in your life?”, when the reasons are very personal?

I am applying to our organization‘s scholarship program to pay for graduate school (if I get accepted). One of essay questions is: Why is graduate study important at this time in your life? Well, ...
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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, ...
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Can a department renege on a student's “guaranteed funding”?

I was admitted to a PhD program last year with guaranteed funding for 4 years. The funding offer was structured as a fellowship for the first year and an assistantship thereafter. I'm done with my ...
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“making it look good”- is it always important?

Recently I created a project report for the project that me and my classmate are working on. The project report goes to the external examiner to whom later we have to give a demo on our project. Me ...
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How do you build a healthy and productive relationship with your supervisor?

Some graduate students and post-docs have reported serious problems with their advisors and supervisors. Some of the problems are severe enough to be career ending. Not all problems can be avoided but ...
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What is a “good” PhD dropout rate, and how would we know?

In a few questions/answers on here (e.g., here), passing reference has been made to the difficulty of determining a good/acceptable/healthy dropout rate for a PhD program. However, I haven't seen any ...
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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 ...
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How can one successfully run a reading group?

This is related to "Skimming through a math paper with a group" and "What do professors gain out of teaching reading courses with individual Ph.D students", but from the other side :) I've ...
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How do I get published in Nature or Science?

I'm a fairly new chemical engineering graduate student. I've been doing research for one semester so far (in molecular dynamics) and in the process have learned about journals and "impact factor" (a ...
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Is one spelling mistake in the academic CV a big deal?

Just after submitting my CV to graduate school for masters admission, I realized that there was one spelling mistake on the first page of my CV. I misspelled the word 'merchandising'(missed the h). Is ...
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Studying a second undergraduate degree part-time while doing a PhD?

I was wondering if it would be okay for a full-time PhD student (in biology) to pursue a part-time degree in an unrelated subject. I had an undergrad experience that was pretty "focused", ...
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It seems my advisor doesn't trust me, but why?

Even though my advisor is reasonably friendly with me, it feels like he doesn't 'trust me' as much as he trusts the other grad student (let's call him X) in the lab. A few examples: I joined a lab a ...
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Do professors change their impression of a previously bad student?

One of my friends (a math graduate student from my department) didn't work hard during his undergraduate studies, and his GPA was, naturally, low. He barely (and with some luck) got into grad school, ...
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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 ...
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What's a good way out when research is stuck?

Consider a mid-level PhD student in a STEM field (maybe 2-3 years into the program), he and his advisor are working on something relatively new and interesting but they have reached a point where the ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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How to deal with fellow grad students who want to copy assignments?

How to deal with fellow students who put little effort on their part while solving assignments, and sometimes ask you to spoon-feed them solutions. Lot of times these students end up scoring more on ...
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4answers
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If I drop out of a PhD program, do I have to pay back the university?

I recently accepted a PhD program offer of roughly $21,000 for a year (2 semesters) of TA work. I will be attending a university in the USA, and I am studying computer science, if that affects the ...
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8answers
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Feeling unprepared for PhD because of poor educational system in my home country. Should I leave PhD to retake courses somewhere else?

I will give some background. I am from a third world country, and I am doing my math PhD in Europe. During high school and university years I participated in many maths competitions, and even got to ...
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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 ...
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How good do I actually have to be to get into a top graduate program from an average undergraduate program?

So, this is a question that I do not know much about. I might get called on not having done a ton of research on graduate school, but I am really curious about this. I am an undergraduate student of ...
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How to motivate speakers to give less specialized talks at a “colloquium?”

Our applied math department is beginning to have a serious attendance problem at our colloquium. The appropriate level for our colloquium is that any person with an undergraduate degree in a ...
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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? I don't ...
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Can you be dismissed from a graduate program for attending jury duty?

From what I’ve read, an employer can’t legally fire you for attending jury duty, although they don’t have to pay you. I’ve been called before but never had to serve more than a day. However, a grad ...
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When do most students publish in a European PhD?

in US PhDs, it's typical to start publishing (first author or not) in their latter-half years. How does that work in the EU? Since EU PhDs are shorter than US programs, is it common for EU phd ...
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Will people think negatively of owning a nice car in grad school?

I graduated from college 5 years ago, and I was very fortunate to graduate with no debt. For the 3 years after graduating I worked hard, had solid employment, and saved very carefully. This afforded ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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Advisor ill, out all year… how should I proceed?

I’m a first year grad student beginning this year. My professor was diagnosed with cancer and won’t be in, probably all year, maybe even the entire time I’m in class. He’s a great man, and also a ...
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As a dissertation advisor, how can I best help a “typical” graduate student?

I am about to officially become the Ph.D. advisor to a math grad student at a second-tier state school. (He is about to pass his comprehensive exams.) He is strong, motivated, and talented, but not ...
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7answers
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Is it possible to get a PhD by writing only review and survey papers?

Suppose that a PhD (in engineering) student has 3-4 review/survey papers in their domain, and has received more than 500 citations in total. In a situation like this, can they pass the oral defense ...
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5answers
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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, ...
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How to reduce negative consequence for the person I plagiarized my assignment from?

Due to some personal reasons, I didn't get to complete my semester end project. So I copied my friend's project and submitted it without major changes (I know I was a fool to do that). Now we are ...
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9answers
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Is it advisable to contact a professor if I fear failing a graduate-level course?

I am an international master's student in the US. I am currently finishing my last semester of courses. This semester has been very tough on my personal life because of some family issues. I also had ...
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3answers
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How to quit/put on hold a PhD program due to personality clash with advisor?

I've been trying to cope with a very abusive and mentally unstable advisor. In a recent clash she has been spewing lies and threats. It has become clearer and clearer that despite the four years of ...
22
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4answers
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How much does a student's ranking in their cohort matter for PhD applications?

I am from one of the top UK institutions studying mathematics. I am under the impression that UK universities tend to have a larger cohort (~150 per year) than US but perhaps I am wrong. I would ...
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Should I stay in PhD program I dislike to have a shot at liberal arts teaching?

TL;DR: I'm a pure math graduate student who doesn't like research mathematics. Should I continue and get the PhD because I suspect I might like teaching at a 4-year liberal arts college? I am ...
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Why don't some U.S. colleges celebrate American national holidays?

I was just catching up with a friend about the plunging temperatures in the towns that we live in, and they brought up that they actually have classes today, on Martin Luther King day, which is a ...
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Why is B or B− the minimum passing grade for most graduate courses in US?

I was recently told that in many schools in the US (maybe other countries too), the minimum grade for a graduate course is B or B−. Meaning that B is considered as a passing score. I would like to ...
22
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5answers
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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 ...
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How to say no to more work as a PhD student so I can graduate

I am entering my 5th year as a PhD student. The "understanding" with my advisor is that I need three journal papers accepted to graduate. I think I have enough material (designs/ measurements/ ...

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