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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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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Should my advisor know if I am auditing unrelated courses?

Question : Should my advisor know if I am auditing unrelated courses? Motivation : I am a PhD student in Computer Science and at times, I wish to audit courses which are not at all related to my ...
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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? ...
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What to do when a thesis adviser refuses to recommend me?

After I completed my PhD program, during which I published one refereed paper, I applied for several academic positions. For a while, my two main thesis advisers agreed to write letters of ...
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3answers
694 views

Etiquette for discussing authorships, expectations, etc. with potential advisors

Assuming that one has begun a PhD program at a university which allows a student to choose an advisor after his/her first year in the program and the student has narrowed down on a couple of potential ...
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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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How do I talk to my professor about my anxiety/depression?

I am 22 years old and I have recently began my first year of grad school. It is very overwhelming. Everyone seems to have more developed thoughts than I do, and all my classmates are 2nd or 3rd year ...
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What are the benefits of PhD students working on projects where they won't be first-author?

Given that only papers where you are the first-author will contribute to your dissertation, isn't it a poor use of time to be contributing to the projects of other researchers?
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what do you do if your PhD advisor publishes a solo paper on your topic?

I was working with my advisor on a research topic for six months and we had some results. The important idea was his, but the initial idea was mine and we worked on it together. Now my advisor has ...
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Is it possible to work on extra activities (start-up project) during PhD?

I am about to get my bachelor degree in computer science. I have applied PhD programs of US universities to earn doctorate degree in computer architecture subject. I kept my hopes high and applied the ...
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Answering “Why do you want to become a research mathematician?”-type questions in a statement of purpose

How should one address the classic "Why do you want to become a research mathematician?"-type question that is normally asked in the statement of purpose when applying to Masters (and also) programs? ...
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How much editing can one ethically accept from one's advisor on a fellowship proposal (e.g. NSF/NDSEG/etc.)

I'm applying for graduate fellowships right now (I am a first-year graduate student in a STEM field), and am preparing to submit the application. My advisor has been helping me out with it for a while,...
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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/...
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How to prepare for the French language exam as part of PhD program?

I am about to take the French language exam as part of the requirements for the PhD program at my university. The exam will consist of having to translate (with the help of a dictionary) a subset of a ...
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How to ask someone (outside the department) to be on the thesis committee

I have to request a faculty member outside of my department to be on my thesis committee and I was wondering how I should go about doing this. To be frank, I don't really see why someone would be ...
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PhD student and postdoc statistics related to relationships

As a graduate student and postdoc, I remember more of my colleagues becoming single than entering new relationships. In many cases the problem was that their partners could not accept their unusual ...
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Why do PIs say no to students working during grad studies?

Professors in my department frown upon students working (part-time or full-time) during their MSc or PhD. Even extra TA hours are looked down upon... The rent on-campus is ~$950/month and we are paid ...
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7answers
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PhD - Well known professor or well known school? [closed]

What is more valuable broadly speaking (assuming all else equal): A PhD from a decent school (top ~100) with a very well respected (but not famous) professor; say for example the head of department A ...
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How do successful undergraduate and PhD students differ? [closed]

I was recently speaking to a university lecturer about studying at undergraduate and PhD level. He spoke about how many successful undergraduate students ended up doing poorly at research level, as ...
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626 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 ...
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Why would a grad school reduce fees to a trivial amount rather than reduce stipend?

When I applied to grad schools I was accepted with full tuition wavers and stipends to all but one. That one gave me a good stipend and reduced tuition to a trivial fee ($300). They say you can even ...
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Do extracurricular research/activities in graduate school negatively affect your future?

I'm the kind of graduate student that finds many research topics interesting and wants to participate in lots of student organization activities related to science and academia. But recently, one of ...
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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. ...
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How many weeks of break (per year) should a graduate student reasonably expect to have?

Here are the details for one of my schools so far: At UChicago, my prospective adviser said that I should expect to have around a month off per year (probably 2 weeks in winter and 2 weeks in summer)....
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Is it advisable to have a master or PhD thesis topic in mind before entering graduate school?

This is a question that fascinates a lot of people prior to attending graduate school. The question whether one should already have chosen a thesis topic so that all efforts will be put on creating ...
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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 ...
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My advisor rejects my idea, but claims that the modified version is hers. What should I do?

I am a junior PhD student in electrical engineering and I need ideas about how to handle my mentor. Whenever I go to her with an idea she rejects it saying it is wrong or not interesting. But after a ...
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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?
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Why is there a general dislike for asian universities?

I had intentions of applying for higher education in Korea or Japan, but I was told many times that "Doing PhD in an Asian university is a career suicide". Why is that? My field is cognitive ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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My mental health has been damaged. I don't want to quit my PhD but I don't know how to continue? [closed]

I have been in the lab for more than a year and my mental health has been damaged seriously due to the harassment of my PI, and I believe my PI has breached my confidentiality by sharing information I ...
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6answers
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How can a student improve his attentiveness during lectures?

I'll be starting my 4-th year of post-secondary education, in a few weeks, and during my first 3 years, I've had problems with attentiveness. My latest problem was last year, where I don't think I've ...
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3answers
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Etiquette for establishing contact with multiple professors for PhD guidance

Assuming that one has begun a PhD program at a university which allows a student to choose an advisor after his/her first year in the program and the student has narrowed down to a couple of potential ...
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3answers
1k views

Guidelines to follow if my adviser suggests that I work on dead-end projects

I generally chase after whatever my adviser/supervisor tells me to do, although I know that it's sometimes a project that they don't want to spend their time on. I know that I can learn a lot even ...
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3answers
518 views

Number of potential PhD advisors at a school

Past advice suggests that potential PhD students should be wary of attending schools with only one professor in their subfield. If you have problems with your advisor and want to switch, having that ...
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Is it normal for math grad students to be required to take summer classes to work?

My mathematics department apparently gets pressured by the university to have more people take courses during the summer. We are also encouraged to take on TA responsibilities to make extra cash ...
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1answer
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How to cope with feelings of powerlessness on a PhD?

I am currently a third year PhD student of pure mathematics. I've been dealing with a feeling of burn out for a long time now. Quite frankly I struggle to find interest in anything related to my ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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10answers
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Are Mathematics graduate programs open to admitting a student out of high school with graduate work?

During my high school career, I had the unique opportunity to take multiple mathematics courses at my local university, and after graduating, I took two graduate level math courses: Measure theory, ...
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Why are academic institutions now looking to judge their students in multiple choice questions tests?

Multiple choice questions are nowadays very common in many of the world's institutes. Particularly in entrance tests, they use multiple choice testing. Why are these academic institutions now looking ...
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Is it ok to fail with analysis?

I'm a graduate student and I am really worried about the quality of my master thesis. It's my second year in graduate school and I've already done some pilot studies. But, entering the school, I was ...
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3answers
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Discussing work with supervisor in an invited dinner with his family

I am a grad student. I have been away for an internship in another city. My professor came to meet me at the weekend and he invited me to dinner. I did not have any time to prepare and I did not bring ...
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9answers
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Should I quit my job and travel the world before applying to PhD programs? [closed]

I plan to apply for PhD programs in foreign policy this upcoming year. It's a field I'm passionate about and something that, after much deliberation, I am positive I want to pursue. With that said, I'...
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When being asked, what's the most harmless way to address my past record of leaving Ph.D. program in a different field?

Background As the title suggest, a year before I'm in the current program I'm in, I left another Ph.D. program in a different field and got a master. Issues As for now, I prefer not to talk about ...
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Very demanding adviser

I have an adviser who wants to know every minor details of my work and spend countless amount of time arguing with me over insignificant things. Basically, she tries to control everything I do, from ...
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6answers
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Should I include high school details in Grad School Resume?

I was wondering if I should include my high school details in the resume of my graduate school application ? It's unclear about this bit since we are not actually submitting any proof of high school ...
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Getting a pet during a PhD

There are questions on here about getting married, having kids, and other major time commitments during graduate school. But one thing that I haven't seen posted -- but that I've seen come up with ...
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“Professors do talk, you know” - What exactly does that mean?

This is a phrase that I have heard on multiple occasions, both on this forum and in real life. But what exactly does that mean (in reference to talking about students)? When I hear this, I can't help ...
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School's Admissions office ignoring me after accepting admission offer

So I'm in a bit of a weird situation right now. I recently graduated from university with my BS, but was expecting to continue my education at the school as I was accepted into a BS/MS program at the ...
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2answers
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Asking faculty up for tenure about the tenure decision

If I know a faculty member is up for tenure this year, is it appropriate to ask them for news about the tenure decision? If yes, are there norms around how to ask? I'm a grad student and still ...