I have been writing about getting admission in colleges in U.S. and majority of my articles have been about getting into Master’s program. Mainly because, I completed Master’s and interacted with students from many different colleges. If I happen to meet a student from a different school, I will be the first person to ask about the graduate school, international student strength, financial aid, part time jobs, cost of living and of course his/her contact details. In this way I was able to gather information about many graduate schools and colleges.
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Many students asked me about PhD program and whether its advisable to apply for PhD directly instead of Masters degree. I personally think, direct PhD will be better choice. Then other questions comes to students mind, who don’t have much exposure to research.
How to Succeed in Graduate School
I happened to find a very nice white paper published in ACM journal titled – How to Succeed in Graduate School: A Guide for Students and Advisors by Marie desJardins
It includes in-depth details of how it will be to study PhD. Majority of students planning to study in U.S. is no aware of many factors research, thesis, paper presentation, working as research assistant. I was in the same boat, but with many friends and relatives who were doing Master’s when I was applying to school, helped me to understand how it will be like to study in U.S. But, How to Succeed in Graduate School: A Guide for Students and Advisors is very clearly depicted about life of students. It’s a very nice read to understand what is it to like study PhD and majority of the topics discussed applies to doing Thesis work in Master’s program too.
Here’s are some excerpt from the paper
…start small, think big, and keep yourself focused on your ultimate goal, which shouldn’t just be to get through graduate school, but to enjoy yourself, make progress towards being able to do what you want to do with your life, and learn something in the process …
…Graduate students typically take nine hours or less of coursework per semester, especially after the second year. For many, the third year – after coursework is largely finished and preliminary exams have been completed ..
… Being a good researcher involves more than merely coming up with brilliant ideas and implementing them. Most researchers spend the majority of their time reading papers, discussing ideas with colleagues, writing and revising papers, staring blankly into space and, of course, having brilliant ideas and implementing them. …
Here’s the link to How to Succeed in Graduate School: A Guide for Students and Advisors