Wednesday, September 14, 2011

CHE: An Open Letter to Graduate Students

Although this advice is over a year old, I find it highly relevant to new graduate students entering school this fall. These are very useful tips!
Today, I would like to address a new group: those students just beginning graduate school, specifically those full-time students enrolled in a PhD program.

As is the case with much of what we do at ProfHacker, the purpose of this post is to make explicit the unwritten rules, norms, and quirks of academia. Not that people will be intentionally keeping information from you; rather, it’s very easy to forget what it was like to be in your position and that what we take as self-evident is actually the product of specific departmental-, institutional-, or field-specific contexts. This letter cannot be a complete manual to finishing your degree in exactly four years (if it was, we wouldn’t be giving it away, that’s for sure!). Rather, it’s a distillation of what we, our colleagues on Twitter, and the commenters here at ProfHacker—a gracious lot, all—learned in our own graduate school experience.

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