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Do you have questions about graduate school?





Texas Al
Are you thinking of applying to graduate school? Wondering what to expect? Well, I'm nearing the end of my graduate education, and maybe I can answer some of your questions.

I'm in a science program, so some of the information might be different for humanities programs, and most of the information will be different for professional schools (medical, law, business, etc.).
coolclay
Sweet, congratulations on nearing completion.

I originally hadn't even thought about grad school because I don't have the money, and I need to work to pay off my current school loans. Then I was talking to my advisor, and she asked me about grad school and I said, no way I don't have the money. Then she told me that if I do a good, senior thesis, that I could get into almost any grad school for free, and that they might even pay me to attend. So I am currently still thinking about it, I am only a sophomore so I have a few more years to think about it. Is it true, can I go to grad school for free? I am currently majoring in environmental biology, I am not sure what I would go for yet if I was to go to grad school. Is grad school worth the time and effort? Any other tips?
Texas Al
Every PhD program in the sciences I've ever heard of does pay the students a stipend. Not all MS or MA programs do, and not all PhD programs in the humanities do.

I make enough to pay my mortgage, have a (used) car, eat, and have a hobby or two. Not the $40k I'd make starting at some office, but if that's what I wanted that's what I'd be doing right now.

Furthermore, grad school isn't that hard to get into if you're a domestic applicant (I'm from the USA, though, the situation may be different in other countries). In the USA if you're a citizen and have decent grades and GRE scores, you'll get in someplace... a lot of programs have empty slots each year which they fill with applicants from other countries, so they'd be happy to see you.

On the other hand there is a lot of interest in the environment (compared to obscure stuff like, say, the physiology of oxidative stress) so environmental biology might be more competitive. But you can always go into a related program and find a mentor there who is doing research that's actually environmental biology. That happens all the time.
yupeng
I will graduate from my university school.
But i find that it is a difficult thing to find a job.
cnnet
yupeng wrote:
I will graduate from my university school.
But i find that it is a difficult thing to find a job.

agree
I also well graduate next year
but I haven't find a job yet
what would i do then Question
denggi
Hmm, so doing Phd and all that is called graduate school in the US? Funny, over here in my country it's postgraduate studies...If your plan is to do research, lecturing, academic stuff, maybe graduate school is good. But for work in the outside world, isn't it enough to have maybe a degree? Of course you've got to top it up with working experience. Given a choice between a fresh phd holder and a guy with good working experience, I think an employer will pick the latter. Opinions?
benwhite
With college becoming increasingly popular and common, a PhD or MBA or other graduate degree certainly helps raise a candidate above the crowd. More schooling never hurts.

In the humanities, a given department gets to bring in a given number of students with pay. Others who want to study will sometimes have to shoulder the cost. For example, my brother earns 14k stipend as a first-year grad student. Not a lot of money, but he has enough free time to work an additional job. Not having cash isn't a reason not to go. The more financially in need someone is, the more the universities are willing to bend over backward to help them pay. As tuition goes up so does financial aid. It's definitely worth applying and exploring your options if you are interested.
Texas Al
denggi wrote:
Hmm, so doing Phd and all that is called graduate school in the US? Funny, over here in my country it's postgraduate studies...If your plan is to do research, lecturing, academic stuff, maybe graduate school is good. But for work in the outside world, isn't it enough to have maybe a degree? Of course you've got to top it up with working experience. Given a choice between a fresh phd holder and a guy with good working experience, I think an employer will pick the latter. Opinions?


Yes, you are correct, I meant PhD and other degrees that go after a Bachelors.

I'm not getting my PhD to make better money. If that was my main goal I would have just gone into business doing something I'm good at (e.g. computers). There's no real point in getting a PhD unless you want to teach in a university or do research. I want to do research (molecular physiology), so that's why I'm going for my PhD.

Let me emphasize that again, because sometimes I meet students who came in thinking a PhD is like a Bachelors but "more better". If you don't want to do research or college level teaching, it's not worth it.
orc_lord
i greduated K.R.A.L
it means Kirami Refia Alemdarođlu Anadolu Lisesi
it's in turkey
illini319
I'm nearing the end of my graduate career (in the sciences), too. The question posed earlier was, "Is it worth it?" Hmm.. tough to answer really. I certainly agree with the earlier posts. Graduate school shouldn't be considered a place to train so that you can make 'more money.' There are plenty of professions out there that do not require such lengthy amounts of study and yield much higher salary. So, the worth in question is what? worth the time? worth the training? That's up to you, I think. One simple thing I've learned about graduate school is that it is all about the journey, not the end. In the end, I will have a PhD. But what does that really mean? How does a PhD in some technical field differ from a PhD in English, differ from a JD? In my opinion, they don't. Lemme know if this makes sense to all of you.
SunburnedCactus
Frankly, anything that delays going into employment is good for me! Not that doing a Phd isn't a lot of work.
cnnet
the things we learned may not suit in the real life of us
Texas Al
illini319 wrote:
How does a PhD in some technical field differ from a PhD in English, differ from a JD? In my opinion, they don't. Lemme know if this makes sense to all of you.


In my opinion, a JD is a vocational degree, closer to an MD or DDS than to a PhD. PhDs in technical fields differ from PhD's in the humanities because they are more often funded (so you can do research full time) and the entire dissertation is basically the student testing one hypothesis. Therefore, it's been my impression that in technical fields students graduate faster, and don't see it as a journey. They see it as a necessary step to proving that they can be trusted to run their own lab, apply for their own research funding, and have their own students.
illini319
Texas Al wrote:
illini319 wrote:
How does a PhD in some technical field differ from a PhD in English, differ from a JD? In my opinion, they don't. Lemme know if this makes sense to all of you.


In my opinion, a JD is a vocational degree, closer to an MD or DDS than to a PhD. PhDs in technical fields differ from PhD's in the humanities because they are more often funded (so you can do research full time) and the entire dissertation is basically the student testing one hypothesis. Therefore, it's been my impression that in technical fields students graduate faster, and don't see it as a journey. They see it as a necessary step to proving that they can be trusted to run their own lab, apply for their own research funding, and have their own students.


I agree with you about your vocational idea. I wouldn't necessarily put JD, ideologically, in that category. Most assuredly, an MD is in many ways vocational. They are, for the most part, highly trained technicians who perform well in standardized exams. They deal with people's lives which is why they have such high salaries; it certainly is not a measure of relative intellect.
JD and PhD (in any field) are far more similar. In the end, you are trained to think logically and argue effectively. That's it, nothing else. Salaries and funding are different. But that's not the essence of the degree. In any given field, one can make money.
As far as graduation rates and how students perceive their education... I guess so. Most students probably think the way you said. Most are naive. And, consequently, most will not be principle investigators. That's the cold hard truth. It's ALL about the training. It's ALL about the journey. In the end, we are paid to think, not DO. It is still very much an apprenticeship and so, the experiences we gain through our journey are what shape us and ultimately make us 'trustworthy' for funding.
toiyeumetre
www.chinhphu.vn: it's the website of vietname government.
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