That's the allure of online graduate study. I teach online courses and working from home, at your own page, coffee in hand, and in comfy clothes is a plus, but online learning is accompanied by a host of challenges. Can you stay motivated and produce without a designated class time and in-person instructor? Online graduate degree programs are not for everyone. Is an online master's or doctoral program for you? What should you consider in selecting an online graduate program? What are warning signs of graduate programs to avoid?
Receiving a letter of rejection in response to your application to graduate school is disappointing to say the least. Anger, sorrow, and confusion are common responses. Accept these feelings as they're normal. Once you have wallowed a little bit turn your attention to feeling better and taking action. Recognize that rejection does not necessarily mean that you are unfit for graduate study. There are many reasons why applicants are rejected that have nothing to do with their credentials. Then consider your applications, your fit to each program, and what may have gone wrong. Finally, learn from this experience and determine specific changes that you can make to improve your application.
How did you cope with rejection? Share your experience.
Commencement ceremonies were held at most colleges and universities within the last week or two. Graduates often report feeling a mix of relief, happiness, and also some sadness. Why?
You've been looking forward to graduation since you first started college or graduate school. It's finally here! Why aren't you happier? Students spend a great deal of time and effort working towards earning a degree. Sometimes when a long-awaited goal is achieved, we feel a sense of emptiness -- sadness. Why sadness? What are the graduation blues?
Often students say something along the lines of: "I thought I'd feel different, but nothing has changed." It's a common feeling. I experienced it after defending my dissertation. What's the solution? Remind yourself of how much you've achieved. Look back on the path you've taken. Take pride in your accomplishment. Think about your next goal(s), whether it's to improve your social life, improve your physical fitness, or earn another degree. Did you experience the graduation blues? Share your response on this page and read what others have to say.
For those not in the know, an adjunct refers to an adjunct instructor - a part time college instructor. Adjuncts are paid by the class. Adjunct positions typically pay about $3,000 per class though some may receive as little as $1,500 and others $4,000. Most adjuncts are graduate students or graduates pursuing full time tenure track positions in academia. Adjuncts typically string together multiple jobs and often teach for two or more colleges.
Some have argued that adjuncting ruins lives. Why? Low pay, little control over what class assignments and schedules, and low status. Adjuncts often are invisible in departments. No office space, no phone, no status. The stress of adjuncting gets in the way of completing dissertations and job hunting. Although intended to keep oneself afloat before obtaining permanent employment adjuncting can delay graduation and negatively affect one's career. Is this overly dire?
Should you avoid adjunct teaching? Not necessarily. It's a personal decision based on your personal situation. But a broader perspective is always helpful. Thoughts?
Summer is just a few steps away. If you're planning on going to graduate school, whether applying this fall or next, you should take advantage of summer time as an opportunity to get some research experience. Its not too late to speak with your professors and get some leads on research opportunities. These opportunities likely will be unpaid but help you get experience and make contacts.
Passing a comprehensive exam, also known as a qualifying exam, is the last step towards finishing your coursework. Successful students then become doctoral candidates and begin working on their dissertations. Comprehensive exams, or comps, are simply that: very comprehensive exams in which the student demonstrates his or her mastery of the field. Graduate programs approach comps in a variety of ways. Some require that the student learn all of the basic material covered in his or her coursework as well as the most recently published work in the field. Others require the student to select several areas on which to be tested. Still others treat the comps as a dissertation proposal, in which the student is tested on the literature that will become the basis of his or her dissertation. Comps may be oral or written.
Regardless of format, comps are a big deal and a source of stress for graduate students. Science Careers' Alan Marnett likens comprehensive exams to kidney stones. Passing a kidney stone "may involve crying, screaming, or fainting -- not unlike the most feared events in graduate school, including the qualifying exam." However, he explains that there are ways that grad students can make comps less painful and instead transform it into an incredible learning experience. Seriously good advice.
We all work hard to manage our time well and avoid procrastination, putting tasks off until the last minute. However, intentionally delaying work can have benefits.
One of my former students faced a wonderful, but very difficult, decision. She was awarded admission to 3 doctoral programs in psychology. She wondered where to go - and whether she should choose a PhD or PsyD. Identifying details have been changed, but this student's decision process -- and our conversation - may aid you in making decisions about which graduate program to attend.
In a recent article in Slate Rebecca Schuman argues that getting a doctorate in literature will "turn you into an emotional trainwreck, not a professor." You don't have to look far to find negative views of the humanities PhD. Specifically, academic jobs in the humanities are few and far between. Does that mean you should avoid attending grad school in the humanities? Not necessarily. You'll need to love what you do, excel at it, and have an escape hatch ready should you need to search for jobs outside of academia. InsideHigherEd suggests considering another career alternative: alt-ac (alternate academic) careers in academic affairs, in student development and in offices of research and sponsored projects.
If you're planning on taking the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) in the next few months, you should spend some time - a great deal of time - between now and then studying. Perhaps start by examining some GRE test prep books, but then devise a study plan. Many applicants consider taking a GRE test prep class. Should you? If so, what are your options for onsite GRE review classes?