If you're considering grad school, plan ahead. Pick up a guide to the admissions process and learn what it's all about. A quick perusal of the college admission shelves of any bookstore reveals an overwhelming array of choices. Where do you start? Try Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning a Master's or a PhD, by Robert L. Peters. This is the classic guide to getting in to grad school. It covers the entry process and so much more.
Offers Advice for Students Considering Grad School
The first four chapters of Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning a Master's or a PhD are essential for anyone considering grad school. Here you'll learn what graduate school is really like. It's an at-times bleak picture, but an accurate one. Peters guides the reader to soul search and consider some important questions. Do you really need to go to grad school to accomplish your goals? Should you work first? Readers might balk at the dark tone of these chapters, but it's important to have a realistic view of what the next two to eight years might be like. Some graduate programs in humanities and social sciences have attrition rates approaching 70%. Realism can be depressing, but it's vital to making a decision that you can live with.
Offers Advice for Applicants
Chapters 5 through 9 of Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning a Master's or a PhD cover the admissions process in detail. Peters provides indispensable information on how to choose a school, choose an advisor, write the personal essay, interview, improve your credentials for admission, and obtain financial aid.
Offers Advice for Graduate Students
Chapters 10 through 14 of Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning a Master's or a PhD
focus on surviving graduate school. Chapters discuss how typical master's and doctoral programs are organized and how students can prepare for qualifying exams. The chapters on keeping organized and managing departmental politics are particularly valuable to grad students, their mentors, and anyone in academia.
Chapters 15 through 19 deal with the dreaded thesis or dissertation. In these chapters, Peters provides structure. You'll learn how to generate ideas, get started, write the proposal, pick your committee, write the thesis, and defend it.
Chapters 20 through 24 are what make this guide stand out from the rest. These are mental health and personal development chapters. You'll find suggestions for dealing with the stress, depression, and social isolation that many students experience. Topics also cover the social aspects of grad school and how to fit in, how to give an oral presentation, and most importantly, how to find a job after grad school.
Most guides to grad school cover the admission process and stop there, leaving the new student at loss on the first day of school. Peters' Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning a Master's or a PhD is useful throughout. Reread sections as needed to keep you focused as you progress towards your graduate degree. Plus, Peters' wonderful sense of humor and cartoons add life to the text and make it feel like a conversation with a caring mentor. Grad school isn't always user friendly, but Getting What You Came For is.