How to get a phd

Complete an undergraduate degree in a broad field
1. To qualify for a PhD program, you will need a solid record of undergraduate coursework from a reputable university. This degree should demonstrate your potential for both advanced coursework and independent research. In general, you need to maintain a high GPA and develop a good working relationship with your instructors.
Generally, its recommended that students interested in pursuing advanced degrees should develop a wide skillbase during their undergrad. In other words, while you may ultimately be interested in studying Zoology, an undergrad degree in basic Biology might provide you with a diverse base that youll be able to narrow in your future studies.
Many universities offer majors designed to funnel you into an advanced degree. Prelaw majors and Premed majors are two notable examples of this. Talk to your academic advisor about your interest in pursuing a PhD after you graduate, if youve yet to select a major. .....
Develop a close relationship with at least one faculty member
2. Finding one or more faculty members who will mentor you, guide your development, and assist you in finding the right program for you can be the difference between finding your way into a good Ph.D program, and struggling. Youll also need several letters of recommendation to apply to graduate programs, making these contacts essential.
A good way to develop a relationship with a professor is to take multiple classes with her and join her lab, or research team. Go to office hours, introduce yourself, and express your interest in advanced degree work. Most professors are more than happy to work with a talented student who shows a sincere interest in their work.
Its also a good idea to forge relationships with graduate students at your school. Speak to graduate students and faculty about their experiences at the school, even if you plan on going elsewhere for your advanced degree. Many will be happy to let you know about the advantages and disadvantages of studying for and obtaining a Ph.D. It can be a great way to get insider information and get ahead of the game. .....
Obtain experience in the field with a research internship
3. In many fields, hard science in particular, securing a summer internship as an undergrad can do a lot to make you stand out on your applications. If you can get experience assisting in the biology lab, or doing field work with the other geologists, or even assisting a professor grade surveycourse tests, youll be one step ahead in the academic field.
Workstudy programs in your field of interest can also be extremely attractive of graduate applications. If youre studying English, try to secure employment in the Writing Lab, rather than the cafeteria to give yourself an edge and valuable experience. .....
Make contacts in your field
4. Become involved in your academic departments club or honor society if one exists. If not, speak with your advisor or department chair about starting one.
National and regional conferences, such as the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), allow dedicated undergrads the opportunity to rub elbows with experts and contribute to the discussion. .....
Start researching graduate programs in your junior year
5. Graduate school applications will be due sometime during the winter or spring of the academic year, for admittance the following fall semester. In other words, the autumn semester of your senior year is most likely too late to start looking at programs, compiling your application materials, and getting them in on time. Start early and dont miss out.
Look for programs with a good reputation, but give more weight to the faculty and the research interests of the other graduate students at prospective schools. What youre looking for in an advanced degree program is camaraderie and common ground, not an arbitrary ranking on some prestigious list.
The applications are expensivesometimes $50 or $80 dollars eachso you wont be able to apply to all programs. Try to select a range of programs to apply to: choose a few big dream schools with great facilities and prestigious faculty and lots of competition to see if you cant get in. Apply to smaller programs that youd also be happy attending. Apply to as many as you can afford to give yourself the best chance.
For some fields, a masters degree will be a more appropriate subsidiary or even terminal degree. At worst, a masters degree can be an excellent primer for the graduate school life, especially if teaching assistantships or fellowships are available. .....
Take the Graduate Record Examinations General or subject test
6. Many programs require scores from the GRE to admit you to the graduate school, while others (many liberal arts degrees) will waive this requirement. While most Masters programs only require the general test, which is like an advanced version of the SAT, some Ph.D programs will require that you take the subject test, which is given in several sections, including biology, literature, and other fields. Its a much more difficult test than the generalthe reading list for the Subject test in lit is several hundred authors from a variety of periods. Make sure you take the correct test for the program to which youre applying. Schedule your test early in the application season, to give yourself enough time to retake it, if necessary. The test can be somewhat expensive, more than $100, so start studying now with a goodquality commercial study guide. When you arrive for the test, you can arrange to have your scores sent directly to the graduate programs youll be applying to. This has the advantage of cutting out an extra step in your application process, but also ensures that the school will see your scores, good or bad. If youre worried about your score, arrange to have them sent to you instead. .....
Secure letters of recommendation from people familiar with your work
7. The best recommenders will be distinguished former professors, contacts who can attest to your commitment, work ethic, and who also know the field youre applying to intimately. Often, your undergraduate and graduate professors and advisers will have a better handle on the specific information the admissions committee wants than would a supervisor from outside the academic world. Its important to ask for these letters as early as possible, preferably at least 3 months before you need to submit your applications. Professors will be inundated with letterwriting requests at the last minute, increasing the possibility of them writing a poor evaluation. Dont be one of those students. .....
Write a statement of purpose
8. This should describe what you have already done in your field and what you hope to accomplish with your doctoral research. Good letters will describe who you hope to work with as your research supervisor and the reasons you want to work with that person. Your research program should be in an area that has not been previously researched, or has been underrepresented in the literature.
If youre planning on applying to lots of schools, it can be a timesaver to write a form version of your letter, allowing space to customize the letter for more specific programs. Its very important to tailor each statement of purpose to the particular program to which youre applying. This demonstrates your seriousness and interest in the school. Each letter should read as if youre only interested in studying at that school. .....
Assemble your application packets and submit them by the deadline
9. The graduate school will list the basic requirements for admission, and each program will likely list supplementary documents, including writing samples, portfolios, or other materials that you should submit to the program by a particular deadline. Look for this information on the graduate studies website for the particular university. Most application packets require the following materials:a completed application form Undergraduate and graduate transcripts A curriculum vitae (CV) or resume Recent GRE scores Statement of Purpose TOEFL or IELTS scores (for international students) 23 Letters of Recommendation .....
Apply for teaching or research assistantships
10. A general rule of thumb is that advanced degrees should always be free. When youre doing your research, apply to programs that offer full funding, or at least offer opportunities to secure funding in exchange for teaching responsibilities. Most Ph.D programs offer some kind of assistantship to pay your way through the years of your doctoral program, with the added option of research assistantships directly tied to your own research.
Applying for financial aid will often involve supplementary application materials, like a teaching statement, research statement, or other short writing prompts. Research the specific requirements at each university for specific instructions when applying for financial aid.
If full funding isnt an option, consider applying for needbased scholarships. Often, these are available to minority applicants or students in financial straits. Likewise, the application fee can often be waived. Contact individual departments when youre applying to check about needbased application waivers. .....
Choose a major professor and committee
11. You want an advisor familiar with your area of research who can direct you when needed and have resources and connections you can draw on. Tenured professors have access to more grant money, equipment, and connections, while nontenured professors are more personally available for assistance and advice.
Choose people who you can work with, and who share a common research interest, as well as people you get along with personally. Personal differences often pop up during these kinds of working relationships, making it important to avoid them in the beginning.
Your proposed academic advisor/research supervisor should ideally be named in your statement of purpose, with the reasons you want to work with that person. Those reasons should show that you know something about that persons background and why he or she would make an effective advisor. .....
Submit a plan of study
12. For most fields, a plan of study is submitted to the graduate school and the degree program within the first year of your studies. The plan with be submitted to the Department Chair, who will either accept it as is or suggest revisions. Obtain the Plan of Study form from the graduate school office, if one is provided. .....
The names and signatures of your committee members
13. The names and signatures of your committee members, the program director, and the student. Youll also need your student ID number and other personal information. .....
A brief statement of your academic and research goals
14. This will typically be a supercondensed version of your research question or thesis statement, probably no more than 50100 words. .....
A list of the required courses
15. A list of the required courses youll take over the next two years, listing course number, title, department, and instructor, as well as the semester you intend to take the course. Most programs require around 12 hours of required coursework for an advanced degree. .....
A list of the elective courses you ll take
16. A list of the elective courses youll take, with corresponding course numbers, titles, departments, and instructors, as well as the semester you intend to take the course. Most programs require somewhere between 20 and 30 elective hours for an advanced degree. .....
Dissertation hours
17. When youve passed your preliminary examinations, your coursework will change to independent research and dissertation work, but youll still be registered for a course with a course number and a particular number of credit hours, with your major professor or thesis chair as the instructor. This information will also need to be included on the plan of study form. .....
Complete the requisite coursework
18. Most programs require somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 hours of departmental coursework, while others require more or less, depending on the field. As with most advanced degrees, youll likely need to pass all your courses with at least a B, or better.
In graduate school, the course load is usually somewhat less than the undergraduate degree, because of the intensity of the coursework and other research or teaching responsibilities. A full load is usually considered 6 or 9 hours, though youll be doing 20 or more hours of teaching or research in a given week.
For a PhD student, a typical coursework semester might involve three courses: a required core class and two elective courses. Typically, elective courses will still be in the department the student is studying, if not the particular program. For example, a comparative lit PhD studying Medieval literature may take a 20th century poetry course in the English department as an elective, though probably not a biology class. .....
Complete your written examination
19. Typically, this will occur sometime at the end of your second year of course work, and will be prepared by your committee. The content of the written examination will depend not only on your field of study, but on your particular research interests and academic needs. Think of it as a test particularly tailored to you.
The written examination, sometimes called the prelim, will typically be submitted to the department chair by your major professor, then administered to you toward the end of your second year of classes. When you pass the exam, youll be considered PostPrelim and may begin the process of completing your dissertation. .....
Begin performing research and collecting data
20. The goal of the PhD is to complete independent research. Its your first chance to be an academic pioneer, exploring an untapped field, researching new layers of a particular topic, and putting your stamp on the conversation happening in your field. Its also a great opportunity to get deep into a topic that excites and interests you. Choose a research topic that gives you genuine pleasure, and choose something that youre willing to spend several years exploring.
Start with a research question. A research question is what youll hope to answer over the course of your dissertation research. It needs to be narrow, but with broadreaching implications. A starting research question might be something like, How are women represented during the silver age of American comic book publishing? or What are the implications of spontaneous genetic mutation during breeding in drosophila, and what effect might this have on cancer research? .....
Explore the literature in your research field
21. A large part of your research process should be devoted to exploring the conversation thats already happened around your topic. You need to perform literature reviews to find out what experiments have been performed breeding drosophilia, and what has been written about women in silver age comics. Find an unexplored angle or aspect of the research. .....
Perform your own experiments
22. When you find out that, despite the interesting observations of some researchers, a compelling connection doesnt exist yet between drosophilia and ongoing attempts to mutate cancer cells, you may well have found an avenue for your experiments. If the critical literature is significantly silent on the topic of Wonder Woman, youve got something to write about.
As you complete your coursework and add complexity to the topic in which youre interested, youll likely change and add depth to your initial research interest. Thats ok. Let the research grow you understanding of the topic, and change the way you approach it. That means youre on the right track. .....
Prepare a doctoral dissertation thesis
23. Your doctoral dissertation is the written culmination of your research interests, to be completed over the course of multiple research semesters. The dissertation should provide the answer to the research question you set out to explore. These are typically booklength projects that will need to be submitted to your committee, defended orally, and approved to be awarded your doctorate. .....
In the humanities
24. In the humanities, several semesters following your coursework and preliminary examination will be devoted to completing the research involved with your interests. During this time, youll be expected to periodically update your committee on your progress, providing them with literature reviews and outlines, depending on your arrangement. You may also be expected to publish supplementary papers periodically in academic journals. .....
In the sciences
25. In the sciences, youll spend your postprelim semesters doing lab work, or other field work depending on your field of study. The time will be spent collecting data and performing experiments to move your research forward, to be collected in the dissertation, and probably published in peerreviewed journals. .....
Prepare for the oral defense of your dissertation
26. After youve written and submitted a dissertation to your committee, youll be expected to defend it in a semipublic forum. This usually takes the form of an interviewstyle questionandanswer session, though youll generally be privy to the questions your committee will ask.
Most defenses are cordial affairs, not debates, though you should expect to be pressed and argued with regarding your methods, your conclusions, and other aspects of your work. The best way to prepare for your defense is to know your dissertation and your research inside and out. At a successful defense, youll need to present yourself and your work well both orally and in writing to earn recognition as a PhD candidate and a researcher. Practice delivering your main point quickly and your overall presentation or paper with confidence. .....
Apply for departmental grants or additional appointments
27. Many PhD programs will fully fund every student admitted into the program, through some combination of teaching responsibilities or research assistance completed in conjunction with the coursework. Full funding means that any tuition fees will be waived, and youll be awarded a stipend to cover your living expenses, anywhere between $13,000 and $30,000, depending on the location of the school and the nature of the program. Other programs assist students on a casebycase level, meaning that youll need to take funding into your own hands and make sure that your place in the department is financially secure. .....
In the hard sciences
28. In the hard sciences, money is allocated to provide different labs, projects, and individuals money on a competitive casebycase basis. To apply, youll typically write a detailed proposal of your research goals and submit it to the department. .....
Apply for private research grants
29. Most departments acquire funding from a variety of sources, public and private, and its common to bypass the department and go outside if youve got a particularlyattractive research topic. The Whitehall Foundation commonly provides research grants to scientists, while the NEA and the Poetry Foundation offer a variety of grant funds to artists and writers. Talk to your major professor about applying for private money. .....
Consider crowd funding options
30. Increasingly, academics are taking their projects to the people, especially for innovative research topics. If youre pioneering a new approach to artificial intelligence, or another flashy topic thatll look good in a 2 minute video, start a kickstarter, Rockethub, or Petridish.org profile to take your research to the people and work outside the institution. .....
Balance your budget
31. While getting $13,000 dollars for attending school may sound like a lot of money, keep in mind that youll probably be working in excess of 40 hours a week, attending courses full time, and covering your own rent, food costs, and other expenses. Likewise, many PhD programs only fund during the school year, making parttime employment a common occurrence among PhD students, especially during the summer months. .....
Avoid petty competition and departmental rivalry
32. Academic departments can be competitive and cutthroat environments. With everyone competing for the same grants, awards, and respect, it can get ugly fast. Try your best to stay out of departmental politics, and make an active effort to reach out to others and collaborate. Put your head down and do your work. No matter how smart you may be, how great a teacher, or researcher, you will need the help of others in your research. .....
Balance teaching responsibilities with research and coursework
33. While your research and dissertation are your primary focus during your doctoral studies, make sure youve developed a healthy balance between all your responsibilities. If youve never taught before, it can be difficult to find the time to spend on completing the research you want to complete, when youve got a stack of fifty papers to grade, lesson plans to prepare, and a student in tears at your office door.
Dont Try to do everything at once. Because you will spend several years to earn your doctorate, its important to slow down and do everything with the attention to detail the process deserves. You dont want to get your dissertation hung up because of a silly documentation error you rushed through. .....
Be tenacious and display initiative
34. The average PhD takes between 5 and 10 years to complete. You have to be prepared to commit the time and energy, throwing yourself into the deep end of the academic pool. Its not something to rush through, but it is your chance to put your stamp on the field thats captivated you.
During the time you spend working on your doctorate, youll face a variety of challenges. The labs funding may be cut. You may lose grant money. Your paper may get rejected from a conference. Fail early and fail often. Create opportunities for yourself and work around the challenges. .....
Stay organized
35. Despite the reputation of academics as absentminded Professors, getting a PhD takes an ordered mind. Learn to prioritize tasks and relegate lesscritical chores until later. Do one thing at a time. Break large jobs down into smaller manageable tasks that you can complete and move on. .....
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What to Eat in Rajsthan
Dal Bati Churma. Dal Bati Choorma is a Rajasthani Dish which has three main servings Dal(lentil), Bati (baked wheat balls) and Choorma (sweet cereal powder). Dal is served with Bati and Churma. The preparations take longer as compared to other Indian dishes as all .....
Healthy Lips
Never lick your lips. One thing that most people tend to do when they feel their lips are getting dry and chapped is to lick them. Before you plan to do the same, it is best to hold that tongue back in your mouth because you are just going to make it worse for your lips. .....
Mountain Ranges You Need To Visit
Meili Snow Mountain. Meili Xue Shan or Mainri Snow Mountains are a mountain range in the Chinese province of Yunnan. They lie close to the northwestern boundary of the province and are bounded by the Salween River on the west and the Mekong on the east. .....
Benefits of Grapefruits
Breast cancer. Grapefruit was discovered to even halt cancer cells from spreading in breast cancer patients, by ridding the body of excess estrogen. . It is a powerful agent against tumours and cancer acting as a scavenger of cancer causing free radicals. Lycopene .....
Longest Bridges In The World
Saratov Bridge. Saratov Bridge across the Volga River in Saratov, Russia was the longest bridge in the Soviet Union upon its inauguration in 1965. Its length is 2,803.7 meters and it connects Saratov on the right (west) bank of the Volga, with the city of Engels on .....
Rules to play Squash
About the Squash Serve. The server, with at least one foot in the service box, starts play by hitting the ball directly onto the front wall between the cut line and the outline to rebound so that, if allowed, it bounces for the first time in the opposite half of the court a .....
Lotus Flower Tattoo
Lotus flower tattoo on the rib area. I wish the flower had a better design. .....
Benefits of Maizes
Benefits of Corn or Maizeor. Bhutta or maize come under the category of whole grain food having high amount of dietary fibers, low calorie, low fat and good amount of all the essential nutrients. Carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin), vitamins and amino acids found in it help in n .....
Xmas Celebration Ideas
Christmas Costume Pub Crawl. Halloween isnt the only holiday tailor made for dress up. Hit up a costume store and buy a Santa suit (or sexy Santa suit, if you must) or an elf ensemble, and hit up a bar with some similarly dressed pals. In fact, dozens of cities across the countr .....
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