Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How to Get a PhD (in science, anyway) - Step 3

Step 3: Start!
The curriculum - print it out when you start and put it in a file. That way, you have all the requirements in one place when you need to look it up again, and you have all the rules that existed when you started in case requirements change during your degree. You may also want to print requirements for Masters degrees. Why? What if you love your coursework and hate research? Do you really want to spend 5-10 years working on research you hate to perfectly prepare you to do more research you hate? No. Or what if you realize a completely different calling 2 years into your degree? Or what if you get a fantastic job offer, or want to/need to move across the country? You want to know your options if you realize the Ph.D. is not for you.

Requirements to print and keep on file:
Required coursework - specific classes, possible electives
Required exams - Qualifying, Comprehensive, Oral, Written, Proposals, Defense
Other requirements - publications, registration, thesis requirements
Committee requirements, time limits

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