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Discussion forum for current, past, and future students of any discipline completing post-graduate studies - taught or research.

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  • Welcome to /r/GradSchool!

    Discussion forum for current, past, and future students of any discipline completing post-graduate studies - taught or research.


    • 1. No NSFW content.
    • 2. No reposts.
    • 3. No memes or pictures of text.
    • 4. Posts, comments, and replies must foster reasonable discussion.
    • 5. No editorialized link titles.
    • 6. No political posts.
    • 7. No belittlement of other users for any reason. (Eg: political opinions, race, sex, academic affiliation, etc.)
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    Read These Before Posting

    Educational Status Flairs

    Users may add their own flair to indicate their educational status, e.g. PhD*, Philosophy.

    The format should take the general form of Degree, Specialisation. An asterisk (*) after the degree denotes active candidacy or study.

    Users who do not follow the general form may have their flair privileges removed.

    Other Resources


    650,717 Subscribers


    I keep having dreams about forgetting about a class and failing

    I’ve already defended lmao. I need these stress dreams to stop! In this dream it’s either a math course or an English lit course (which is not even close to my area of study) that I either forget to attend all semester or don’t do any homework and fail.

    18:59 UTC


    Which Masters Program Should I Choose Pre-PhD?

    I know this is a decision I can only make for myself, but it would be nice to hopefully hear some opinions.

    I’m 30 years old if that matters at all.

    I’ve been accepted to two MPA (Master of Public Administration) programs. My short term goal is to see if the masters can immediately boost my career, but my long term goal is to one day go into academia. During my masters I want to volunteer with professors and “test the waters” and see if a PhD would be right for me. Being a professor is a dream I’ve always had in the back of my mind, and would be the ONLY reason I would want a PhD.

    Both are good, well known schools in NC, but one is my dream school and has the upper hand with reputation (UNC) and the other is still a great school (NC State) but up until now has always been my second choice.

    I recently learned that NC State has a Masters-to-PhD fast track where I could start with my masters year one, then get into the PhD program year two. UNC does not have this option, and doesn’t have a Public Administration PhD program. If I do a PhD, it would end up being at NC State.

    If I were 100% certain I want a PhD (I’m currently about 70% sure), NC State is the obvious choice. But if for whatever reason (career advancement, negative academic experiences, etc) I decide to stop at my masters, UNC is definitely my choice and would likely open up more doors professionally.

    Based on this information, would it be a big mistake to not start at NC State if I’m considering a PhD? Or is a fast track program not really a huge deal in the long run, and I could still end up getting a PhD in a relatively similar time frame in the long run?

    Sorry for the wordy post about a specific question.


    P.S. For the majority of Public Administration PhD programs, a masters is required.

    18:48 UTC


    STEM CV question

    I am applying to a low stakes scholarship and was wondering if it is appropriate to list a manuscript that is under preparation in my CV? Background is Cell and Molecular Bio

    1 Comment
    17:39 UTC


    Chance me please, and be brutal!


    I'm looking to apply for MA/PhD programs in Counselling/Clinical Psychology Programs in Canada for the 2025 application cycle. My target is UofT, and I've provided my profile for both educative purposes for others, and to be scrutinized/critically evaluated. I'd love to hear what you think!


    Hey grad students! I've been an occasional commenter and participator in this community for a while now, and as a rising undergraduate in my last year of my degree, I'm getting ready to apply to MA/PhD graduate programs in Clinical and Counselling Psychology in Canada. In the 2021 year, I was actually accepted into various experimental psychology programs, but I ultimately rescinded those offers due to both highly extenuating circumstances, and a lack of passion for purely experimental psych.

    I'd love to gain some insight into what I should realistically be expecting in terms of my chances of success in the coming year, so I can successfully manage them. My post may also help others gain a better understanding of their own future applications, since my profile offers a point of comparison. I'll provide a description of my academic profile going into this year's cycle, and I'd love to hear everyone's feedback of things I should consider, what my expectations should be, and so forth.


    UofT is my reach school, for both an M.A. in Counselling Psychology, and an MA/PhD in Clinical Psychology. I'm applying for various other schools, but this is my focus. In Canada, it's common for Clinical Psychology programs to be combined MA/PhD tracks.

    Program Type: I'm very much interested in adolescent/emerging adulthood mental health, accessibility, and academic achievement. The intersection between youth classroom accessibility and academic achievement is exactly the kind of work that I'm looking toward. I'm well-aware that fit is an important consideration, and I'm already in the process of choosing potential PI's whose research fits with my own aspirations.

    Personal and Academic Background

    26, BIPOC male with multiple disabilities, completing an honour's BA in psychology, 7 years to completion.

    GPA: Expected to graduate summa cum laude with a 3.97/4.0 GPA, with a potential deviation of +/- 0.02 points (3.95-3.99) between application submission and graduation.

    GRE: N/A, because all of the programs I intend to apply to are GRE-optional or outright refuse to accept.

    Awards & Scholarships: I've received continuing student scholarships for outstanding performance for every year I've attended university, valued between $183.00 up to $1,121.00. I was also awarded a $5,000.00 scholarship for students with physical disabilities who achieved outstanding academic performance.

    Undergraduate Certificates: I will be graduating with a concentration certificate in Child and Youth Development, and I expect to graduate with a concentration certificate in Counselling and Mental Health.

    LoRs: Not a problem at all, because I have at least 4 potential supervisors who have already expressed that they'd be more than happy to write me a very strong LoR. I'm confident that my LoRs will be a very strong part of my potential future success.


    Pubs: I currently have 1 publication for which I am 2nd author, currently in peer review at a tier 2 academic journal. There is a strong possibility that I submit 2 more publications between now and application deadlines, and a weaker possibility of submitting 1 more.

    Consult Reports: I have participated in the curation of 2 consult reports aimed toward advocating for the continued provision of cultural-, trauma-, mental-, and sexual health-informed programs for Indigenous youth in Northern Canada. There's a strong possibility of curating another consult report about a mental health-related mentorship program as a new support in intermediate classrooms.

    Research Experience

    Paid/Unpaid Research: Given that I've been in university for 6 years, up to 7 upon graduation, I have a strong breadth and depth of research experience. I have over 5 years of research experience, both paid and unpaid, in multiple labs, sometimes concurrently.

    Some of my early research included examining cultural aspects of prosociality, the psychology of transgressions, experiences of narrative fiction, and studying biopsychosocial determinants of children's health in a population-level study. None of these resulted in publications, but I gained thousands of hours of experience here, and I was paid for most of it.

    My current research is focused on the intersection between marginalized identities (e.g., 2SLGBTQIA+, BIPOC) and comprehensive sexuality education. I'm working with well-known national and international organizations, and this is where majority of my publications, submitted & potential, are situated. Again, I am being paid to do all of this research as well.

    I also am going to be participating in research work with a world-renowned institution seeking to improve equitable access to health care services, which I was selected for in a competitive process. I'm guaranteed full-time paid work this summer, and part-time paid work in the fall/winter term. There's a weaker possibility of publishing a paper through this experience, because I'm going to be doing an independent study to complement the research work in this area.

    Personal Research: I'm currently working on a narrative literature review of children's video game use, for which I expect to submit for peer review as an independent researcher. I am also currently underway with a study for which I am the PI, and I am examining student/teacher perceptions of a new mental health-focused mentorship program in intermediate level classrooms (i.e., grade 6-8 classrooms). I strongly expect this to result in a third consult report and will later likely result in at least 1 journal publication pending ethics review of the report.

    Thesis: I did attempt a thesis in the 2020/2021 year, which focused on the intersection between personality traits, study habits, and academic achievement. I designed and executed the study, including receiving ethics approval and getting all the way to the write-up phase before I unfortunately failed out due to highly extenuating circumstances. While I did have an F on my transcript, I was granted a late withdrawal, and it now only shows up as a W on my transcript. My independent study as part of my equitable access to healthcare work should serve as a thesis equivalent, but I do not intend to attempt another thesis given that it is not within my current plan.

    Other Experiences

    Teaching/Helping Experience: I have a strong background in teaching/mentorship/helping positions, which I understand is important for Counselling Psychology programs. I support students with identified accessibility needs in a middle school environment alongside a teacher-supervisor over the current school year, which is also where one of my personal research projects is being undertaken. There's a likely chance that I'll support students again in the coming year.

    I also have 2 years of experience as a supplemental instructor with my university, where I supported various professors in Statistics classrooms, and I hosted facilitated study sessions with students to bolster their academic performance in a historically difficult course. In this role, I was essentially like a TA, where I would be in class helping to answer students' questions, and I'd run (ungraded, non-required) tutorials. The big difference between myself and the TA's is that I couldn't help with assignments, and I wasn't an exam/assignment grader. I got lots of experience developing curriculum, and liaising between students and their course director.

    In a prior year, I was a tutor coordinator for multiple tutoring programs in the health department at my school. I co-lead the development of an updated training resource for incoming peer tutors, and I created weekly professional development workshops for tutor coordinators of other programs.

    Mentorship Experience: I've been a mentor for undergraduate psychology students, and an undergraduate health studies student mentor for a total of 2 years. I've mentored a total of 26 students (20 as a group, and then 6 on an individual basis). I also helped create and facilitate student-focused events to help new undergrads develop skills, plan out and progress their careers, support their academic aspirations, and help them connect with other students in the program.


    I've got various certificates that are relevant to the practice of psychology, counselling, and other helping-related work. For example, I have certificates in Psychological Frist Aid, Skills for Psychological Recovery, Trauma-Informed Practice, etc. Because these are just bonuses to my profile, I won't mention all of them.

    17:38 UTC


    Getting an MPH before applying for a Phd in health policy and services research. Advice?

    Hi all, I currently work as a clinical research coordinator in oncology and I want to apply for an MPH before applying for a Phd in Health policy. I would like to go this route because I don't currently have a strong research background.

    As per my qualifications, I recently finished my Masters in reg affairs and prior to working as a CRC I worked as a clinical research assistant. So all together I have about 3 and half years work experience. I can get good recommendations from Pls l've worked with. So my question is, how can I start preparing to submit a strong application? Any advice would be appreciated.

    16:20 UTC


    I think I would enjoy my thesis and grad school more if I wasn't working

    I decided to graduate early because I already desperately wanted to drop out. Part of my desire to drop out was because of a bad course load this past semester and harassment from one of my profs. I was offered a GA position in an archive setting, which is nice sometimes, but my work was very front-loaded and after the first six weeks, I essentially didn't have to do anything except one week a month and one work day a week at most. The position was originally supposed to be a year from when I started, but after talking to my supervisor, I was able to graduate early and not rescind the job offer. In the meantime, I'm also working a remote internship in addition to work and my thesis. My internship is incredibly tedious, and all I'm doing is logging institutions and emailing them multiple times. Originally, it was supposed to be more hands-on with training from the best historian in the field, but when I got my GA position, I was told to prioritize that and my internship was reconfigured.

    Since I'm working two jobs, I don't have the mental energy on my free days to do thesis work. I'm tired. I do have the choice of dropping the thesis option, but I would have to double up on internship hours either now or in the fall semester. And deep down, I do like my thesis topic, but I hate researching outside of it for context. The one piece of research I actually wanted to do has a ban on scanning the materials to send to people outside of the city, and since I'm a master's student, my program refuses to pay for a local researcher to send me the pictures of the documents I would need. Which then makes my thesis topic more boring because it's reiterating what has already been said before. Honestly, I just want to drop out and start my job search, but I literally only have one class left and another internship. It's useless to drop now, especially with another internship lined up for the fall.

    15:49 UTC


    Transitioning to writing phase?

    I am at a point where my PhD defense is a few months away and I am lined up to be writing rather than running experiments. This is what needs to happen, but it's really difficult to give up on those last "easy" experiments. I worked really hard to defend some time for writing to avoid losing my mind and having to crunch the timeline.

    It's definitely time to switch to writing and clear out of here. Nevertheless, it seems weird. Any advice for that stage of switching from benchwork to writing the thesis?

    15:39 UTC


    Masters student in computer science looking for advice

    I'm looking to apply for a PhD in astrophysics once I'm finished with my current masters degree in computer science (at Michigan State University currently). My background doesn't involve physics (I did my undergraduate in Information Technology, and we did have physics breadth courses in our undergrad) but I have had experience in research in astrophysics. In my undergrad, I was an intern in a project at Imperial College London that was an application of machine learning in astronomy.

    Also, at my masters right now, I'm currently involved with an astronomy research lab where I work on a project that is more in the domain of math and computer science (and a little physics as well). Do I have a shot at getting a PhD in astronomy with these credentials, or should I consider taking another route? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

    1 Comment
    14:55 UTC


    I will wrote the paper for the annoying class you hate so you can focus on your thesis

    Freelance writer who has been writing academic papers, personal statements and taking online classes since 2008. I have a masters in English and have written papers for everything from economics to film theory to psychology. Most recently I've taken nursing classes for clients who need the degree to advance in their careers.

    I have done jobs as small as one page papers and as large as doctoral thesis editing (when the doctoral candidate is so burnt out they don't even want to hear about their thesis subject)

    Writing samples can be found at https://marlowe1.substack.com/p/jared-gonzalez-owes-me-100-academic


    I charge $25/hour. It takes me approximately an hour a page but varies depending on how much I need to research the topic.

    I give a quote and stick to it (unless it takes me less time)

    Please contact me at omanlieder@yahoo.com.

    14:29 UTC


    Schools know for their political science programs

    Basically title. I’m looking for schools which have focused political science programs, ideally flexible ones which offer many classes dealing in political theory and revolutionary/alternative politics. Is there a website y’all use to search for programs or anything recourse like that?

    14:28 UTC


    Convocation Policies about Phones (how do you carry your phone?)

    Hey all,

    I graduate tomorrow (masters) and would like to know how people carry their phones during the ceremony. What have you done?

    How do I keep my phone on my person? I'll be wearing a robe...do I carry a small bag?

    Thank you.

    13:31 UTC


    Scholarship and Grants

    Hi, do anyone know any good scholarships and/or grants to apply for grad school outside of FAFSA?

    I know when my FAFSA comes in it’s only going to help by so much if that since I haven’t gotten an email from my grad school about how much I owe.

    11:51 UTC


    Next steps after being accepted to grad school

    I’m getting ready to begin grad school this fall and I’m not entirely sure what else to do in terms of academics to prepare? I’ve been reading articles, my MS is with a research so do I sign up for classes now itlsef or wait till fall? I’ve spoken to my supervisor but do I reach out to them again and ask the next steps? Is that frowned upon? Please help. It’s a big move for me to begin grad school, I’m crossing like 2 oceans, so there’s a lot to be prepared for but I don’t want to be underprepared for the most important part.

    08:53 UTC


    RN or LPCC

    Hello all! I have a bachelors degree in forensic psychology and debating between getting my LPCC or being a Psych Nurse (hopefully in forensic setting). I’m really struggling. I’m really good at psychology but want more a clinical based and testing/diagnosing and less therapy but I’m not opposed to it! Any advice would be greatly appreciated. In Cali for reference!

    Cross posted! Thanks

    04:25 UTC


    How can I be least of a burden to my grad student mentors

    They’re graduating soon and seem really busy and I’m just here for a summer program and I feel really bad since I’m not contributing much. I made my first mistake today and I know there will probably be more to come, and I have more of techniques to learn too along with my own project. They’re really nice and chill but I feel so bad and am not sure what I can do to ig be a good intern.

    04:17 UTC


    I need somewhere to talk about how much I love my thesis

    My IRL friends are probably sick to death of me blabbing about my thesis, so I’m coming here to talk about how much I love it. My thesis is over a lesbian feminist group (not giving details to preserve anonymity because they are pretty unique), and I’m in the city they’re based in doing research right now. The research involves digging through boxes upon boxes of materials going back decades that live in the garage of this woman who was very involved with this group. We’ve become friends as I’ve been in her house day after day, she tells me stories and answers my questions. I think she’s just happy to see a young person interested in this stuff that she has preserved for years, and has moved from house to house. And I’ve never spent this much time around queer elders.

    My project is so fun, it is all I want to think about or talk about. The amount of work I’ve signed myself up for is very overwhelming, but my excitement can also feel a little overwhelming sometimes. I just really want to do a good job, not just for myself, but also for this group. I really hope they’re happy with what I produce. This is honestly the most important thing I’ve done with my life so far, and I feel very honored and grateful and fortunate that somehow I am the person doing this work.

    I am afraid of what happens after my master’s. Before this I had a really shit job that made me miserable. Maybe someday I’ll have another job that I hate, but at least for right now I can confidently say that I am doing exactly what I want to do with my life. How many people get to say that?

    03:39 UTC


    PhD: What Last Name?

    Ladies with doctorates (or working towards one): is it common practice to use your maiden name when obtaining your PhD?

    02:09 UTC


    How long do decisions take?

    I applied in March/April and it's know June and I haven't gotten a response back. What was your experience with response time?

    02:05 UTC


    Technology and equipment recommendations for 1st year PhD student?

    Hey everyone! As I start grad school in August, I wanted to see if anyone had any recommendations of things I should consider getting to make the transition easier. This includes tech recommendations and other miscellaneous or overlooked things that made research "easier".

    I definitely need to look into getting an external hard drive haha. So I guess I already started the list off.

    EDIT: My field is Geoscience/Geochemistry

    21:54 UTC


    How critical in terms of admission is being 33 years old by the time I apply for CS PhD?

    Things didn't really go as planned and I will be graduating from 4 year university at the age of 31. I am not sure if I can get into ML PhD programs I want right after college and if I have to do masters or take gap-years as a visiting scholar I will be around 32/33 years old by the time I apply. I know top ML PhD programs (specifically, I am interested in the intersection of computer vision and graphics like 3D Gaussian Splatting/NeRF/Diffusion Model/GAN etc) are really hard to get into and I am worried my age will be a huge hinderance in terms of admissions. Thankfully I have enough family support so I don't really have to worry about the financial side after PhD. Will my age stop me from getting into PhD program I want?

    -This is about US PhD admission and I am an international student. I will most likely apply to Europe/Canada as well though. (INRIA, UCL, etc)

    21:38 UTC


    Anyone familiar with National Name Exchange?

    Just graduated from undergrad and got an email from my uni saying I was nominated to join this program. It seems generally helpful, and full of good information, but I’ve never heard of it and neither have any of my friends. If anyone is familiar with it, and has used it what was your general experience with it? Did it make finding/applying to programs easier?

    21:22 UTC


    Difference of the two

    What is the difference when you hear

    Master of Science in “Program”


    Master in “Program”


    20:10 UTC


    ideas for day-shift part time jobs?

    hi all,

    my classes are from 5 - 9 PM Monday - Friday. My GA position is 10 hours/week split up between daytime hours on Mondays & Fridays. My GA position only pays $750/month, so I would like another part time job.

    i have a family and would like to keep my weekends free. this means i am only available daytime hours Tuesday-Thursday. It seems most food service and retail require evenings/weekends.

    Any ideas for alternatives?

    1 Comment
    18:56 UTC


    What do TAs do?


    I am going to be a TA as a part of my salary package for grad school (Geology). We're doing a whole orientation in August, but I just wanted to get people's input on their experiences! I'm not sure what class/classes I'll be a TA for yet. Does anybody else have this deal - where they're a TA for part of their scholarship? If so, how many classes do you TA? Do they purposefully have you TA classes that aren't on days you have class?

    Are you actually teaching the class? Are you just a helper? I just don't quite understand the ratio of work a TA does vs the actual professor.

    Thanks so much! :)

    16:57 UTC


    Does anyone have any experience or knowledge on Arkansas State Masters of communication program?

    Website gives enough basic info but the person I spoke to on the phone sounds more like a salesman. I’m looking for a good program and $10k for a program is a steal but I want to make sure this is a good school.

    Any help Is appreciated

    16:00 UTC


    Anxiety making it impossible to finish writing my master's thesis

    The crazy thing is, I'm almost done. I need a couple more data points, but the experiment is done.the analysis pipelines are in place. I had good results. I literally just have to finish the literature review and the last two chapters and submit my thesis. I have 2 weeks. It's certainly doable, but i'm so extremely stressed I can't spend more than 10 minutes on my thesis. This is absurd. I tried pomodoro, i tried blocking social media access while working, i tried the forest app (which always worked). Nothing helps. I've tried breaking the tasks to small chunks. i still can't focus on writing. I'm paralyzed and feel like even this post is an excuse. I feel like the only thing that might help at this point is having a study partner who is working on their own thesis, so i feel obligated to work on mine? I don't know.

    15:50 UTC


    Adjunct Music Teacher Seeking Ph.D./DMA Advice: Best Path Forward?

    I am looking for help discerning the best path forward for my career. I currently teach adjunctly two levels of music theory, two levels of aural skills and leading a college/masters level choir. I also teach private guitar students. I absolutely love my job, however, it is much less than part time. 

    Most of the more full-time positions seem to require a Ph.D or DMA. I have a passion for multi-cultural expression of music, choral performance, learning/trying new things, and teaching the next generation of musical leaders.

    I am primarily interested in a Ph.D. or a DMA in music education, although I am also open to studying music theory or history.

    I have earned a AA in Digital Media, BA in music (emphasis violin), a research MA in music and an MDiv in church music.

    While institutions such as Juilliard and Curtis are impressive. I am not really interested in those. I'm seeking a program that fosters a strong learning environment where I can further develop my expertise and effectively integrate my interests into teaching the next generation.

    Any recommendations for schools (US or overseas) that align with these goals would be greatly appreciated!

    15:04 UTC


    UCL or NYU?

    So I’ve been accepted by both of these universities for a postgraduate degree in Public Policy. And I like both universities and each city a lot — I’m aware that UCL is ranked higher than NYU but which university has better networking and research opportunities?

    14:20 UTC


    Confused about what direction to take for graduate studies

    So I’m trying to figure out if I should go to grad school ( I’m leading towards yes). I got my bachelors in psychology and I received a full scholarship and owe nothing for bachelors ( I’m very lucky). I’m very passionate about marketing (and have done marketing internships) so I was researching M.S degrees in digital marketing. However, I was also thinking of doing my MBA. I am not sure if I should do one or the other, or both? I’m thinking of taking my chance with grad school because I don’t have any loans for my undergraduate studies. Thoughts?

    13:49 UTC


    ADHD in academia — seeking advice re. deadlines, long term projects, and perfectionism

    Hi, PhD student here. I (31F) was recently diagnosed with ADHD about three months ago following what I can now identify as a severe burnout due to undiagnosed ADHD that necessitated my taking a yearlong leave from my program. The leave has been transformative, but after a year of mental rest, therapy, and medication, I’m returning to my dissertation and trying to establish solid habits and routines to help manage my diagnosis.

    My question is this: does anyone have advice for managing deadlines and perfectionism? In the past, anxiety was my primary motivator, but post-burnout (and lots of therapy!) I don’t get the impending sense of doom/crippling self hatred as much. My problem with deadlines is now not that I leave getting started to the last hour, but that I’m discovering I’m just a slow writer due to struggles with perfectionism. I add a bit to my dissertation draft incrementally each day—which is honestly something I never thought was possible for me, as a former procrastinator/binge-writer—and what I’m writing is good, but it’s taking longer than I had expected. I know in theory that the solution is to somehow convince myself that I am producing a rough draft and to be happy with just getting words on the page, but I’m struggling to get there. Would love to hear your advice!

    12:22 UTC

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