Success in Grad School
For students and advisors.
Visiting and Choosing
- All-inclusive primer on "What is Grad School?", "Should I go to Grad School?", how to apply to Grad School, and what to do after rejections/offers. Includes a chronological checklist for applications. Created by Penn State graduate students.
- Graduate School is a major life decision and should be part of a well-researched career path, not a default choice. Getting a Ph.D. in Astronomy is a far cry from getting a permanent job doing astronomy research as described in this important article and many of the references below. As indicated in the article, the best time to recognize and act on the very competitive nature of astronomy jobs is when undergraduate apply to graduate school.
- Graduate programs' policy on requiring the Physics GRE - a list of what departments require or do not require the Physics GRE score as part of an application, compiled by James Guillochon
- Questions to ask when considering a graduate program (contributions from Nicole Cabrera Salazar, Nadirah Foley; compiled by Leah Fulmer) - this is a very comprehensive list of questions on topics ranging from department structure and graduate program requirements to quality-of-life-considerations and department culture.
- A timeline for applying to graduate school in the US - outlining the steps to to take and when to take them (from Astrobites)
- The Unique Universe of Astronomy Grads - very nice article on GradHacker describing the Astronomy PhD so you know what you're getting into (by Nathan Sanders).
- Lynne Hillenbrand's excellent compilation of links for undergrads considering grad school. Be wary of the "Rank Graduate Programs" link because the data is over 10 years old and some astronomy departments have changed a lot in the meantime.
- So you want to go to graduate school in Astronomy? (by Jane Rigby) Whether to apply, applying, visiting, making a decision.
- PhD Advice: Part 1 - applying and choosing
- Visiting a Grad School?- advice on choosing a grad school from astrobites
- Choosing an advisor
- Advice on the application can be gathered from many resources, but here is one insider's look. This is part 4 of a 4-part series. Most of the "grad school" tagged posts are helpful, including "Should I go to Grad School: A Quiz".
- Advice on Applying to Astronomy Graduate School - Article by a current Penn State grad student about the full application and decision making process he went through, including recommendations for students' early years of college.
Once You're In
- PhD Advice: Part 2 - advisor relationship, Part 3 - read and write, Part 4 - Take risks, make your mark, Part 5 - ask around for help!
- An Open Letter to New Graduate Students | ProfHacker - Excellent article that you should consider circulating to the incoming class at your institution.
- When Tenure Disappears: Walking Away from the Ivory Towers | Inside Higher Ed - "As tenure disappears and PhD enrollments continue to rise, we have to accept the fact that PhD candidates need to be trained to work outside of academia and that our knowledge-based economy needs PhD-trained knowledge workers in all sectors."
- GradHacker - blog by graduate students dedicated to creating a community of grads who can benefit from hearing the stories, tips, and challenges of others who are experiencing the same things.