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Grad Student Ways Top Pick: The Ph.D. Process: A Student's Guide to Graduate School in the Sciences
(full story below)
By Dale F. Bloom, Jonathan D. Karp, Nicholas Cohen
Price: $19.95 & eligible for FREE Shipping on orders over $35.

Product Description
The Ph.D. Process offers the essential guidance that students in the biological and physical sciences need to get the most out of their years in graduate school. Drawing upon the insights of numerous current and former graduate students, this book presents a rich portrayal of the intellectual and emotional challenges inherent in becoming a scientist, and offers the informed, practical advice a "best friend" would give about each stage of the graduate school experience. What are the best strategies for applying to a graduate program? How are classes conducted? How should I choose an advisor and a research project? What steps can I take now to make myself more "employable" when I get my degree? What goes on at the oral defense? Through a balanced, thorough examination of issues ranging from lab etiquette to research stress, the authors--each a Ph.D. in the sciences--provide the vital information that will allow students to make informed decisions all along the way to the degree. Headlined sections within each chapter make it fast and easy to look up any subject, while dozens of quotes describing personal experiences in graduate programs from people in diverse scientific fields contribute invaluable real-life expertise. Special attention is also given to the needs of international students.

Read in advance, this book prepares students for each step of the graduate school experience that awaits them. Read during the course of a graduate education, it serves as a handy reference covering virtually all major issues and decisions a doctoral candidate is likely to face. The Ph.D. Process is the one book every graduate student in the biological and physical sciences can use to stay a step ahead, from application all the way through graduation.

Product Details
Amazon Sales Rank: #777845 in Books
Published on: 1999-02-25
Original language: English
Number of items: 1
Dimensions: 6.10" h x .60" w x 9.00" l, .73 pounds
Binding: Paperback
224 pages

Editorial Reviews

Review
"Graduate school . . . is the only established route to advanced study of the nature of the universe. It culminates in the award of a doctoral degree but requires some advanced and very specialized courses, an 'independent research project,' a thesis or dissertation, passing very intense exams or other requirements, and, last but not least, interactions with other students, faculty, both on and off campus at conferences and other relevant sites. Bloom, Karp, and Cohen have gone into considerable and realistic detail about this 'life experience' and have taken a viewpoint as an advocate of the student. No graduate school catalog I have ever seen has given a list of disclaimers, disclosures, hidden hurdles, barriers, possibilities for disaster, the culture of science and the sociology of scientists, and stress generators, let alone any hints on how to over come any of these problems. This book goes a very long way to helping to fill in those gaps and omissions."--scientistlifeboat.com

"[T]he most comprehensive guide to date about graduate school in the sciences. . . . The Ph.D. Process marches through all aspects of the grad school experience, from application through dissertation defense, and includes some excellent topics not covered in other books, such as advice to foreign students. . . . In addition, the book includes the voices of graduate students themselves, discussing, and in some cases qualifying, the authors' advice. The combination of authoritative summaries along with anecdotes from students themselves help lend substance to what otherwise might be a daunting litany of do's and don'ts about grad school. The book is organized in a more or less chronological sequence of major events and issues in the grad school process. Interspersed with these subjects are chapters on more strategic and issues-related subjects . . . Together the chapters work both to explain how things work and also how to make things work well for you."--Science's Next Wave

From the Publisher
Oxford University Press: Drawing upon the insights of numerous current and former graduate students, this book present a rich portrayal of the intellectual and emotional challenges inherent in becoming a scientist, and offers the informed, practical advice a "best friend" would give about each stage of the graduate school experience.

From the Author
Graduate school in the sciences is not similar to undergraduate education, where the passing of a sufficient number of courses usually guarantees one a degree; neither is it like medical school or law school, where there is a delineated and set curriculum. Science Ph.D students are actually pretty much on their own--and they will sink or swim depending upon their own interpretation of how the system works.

The purpose of this book is to provide students with some insight into this unusual system. The authors, PhDs themselves, reveal the generally unspoken "rules" of the game. They offer the secrets of survival and success: What should you discuss in your application essay? What types of research advisors should you avoid? What kinds of research projects should you never undertake? How hard do you have to work? Are grades important? What steps should you take now to make yourself employable when you finish? What decisions can make or break your career? How can you network in the scientific community? What goes on at the oral defense, and how can you prepare?

Described also is the daily experience itself: research life, classes, seminars, journal clubs, lab meetings, interactions with peers and professors, qualifying exams, professional meetings, oral exams, dissertation preparation, etc. Anxiety, frustration, and joy-- all normal responses to a grad student's life--are also examined. (In quotes sprinkled throughout the text, numerous past and present grad students relate their individual experiences and emotions during their doctoral training.) A separate chapter is devoted to the special problems of foreign students, strangers to our culture and educational system.

There are many intellectual and emotional challenges inherent to becoming a scientist. This book prepares students for each stage of the experience. They will learn what to expect--socially, psychologically, and academically!

Customer Reviews
Most helpful customer reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful.
What Grad School is Really Like
By Audiaa
The PhD process is a great overview of graduate school in the sciences. It covers most basic topics such as choosing a type of school, applying, preliminary exams, comps, thesis work, etc. Of course each school does these things slightly differently, but the main points are there and the authors do a good job of pointing out where differences between programs are likely to turn up. This book also explains things that graduate programs aren't likely to advertise such as using students as `cheap labor' and what things to look for in an advisor other than interesting research. This is a fun to read honest book, and the anecdotes from current and past graduate students are the best part. I enjoyed reading them because so many of the same things have happened to me, and it's nice to know that I'm not alone.

I wouldn't say that I received any great insights from the book because I had some experience with academic labs before I applied to graduate school and had a pretty good idea of what I was getting into. I found it a little calming to read about others' experiences as I was waiting to get started. I think most students who apply to graduate school have already spent much time in labs with current graduate students so this might not be that useful to them as practical advise; however, I found this book to be an excellent resource for my parents. My parents had no idea what graduate school is like, and the fact that I'm at school all day and only go to class for an hour baffles them to no end. Reading this book helped them to understand the structure and goals of graduate school. Though I still don't think they understand journal club. (Why would anyone join that club? It doesn't sound like very much fun.)
I recommend this book to grad students for their parents or to undergraduates who aren't sure if graduate school is the right path for them. This book gives great insight into what graduate school is really like.

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful.
What you've always wanted to know about graduate school.
By A Customer

This is the first book I've seen that deals with the opportunities and challenges of being a graduate student in the sciences in a fair and equitable fashion. You'll find neither university-specific recruitment cheerleading nor intellectual snobbery in this book, just what the reality of life is like for students in graduate school. And make no mistake - this reality is very personal. From choosing a graduate school to tying up the loose ends of your dissertation, this book explains just what you can expect from this exhilarating, unnerving, and sometimes overwhelming experience. I wish this book had been available when I was applying to graduate schools! I highly recommend it to anyone, whether they are simply considering going to graduate school or are weeks away from a defense date.

Being a graduate student in the sciences can be very isolating, and reading about other students' experiences that echo your own (especially in other universities around the country) provides a sometimes much-needed perspective on both your feelings and your attitudes about your current work and your upcoming career. If you are considering a Ph.D. in the sciences, READ THIS BOOK.

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful.
By A Customer
The following was copied from another website's review of The Ph.D. Process, and I think it describes the book perfectly:

Graduate school in science is not an experiential extension of undergraduate education, where the passing of a sufficient number of courses usually guarantees one a degree; nor is it medical school or law school, where there is a delineated and set curriculum. Ph.D students are actually pretty much on their own--and they will sink or swim depending upon their own interpretation of how the system works.

The purpose of this book is to provide students with some insight into this unusual system. The authors--each a Ph.D. in the sciences--reveal the generally unspoken "rules" of the game. They offer the secrets of survival and success: What should you discuss in your application essay? What types of research advisors should you avoid? What kinds of research projects should you never undertake? How hard do you have to work? Are grades important? What steps should you take now to make yourself "employable" when you finish? What decisions can make or break your career? How can you network in the scientific community? What goes on at the oral defense, and how can you prepare?
Described also is the daily experience itself: research life, classes, seminars, journal clubs, lab meetings, interactions with peers and professors, qualifying exams, professional meetings, oral exams, dissertation preparation, etc. Anxiety, frustration, and joy-- all normal responses to a grad student's life--are also examined. (In quotes sprinkled throughout the text, numerous past and present grad students relate their individual experiences and emotions during their doctoral training.) A separate chapter is devoted to the special problems of foreign students, strangers to our culture and educational system.

There are many intellectual and emotional challenges inherent to becoming a scientist. This book prepares students for each stage of the experience. They will learn what to expect--socially, psychologically, and academically!

Add to Shopping Cart: http://astore.amazon.com/thgrstwa-20/detail/0195119002

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