Everyone needs a “Feel Good” folder

Dear Graduate Student, Grad school is tough. For the most part, the pace of progress in your graduate program essentially falls on your shoulders. On the one hand, this is great because it means that you are in complete control of your success in a program. On the other hand, […]

On the idea of “work-life balance”

Dear Graduate Student, If I could share one word on work-life balance it would be: poppycock (noun) nonsense, rubbish, balderdash….. Being a graduate student is really hard work. Sure, there are many plus sides, but for the sake of this post let’s focus on how you will eat, sleep, and […]

Faculty motivations for accepting (or declining) a new graduate student

Dear (prospective) Graduate Student, The words “Sorry, I’m not accepting new students” can be heartbreaking and even maddening if at some later date you find out that suddenly now that Professor is interested in accepting students. The choice to accept or decline a new student is actually quite complex for […]

How to get paid to go to grad school

Dear (prospective) Graduate Student, Did you know that you could earn a monthly income while you’re a grad student and even free tuition? There are limited options for undergrad students to earn an income through the university (that’s a can of worms for another day), but grad school is different […]

The two-way interview between potential grad student and mentor

Dear (prospective) Graduate Student, This is where a lot of students go wrong. The relationship between you and your graduate advisor is THE most important aspect of your graduate program. More important than the prestige of the program and more important than the research topic. Seriously! Why is that? Because […]

Finding professors to serve as your grad advisor

Dear (prospective) Graduate Student, Now that you’ve decided to go to grad school, where should you apply and how do you find a Professor that you want to work with? This task can seem daunting  – out of all of the universities out there, how do you find a lab that […]

How to get into grad school

Dear (prospective) Graduate Student, Acceptance to a university at the undergraduate level is pretty straightforward. You apply with all of the required materials, pay a fee, and wait to hear the results. Although there is an application, and an application fee, and a waiting period involved in graduate school acceptance, […]

How to get an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP)

Dear Graduate Student, The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program is a means of funding yourself during grad school. This prestigious award provides 3 years of salary for you, paid as a monthly stipend of about $2800, and includes roughly $12,000/year allowance for tuition. Any remaining tuition is often waived […]

What to include in your email to a potential advisor

Dear (prospective) Graduate Student, So, you’ve been successful in finding professors to serve as potential graduate advisors. Now comes the hard (and sometimes scary) part. What should you write in your email? A good introductory email will include not only info on your metrics as a student, but it should […]