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Encyclopedia > Graduate school

A graduate school or "grad school" is a school that awards advanced degrees, with the general requirement that students must have earned an undergraduate (bachelor's) degree. Many universities award graduate degrees; a graduate school is not necessarily a separate institution. Original research experience is often a significant component of graduate studies, including the writing and defense of a thesis or dissertation. The term "graduate school" is primarily North American, not being used in the United Kingdom, except by a few institutions, most notably Imperial College London. It also does not usually refer to medical school (students are called "medical students") and only occasionally refers to law school or business school. In some educational systems, undergraduate education is post-secondary education up to the level of a Bachelors degree. ... A bachelors degree is usually an undergraduate academic degree awarded for a course or major that generally lasts for three, four, or in some cases and countries, five or six years. ... Representation of a university class, 1350s. ... A thesis (from Greek position) is an intellectual proposition. ... This article is about the thesis in dialectics and academia. ... North America North America is a continent [1] in the Earths northern hemisphere and (chiefly) western hemisphere. ... Imperial College London (also known as Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine) is a British university institution and a constituent college of the University of London. ... Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas, USA. A medical school or faculty of medicine is a tertiary educational institution or part of such an institution that teaches medicine. ... // A law school is an institution where future lawyers obtain legal degrees. ... A business school is a university-level institution that confers degrees in Business Administration. ...

Those attending graduate schools are called graduate students, or in British English postgraduate students, or, colloquially, postgrads. Degrees awarded by graduate schools include master's degrees, doctoral degrees (Ph.D.s), and other postgraduate qualifications such as graduate certificates and professional degrees. British English (BrE, BE, en-GB) is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere in the Anglophone world. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. ... A professional degree is an academic degree designed to prepare the holder for a particular career or profession, fields where scholarly research and academic activity are not the work, but rather a profession such as law, medicine, architecture, accounting, engineering, religious ministry, or education. ...

Although graduate-school programs are distinct experiences from undergraduate-degree programs, graduate instruction (in Australia, the United States, and other countries) is often offered by some of the same senior faculty and departments as taught undergraduate courses. Unlike in undergraduate programs, it is rare for graduate students to take coursework outside their specific field of study at the Master's level. At the Ph.D. level, though, it is quite common to take courses from a wider range of study, for which some fixed portion of coursework is typically required to be taken from outside the department and college of the degree-seeking candidate, to broaden the research abilities of the student. Some institutions designate separate graduate versus undergraduate faculty and denote other divisions (often called School of X, e.g., diplomacy) Coursework refers to work carried out by students while they are studying a course at university or school that contributes towards their overall grade, but which is assessed separately from their final exams. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ...




Generally, the Australian higher education system follows that of its British counterpart. Programmes are divided into coursework-based and research-based degrees, and entrance is decided by merit (entrance to coursework-based programmes is usually not as strict); most universities usually require a "Credit" average (equivalent to the British B-) as entry to their taught programmes in a field related to their previous undergraduate. On average, however, a strong "Credit" or "Distinction" average is the norm for accepted students.

Ph.D. entrance requirements in the higher ranked schools typically require a student to have a master's degree by research, or a master's with a significant research component. Those who hold a first-class four-year honours degree may be considered, but are usually first admitted as probationary Ph.D.-students during the first year, then transfer to permanent candidacy contingent upon successful progress. The minimum duration of a Ph.D. programme is two years, but completing within this timespan is unusual, with Ph.D.s usually taking an average of three to four years to be completed.

Most of the confusion with Australian postgraduate programmes occurs with the research-based programmes. Research degrees generally require candidates to have a minimum of a second-class four-year honours undergraduate degree to be considered for admission. There has been some debate over the acceptance of a three-year honours degree (as in the case of graduates from British universities) as equivalent entry requirement to graduate research programmes (M.Phil., Ph.D.) in Australian universities, even though British graduates hold equivalent honours classification (upper-second and above).

There has also been some confusion over the conversion of the different marking schemes between British, U.S., and Australian systems for the purpose of assessment for entry to graduate programmes. The Australian grades are divided into four categories: High Distinction, Distinction, Credit, and Pass (though many institutions have idiosyncratic grading systems). Assessment and evaluation based on the Australian system is not equivalent to British or U.S. schemes because of the "low-marking" scheme used by Australian universities. For example, a British student who achieves 70+ will receive an A grade, whereas an Australian student with 70+ will receive a Distinction which is not the highest grade in the marking scheme. Hence, there have been many instances where Australian university admission officers have incorrectly assessed foreign grade marks as equivalent to their own.[citation needed]


The Australian government usually offer full funding (fees and a monthly stipend) to its citizens and permanent residents who are pursuing research-based higher degrees. There are also highly competitive scholarships for international candidates who intend to pursue research-based programmes. Taught-degree scholarships (certain masters' degrees, Grad. Dip., Grad. Cert., D.Eng., D.B.A.) are almost non-existent for international students, so they are usually required to be self-funded.

Requirements for completion

Requirements for the successful completion of a taught master's programme are that the student pass all the required modules. Some universities require eight taught modules for a one-year programme, twelve modules for a one-and-a-half-year programme, and twelve taught modules plus a thesis or dissertation for a two-year programme. The academic year for an Australian postgraduate programme is typically two semesters (eight months of study).

Requirements for research-based programmes vary among universities. Generally, however, a student is not required to take taught modules as part of their candidacy. It is now common that first-year Ph.D. candidates are not regarded as permanent Ph.D. students for fear that they may not be sufficiently prepared to undertake independent research. In such cases, an alternative degree will be awarded for their previous work, usually an M.Phil. or M.Sc. by research.



Admission to a master's program generally requires a bachelor's degree in a related field, with sufficiently high grades (usually ranging from B+ / 80% average--note that different schools have different percentage to letter grade conversions-- and up, though this requirement may be significantly higher in some faculties), and recommendations from professors. Some schools require samples of the student's writing as well as a research proposal. At English-speaking universities, applicants from countries where English is not the primary language are required to submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The Test Of English as a Foreign Language (or TOEFL, pronounced toe-full, or sometimes just toffle) evaluates the potential success of an individual to use and understand Standard American English at a college level. ...

Admission to a doctoral program typically requires a master's degree in a related field, sufficiently high grades, recommendations, samples of writing, a research proposal, and typically an interview with a prospective supervisor. Requirements are often set higher than those for a master's program. In exceptional cases, a student holding an honours BA with sufficiently high grades and proven writing and research abilities may be admitted directly to a Ph.D. program without the requirement to first complete a master's. Many Canadian graduate programs allow students who start in a master's to "reclassify" into a Ph.D. program after satisfactory performance in the first year, bypassing the master's degree.

Graduate students must usually declare their research goal or submit a research proposal upon entering grad school; in the case of master's degrees, there will be some flexibility (that is, one is not held to one's research proposal, although major changes, for example from premodern to modern history, are discouraged). In the case of Ph.D.s, the research direction is usually known as it will typically follow the direction of the master's research.

Master's degrees can typically be completed in one year but normally take at least two; they typically may not exceed five years. Doctoral degrees require a minimum of two years but frequently take much longer, not usually exceeding six years.


Graduate students may take out student loans, but instead they often work as teaching or research assistants. Students often agree, as a condition of acceptance to a programme, not to devote more than twelve hours per week to work or outside interests. While included in the term financial aid higher education loans differ from scholarships and grants in that they must be paid back. ... A teaching assistant (TA) is a junior scholar employed on a temporary contract by a college or university for the purpose of assisting a professor by teaching students in recitation or discussion sessions, holding office hours, grading homework or exams, supervising labs (in science and engineering courses), and sometimes teaching... A research assistant (RA) is a junior graduate scholar, employed on a temporary contract by a college or university for the purpose of academic research. ...

Funding is available to first-year masters students whose transcripts reflect exceptionally high grades; this funding is normally given in the second year.

Funding for Ph.D. students comes from a variety of sources, and many universities waive tuition fees for doctoral candidates.

Funding is available in the form of scholarships, bursaries and other awards, both private and public. Note: The term scholarship can mean either the methods employed by scholars (see scholarly method) or an award of access to an institution and/or money for an individual for the purposes of furthering their education. ... The New Zealand University Bursary or Bursary was New Zealands standard secondary school leaving qualification gained at the end of NZ Form VII (= UK Upper Sixth Form). ...

Requirements for completion

Both master's and doctoral programs may be done by coursework or research or a combination of the two, depending on the subject and faculty. Most faculties require both, with the emphasis on research, and with coursework being directly related to the field of research. Coursework refers to work carried out by students while they are studying a course at university or school that contributes towards their overall grade, but which is assessed separately from their final exams. ... Research is a human activity based on intellectual investigation and aimed at discovering, interpreting, and revising human knowledge on different aspects of the world. ... A faculty is a division within a university. ...

Master's candidates undertaking research are typically required to complete a thesis comprising some original research and ranging from seventy to two-hundred pages. Some fields may require candidates to study at least one foreign language if they have not already earned sufficient foreign-language credits. Some faculties require candidates to defend their thesis, but many do not. Those that do not often have a requirement of taking two additional courses, minimum, in lieu of preparing a thesis. A thesis (from Greek position) is an intellectual proposition. ... A thesis defence (defending ones thesis) is a type of final examination for a Ph. ...

Ph.D. candidates undertaking research must typically complete a thesis, or dissertation, consisting of original research representing a significant contribution to their field, and ranging from two-hundred to five-hundred pages. Most Ph.D. candidates will be required to sit comprehensive examinations—examinations testing general knowledge in their field of specialization—in their second or third year as a prerequisite to continuing their studies, and must defend their thesis as a final requirement. Some faculties require candidates to earn sufficient credits in a third or fourth foreign language; for example, most candidates in modern Japanese topics must demonstrate ability in English, Japanese, and Mandarin, while candidates in pre-modern Japanese topics must demonstrate ability in English, Japanese, Classical Chinese, and Classical Japanese. This article is about the thesis in dialectics and academia. ... This does not cite its references or sources. ... Standard Mandarin – also known as Standard Chinese or Standard spoken Chinese – is the official Chinese spoken language used by the Peoples Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), and Singapore. ... Classical Chinese or Literary Chinese is a traditional style of written Chinese based on the grammar and vocabulary of very old forms of Chinese , making it very different from any modern spoken form of Chinese. ... The Classical Japanese language was the Japanese language as spoken and written during the Heian era of Japan, circa 900-1200 CE. It is the direct successor to the Old Japanese language and is characterized by an enormous influx of Chinese vocabulary and widespread changes in the phonology. ...

At English-speaking Canadian universities, both master's and Ph.D. theses may be presented in English or in the language of the subject (German for German literature, for example), but if this is the case an extensive abstract must be also presented in English. In exceptional circumstances, a thesis may be presented in French. German literature comprises those literary texts originating within Germany proper and written in the German language. ...

French-speaking universities have varying sets of rules; some will accept students with little knowledge of French if they can communicate with their supervisors (usually in English).

United Kingdom


Admission to undertake a research degree in the UK typically requires a good bachelor's degree (at least lower second, but usually an upper second or first class). Students may or may not already have a Master's degree. Doctoral candidates are initially admitted to a Masters in Research Philosophy (M.Phil. or MRes), then later accede to a Ph.D. if they progress well. This research Master's degree is usually based mainly or wholly on a dissertation and associated coursework. The British undergraduate degree classification system is a grading scheme for undergraduate degrees (bachelors degrees and some masters degrees) in the United Kingdom. ... The British undergraduate degree classification system is a grading scheme for undergraduate degrees (bachelors degrees and some masters degrees) in the United Kingdom. ... In the usage of the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, New Zealand and some other countries, the Master of Philosophy (M.Phil. ... In the U.K., the Master of Research degree is an advanced postgraduate degree available in a range of academic diciplines. ...


Funding for postgraduate study in the UK is awarded competitively, and usually is disseminated by institution (in the form of a certain allocation of studentships for a given year) rather than directly to individuals. There are a number of scholarships for Master's courses, but these are relatively rare and dependent on the course and class of undergraduate degree obtained (usually requiring at least a lower second). Most Master's students are self-funded.

Funding is available for some Ph.D. courses. As at the Master's level, there is more funding available to those in the sciences than in other disciplines. Such funding generally comes from Research Councils such as the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Medical Research Council (MRC) and others. The Research Councils of the UK are government agencies responsible for particular areas of science and technology. ... The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is a British Research Council that provides government funding for grants to undertake research and postgraduate degrees in engineering and the physical sciences (including mathematics, Artificial Intelligence and computer science), mainly to universities in the United Kingdom. ... The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is a British Research Council that provides government funding for grants to undertake research in the arts and humanities, mainly to universities in the United Kingdom. ... Current MRC logo The Medical Research Council (MRC) is a UK organisation dedicated to promot[ing] the balanced development of medical and related biological research in the UK. // Organisation The MRC is one of eight Research Councils and is answerable to, although politically independent from, the Office of Science and...

For overseas students, most major funding applications are due as early as twelve months or more before the intended graduate course will begin. This funding is also often highly competitive. The most widely available, and thus important, award for overseas students is the Overseas Research Student Award, which pays the difference in university fees between an overseas student and a British or EU resident. However, a student can only apply for the ORS for one university, often before he or she knows whether they have been accepted.

Students studying part-time for a Master's degree can apply for income-based Jobseeker's Allowance provided their timetabled hours are less than 16 hours per week. This also entitles the student to housing benefit provided by their local council[citation needed]. Full-time students (of any type) are not normally eligible for state benefits, including during vacation time.[1] In the United Kingdom Jobseekers Allowance (JSA), colloquially known as The Dole, is a form of unemployment benefit that is paid by the government to people who are unemployed and seeking work. ... Housing Benefit is a means tested social security benefit in the UK that is intended to help people with low incomes and low savings pay for rented accommodation. ... Local governments are administrative offices that are smaller than a state or province. ...

United States


Admission to graduate school usually requires a bachelor's degree. High grades in one's field of study are important — grades outside the field less so. Good standardized test (e.g., Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Medical College Admission Test) (MCAT) scores may be required by some institutions and, especially, good letters of recommendation from undergraduate instructors are often essential. Strong recommendation letters that result from an undergraduate research experience provide excellent evidence that the applicant can perform research. A standardized test is a test administered and scored in a standard manner. ... The Graduate Record Examination or GRE is a standardized test that is an admissions requirement for many graduate schools in English speaking countries. ... The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a standardized examination for prospective medical students in the United States. ...

Within the sciences and some social sciences, previous research experience may be important; within most humanities disciplines, an example of academic writing normally suffices. Many universities require a personal statement (sometimes called Statement of Purpose or SOP), which may include indications of the intended area(s) of research; how detailed this statement is or whether it is possible to change one's focus of research depends strongly on the discipline and department being applied to.

In some disciplines or universities, graduate applicants may find it best to have at least one recommendation from research work outside of the college where they earned their Bachelor's degree; however, as with previous research experience, this may not be very important in most humanities disciplines.

Some schools set minimum GPAs and test scores below which they will not accept any applicants; this reduces the time spent reviewing applications. On the other hand, many other institutions often explicitly state that they do not use any sort of cut-offs in terms of GPA or the GRE scores. Instead, they claim to consider many factors, including past research achievements, the compatibility between the applicant's research interest and that of the faculty, the statement of purpose and the letters of reference, as stated above. Some programs also require professors to act as sponsors. Finally, applicants from non-English speaking countries must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A grade in education can mean either a teachers evaluation of a students work or a students level of educational progress, usually one grade per year (often denoted by an ordinal number, such as the 3rd Grade or the 12th Grade). This article is about evaluation of... The Test Of English as a Foreign Language (or TOEFL, pronounced toe-full, or sometimes just toffle) evaluates the potential success of an individual to use and understand Standard American English at a college level. ...

At most institutions, decisions regarding admission are not made by the institution itself but the department for which the applicant will be studying.

Requirements for completion

Graduate students often declare their intended degree (master's or doctorate) in their applications. In some cases, master's programs allow successful students to continue toward the doctorate degree. Additionally, students who complete their coursework but not dissertation ("ABD," for "all but dissertation") often receive master's degrees and an additional master's called a Master of Philosophy, or MPhil, or C.Phil. "Candidate in Philosophy" degree. The master's component of a doctorate program often requires one or two years, and some students, because doctoral programs are better-funded, apply for doctoral programs while only intending to attain a master's degree. This is generally not accepted and, if a student's advisor learns of the student's plans, can result in early termination. All But Dissertation or All But Degree, abbreviated ABD, or Candidatus Philosphiae or Candidate in Philosophy, abbreviated C.Phil. ... C.Phil. ...

Many graduate programs require students to pass one or several examinations in order to demonstrate their competence as scholars. Comprehensive examinations ("Comps") are often required in the first year of doctoral study, and are designed to test a student's background undergraduate-level knowledge. Students failing after two attempts are usually expelled from the program, often being awarded a master's degree instead of a Ph.D. Some students who fail to perform well are declared "terminal master's" students and not allowed to progress on to the Ph.D. after finishing and defending their master's thesis. Comprehensive examinations of this type are more common in the sciences and some social sciences, and relatively unknown in most humanities disciplines.

Most graduate students perform teaching duties. Early in the program, they often serve as graders and tutors; as they advance, they can be promoted to Lecturer status, receiving more responsibility and a larger stipend. Lecturer is a term of academic rank. ...

Doctoral students generally spend roughly their first two to three years taking course work, and by their second year if not before, begin research. Many master's and all specialist students will perform research culminating in a paper, presentation, and defense of their research. This is called the master's thesis (or, for Educational Specialist students, the specialist paper). However, many US master's degree programs do not require a master's thesis, focusing instead primarily on course work or on "practicals" or "workshops". Such "real-world" experience may typically require a candidate work on a project alone or in a team as a consultant, or consultants, for an outside entity approved or selected by the academic institution, and under faculty supervision.

In the second and third years of study, doctoral programs often require students to pass more examinations. Programs often require a Qualifying Examination ("Quals") or General Examination ("Generals"), testing students' grasp of a broad sample of their discipline, and/or one or several Special Field Examinations ("Specials"), testing students in their narrower selected areas of specialty within the discipline. If these examinations are held orally, they may be known colloquially as "orals". For some social science and many humanities disciplines, where graduate students may or may not have studied the discipline at the undergraduate level, these exams will be the first set, and be based either on graduate coursework or specific preparatory reading (sometimes up to a year's work in reading). In all cases, comprehensive exams are normally both stressful and time consuming, and must be passed to be allowed to proceed on to the thesis. Passing such examinations allows the student to stay, begin doctoral research, and rise to the status of a doctoral candidate, while failing usually results in the student leaving the program or re-taking the test after some time has passed (usually a semester or a year). Some schools have an intermediate category, passing at the master's level, which allows the student to leave with a master's without having completed a master's thesis.

For the next several years the doctoral candidate primarily performs his or her research. Usually this lasts three to eight years, though a few finish more quickly and some take substantially longer. In total, the typical doctoral degree takes between 4 and 8 years from entering the program to completion, though this time varies depending upon the department, thesis topic, and many other factors.

For example, astronomy degrees take five to six years on average, but observational astronomy degrees take six to seven due to limiting factors of weather, while theoretical astronomy degrees take five. Though there is substantial variation among universities, departments, and individuals, humanities and social science doctorates on average take somewhat longer to complete than natural science doctorates. These differences are due to the differing nature of research between the humanities and some social sciences and the natural sciences (solitary as opposed to lab or group based), and to the differing expectations of the discipline in coursework, languages and length of thesis. However, time required to complete a doctorate also varies according to the candidate's abilities and choice of research. Some students may also choose to remain in a program if they fail to win an academic position, particularly in disciplines with a tight job market; by remaining a student, they can retain access to libraries and university facilities, while also retaining an academic affiliation, which can be essential for conferences and job-searches. A giant Hubble mosaic of the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant Astronomy (also frequently referred to as astrophysics) is the scientific study of celestial objects (such as stars, planets, comets, and galaxies) and phenomena that originate outside the Earths atmosphere (such as the cosmic background radiation). ... Mayall telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory Observational astronomy is a division of the astronomical science that is concerned with getting data, in contrast with theoretical astrophysics which is mainly concerned with finding out the measureable implications of physical models. ... Theoretical astrophysics is the discipline that seeks to explain the phenomena observed by astronomers in physical terms with a theoretic approach. ... The humanities are those academic disciplines which study the human condition using methods that are largely analytic, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural and social sciences. ... The social sciences are groups of academic disciplines that study the human aspects of the world. ... The Michelson–Morley experiment was used to disprove that light propagated through a luminiferous aether. ...

Traditionally, doctoral programs were only intended to last three to four years and, in some disciplines (primarily the natural sciences), with the economic support of a second-income, a helpful advisor, and a light teaching load, it is possible for the degree to be completed in that amount of time. However, increasingly many disciplines, including most humanities, set their requirements for coursework, languages and the expected extent of thesis research by the assumption that students will take five years minimum or six to seven years on average; competition for jobs within these fields also raises expectations on the length and quality of theses considerably.

In some disciplines doctoral programs can average seven to ten years, with those taking less time being seen as not doing as full of a job as they should have. Archaeology, which requires long periods of research, tends towards this. The increase in length of degree is a matter of great concern for both students and universities, though there is much disagreement on potential solutions to this problem. Archaeology, archeology, or archæology (from Greek: αρχαίος, archaios, combining form in Latin archae-, ancient; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the study of human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of material remains and environmental data, including architecture, artifacts, biofacts, human remains, and landscapes. ...

Foreign graduate students outnumber American-born students in some US departments, primarily in the natural sciences, and engineering.


Graduate students who are not independently wealthy live meagerly compared to their peer group, but how meagerly depends greatly on the nature of funding at their university. Wealth from the old English word weal, which means well-being or welfare. The term was originally an adjective to describe the possession of such qualities. ...

At some elite universities with large endowments, there may be a minimum stipend established for all Ph.D. students within their first five years, as well as a tuition waiver. This stipend may consist of a scholarship for one to two years, and then guaranteed TA or RA positions. At many elite universities, these stipends have been increasing, in response both to student pressure and especially to competition among the elite universities for graduate students. Because of this competition, increases tend to be concentrated on the beginning years of the program, not on the relatively poorly funded finishing students.

At most universities, however, the level of available funding is much less and required work greater. Departments at these universities will often make yearly decisions with regard to graduate student funding on the basis of how well the students appear to be progressing through the program in pursuit of their degrees. In some cases, graduate students can lose funding and be effectively terminated from their program. Depending on the structure of the department, this can sometimes even happen at the whim of an advisor. Such a decision can be devastating, as it is effectively a vote of "no confidence" in a student's performance.

Students who are able to attain an RA (research assistant) or TA (teaching assistant) position, at least, may acquire tuition-forgiveness and a stipend that pays for most expenses. Stipends do not usually correlate with local cost of living, so students in expensive locales such as Boston and Berkeley, even funded, almost invariably lose economic ground. A research assistant (RA) is a junior graduate scholar, employed on a temporary contract by a college or university for the purpose of academic research. ... A teaching assistant (TA) is a junior scholar employed on a temporary contract by a college or university for the purpose of assisting a professor by teaching students in recitation or discussion sessions, holding office hours, grading homework or exams, supervising labs (in science and engineering courses), and sometimes teaching... Nickname: City on the Hill, Beantown, The Hub (of the Universe)1, Athens of America, The Cradle of Revolution, Puritan City, Americas Walking City Location in Massachusetts, USA Counties Suffolk County Mayor Thomas M. Menino(D) Area    - City 232. ... Berkeley is a city on the east shore of San Francisco Bay in northern California, in the United States. ...

In some fields, RA positions are more coveted than TA positions because, while teaching is generally considered a distraction from one's work, RAs typically are paid to work on the dissertation they are required to complete anyway. RA positions are more typical of science disciplines; they are relatively uncommon in humanities disciplines, and where they exist, rarely allow the student to work on their own research.

Departments often have funds for limited discretionary funding to supplement minor expenses such as research trips and travel to conferences.

A few students can attain outside fellowships such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Physical Sciences Consortium (NPSC). The sciences are funded well enough that most students can attain either outside or institutional funding, but in the humanities, not all do. Some humanities students are forced to borrow money during their coursework, then take full-time jobs while completing their dissertations. Again, funding differs greatly by the wealth of the university; some universities give five years of full funding to all Ph.D. students, though often with a teaching requirement attached; other universities do not. However, because of the teaching requirements, which can be in the research years of the Ph.D., even the most funded of universities often do not have funding for humanities or social science students who need to do research elsewhere, whether in the United States or overseas. A fellow in its broadest sense is someone who is an equal or a comrade. ... The logo of the National Science Foundation The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. ...

Foreign grads are typically funded the same way as domestic (US) grads, although some funding sources (such as many NSF fellowships) may only be awarded to domestic students. International students often have worse financial difficulties than domestic students. Reasons include high costs to visit their families back home, support of a family not allowed to work due to immigration laws, tuition that is steep by world standards, and large fees: visa fees by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, surveillance fees (such as Student and Exchange Visitor Information Systems, or SEVIS[1]) by the United States Congress and the United States Department of Homeland Security. Entry visa valid in Schengen treaty countries. ... U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and performs some of the functions formerly carried out by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, which was part of the Department of Justice. ... Surveillance cameras An helicopter flying over Lille, France, watching for possible rioting after the 2007 presidential election Surveillance is the monitoring of behavior. ... The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is a networked computersystem set up in the United States to track information on non-immigrant international and foreign exchange students attending school in the U.S. The SEVIS system requires schools to maintain attendance records for foreign students. ... Type Bicameral Houses Senate House of Representatives President of the Senate President pro tempore Dick Cheney, (R) since January 20, 2001 Robert C. Byrd, (D) since January 4, 2007 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Members 535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political... The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), commonly known in the US as Homeland Security, is a Cabinet department of the Federal Government of the United States with the responsibility of protecting the territory of the United States from terrorist attacks and responding to natural disasters. ...

With the recognition of both the lack of funding and the uncertainty of the job market, many academics advise their undergraduate students not to pursue graduate education if they do not have adequate funding. However, even students with generous funding at the beginning of their degree may find themselves struggling to find funding to conduct research away from the university or to finish writing.

Graduate employee unions

At many universities, graduate students are employed by their university to teach classes or do research. While all graduate employees are graduate students, many graduate students are not employees. MBA students, for example, usually pay tuition and do not have paid teaching or research positions. In many countries graduate employees have collectively organized labor unions in order to bargain a contract with their university. In Canada, for example, almost all graduate employees are members of a CUPE local. A union (labor union in American English; trade union, sometimes trades union, in British English; either labour union or trade union in Canadian English) is a legal entity consisting of employees or workers having a common interest, such as all the assembly workers for one employer, or all the workers... The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is Canadian trade union serving the public sector though it has, in recent years, organized workplaces in the non-profit and para-public sector as well. ...

In the United States there are many graduate employee unions at public universities, the Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions lists 25 recognized unions at public universities on its website. Private universities, however, are covered under the National Labor Relations Act rather than state labor laws and until 2001 there were no recognized unions at private universities. The Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions consists of unions representing graduate employees at universities in Canada and the United States. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ...

Many graduate students see themselves as akin to junior faculty, but with significantly lower pay. Many graduate students feel that teaching takes time that would better be spent on research, and many point out that there is a vicious circle in the academic labor economy. Institutions that rely on cheap graduate student labor have no need to create expensive professorships, so graduate students who have taught extensively in graduate school can find it immensely difficult to get a teaching job when they have obtained their degree. Many institutions depend heavily on graduate student teaching: a 2003 report by agitators for a graduate student union at Yale, for instance, claims that "70% of undergraduate teaching contact hours at Yale are performed by transient teachers: graduate teachers, adjunct instructors, and other teachers not on the tenure track."

The United Auto Workers (under the slogan "Uniting Academic Workers") and the American Federation of Teachers are two international unions that represent graduate employees. Private universities' administrations often oppose their graduate students when they try to form unions, arguing that students should be exempt from labor laws intended for "employees". In some cases unionization movements have met with enough student opposition to fail. At the schools where graduate employees are unionized, which positions are unionized vary. Sometimes only one set of employees will unionize (e.g. teaching assistants, residential directors); at other times, most or all will. Typically, fellowship recipients, usually not employed by their university, do not participate. The United Auto Workers (UAW), headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, officially the United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America International Union, is one of the largest labor unions in North America, with more than 500,000 members in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico organized into approximately 950 union... The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is the smaller of the two education labor unions in the United States, representing 1. ...

When negotiations fail, graduate employee unions sometimes go on strike. While graduate student unions can use the same types of strikes that other unions do, they have also made use of teach-ins, work-ins, marches, rallies, and grade strikes. In a grade strike, graduate students refuse to grade exams and papers and, if the strike lasts until the end of the academic term, also refuse to turn in final grades. Another form of job action is known as "work-to-rule", in which graduate student instructors work exactly as many hours as they are paid for and no more.


  1. ^ Eligibility guidelines from Jobcentre plus website
  • William G. Bowen & Neil L. Rudenstine, In Pursuit of the PhD (Princeton UP, 1992; ISBN 0-691-04294-2). A comprehensive report on graduate education in the US from the 1960s to the 1990s, based on surveys of tens of thousands of graduate students.

The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ... For the band, see 1990s (band). ...

See also

Degree ceremony at Cambridge. ... This does not cite its references or sources. ... Created in 2001 and legally established in 2005 in Brussels, Eurodoc (www. ... Piled Higher and Deeper is a webcomic written and drawn by Jorge Cham, now a mechanical engineering instructor at Caltech, which follows the lives of several grad students. ... A thesis (from Greek position) is an intellectual proposition. ... The follow is a list of brick and mortar institutions that primarily offer postgraduate degrees with distinction in research publication and research. ... This is a list of the fields of doctoral studies, as used by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago in its annual Survey of Earned Doctorates[1], conducted for the National Science Foundation, and other federal agencies, in the United States. ...

External links

  • How I Got Into the Stanford Psychology Ph.D. Program - One student's experiences when applying to graduate programs in psychology. Includes helpful explanations and tips for all stages of the application process.
  • Excellent guide to applying to Ph.D. from CMU Professor - Covers everything from selecting the right program, taking tests, recommendations, and statement of purpose from a professor who has been on the admissions committee for CMU, MIT, Berkeley
  • Graduate School Application Help - Tips, strategies, and a few sample Statements of Purpose for getting accepted into graduate school
  • Free Advice On Applying To Graduate School (PDF) - Written by a professor of psychology at Portland State University

  Results from FactBites:
Graduate Student Loans, Consolidate Graduate School Loan, Graduate Loan Consolidation (449 words)
Graduate School Loans is here to assist you finance your graduate school education.
Graduate School Loans is dedicated to educating graduate students about the student loan industry and keeping you up to date about changes in legislation and regulations.
Graduate School Loans wants you to be informed about your student loans so that your decisions will make for a sound financial future.
Graduate school - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4642 words)
A graduate school or "grad school" is a school that awards advanced degrees, with the general requirement that students must have earned an undergraduate (bachelor's) degree.
Graduate students must usually declare their research goal or submit a research proposal upon entering grad school; in the case of master's degrees, there will be some flexibility (that is, one is not held to one's research proposal, although major changes, for example from premodern to modern history, are discouraged).
Graduate students who are not independently wealthy live meagerly compared to their peer group, but how meagerly depends greatly on the nature of funding at their university.
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