Academic Challenges: Graduate School

Posted on April 04, 2018 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments

From the student level to tenured faculty, academia poses a vast set of challenges. Every two weeks, Al-Diwan brings you a collection of articles and perspectives that touch upon one problem within academia. This week's focus is on graduate school.

Grad school is part of your career, too
By Jennifer Polk (University Affairs)

With the abysmal state of the academic job market, Jennifer Polk challenges current doctoral students to think honestly and strategically about their future careers. According to Polk, one should see graduate school not only as a place of academic growth, but also as a space to “plant the seeds for a potential career change.”

Grad School is Trash for Students of Color and We Should Talk About That
By Ciarra Jones (Medium)

“Masters and PhD programs alike enable white people to sit behind a desk in order to read about and theorize Blackness without actually shaking a Black person’s hand or looking us in our eyes.” This is the sentiment Ciarra Jones has gathered throughout her Masters of Divinity program at an Ivy League institution. Throughout her article, Jones questions the ability of white students draw firm separation between theory and reality.

Pros and Cons of Getting Master’s before a Doctorate Part I: What’s the Difference
By Rene M. Paulson (PhDStudent.com)

While many understand the broad differences between a Masters degree and a doctoral degree, Rene Paulson takes to explaining the two degree tracks through a lens of intentionality.

Train PhD students to be thinkers not just specialists
By Gundula Bosch (Nature)

Alongside her colleague, Arturo Casadevall, Gundula Bosch strived to create a new graduate science program that “put the philosophy back in to the doctorate of philosophy.” Frustrated with biomedical sciences’ focus on producing productive and effective lab members, Bosch wanted science graduates to remember and more carefully consider the broader questions that surround scientific inquiry.

The Impossible Decision
By Joshua Rothman (The New Yorker)

Reflecting upon graduate school experiences is rarely done with clarity, and when undergraduate students come looking for guidance as to whether they should enter a graduate degree program, this obscurity makes giving advice incredibly difficult. In his article, Joshua Rothman contemplates how to advice students about graduate school, when he is still processing his graduate school experience.

Grad School: A Love Story
By Wendy Robinson (Inside Higher Ed)

“One of the time-honored traditions of being a graduate student is complaining about being a graduate student,” says Wendy Robinson. In between the struggles and defeats that come with pursuing doctorate, Robinson has found the magic that makes graduate school an amazing time.

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