Talk:Graduate school

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Why does this section not have any information on general Europe, Asia, or Latin America? If there is anyone out there with this information, could they please help? xcuref1endx 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Piled Higher and Deeper[edit]

I think it is reasonable to have a link to either the phd comics website or more appropriately the wiki page for Piled Higher and Deeper. It is quite widely read among graduate students in the US and Canada, and most of the comics are not specific to Stanford. Flying fish 20:36, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

  • Is it? I don't have a strong opinion on it either way really... I just removed it because at first glance it seemed like a Standford-only thing. But if you want to put it back, feel free. --Michael (talk) 21:53, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
  • While It might be related to the graduate school article, it is not really about graduate school as a topic. My vote would be to keep it out. Nicknz 22:44, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Lil late here but for future ref, its entirely relevant to the culture of a grad student Ottawa4ever (talk) 18:29, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
That sentence doesn't even make sense, "While It might be related to the graduate school article," says it is related to this article "it is not really about graduate school as a topic" says it isn't, contradictory within the same sentence (and the second part isn't true, its focuses entirely on graduate school as a topic, largely as a source of ironic comedy, but ironic comedy related to real life).

Order of countries[edit]

Why is Canada and the UK above the United States? Most readers of this page numerically will be Americans, and the smallest number of readers will be Canadian. I would be more convienient to put the United States first, the UK second, and Canada last...But perhaps that's just me? george_gordon

Alphabetical order by country name. Perhaps the US should rename itself "Aaamerica" to get to the top of that list! ;-) Timrollpickering 04:19, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Technically, its not even America, its United States of America, I live in America too, and I've never even been to the US, thankgod.

The phrase "Many UK graduate students do not like "Bloody Yanks" who apply to English graduate schools and receive coveted research assistant positions." is a point of view and should be removed from this article. 17:32, 26 March 2006 (UTC)


For a start yes it can be done, although you won't find a specific citation stating that "masters students can apply for benefits" — most of the information available on the internet (including the Urban 75 guide) is not correct. Providing that the "guided learning" hours for your course fall below 16 hours per week and you get a letter from your department with the university stamp to prove this then you are counted as part-time even if your course is "officially" full-time — when dealing with the dole office avoid mentioning the full-time/part-time thing and just state that your course hours are under 16 per week. A typical masters course has 3 modules per semestre and a dissertation. Each module has a 2 hour seminar per week — this only adds up to 6 hours per week. Yes it is income based, although if you have a contributions record I don't see why you couldn't get contributions based JSA. Yes you are required to be actively seeking work. - FrancisTyers 15:29, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, it sounds like you're speaking from experience so I don't want to contradict you, but I think there is a verifiability issue here. The DSS website explicitly states that full-time students are not eligible for JSA. Whether or not it's actually possible to get it (by fudging the rules a little bit) is another matter. I assume that if a letter specifically states that an individual is part-time, then that's good enough for the DSS. Equally, if a student is paying full-time fees, then they technically can't be part-time. Have adjusted it a bit anyway- see what you think. Badgerpatrol 18:25, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually no, the letter must state that you are full-time and then give a listing of your hours. Neither you nor the University want to lie to the dole office. :) The updated version is fine and I agree that the guidelines make clear that full-time students are exempt, however the definition of full-time is difficult and doesn't seem to rely on how you are registered but rather how many "guided learning hours" you do. This link for example suggests that any course with <16 hours is classed as part-time. I will continue looking for a reliable source, but unfortunately post-grads normally get screwed on this kind of thing. - FrancisTyers 19:10, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
  • "If you are claiming Job Seekers Allowance you are only allowed to study for up to 16 hours a week without losing your benefit entitlement. Most of our courses are under 16 hours per week" [1]
If you are a full-time student, you are not allowed to claim benefit [2], [3]. A full-time student is one who pays full-time fees, but I don't know what exact definition the DSS would use. If you are saying that one would need a letter from one's department confirming that the course in question is part-time, then I agree that that would probably suffice. Since the link is for a further education college (although one that does offer some degree-level courses), I wonder whether they are referring primarily to those on part-time or flexible course arrangements, which are more unusual (although still available) at postgraduate level. I am not disputing that part-time students can claim benefit under the right circumstances- but only if they are officially part-time, rather than just taking part in a course with a low contact time. The key point is that (whether nominally or in actuality) 'full-time' students are not available for full-time work, by definition. Part-time students can be. Badgerpatrol 21:14, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Only just noticed the full extent of your reply above (I originally saw only the quote and link, sorry)- I am very surprised that the DSS will accept a letter stating that a student is studying full-time but has less than 16 hours a week contact time. That would encompass the majority of humanities Master's level courses in the UK, and many science ones as well! As far as I am aware, the definition of a part-time student is that they study (for a Master's) over 2 years AND most importantly, pay fees at a commensurately lower level. But if you say that such a letter is good enough for the jobcentre, then I'm happy to accept that, they are usually reasonably flexible. I agree that PG's get a bad deal- a good example is PhD students who are writing up (and in most cases really ARE available for work); since they are still nominally full-time, either a bit of fudging is in order or they are not eligible for JSA. Cheers, Badgerpatrol 21:23, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
As far as I am aware, the definition of a part-time student is that they study (for a Master's) over 2 years AND most importantly, pay fees at a commensurately lower level.
That was my impression too for a long time. A rather lengthy discussion with a girl in the DSS call centre persuaded me differently. I suppose a concrete definition of how the DSS define "full-time" would probably fix this but I've been unable to find one. I shall however keep looking... :) - FrancisTyers 01:06, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough then. I'll have a look too. Whilst they mean well, they are sometimes (in my humble experience) a bit dim down at the jobcentre- it's not impossible that she made a mistake because she didn't really understand the situtation, and her words didn't reflect general policy (I've also had multiple, somewhat lengthy, and often frustrating conversations with them...;-). Nonetheless, if that's what was said then that's what was said. If true, there will be a lot of happy postgrads round our way in the near future! Cheers, Badgerpatrol 01:41, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

U.K. aspects[edit]

There are serious problems with parts of the article. I've started to correct the implication that the term "graduate school" is used in the U.K., but the account of postgraduate education in the U.K. was incorrect in two respects: first, it generalised from what happens in some universities to what happens in all, and secondly, it made specific and false claims about what happens at Oxford and Cambridge.

The section on the U.K. would be better at [[Postgraduate education, I think. If no-one has any objections, I'll move it there, and start to expand it. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 08:42, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Hallo Mel- I do agree that the term 'graduate school' is rarely used by UK students in the American sense (e.g. as 'going to graduate school in the summer', or similar) although it is commonly used by UK universities as a catch-all for their PG-specific elements (see e.g. here, here, here, here, here, and others). I wouldn't necessarily be against a merge with PG education however. As for your other concerns- can you be more specific? Badgerpatrol 14:16, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, for example, the article said (until I deleted this): "note that at Oxford and Cambridge, the term M.Phil separately refers to a taught postgraduate course, analagous to the MA's or MSc.'s awarded by other universities". Leaving aside the greengrocer's apostrophes, the M.Phil. at Oxford (and I believe at Cambridge, as at most other U.K. universities) is a two-year degree, part research and part taught, higher than the normal (i.e., non-Oxbridge) M.A. The article still says: "Usually research students are admitted to do an M.Phil., and can later convert to a Ph.D. if they progress well." This is certainly not true at all universities, especially in the sciences.

"Admission to do a research master's degree (or 'M.Res')" — I'd never seen the abbreviation "M.Res.", and Googling suggests that it's relatively new, and limited to a few universities, especially in the sciences. Graduate research degrees include some M.A.s, M.Sc.s, M.Phil.s, M.Litt.s, etc.

The article is also misleading with regard to funding.

With regard to "graduate school", incidentally, I think that, while some universities might use it with the intention of communicating with potential U.S. students, most (including at least some of those to which you link, such as Exeter) use it to refer to a specific admninistrative department. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 21:47, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

First of all, thanks for the reply. I don't necessarily agree with all your objections, although I do strongly agree that there is a great deal of scope for expansion and clarification regarding various points in the article. You accept then that the Oxbridge (I do realise that Ox and Cam are not, by any means, identical institutions, and I lump them together only for convenience) MPhil is (basically) a taught course, combined with a research component, over one or two years (see description here for Cam, brief description here for Ox, note that both consistently refer to the MPhil as a taught course (e.g. here and here))? My intent with the edit was to draw an analogy between the style of delivery for Oxbridge MPhils (which are taught courses with written examinations and a research element), as opposed to elsewhere where the MPhil is (perhaps always?) a purely research degree, and in fact is rarely pursued for its own sake. My understanding is that (when offered) an Oxbridge 'MSc' or 'MLitt' course is in fact more like a typical MPhil elsewhere, i.e. completely, or near-completely, research based with no written exam component. It may be that MA and MSc courses elsewhere are sometimes purely research (dissertation) orientated, I cede to your knowledge on that, although my experience has been that there is always an assessed taught component. I wasn't suggesting that the different courses (MSc, MPhil et al.) were equivalent in achievement, but rather in style and structure. You are of course correct that the MRes is only one from a variety of research master's level courses, and probably not the most common one at that. You were right to remove the text within the parentheses. I think the phrase '"Usually research students are admitted to do an M.Phil., and can later convert to a Ph.D. if they progress well." is reasonable- until I did a brief amount of scouting about on various websites today, I had never heard of any other way, although at some of the older universities (such as Oxbridge) it may be that doctoral students are not always registered for an MPhil- again, I cede to you on that. As for the term 'Graduate school'- I agree that it may be an American convention (although I do not agree that the term is invoked principally to appeal to Americans), and I also agree that the meaning of the term in the UK is different from that in the US, where I understand there tends to be far less integration between PG and UG study at a departmental and university level. In summary, of course feel free to make whatever changes you want (certainly much more needs to be added to the funding section, especially to ensure verifiability) and we can all argue about it later, in true Wikipedia style!
  • As for the grammar- you're right, that was an absolute shocker! I will sign up immediately. All the best, Badgerpatrol 23:49, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
I can only spak with any authority about Oxford (and one or two other English universities), but here the M.Phil. (though it varies from subject to subject) is roughly 50/50 taught and research, normally requiring a thesis of about 35,000 words max — this is the same as London University's M.Phil. (which was modelled on the Oxford one, I think), and that of many other universities. The M.Litt. is wholly research. The M.A. is much more varied; some universities offer one-year, some two-year M.A.s, some are wholly taught, some wholly by research.
You'll realise from what I say that I'm more comfortable when talking about the Humanities side. At Oxford, most of the sciences don't go in for any graduate degree but the D.Phil., though there are some exceptions (in fact, the same is true of some Humanitties subjects, such as Classics).
I'll have a bash at expanding the section when I get time (though I'm a bit snowed under at the moment). --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 09:47, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

I am not sure that you are strictly correct re the UoL MPhil. I have never known (in more than 5 years at two of the larger London colleges) anyone who has actually undertaken an MPhil as an independent course of study (in my experience, they have only ever been awarded to sugar the pill for those who fell a bit short in their (Phd) viva). My idea of the Oxbridge MPhil was that it is, as you say, 50/50 research/teaching. This is the same (and again, I can only speak from my own limited experience + what corroboratory evidence I can find on the web) as a UoL MSc (and perhaps MA). The UoL MPhil is almost always 100% by research (although, I think it may be necessary to sit written exams in a very small number of subjects). In fact, it is, as I say, highly unusual for one to actually pursue a course of study with the idea of getting an MPhil as the final result- BUT, I believe ALL PhD students initially register for an MPhil and transfer after 1 or 2 years (to the extent that the two are basically referred to as almost the same course of study (i.e. MPhil/PhD)). Note that the UoL consistently refer to the MPhil as a 'research degree' (e.g. here, here, here), cf. Oxbridge, who seem to always refer to it as a 'taught postgraduate course' (see links above). I should point out that I only have tangential knowledge of regulations for humanities subjects (and many might say that I only have tangential experience of science subjects too!) ;-) It is certainly possible that studying for the MPhil is more common in the humanities departments, where funding (and hence time) may be tighter. Nevertheless, I have never heard the UoL MPhil to be referred to as a taught course; it was always my understanding that Oxbridge concept of the MPhil was, in essence, the inverse of the degree as offered everywhere else (except perhaps Durham and Edinburgh, St. A etc?). Thanks for the response, Badgerpatrol 13:24, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

I know a number of people with the London M.Phil., and many of the undergraduates whom I've taught have gone on the read for it, mainly at King's and U.C.L. It certainly isn't unusual to take it for its own sake, rather than as a premliminary to the Ph.D. (just as at Oxford). The two Universities seem to be oversimplifying the degree, one in one direction, the other in the other.
A quick Google shows Birmingham, Bristol, Birkbeck College, London, St Andrews (St Mary's College) all offering M.Phil.s combining taught and research elements (the Birkbeck one most obviously resembling the Oxford model, with three papers taught and a thesis).
What my Googling mainly showed, though, is that it's impossible to generalise about U.K. degree structures; there are one-year, two-year, and three-year M.Phil.s, some by research alone, some half and half, as well as on-year and two-year M.A.s, some research, some taught... (It also showed how poor many universities are at maintaining their Web pages; so many times I followed a link only to be told that there was no such page.) --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 16:35, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
I suspect this reflects our relative areas of expertise- humanities vs the sciences. Obviously it's difficult to generalise from one's own personal experience- but I can only say that it is rare (although theoretically not impossible by any means) for a scientist to study for an MPhil in the strict sense. As I mentioned above, I concede that it may be more common as an option for humanities students, who unfortunately tend to have even more trouble securing long-term funding and may see it as an alternative to a PhD. Even from your selection of links, it does rather strike me that it is also fairly rare even within humanities departments (outside of Oxbridge) to offer taught/research MPhils (St. Andrews were no longer offering it, at Birkbeck only 3 from 18 course options required a written exam, the course at Birmingham was brand new (and was inexplicably labelled- I don't know what an MPhil (B) is) and the Bristol regs only stated that some courses may require some exams in some cases). Essentially, I feel my point still stands- an Oxbridge MPhil is generally a combined taught/research degree that, in structure if not in status, most closely resembles the MA and MSc programmes offered elsewhere. The Oxbridge MA and MSc are obviously, by extension, quite substantially different (in the case of the MA, completely so, as I see from your user page that you are well aware!). Almost everywhere else (the other ancient universities may be exceptions) the MPhil is considered to be wholly or principally a research degree, usually without formal written examinations, and in the overwhelming majority of cases is actually only engaged upon as the necessary precursor for a PhD. Anyway, we could argue forever! One thing I certainly do agree is that there are a huge array of different courses and approaches (see eg here!), which only means that some sort of encyclopaedic description is all the more important! All the best, Badgerpatrol 23:23, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I think that I made the same point about science versus humanities earlier. Note, though, that it's not a question of formal exams (the Oxford B.Phil. – the M.Phil. in Philosophy – has fairly recently changed from exams to extended essays, but still involves one year of teaching and one year of research.

I still disagree fundamentally about the claim that the Oxbridge M.Phil. resembles other universities' M.A. and M.Sc. courses, which are most commonly one year long (and I think that you'll find that it's not treated as such by other universities; also, it's not uncommon for M.Phil. students already to have an M.A. or equivalent when they come up). Moreover, you're omitting the Oxford M.St. (Master of Studies), which has been in existence for about fifteen to twenty years, and which is much more like most universities' M.A. & M.Sc. courses (and which serves as the preliminary stage for all D.Phil. students, I think).

Given the variety of courses, there are two possible approaches: either treat the subject fully, which will probably mean splitting it into more, and more specialised, articles, or treat it in very general terms, explaining that different universities and subjects have different systems, and giving some examples of the differences. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 09:40, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, fundamentally we agree that a) there is a lot of confusion (the same courses have different names at different unis, different courses have the same names at different unis) ; b) different universities have different concepts of what a postgraduate degree is, even where the courses are nominally the same. I would probably be inclined towards writing a full treatment regarding the spread of programmes that are available (and splitting the article where necessary, although there are already pages for Master's degree and Doctorate, but it would be an idea to separate these geographically, e.g. 'Master's degree (UK)' and so forth), although since there really is such a proliferation of different degrees now becoming available (probably, to be frank, a marketing ploy to generate cash now that students are paying fees) that it may be in danger of getting bogged down with minutiae based on individual unis. It's still worth having a go at and seeing where we wind up, anyway. Badgerpatrol 12:22, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
It looks as though we agree on the facts, but differ slightly with regard to what should be done. I'm inclined to the latter of my two suggestions. That's not just because I'm appalled at the amount of work involved for little return, but I do suspect that (even if no changes were introduced by universities and colleges) it would be an undertaking whose size and complexity would be out of keeping with the significance of the topic. Could we not just explain the complexity and variety of the degrees available, give some basic distinctions, and leave it at that? --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 20:47, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
I tried to delete the sentence implying that you need to write a dissertation to progress from MPhil status to full PhD status at a British university but it came back. From the various PhD students I have spoken to around the country it seems to be more like a chapter of your PhD gets assessed-certainly that's what I'm submitting very soon. It doesn't seem accurate to call it a 'dissertation' or 'coursework' although I agree that a dissertation would be required to get an MPhil degree INSTEAD of a PhD upgrade. Glennh70 (talk) 11:34, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
The sentence was "This research Master's degree is usually based mainly or wholly on a dissertation and associated coursework." I think we've got the old chesnut of "dissertation" and "thesis" meaning different things to different people. Although rare I have seen the term "dissertation" used in the UK for the written outpot of various research degrees, but most people in the UK would probably associate "dissertation" with the "very long essay" that's usually a requirement at both undergraduate and taught master's level, and for the research degrees they'd use the term "thesis". As for the coursework bit, there has been a trend to regard a research degree as being more than just producing a thesis, with a growth in compulsory research training (sometimes with its own assessed coursework) and the "New Route PhD" both heading the trend away.
I'm not sure any institution really has much of a clear idea as to what is needed to read for an MPhil in its own right beyond a reduced word length on the thesis and a shorter period of enrolment. In my experience the status is primarily maintained partially to provide an early exit option and partially to massage the figures on success rates. There may be cases where the degree is studied for in its own right (although the degree structure at both Oxford and Cambridge is somewhat different from the mainstream and tends to confuse more than anything else) and it is sometimes awarded as compensation but I've never actually heard of someone studying for it for its own sake. Timrollpickering (talk) 12:19, 27 February 2008 (UTC)


I reverted to a previous version with a few less typos, and removed the only significant diff (this somewhat badly-written sentence) to here: "This misinterpretation is often the result of Australian universities not recognising a three-year UK Honours degree graduate as having sufficient study as a four-year Australian Honours degree graduate. The Honours system between the two is different as a typical Australian undergraduate require 4-years of study as opposed to 3-years in UK and most other European universities."

Not my statement, I know nothing about the subject and I'm not involved! Badgerpatrol 23:32, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

An Australian Honours programme is 4-years long whereas in the UK, it's 3 years. This causes some Australian universities to reject UK candidates because of the lesser number of years taken during the undergraduate level. The Australian universities explicitly specify the requirement of a 4-year long undergraduate Honours degree holder for admission to certain postgrad programmes. 22:26, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Are most European undergraduate degrees really as short as 3 years? I'd heard that longer study was the norm but i've no figures to back that up. There's a lot more variation in UK degree length than implied in the postings; I studied in Scotland and I've never heard of anyone there doing a degree in less than 4 years whereas I heard of someone at the University of Buckingham finishing in 2 years.Zagubov 10:45, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Scotland has a different education system which stays "broad" subject-wise for longer than the English system which starts specialising at quite an early age. And the various ages are different, although I have heard of people who took a non-honours degree in Scotland in just three years.
From recollection Buckingham students study all through the year and so a single year there is the equivalent of a year and a half elsewhere (or 180 CATS points to 120 elsewhere). Timrollpickering 18:26, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

UK Good Honours?[edit]

What is the definition of a good honours requirement at the UK universities? I find the term too ambiguous as some actually require a second-upper and above, while others a second-lower and above. 11:05, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

There used to be two ways of studying for a PhD in UK universities; a research studentship came with a small maintenance grant usually required an upper second and allowed more discretion in choice of research direction. A research assistanthip was a temporarily salaried post similar to a laboratory technician but the candidate could be accepted with a lower second and there was much less choice in the direction of research (the candidate had to fit in pretty closely with whatever the reseacrh team was already doing). Both people could have ended up doing very similar work but I thnk the research assistant had to assist an ongoing research path. Studentships were rationed to universities by the research councils but universiites had more discretioon about assistantships. One advantage of an assistantship is you could get a mortgage on it. Not totally sure the distinction still applies, but that might explain the different answers you're getting. Zagubov 12:59, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

The other problem is that the honours system is almost obsolete for referring to degrees from English universities, not least because from recollection a degree without honours is usually one that's been specifically denied them for one reason (failing and having to repeat a year is one reason), rather than a "standard" degree with the honours being an additional. (There are a few exceptions - the Open University has a 300 CATS point "ordinary" degree and a 360 CATS point honours deree - but these are very rare.) It's more common to talk about "firsts", "seconds", "two-ones" and so forth, rather than "good honours". In terms of what's needed to get onto a postgraduate course, the requirements are normally set down - a 2:1 minimum is common, but a 2:2 minimum is far from unknown, and in some fields even a 3rd is acceptable. Entry to a PhD is more complex - many applicants will have Master's degrees which often supersede whatever Bachelor's result they got, but for those without it's nearly always at least a 2:1. Timrollpickering 18:45, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Canadian Foreign Language Req?[edit]

I've never heard of this bizzare foreign language requirement, except for the obvious cases of degrees in a foreign language. It doesn't seem to be a feature of Canadian grad school in general, so I removed it (but I left the later mention that specifically talks about a language program). 22:12, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

--> Actually, nearly every Canadian graduate programme in Arts requires you to know two foreign languages, generally French and German. This provides you with the opportunity to use research not done in English.

Links please? Badgerpatrol 17:19, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Criteria for external links[edit]

From the Wiki guideline re External links:

The following are criteria or examples of what should be included:

  • useful,
  • appropriately tasteful,
  • accessible to users with disabilities,
  • substantive longevity
  • official site,
  • prominent sites dedicated to each point of view where a debate exists,
  • pages that contain neutral and accurate material not already in the article,
  • web directory. Preference should be given to open directories.

The following should not be included:

  • provides information already in the article, or which does not provide a unique resource,
  • factually inaccurate material or unverified original research,
  • you own or maintain,
  • violates the copyrights of others per contributors' rights and obligations
  • intended to promote the site, especially if that site's primary purpose is to advertise or sell products or services, or if the site requires payment to view the relevant content
  • bookstore sites.
  • blogs, social networking sites (such as MySpace), or disc
  • search engine results.
  • fanlistings,
  • not useable or accessible.

And, most importantly, Wikipedia is not a directory.

Does anyone have any opinions on the current external links given this information? — Nicknz 23:00, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

I suggest the following:
  • your future: a guide for potential graduate students (PDF) - Some useful information. Perhaps the topics covered could be covered within the article itself and the link removed.
  • Biology Graduate Schools - Limited relevance to the general article. The link should be removed.
  • Peterson's Planner - No opinion.
  • - This is a discussion forum and as such this link violates the guidelines above. The link should be removed.
  • Science Careers - Limited relevance to the general article. The link should be removed.
  • Important questions to ask yourself - No opinion.
Nicknz 23:06, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Sorry folks - I didn't see this discussion. I was bold and removed Biology Graduate Schools,, Science Careers, and Important questions to ask yourself before making the commitment to attend graduate school. (the last was newly added and what brought me to this article). Apologies for doing this without discussion - feel free to revert or change as necessary and appropriate! --ElKevbo 06:24, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

I think we've covered our bases here ElKevbo. Thanks for that. Perhaps we can use the above as criteria for future links. — Nicknz 19:10, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to suggest adding an external link to It's a web site founded by a Harvard alumnus containing excellent information about graduate school and the application process. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Johnrene1 (talkcontribs) 14:48, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
I'd say, absolutely not. This site is a consulting service intended to attract paying clients. Wikipedia doesn't exist to serve as a promotion channel for such sites. ~Amatulić (talk) 22:25, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

life after graduate school[edit]

This whole section seem to be editoral comment. --Charlesknight 12:21, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. I deleted it. --ElKevbo 12:43, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

GS horror stories[edit]

Too often, graduate students find themselves in academic departments that could be described as dysfunctional "snakepits", or tormented by dysfunctional and abusive individual faculty and advisors. This article sugarcoats the graduate school experience, leaving prospective students vulnerable to stumbling into these situations when they could have been foreseen and perhaps sidestepped, or at least managed with better outcomes. LADave 18:41, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

ussion forums,

The term "Graduate School" IS now used in the UK[edit]

The most notorious example is Imperial College London, which has recently reorganized its postgraduate courses in the Faculties of Engineering, Natural Sciences, Life Sciences and Medicine under the umbrella of two new Graduate Schools: the Graduate School of Engineering & Physical Sciences (GSEPS) and the Graduate School of Life Sciences and Medicine (GSLSM), see [4]. 11:17, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

But is this a "graduate school" by the traditional US use of the term? Queen Mary, University of London has used the term "graduate school" for at least as long as I've been there - see - and it's far from unique in this regard, but it doesn't feel like the US use of the term as I understand it. Certainly I would never say "I went to graduate school with so and so" but rather say "I went to university with them" (and I find the Facebook proforma very awkward in this regard). Also "school" is a very confused term in UK education - at university level it's never used for the institution as a whole (with the exception of some of the constituent colleges of federal universities e.g. SOAS) and generally within the internal structure of a university a "school" is a more subject specific division within a "faculty". Timrollpickering 20:55, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Origin of the term "Graduate School" in the United States[edit]

I believe the article should provide more detailed information on the origin of the term "Graduate School" as used in the US university system. As I understand it, the historical universities in the US (i.e. Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc.) started out as "colleges", patterned after their Oxbridge counterparts and offering bachelor's degrees only. By the end of the 19th century, most of them had added a "graduate school" which, unlike the college properly, would offer advanced degrees, especially the new research doctorate (Ph.D) imported from Germany.

As of today, that is still how most older universities in the US are organized. Undergraduate students are usually enrolled in the university's "college" where they study for a 4-year bachelor's degree. Students who already hold a bachelor's degree are enrolled instead either in a so-called "professional school"(which offers degrees in medicine, business, or law for example) or in a "graduate school" that offers master's and PhD degrees. 11:40, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Funding in Graduate School[edit]

I believe the Wikipedia article exaggerates the difficulty of getting funding for Graduate School in the US. Generally speaking, at least in some areas like engineering, virtually all incoming PhD students in top US universities are guaranteed funding and tuition exemption for the duration of the program, conditioned of course on continuing good performance (funding may be discontinued for underperforming students, but that's no different from the possibility of being fired for example from a job in industry). As for international students, some of them actually have funding from their own home country.

In my case for example, I had a 4-year scholarship including tuition and stipend from my own government. When that scholarship expired, I had no problem getting US-based funding from my advisor, which covered me during my final 6 to 8 months in the States before graduation. Just in case that information is relevant, I was enrolled in a PhD program in electrical and computer engineering in a top 10 school according to the USN&WR rankings. 17:54, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

I agree completely. Also, this section is poorly cited or completely uncited, and suffers from POV issues. This should be cleaned up, with neutral POV, and with sourced statements. I intend to start cleaning it up, time permitting; I would love to get comments. --chodges 03:19, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Comps, Generals, and Quals[edit]

The paragraphs on big exams in graduate school in the U.S. seems to make hopelessly general claims. For example, whether these exams are called "comps," "generals," "quals," or something else depends on the university and often even the department. Nor does it seem justified to say that "comps" are taken in the first year (or immediately after), while "generals" and "quals" are later events in a graduate program... again, the usage varies greatly from school to school and department to department. I have friends in the hard sciences and engineering who took "comps" as their big general exam in their 2nd or 3rd year, but I have other friends who called these "quals." I have other friends who have two sets of tests (as mentioned in the article), with various names for each. I am myself in the humanities, and I can say that among the major doctoral programs in my field, the structure varies significantly. Some have one set of exams, some have two... and the terms used for them vary (the structure and purpose of such exams also varies considerably). Generalizations like the one that comprehensive examinations after the first year are unheard of in the humanities are simply misinformed. Programs in my discipline that lack an early set of formal exams tend to have other hurdles (which sometimes involve smaller examinations, papers, or other evaluations) that need to be completed after the first year... and there are some that have an early set of formal exams as well.

Even looking at the individual Wiki articles on these examinations, one can see that the usage is simply not standardized. The paragraphs on these exams would be better replaced with the simple facts that (1) some programs require an early set of exams (usually to determine suitability for admission or continuing onto the Ph.D. program if the student doesn't enter with a master's and/or to verify sufficient knowledge of the typical undergraduate curriculum in the area), (2) most programs require a later set of exams that determine eligibility to proceed to researching and writing the dissertation. Some examples of the kind of structures these exams follow are fine, but blanket claims about what disciplines do what, what the exams cover, and what terms are appropriate shouldn't be allowed... unless these claims can be backed up by a general survey of a large number of graduate programs. 17:33, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

I also agree here. This section also needs some cleaning up. --chodges 03:21, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Redirects & overlap[edit]

All i'm sure of is that one of these Rdrs is wrong:

  1. Postgraduate degree --> Graduate school (which is limited to 4 English-speaking countries)
  2. Graduate degree --> Academic degree (which is organized by countries, mostly or all spanning the whole of higher education)

I wonder if the discordant Dabs aren't a symptom of failure to build a workable structure for covering higher ed.
--Jerzyt 02:17, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

I've sent Postgraduate degree to Postgraduate education. Not sure if graduate degree should go there or not. Timrollpickering (talk) 11:26, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

watn up —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:34, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Whats the point[edit]

I'm not even in University yet (dropped out of highschool, I found my own books (Plato, Tale of Genji, Dostoevsky) more interesting that school and such, slowly catching up), so I just don't get it. Whats the point of a Masters? Of a PhD? Of studying even more after you've gone through years of university? If I wanted to study for a few extra years, I'd just sit in my room with a pile of books, which is what I do. The comic PHD further makes me question the purpose, not that I'm gonna formulate an opinion based on a comic, unless its written by Neil Gaiman. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:38, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Coursework is useful because people will tell you to learn things you don't think are interesting on the surface of it, but in reality are. Research degrees are useful because you learn how to research under people who aren't charicatures, but are actually good. —Felix the Cassowary 11:54, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Merge with postgraduate education =[edit]

I've done what I hope constitutes starting a discussion there. —Felix the Cassowary 11:54, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

  • I strongly support merging the articles on postgraduate school and graduate school as I believe they are the same thing.

P4lm0r3 (talk) 01:30, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

  • Support. As mentioned by P4lm0r3 here, "Graduate education" is broader than "Graduate School," and thus the latter should be merged with the former. If there are no further comments or objections, I will complete the merge by July 12. Sunray (talk) 21:57, 5 July 2011 (UTC)