Obtaining a Ph.D.
Entering into a Doctoral Program
20 Relevant Questions
Graduate Schools, Departments, and Programs
Time to Degree
- What is the average departmental time to degree for Ph.D.'s?
If an incoming student already has a Master's, how long is the time to degree?
is the timeline of completion (including course work, comprehensive exams, and dissertation
- What is the attrition rate?
What are the guidelines, if any, for faculty mentoring?
How does a student find a mentor?
How do committee members mentor?
How many times per year do doctoral advisors meet with students to monitor
What has the advisor published?
Is the advisor actively involved in research?
is the advisorís reputation as a teacher?
To what extent is the advisor willing to involve students in his/her
To what extent does the advisor show interest in or support the
studentís own research?
- Can mentors/advisors/committee members be selected and appointed from
outside the university?
- Are joint dissertations possible?
- What interdisciplinary or
multidisciplinary opportunities are available?
types of teacher training are available for both academic and nonacademic
types of internships or externships are available?
there electronic portfolio tools available to gather information about/products of the degree
- How actively are students involved in departmental
- What types of teaching, research, or administrative assistantships are
- Are there opportunities and
training in grant-writing, and publishing?
there exposure to disciplinary associations, publications, and conferences?
- What types of funding are available? For how long?
- What types of health care
benefits are available to graduate students?
What types of childcare options are available?
- What types
of professional development activities (groups, colloquia, seminars, etc.)
are organized for/by the students?
- Are there any opportunities for
networking/training with outside professionals (both in
various types of institutions and outside the academy)?
- What types of
positions (academic and nonacademic) do students
find after graduation?
Can the department/program provide accounts of graduates' job experiences
What are the
Does the department/program keep track of its alumni, and have any of the
alumni offered to be contacts for current doctoral students?
proportion of students get jobs?
- What types of career placement
services are there?