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Obtaining EmploymentObtaining a Ph.D.

Obtaining a Ph.D.


The "Selected Bibliography on Doctoral Education" on our website provides information about re-envisioning doctoral education from the perspective of many stakeholders.  The following list, however, was compiled with doctoral students specifically in mind and covers topics such as teaching, surviving in graduate school, completing the dissertation, and more.  A parallel list of Publications under Obtaining Employment covers looking for positions and developing a career path after graduate school.  This list is not exhaustive: it provides a cross-section of some of the more current publications aimed at graduate students.  We welcome additional suggestions at  


The Art and Politics of College Teaching: A Practical Guide for the Beginning Professor.  New York: Peter Lang (1992, 2001).  Covers academic life from the first job to preparation for retirement, including teaching, publishing (and not perishing), serving on committees and associations, promotion and tenure, dealing with students and colleagues, and more.

Caplan, Paula J. Lifting a Ton of Feathers: A Woman's Guide for Surviving in the Academic World.  Toronto; Buffalo: University of Toronto Press (1993).  Offers straight-up information about the prejudice women may encounter and practical advice on how to survive and even thrive in the academic workplace.

Feibelman, Peter J.  A Ph.D. Is Not Enough!  A Guide to Survival in Science.  Reading, Massachusetts: Perseus Books (1993).  Offers advice for succeeding in academia and establishing a research path or program.

Goldsmith, John A.; Komlos, John; and Schine Gold, Penny.  The Chicago Guide to Your Academic Career: A Portable Mentor for Scholars from Graduate School through Tenure.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press (2001).  Three scholars combine their experiences to offer information about finding a mentor, finishing the dissertation, getting a job, obtaining tenure, and more.

Isaac, Alicia.  The African American Student's Guide to Surviving Graduate School.  Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications (1998).  Deals with practical, psychological, and social aspects of completing graduate school.  The book is part of the series, "Graduate Survival Skills."  

Newhouse, Margaret.  Cracking the Academic Nut: A Guide to Preparing For Your Academic Career.  Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press (1997).  Targets students preparing for graduate school as well as those who are negotiating for or beginning their first academic jobs.  

Peters, Robert L.  Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning a Master's or a Ph.D. (1997).  Covers the academic and personal logistics of surviving graduate school, from applying to school through to writing a thesis and landing a job.

Reis, Richard.  Tomorrow's Professor: Preparing for Academic Careers in Science and Engineering. New York: IEEE Press (1997).  Prepares students for finding and succeeding in academic careers; focuses on teaching as well as research and the possibility of considering other options.  Read excerpts at

Sternberg, David Joel.  How to Complete and Survive a Doctoral Dissertation.  New York: St. Martin's Press (1981).  Provides advice on rearranging one's personal life to accommodate the dissertation writing activity and explains away many of the myths about writing a dissertation. 

Tobias, Sheila Tobias, Chubin, Daryl E., and Aylesworth, Kevin.  Rethinking Science as a Career.  Tucson: Research Corp. (1995).  Based on the authors' research on employment prospects for new Ph.D.'s in the physical sciences, the authors propose that we consider new educational options for students interested in pursuing scientific careers.

Toth, Emily.  Ms. Mentor's Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia.  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press (1997).  The Ann Landers of the MLA and Chronicle of Higher Education's Career section shares hard truths and dispenses advice with her trademark dry delivery.

Verba, Cynthia. Scholarly Pursuits: A Practical Guide to Academe.  Cambridge, Mass.: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Office of Student Affairs (1997).  This booklet, published by Harvard, provides a practical guide with sections on finishing the dissertation, grant writing, publishing, and applying for teaching positions and postdoctoral fellowships.  For information about the booklet, see  For information about ordering, see

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