Unlike most undergraduate and master’s programs, in addition to meeting the basic requirements (Transcripts, Test Scores, Letters of Recommendation, Online Application, Application Fees, etc.) in order for a PhD candidate to be considered for a program, the committee considers the following:
1. Assistantships- This means the program offers the student (any combination of the following): part-time work teaching, assisting a professor and/or researching . Some programs inquire about previous teaching and/or research experience in addition to requesting a copy of the applicant’s CV (academic resumé). In addition to a small stipend, some programs cover tuition costs and provide health benefits.
2. Advisor & Specializations: Some programs require applicants to list their faculty preferences on their applications. This means the faculty member must be in need of a grad assistant and/or interested in assisting the graduate student. The applicant’s specialization and interests (usually) need to fall underneath the advisor’s area of expertise.
With that said, I accept the logic; I will not get into each program I apply to. Even with the probability stacked against be, I am taking a moment to take it all in. I can honestly say that completing the applications is an accomplishment and I am proud to have made it this far.
Since the premise of this blog is grounded in this being an adventure, I will leave you with this…
Picture yourself surrounded by trees in a beautiful forest. You are at the top of the mountain and you realize that you have to walk in circles down the mountain, around the mountain, to get to the bottom. Impatient to get to the bottom of the mountain, you decide to walk off the trail and slide feet first down the steep mountain side. Not only does this leave you with cuts and bruises but you missed out on the joy of the hike. You didn’t get to see the wildlife, smell the fresh air, or see the mountain from all sides. The views were picturesque, but you will never know that. Instead, you slid and skid down the mountain, not concerned about the mess you left behind. Not only are you are too tired to enjoy the beauty all around you but you are not sure if you can even make the hike up the next mountain.
It is best to pace yourself.
Grab a walking stick, some water, trail mix and camera because there is much to take in and there are many more mountains ahead.