How to get your PhD
- Doris M
The automatic first step to get your postgraduate degree is to complete a masters degree and subsequently, your undergraduate. It is preferable for the degrees pursued to be of a related fashion, thus for easy qualification to your desired postgraduate class. This is part of the journey for any person who not only loves their subject of study, but also has a passion for academics, and believes in the worth and values it proposes for the individual who chooses to pursue it. Therefore, one step at a time. Complete your undergrad, then enroll for a master. Complete your graduate course successfully, to enroll in the highest and hardest degree in the land. The previous graduations should all be done with a relative amount of effort and good merit to enable you to qualify to study for your Ph.D. in the school of your choice.
This prepares you for the Ph.D. program by going through the assessment tests such as the graduate record exam (GRE) and Graduate management admission test, also known as GMAT. A masters degree normally takes two years to complete. This depends on your chosen field of study and whether you have chosen an accelerated program or not. Some masters degrees can be completed in 12 months, some even 10 months.
After successful completion, a thorough research on the postgraduate degree you would like to pursue, it is not only a prudent course of action but also necessary. For those who have a niche field of study, it may not be a common area and is therefore offered under special programs, or by specific research universities. A serious candidate will always narrow down their research, and choose the best option, thereafter working with the admissions office to start the application process.
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A Ph.D. is a long and challenging endeavor, so before you embark be completely sure it is the path you would like to take. And do so with enthusiasm and a lot of grit to make it to the finish line in one piece. A Ph.D. can take twice as long as a bachelor’s degree, that is a solid 8 years to complete! This figure is considering, you remain a student throughout, with no breaks for work or gap years. This is a long time, undeniably. This is why it requires the student to be committed and passionate about their studies.
During this time, if you have not already made a foundation for your career, it may cause feelings of despair and frustration when your peers are doing quite well in their professions. However, if this does not matter to you, go ahead and make your postgraduate application. Confident individuals compete against themselves, and while it can be hard to make a living as a full-time student, part-time work and some family support during the tough times can help you manage a quality lifestyle.
Easier said than done, is living within your means. A full-time student has no choice but to make sure that they are living within their budget to avoid stress outside of their academics, as the pressure is already on from the coursework. Now that the time and money factor is out of the way, the required materials for enrollment include your undergraduate and graduate transcripts, your resume, recent GRE scores, letters of recommendation and your statement of purpose.
Looking at each, the first considering transcripts is obvious. If you have an above average score, it should work to your advantage. Should you need some help, this is where your resume comes in. Get in as much relevant experience as you can, and this includes being a research assistant to your former supervisor. Working in a research or writing capacity an organization will look good for your application. The letters of recommendation should come from the people who can endorse you both academically and professionally. By all means, do not include a relative.