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How to Get a PhD

Complete an undergraduate degree in a broad field
Develop a close relationship with at least one faculty member
Obtain experience in the field with a research internship
Make contacts in your field
Start researching graduate programs in your junior year
Take the Graduate Record Examinations General or subject test
Secure letters of recommendation from people familiar with your work
Write a statement of purpose
Assemble your application packets and submit them by the deadline
Apply for teaching or research assistantships
Choose a major professor and committee
Submit a plan of study
The names and signatures of your committee members
A brief statement of your academic and research goals
A list of the required courses
A list of the elective courses you ll take
Dissertation hours
Complete the requisite coursework
Complete your written examination
Begin performing research and collecting data
Explore the literature in your research field
Perform your own experiments
Prepare a doctoral dissertation thesis
In the humanities
In the sciences
Prepare for the oral defense of your dissertation
Apply for departmental grants or additional appointments
In the hard sciences
Apply for private research grants
Consider crowd funding options
Balance your budget
Avoid petty competition and departmental rivalry
Balance teaching responsibilities with research and coursework
Be tenacious and display initiative
Stay organized
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