The Women's Guide to Surviving Graduate School
Publication Year: 1997
Subject: Higher Education (general)
As more women undertake graduate school, their need for guidance increases. The good news is, as the number of women who finish graduate school increases, so do the available resources. The Women's Guide to Surviving Graduate School is an excellent resource for women embarking on this educational journey. It is written by women, specifically for women. It provides information and advice relevant to both American and Canadian women, and focuses on elements related to graduate schools in both countries. The book begins with basic information about selection, applications, and acceptance processes, and goes on to guide women through such issues as determining how much their degree program is likely to cost and how to find funding. The authors also provide valuable advice on determining the ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: In the Beginning: Should You Go to Graduate School?
- The Educational Continuum
- Reasons for and against
- Setting Goals
- Figuring Out what you Want to Study
- How Much Education is Enough?
- Institutional Credentials
- Chapter 2: Taking the Plunge
- Picking a School
- Issues in Selecting Schools
- A Closer Look
- Selecting Between Programs
- Costs of Living
- Good Enough Versus the Best
- Grades and Examination Scores
- Improving Your Record
- Exploring the Community
- Chapter 3: The Application Process
- Completing the Form
- Declaring a Disability: Pros and Cons
- Graduate Examination Scores
- Application Essays
- Letters of Reference
- The Interview
- Reviewing the Completed Application
- Chapter 4: To be in or not to be in
- The Waiting Game
- While you Wait
- Acceptances and Uncertainties
- Why Responding Early Counts
- Waiting Lists-Accepted (Sort of)
- Accepted by One and Waiting for All
- Want to Go but can't Go
- Acceptance and Certainty
- Disabilities and School Choices
- Being Rejected—Alternatives
- When a Rejection is not a Rejection
- Finding Out what Went Wrong
- Proving your Worth and Abilities
- Rejecting Them
- Chapter 5: Paying for it
- Financial Realities
- How Much do you Really need?
- Developing a Bottom Line
- Costs Associated with Relocating
- Who's Got the Money and how do I Get Some?
- Tuition Payments
- Repayment of Loans
- Chapter 6: Getting a Running Start
- Study Space and Other Necessities
- Orientation and Early Socialization
- Getting the Worst Over First
- Course Selections or Stabs in the Dark
- Course Loads—The Magic Formula
- Picking Concentrations
- Chapter 7: Learning Your Way Around
- Getting There from Here
- Classrooms and Transitions
- Finding the Essentials
- Off-Site Campuses
- Chapter 8: Settling In: The First Week-or Do I Really need a Lunch Box
- Looking the Part
- Name Calling
- Sexual Harassment
- Networking with other Women
- Networking and Survival
- Chapter 9: The Syllabus as a Learning Contract
- Buying Texts
- Chapter 10: The Road to “A” Work
- Attending Classes
- Study Patterns
- Writing Papers
- Chapter 11: Swimming Rather Than Sinking
- Negotiating Deadlines
- Dropping Courses
- Using your Adviser
- Competition Among the Ranks
- What Really Counts
Dedicated to Wilburn Hayden, Jr., an inspiring husband and constant friend.—
Copyright © 1997 by Sage Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Printed in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
A women's guide to surviving graduate school/by Barbara Rittner and Patricia Trudeau.
p. cm. — (Surviving graduate school; v. 2)
ISBN 0-7619-0389-5 (cloth: acid-free paper). — ISBN
0-7619-0390-9 (pbk.: acid-free paper)
1. Universities and colleges—United States—Graduate work. 2. Women—Education (Graduate)—United States. 3. Women graduate students—United States. I. Trudeau, Patricia. II. Title. III. Series.
This book is printed on acid-free paper.
97 98 99 00 01 02 03 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Acquiring Editor: Jim Nageotte
Editorial Assistant: Kathleen Derby
Production Editor: Sherrise M. Purdum
Production Assistant: Karen Wiley
Typesetters: Andy Swanson/Tina Hill
Print Buyer: Anna Chin
Series Editor's Introduction[Page ix]
The Women's Guide to Surviving Graduate School is a welcome addition to the Sage Series “Surviving Graduate School.” Written by two established scholars, Barbara Rittner and Patricia Trudeau, who themselves successfully made the transition from undergraduate to graduate student, and from graduate student to academic faculty member, this book has long been needed. The need arises from at least two factors. The first is simply that an increasing proportion of graduate students are women. In fact, in many disciplines traditionally dominated by men (e.g., law, medicine, clinical psychology), women are becoming the majority of new graduate students.
The need for this book also arises from the special issues of concern to many women anticipating a period of graduate study, or who are already embarked upon the journey. Examples include dealing with sexist institutions and individuals, managing childcare responsibilities, and the subtle (and not so subtle) segregation of women into particular areas of academic study or professional practice. For example, many more female than male attorneys provide low cost legal aid services; many more women practice pediatric medicine than neurosurgery; women are disproportionately represented in the ranks of child clinical psychologists compared to providers of adult psychotherapy. No doubt disciplinary differences render generalizations difficult, and the demographics of various fields are changing so rapidly as to render any summation of the present state of affairs out of date [Page x]by the time it sees print. Nevertheless, females face a graduate school experience which can differ in many significant respects from that encountered by their male counterparts, often to the detriment of women.
Women graduate students are far more often than men the victims of sexual harassment perpetrated by those in positions of academic authority. Women graduate students are more likely to be robbed or assaulted than are men. Women often face greater difficulties in financing their education than men, perhaps because they come to graduate school with less initial savings; perhaps because they cannot work as many hours as men because of child care responsibilities; perhaps because departments are less willing to provide financial assistance in the form of scholarships to women. The litany could go on.
Rittner and Trudeau provide a refreshing but realistic guidebook on surviving and thriving during one's graduate school experience. From the nuts and bolts of applying and maximizing the chances for admission, to figuring out finances, planning one's course of study, dealing with faculty, and in general making a comfortable personal, social and academic life for oneself, the authors lay it all out in straightforward language and with a forthright presentation. If you are (or anticipate becoming) a female graduate student, this is the book to buy for yourself. If you know a woman in a similar situation, this book would make a terrific gift. I know. My wife has said how much she wishes she had read it prior to beginning her own doctoral studies. I cannot think of a more convincing recommendation than that. Enjoy this book, and best wishes in graduate school!Series Editor
Many young women just out of college decide on what advanced degrees to pursue and what graduate programs to attend with the guidance of their professors, academic advisors and mentors, families, and friends. This book intends to address their needs as well as the issues, fears, and concerns of the returning or mature student, some of whom may have completed undergraduate work years earlier. In particular, the returning student lacks a college-based peer group to help her think through the complex decisions she faces when she begins thinking about going to graduate school. She knows she will be juggling personal, professional, and academic responsibilities but is uncertain how to best go about that without trying to do everything she always did while she takes on an academic load at the graduate level.
Deciding to go to graduate school reflects a woman's desire for personal, intellectual, and professional growth. For many women, the decision to get a graduate degree may be necessary to remain competitive in their jobs or professional arenas. Others, faced with divorce or loss of a partner, realize the economic importance of a graduate degree in supporting themselves, especially if they are still financially responsible for their children. For some women, a graduate degree is a means of upgrading professional skills or redefining expertise in an area of specialty to be more competitive. For others, graduate work promises a change in careers and an escape from a dead-end job or boring [Page xii]profession. For most women, the motivation to get a graduate degree involves a combination of all these reasons.
The decisions a woman has to make about getting a graduate degree (what kind, how fast, and where) become even more difficult if family and friends don't understand why a woman wants to go back to school and resist the inevitable familial, social, and economic changes that returning to school entails.
This book is organized around some basic decisions women make as they return to school. It will address
Identifying school and programs compatible with goals
Selecting schools and programs
Managing the application process
Handling acceptance and rejection
Getting the whole financial picture
Getting good grades
Developing support networks
This book is expected to help you learn what other women wish they had known before they embarked on a graduate degree so that you can graduate in a reasonable period of time with most of your sanity still intact. You will be hearing from them, through us, helpful suggestions they wished someone had shared with them before they started or while they were in their programs.
Last, we know you can do it. Educated women provide their families, their communities, and their professions with standards of excellence. We hope they can also have fun getting there.
About the Authors