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Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning an M.A. or a Ph.D. [Paperback]

Robert Peters
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 11 1997 0374524777 978-0374524777 Rev Sub
Is graduate school right for you?
Should you get a master’s or a Ph.D.?
How can you choose the best possible school?

This classic guide helps students answer these vital questions and much more. It will also help graduate students finish in less time, for less money, and with less trouble.

Based on interviews with career counselors, graduate students, and professors, Getting What You Came For is packed with real-life experiences. It has all the advice a student will need not only to survive but to thrive in graduate school, including: instructions on applying to school and for financial aid; how to excel on qualifying exams; how to manage academic politics—including hostile professors; and how to write and defend a top-notch thesis. Most important, it shows you how to land a job when you graduate.

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Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning an M.A. or a Ph.D. + The Craft of Research, Third Edition + How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing
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“This is an excellent book. I don’t know how Robert Peters was able to assemble all this highly relevant and valuable information after only one pass through the system known as graduate school, but he has produced a definitive piece of work.” – Dr. Gene Woodruff, Dean of the Graduate School, University of Washington, Seattle, President of the Association of Graduate Schools, Chairman of the GRE Board

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WHEN I WAS GETTING MY PH.D. IN FISH BEHAVIOR AT STANFORD DURING THE late 1970s, I did almost everything wrong. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Reference, but... April 1 2004
By A Customer
As some reviewers have already noted, this book is an invaluable reference for those seriously considering the possibility of going for a graduate or doctorate degree, or for those already enrolled in a program. With that being said, this edition was revised in 1997, making it notably out of date in terms of Internet resources. It is still an excellent reference - having read it, I'm sure it will be my constant companion while going through what might otherwise be the rather nerve-wracking application process. Dr. Peters, we need a new edition! I, for one, will be one of the first in line to buy the next revision.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A graduate Student Must Have April 16 2004
This book is as relevant and packed full of great information and advice when I first started graduate school as it is now three years later and I'm ready to defend my thesis. I know I will pick it up quite a few more times between now and the time they crown me my doctoral degree. I'm impressed by the fact that Peters and I come from different academic backgrounds (him from biology, and me from psychology), but his book is nevertheless very relevant to my experiences. I imagine it does for students from many other fields as well.
One other "succeeding in graduate school" book I own is filled with citations to research that support the book's suggestions. There are charts and graphs, but unfortunately, one cannot survive and thrive in graduate school using only your head. Peters' book not only makes you ponder hard the reasons and ways to be successful in graduate school, it does so with a heart. The advice and information are real because there are real people behind them. Thousands have come before you, and you can be one of them too....or not. The book doesn't glorify nor idealize graduate school. It gives you an inside look at how it has worked and not worked for others. You decide what to do with this information.
Much of graduate school can be very political. Academia is occupied by smart and often very weird people, socially and otherwise. The book doesn't gloss over any of this. It guides you through people politics and the importance of self-care. It celebrates how the graduate school experience can be so right, but sometimes, unfortunately but realistically, can also go so wrong. Peters' book is a great companion through all of this. Highly recommended (despite a need for the author to come out with a new edition to replace outdated information on computers, computer softwares, and personal information managers). Probably most relevant to graduate students interested in academia.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Necessary guide Feb. 10 2004
Are you planning to go to graduate school? If you are, this is a necessary guide which gives you all the basics--from applying to graduation and beyond. One of the most important points is that you have to prepare for graduate school early. Don't wait until after you're accepted to choose your advisor. You shouldn't even apply until after you select your advisor. This point of advice saves a lot of heartache later on, because having a good relationship with your advisor is one of the single most important things in graduate school. If you have a suitable advisor, graduate school will go more smoothly.
Another thing I like is that it doesn't try to sugarcoat the graduate school experience. It tells you exactly that graduate school is a rough experience and that out of all the people who enter graduate programs, only 8% go on to academic work. If you can't face these facts, then you probably aren't driven enough to succeed in a graduate program. If you're still burning for higher education and are willing to face the difficulties involved, you're ready for graduate school. Basically you should go in with both eyes open. I recommend picking up this guide to help you through your postgraduate life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Only Book You'll Need for Grad School Dec 13 2003
This is an excellent overview of the entire graduate school experience. The book examines a variety of topics including reasons for pursuing graduate school, things you can do as an undergraduate to better your chances, the graduate school application process, managing your thesis committee, writing your thesis, dealing with stress, and finding a job. The book is easy to read and keeps you interested. Every chapter is backed up with plenty of personal stories on what to do and what not to do. The book is very inspirational and truly gave me a different perspective on graduate school, one that I had never considered. I would highly suggest this book to anyone who is even remotely interested in graduate school, especially if you're still in college. I always knew that I wanted to pursue graduate school and there are many tips that I could have used as an undergrad but didn't know about. I plan to keep this book by my side during graduate school and reread relevant sections as they arise. My only complaint about the book is that it is a bit out of date in regards to the Internet and computers.
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By A Customer
After finishing my masters degree I decided to take this year off in order to refresh, get a little work experience, and pull together the strongest doctoral applications possible. In addition to talking to students and faculty in the programs I am interested in, I have been reading this book which was given to me during university by a professor who claimed it is the "bible" for potential doctoral students.
While there is some substantial advice in the book, Peters is overwhelmingly dramatic, discouraging and negative. His anecdotes about advisers stealing students work, failing to show up for orals, sabotaging funding opportunites etc. serve more as scare tactics than top issues to worry about when approaching the doctorate. Additionally, some of his advice is outdated and based on humanities and natural science programs which may be less than helpful for students in other areas.
Finally, this book really should have focused solely on the PhD process. Masters programs are extremely different with a unique set of issues around funding, faculty interaction, and final/comprehensive work (not necessarily a thesis).
Overall, a decent book worth checking out of the library perhaps, but one should read this book (and all such texts) in addition to conducting their own research of schools, programs, faculties, and students.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide....
Like many of the other reviewers have already said, Getting What You Came For is an invaluable tool for grad students. Read more
Published on May 13 2004 by J. Joseph
5.0 out of 5 stars An Indispensable Reference
I thought I knew what I was getting into when I applied to graduate school the first time. I knew several professors in my field, had earned excellent grades and several top... Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Some of my best friends have higher learning
I'd better not. Reviewing Steve Griffin's law book without reading it years ago was probably bad enough ...
Published on Dec 28 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Humorous
A humorous little book about completing grad studies. This book is the indisputable authority on this subject. Read more
Published on Nov. 11 2003 by Michael Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars more than excellent
I can't praise this book enough, even if you decide against going for your masters' or PHd, this is an excellent book for any college teachers career. Read more
Published on Aug. 11 2003 by "besma"
5.0 out of 5 stars I thought I knew
I had talked to all sorts of people about graduate school, including many profs and PhDs, so I thought I knew what I was getting into. Read more
Published on June 3 2003 by Ericka Menchen Trevino
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Practical Guide for Prospective Grad Students
Peters has put together a wonderfully broad yet concise volume that addresses every area in the graduate school process. The book is exceptionally well organized and digestible. Read more
Published on May 19 2003 by Robyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book even you aren't thinking of grad school
Thanks Robert for writing this book that dramatically changes my life -
Before read this book, graduate life is very vague to me and I do not really know what I want from... Read more
Published on April 23 2003 by Y. Cheng
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