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Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning an M.A. or a Ph.D. Paperback – Apr 11 1997

4.7 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; REV ed. edition (April 11 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374524777
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374524777
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 2.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 703 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #88,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“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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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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By A Customer on April 1 2004
Format: Paperback
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 With that being said, this edition was revised in 1997, making it notably out of date in terms of Internet resources.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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Format: Paperback
I purchased Getting What You Came For, The Smart Student’s Guide To Earning A Master’s or PH.D. by Robert L. Peters, PH.D. due to my own interest and determination to take more college classes related to my professional aims. I was fortunate in being able to successfully complete my first bachelor’s degree within three years (I started during the of fall semester of 2009 and completed my first undergraduate degree program by December 2012). However, I reluctantly admit that I arrogantly believed that obtaining my first bachelor’s degree within 3 years and my 8.5 year military experience would be sufficient in obtaining a government or private sector job that pays at least close to what I made as an E-5 in the United States Navy. In my newfound humbleness, I’m more than aware (without needing to be reminded by my critics) that I must think and act more strategically to stand out from a large sea of a talented crowd of men and women in the Washington D.C. who have more professional experience in certain popular career sectors and/or those who have attend highly ranked and/or well-known universities/colleges. Therefore, I was eager to purchase this book that contains among the following insightful details: Pages 57-72: making sure to be realistic about which schools to apply to for admission(fortunately, I am lucky/thankful to have been accepted into my 1st choice dream school and the advice does match up with the expectations that I had to consider). Pages 159-174 cover information pertaining to thesis committees. Additionally, pages 319-358 (chapter 24)touch on details related to the helpfulness of deciding/sticking with a career path and ways to request an appointment with professionals already employed in student’s chosen career field.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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