Choosing a Ph.D. program – what’s important and what’s not


If you are in your early twenties, you will be told often that many of the decisions you make will stay with you for the rest of your life, so be careful. I’d say do your best, but most decisions can be changed, so don’t worry too much. Choosing a career is important, though. So is choosing a graduate program once you think a Ph.D. might be for you. But don’t make the mistake of thinking there is only one perfect program, because there are lots of really great Ph.D. programs even among the subset that have the attributes most important to you. Now all you have to do is narrow down the things that are most important, then apply to three to six universities with programs that appeal. Sort it out after the interviews.

For me, graduate school in the Zoology department at the University of Texas at…

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About Joan E. Strassmann

Evolutionary biologist, studies social behavior in insects & microbes, interested in education, travel, birds, tropics, nature, food; biology professor at Washington University in St. Louis
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