AGSE hosted Dr. Kent Baxter to share his journey in getting his PhD. This was a great opportunity to learn a little more about our Graduate Advisor as well as gain some valuable knowledge about the PhD process.
Couldn't make it on May 9th? Thanks to your 2013 - 2014 Recording Secretary, Wafa Azeem, here is a recap of the day's talk!
He received his bachelor’s degree from CSUN in 1983, going from a music major, to Psychology, before finally choosing English. It took him 5 ½ years to get his degree.
He applied to UCLA, UCB, and USC for their PhD programs, getting accepted to USC, then deferring a year to travel in Europe instead.
When Dr. Baxter returned, he wasn't allowed to reclaim his spot at USC, but got incredibly lucky and found a place because someone else had dropped.
Through hard work and perseverance, he received his doctorate.
Some things to consider for a PhD:
- Are you interested in independent and focused learning? Do you work well without a lot of “hand
- Think about funding: Teaching English Composition or a T.A.-ship can get tuition waived and sometimes may include a stipend.
- If you’re willing to put in the hard work and effort the program requires, you will do quite well, regardless of background.
- You learn a lot through teaching, so consider the teaching opportunities the school has.
- Academic relationships are essential, so look at how available the faculty is and how involved they are.
- Check the requirements of the school; do they require you to have fluency in two languages?
5% RI- Research schools. (Usually the elite schools like Harvard and Yale).
95% in schools like CSUN (Where research emphasis is lighter than the RI schools. Focus more on teaching).
Questions to ask yourself:
Do you really love the work?
Do you like the graduate mode of study?
Can you be somewhat flexible in your approach to the program? (How broad is the program. Are you willing to explore different avenues of the topic?)
Have you researched programs?
How many people actually finish the program?
Availability of professors?
Thank you to everyone who could join us, and to the 2013 - 2014 board members: Wafa Azeem for her notes, and Stephanie Lim, for her pictures.