Author Topic: Questions about getting a phd  (Read 208 times)

Re: Questions about getting a phd
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2017, 09:43:07 PM »
The only reason I want  phd is for the prestige of having one. I pretty much just want one to have one. That's it. Good enough reason for my mind. I don't really care about "what works for me", because I'm not basing this on that kind of criteria. I just want the phd to be able to say I've got one. That's it. I'm going for prestige and nothing else, so the prestige of the school not only matters, but its the only thing that matters to me.

Just go buy one from some diploma mill.  Then you can pretend all you want.

Re: Questions about getting a phd
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2017, 11:02:54 PM »
Just go buy one from some diploma mill.  Then you can pretend all you want.
It's more about what makes me happy. The prestige is not completely the motivation. I have a genuine interest in science. But a phd is not required to have a good understanding of science. It boils down to.....I want to accomplish something great in my life, a phd is a great accomplishment, so I'd like to try to get one.

Offline Cavebear

Re: Questions about getting a phd
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2017, 01:07:22 AM »
Well, for what its worth, I got kicked out of the state university for low grades in the early 70s.  Too much political activism and not enough studying.  I got a good job anyway because I lied about it.  But I went back in the 90s and succeeded.  I had learned to write, think, and express myself clearly.  I took seminar classes competing with grad students and dedicated undergrads focussed on the subjects and got straight "A"s. 

One professor asked me to be a teaching assistant "The Politics of The Vietnam War".  I declined, having a career job in telecommunications, but the offer meant a lot.

The diploma (Bachelor Of Science in Government and Political Science) had utterly no effect on my career.  No one where I worked ever knew I got it or didn't have it before. 

But it meant a lot to ME personally.

If it helps your career, do it.  But if it doesn't, do it anyway.  It will matter to you all the rest of your life.

Cavebear
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead

Offline Baruch

Re: Questions about getting a phd
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2017, 11:20:09 AM »
It's more about what makes me happy. The prestige is not completely the motivation. I have a genuine interest in science. But a phd is not required to have a good understanding of science. It boils down to.....I want to accomplish something great in my life, a phd is a great accomplishment, so I'd like to try to get one.

I do understand that need for self-regard.  I had been doing computer operations for a long time.  Not programming, not engineering.  I was worried that I might have lost the knack.  So two years ago I studied some advanced computer science .. quantum computing and cryptography.  Took an on-line course (Youtube) of quantum mechanics from Stanford.  Read on-line unpublished textbooks/lecture notes from guys at Cal Tech.  Learned how to do one kind of actual cryptography.  We all like a challenge now and then.  But this only cost me time and effort, it didn't cost any money.  School is very expensive these days.

And there are other kinds of great accomplishment.  Being a son, husband and father are my favorites.  But that isn't for everyone (some of us are daughters, others will never marry or raise children).  Keeping a stead job, now a days ... is a great accomplishment.  Learning a foreign language is a great accomplishment.  I wish you luck in doing something toward realizing that your life is worthwhile.  It already is, you just don't know it yet.
שלום

Re: Questions about getting a phd
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2017, 03:17:16 PM »
The only reason I want  phd is for the prestige of having one. I pretty much just want one to have one. That's it. Good enough reason for my mind. I don't really care about "what works for me", because I'm not basing this on that kind of criteria. I just want the phd to be able to say I've got one. That's it. I'm going for prestige and nothing else, so the prestige of the school not only matters, but its the only thing that matters to me.

No one is going to hand you a prestigious degree; you have to put in a tremendous amount of effort.

A 3.5 GPA likely won't do you any good whether for admission into a prestigious university, or for graduating with Ph.D. -- need to focus 3.7+, especially major GPA. I do not say that to discourage you; just telling you how it is. At William & Mary, for example, you need 3.7 GPA in 7 of 8 courses and no lower grade than B-, and above 3.0 cumulative GPA to graduate with a Ph.D in Computer Science (they do not have Ph.D in Biology). As far as admission, this may interest you (from W&M FAQ):

Quote
Do you have a minimum GPA requirement?
The admission committee prefers to see academic achievement at the 3.5 level or higher, but considers other factors such as strength of curriculum and number of credit hours. If a course has been repeated for a grade, both the original grade and the grade earned in the repeated course will be reviewed.

How do you determine a student's GPA if he or she has attended more than one college or university?
The admission committee will review each individual cumulative GPA from each institution attended.  The admission committee will look at factors such as dates of attendance and grade trends when reviewing multiple college transcripts.

And graduate admissions, from my experience, look at your extracurricular activities and what you do besides studying for exams. Do you work? Do you volunteer? It is good to find a professor and work with him/her, build rapport and get involved in activities. Strong letters of recommendation will go a long way to remedy lower GPA or past academic failures.