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Kansas State University

K-State Graduate School Basics

You will find graduate study in pursuit of a Masters or PhD degree to differ significantly from your undergraduate education. Course requirements are fewer and tend to be highly focused in a specific discipline. In most programs, research is emphasized over coursework. Graduate students are expected to spend most of their time doing research in the laboratory or in the field. Graduate students are expected to study the primary literature (journal articles) related to their research project, to understand the project in depth, and to make logical suggestions for experiments or modifications of experiments. Success is measured not only in terms of grades, but also in terms of the quality and quantity of research performed and published.

To succeed, Graduate students must be:

  • Dedicated

  • Creative

  • Self-motivated

  • Critical thinkers

  • Independent workers

These on-line articles discuss the challenges and rewards of graduate school:

"Advice for Undergraduates Considering Graduate School," by Dr. Phil Agre, Professor of Information Studies, Dept. of Information Studies, UCLA

How to Succeed in Graduate School: A Guide for Students and Advisors (Part I) by Marie desJardins, Ph.D. in artificial intelligence from the UC Berkeley in 1992

How to Succeed in Graduate School: A Guide for Students and Advisors (Part II) by Marie desJardins, Ph.D. in artificial intelligence from the UC Berkeley in 1992.