Should I go to grad school?

Michael Munger,

Release Date
April 3, 2015



Do you want to be a professor? Are you in grad school, applying, or preparing to apply? Do you ask yourself “should I go to graduate school?” or “should I apply for a PhD program?” If so, then let this video be your guide as Professor Michael Munger of Duke University outlines three “do”s and “don’t”s of grad school.
Do: Go to grad school if your goal is to become a professor.
Don’t: Go to grad school to wait out a recession or “find yourself”.
Don’t: Go into debt by attending graduate school. Grad schools and scholarship providers fund individuals who have the best chance of succeeding in academia, so use funding as a signal for whether you should pursue a Ph.D.

Watch more videos here for more grad shool information:
The Institute for Humane Studies also has funding to help you through grad school, from application fee waivers, to conference grants, to PhD scholarships:

Grad School Advice [videos]: Watch more videos for more grad shool information.
Grad School Resources from IHS [website]: The Institute for Humane Studies has funding to help you through grad school, from application fee waivers, to conference grants, to PhD scholarships.

Speaker 1: Ever listened to an awe inspiring lecture by your favorite professor and thought, “I wish I had his job.” Ever sat through an awful lecture on an important topic and thought, “I could do better than that?” Ever daydreamed about how you would teach a class differently? You are not alone. As a professor you could inspire thousands of minds, direct your own work, and effect the scholarly conversation in your discipline but becoming a professor isn’t easy. Here are two important rules to know before you go to grad school. First, don’t pay for your PhD. Get them to pay you. The kind of graduate programs that are likely to lead to an academic job are also the ones that provide funding, tuition plus a stipend for their PhD students.
Even if only part of your tuition or expenses are covered by your program there are scholarships and grants from generous donors and nonprofit like IHS that can help you on the way but what if you can’t get any funding? If you can’t get into an PhD program that provides funding for you it might be a sign that academia isn’t the right career for you after all which brings us to rule number two. Don’t go to graduate school to find yourself. Some people in the humanities think. “I bet things will be better in two to six years. I will go to grad school.” Grad school isn’t a way to postpone real life or wait out a bad economy but a surprising number of people treat it that way. These people miss out on a lot of opportunities because they don’t understand what grad school really is, a credentialing system.
Just like lawyers have the American Bar Association, professors have the academic system. Earning your PhD gives you the credentials necessary for an academic career but let’s say you are sure about becoming a professor and you’ve been accepted to a PhD program with full funding. Think your future as a professor is set? You are just getting starting. Use your time in grad school to show future employers why they should hire you. To find out how, subscribe right now so you don’t miss our next video. You can also click here for additional resources to help your academic career.