Course Syllabus


This course exist to serve all incoming Ph.D. students in the School of Computing. Earning a Ph.D. is difficult and at times demoralizing; but, conducting and communicating research can be an incredible joy in life. Together, we will examine the process of getting a Ph.D. and develop skills to improve your chances of success at research, while, hopefully, making your studies a healthy and fun experience.  

What does this course offer you?

This course will provide you with weekly tutorials and discussions on developing important skills for success in your Ph.D. studies and research more generally. We will examine common pitfalls in Ph.D. studies and demystify some of the more obscure elements of getting your degree. Additionally, this course will give you an opportunity to meet and bond with other students in your cohort, who will be likely be some of your closest friends and supporters during the 5 plus years of your studies. Finally, our weekly meetings will give you a stress- and judgement-free venue to express any concerns and ask any questions you may have about your studies.

How are you, exactly, going to achieve this?

You will learn about research skills through short, weekly readings before class meets.  You will be asked to write a small response to these readings each week. These skills will be reinforced through structured discussions and activities each week.

Second, you will interact with more senior Ph.D. students and other faculty in a few panel discussions during the semester.

Third, you will have a few small assignments to help you put these skills into action and set you up to succeed in your studies.

How will you know how you're doing?

You'll know you're doing well if you're showing up to the seminar, if you do the reading, and you write your reading responses. This will determine 50% of your grade. The additional assignments will make up the remaining 50%.

A note about the course name.

This course is named "Introduction to Ph.D. Studies," an alternative, possibly better, name is "How to Not Screw Up Your Ph.D!" 

Weekly Schedule

A more detailed schedule of activities and readings.

Course Summary:

Date Details