Introduction to US Graduate Education

This course is offering in Autumn 2012 for all of the graduate students

This course provides an introduction to U.S. graduate education, particularly doctoral education, in times of globalization. As new and continuing graduate students, it is important to understand the system you are studying in, how it functions, how it changes, and how you can best prepare to become successful scholars who are able to operate in and outside of universities in the U.S. and worldwide.

The class will have several focal points. First, it will familiarize you with the structure, process, and inner life of U.S. graduate education. Second, it will introduce you to the different lenses that are used to understand and research graduate/doctoral education. Third, we will focus on important academic practices, norms, values, and unwritten rules around adviser/advisee relationships, writing, publishing, and attending conferences. And lastly, we will explore and compare the different academic cultures in graduate education in the countries of the class participants by creating space in each class that fosters an interactive dialogue where U.S. students learn from international students and vice versa. Like anthropologists studying a foreign culture, this class will study graduate education in the U.S. viewed by U.S. and international students.

Learning Goals

1. Identify and understand the context of current issues in graduate education (macro view) and the importance of international graduate students in the U.S.
2. Become familiar with the different lenses and different methods through which graduate/doctoral education has been studied (research approach to graduate education including learning models on how to become a researcher).
3. Learn about U.S. graduate/doctoral education’s structure, process, and its various informational resources.
4. Understand reasons for student attrition and learn about strategies for success in U.S. doctoral programs.
5. Gain new perspectives on academic practices such as writing (papers, dissertations), adviser-advisee relationships, attending conferences that are relevant for successful completion of your graduate education (micro view).
6. Develop intercultural awareness.