Our Favorite Book for Grad Students


There are countless hurdles to successfully completing your Ph.D or Masters degree and many questions to consider when beginning the process. Dr. Robert Peters tackles these countless issues and questions in his book, Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student’s Guide to Earning a Masters or Ph.D. This book should be first purchase of any new graduate student and constantly referred to throughout your degree. Peters thoroughly addresses the following topics.

Getting Started

What is graduate school like?
Do you need to go?
Should you work first?
Choosing a school and thesis advisor.
Managing the admissions process.
Applying for financial aid.
The history and hurdles of the Masters degree.
The history and hurdles of the doctorate.

Ensuring Success

Managing your reputation and navigating university politics.
Passing the qualifying exams.

The Dissertation

Choosing and managing your thesis committee.
Choosing a thesis and making the proposal.
Writing your thesis.
Defending your thesis.
Preparing a successful oral presentation.

Surviving Graduate School

Dealing with stress and depression.
Relating to your fellow students.
Navigating graduate school as a minority.
Preparing for your future career.

The 399 page book is organized very well, allowing you to read the sections that are most relevant to the next stage in your degree. Whether you are considering graduate school or in the middle of your dissertation, we highly recommend you pick this up! You can click here to view it on Amazon.

Which book or resource has best prepared you for graduate school?