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Information on Phd lifestyles...?

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Information on Phd lifestyles...? [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2006, 11:01
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Hi, I've recently become interested in business Phd programs and have been looking for any relevant articles. They can be about any part: admissions, lifestyle while in the program, lifestyle afterward, careers etc. Do you guys know of anything?

Also, I'm curious how students pay for a doctoral program. The university usually provides tuition and a stipend, correct? Can you also be awarded grants from other institutions in addition to university-provided funds?

Thank you very much!
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2006, 05:31
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I heard some kind of book exists to address most of these concerns, but I have no references in mind. Always remember that there are many different fields, all of which have different quality standards/expectations. Some schools will require you to take a lot of theory courses with few (reading) seminars available, while others will require you to read basically everything that's been done before with very few courses in econometrics, microeconomics, optimization.. This is probably why there is no single source of information about life as a Ph.D. student: there are many ways to react to these varying expectations.

But as far as admissions go, if you're looking at a top school (top 25) in a math-intensive field (finance, OR, accounting), a good GMAT score and good grades in some advanced (ideally graduate) statistics/math courses are probably the most important. My personal (unproven) opinion is that if you're looking at marketing, OB or strategy, references and prior research may be weighted more heavily in admission decisions.

As for the financing of a Ph.D. program, the basics for just about every top school are that they waive tuition and pay you a stipend of about $20,000-$25,000/year for 3 or 4 years. Some of them will extend that if you work on promising research (e.g. many finance programs unofficially require 5 years or enrollment). The difference between programs is how they treat additional outside funding you may get. If you get an outside doctoral fellowship, some schools will "tax" you by decreasing the stipend while others will just pat you on the back.

(Disclaimer: I'm a 1st-year accounting student at a top 15-20 school)
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2006, 07:22
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Hi Chapman,

Here is a little info about the PhD in business and some of the qualities of most programs...it was posted before somewhere in here.

http://www.hbs.edu/doctoral/SYOA/

DocNet is an organization of universities granting doctoral degrees in business administration and economics. Its purpose is to promote doctoral education in business throughout the world.

http://www.coba.usf.edu/docnet/

Also, I am applying to PhD programs now and it is hard to find general information about the culture in PhD programs in business.....It almost deadline time for the schools I'm applying to....this forum is an excellent resource for info....I suggest going through some of the older info...there is a lot of good info in the posts from early last year....the same still applies today concerning acceptance, changes in lifestyle, etc. Also, I'm not sure of your "stats", but one thing I see on this forum is that no one really talk about the lower tier schools (which actually, are still some of the best schools in the nation)...although I advise everyone to shoot for the stars...don't rule out the smaller or somewhat newer AACSB accred. PhD business programs. Many schools have excellent professors that have researched topics that may interest you more than at some top 10-15 school...and the key thing is the "fit"...you have to fit into their research and style...without that, you will be a zombie that just do the research for the sake of a grade....and that defeats the purpose of the PhD. So aim high.....but dont forget the little guy either....some people fit in at smaller institutions much better than large ones....so mix your school choices up is my suggestion...have a little of the big boys and little of the medium guys, and a couple scappy little dudes and you have have a better view of what you might fit in at......(sorry about my long rant)

Also because of the popularity and status of MBA programs today...many schools are focusing most of their resources promoting it.... but I am a part of the PhD Project, although it is designed to encourage African Americans, Hispanic Am. and Native Am. to pursue a PhD in business...the website is helpful in locating info concerning the culture of the programs

http://www.phdproject.org

Another thing is to make sure the school AACSB accred. You may already know this....but here is a list of AACSB accred schools with Phd Programs

http://www.aacsb.edu/publications/dfc/phd-schools.asp

Also....here is a site that ranks the doctoral programs worldwide....even though it states EMBA rankings...go through the ranking area options on top and find the one that states "FT Doctoral Rank" click on that and it ranks the best doctoral programs in the world in business...decided by financial times...

http://rankings.ft.com/rankings//index.jsp

Hopefully that will give you a little insight and quite possibly aid your research.

~Christopher~
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2006, 19:03
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Hectic is the word. Discipline and timeliness will matter a lot as you balance your coursework , your research projects and your personal life. You have to very efficient at doing what you do. At most schools, you will very easily be spending 50-60 hrs per week on school. Of course, you should ensure that you hit the ground running. Be sure to review all relevant math coursework in the summer prior to joining school and get to know your colleagues.

Also, even if the professors dont "require" you to read material before coming to class, its usually a great idea to do so. A Ph.D is much more than taking a bunch of courses. The more effort you put into mastering the material, the better off you will be. This could mean an extra 2-4 hrs of reading per course per week. This is on top of the assignments and/or coding.

About paying for school, almost all top schools have decent financial aid packages. Its common for schools to pay your tuition and give you a stipend between $1300-$1800 a month. Some schools also offer to pay for teaching a class. If you teach throughout the year, thats a very nice addition to the stipend.

hope this helps
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2006, 20:34
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thanks a lot Praetorian..good info!...

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 [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2006, 12:08
I am now in my second year of Phd so it is a good time to answer the lifestyle question.
ACADS -
The first year consists of courses - which are quite different from MBA level courses - the focus being on academic literature, and if you are majoring in a quantitative field - it can get tough mastering proofs of theorems etc. Even for a qualitative field , the first year is quite quanti heavy.

The second year starts a bit light and you focus on developing your research interests. Well, the search is for an idea - an idea that has not been thought of before and that makes sense for business ! tough call. Also an idea that can be researched in 2-3 years.

As Praetorian wrote - self discipline is most important. It is a journey that is long !

LIFE, MONEY etc
The stipend at most schools will not make you rich but you can get by in a very easy way. Many of the top schools guarantee schols for at least 4 years - others ask you for doing a TA or RA (that is teaching or research assistantship - basically uninteresting work). This may make it a little tough.
At most places, PhD is a very lonely journey. There is some camarederie, but do not expect the bonhomie of college. That is mainly due to the fact that PhD class size is very small.

hope this helps
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 [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2007, 23:23
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Just an update , in my third year now.

Out of the starting class size of 12, there are only 9 people left in the 3rd year - 3 have dropped out. Out of the starting class size of 12 in my previous batch, only 7 are left - 5 have dropped out.

Lesson 1. Think whether you really want to spend 4-5 long solitary years. You must have an extremely high level of self-motivation to complete.

Lesson 2. People who left were very good from a CV viewpoint. There were college toppers, consultants ..... all extremely bright. But most of them decided that academia was not for them. Talent is no guarantee for completion.

Well... think before you leap !
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 [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2007, 23:31
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Wow... 3rd year. So half the battle has been won....

What are the main reasons for dropping out? Not able to coup with the work? Better offers came along? etc?
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http://phdmilestone.blogspot.com/

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 [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2007, 00:18
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thanks for sharing Sameer.

I think many students do drop out because better offers come along. 4 years is a long time.

More specifically, here are some reasons I can think of.

1) Some students are interested in research, but do not understand the nuances of what it will entail. Reading journals in the students area of interest is very very important. Also, I think a lot of student underestimate the emphasis that universities place on academic research. You will hear the "Publish or Perish" slogan often in academia. As an academic, you are on the faculty to teach, but high quality research is a primary component of getting tenure.

2) Some unfortunately drop out because they fall short of the academic standards of the institution. This is usually a result of performance on the comprehensive exam, usually conducted after the second year of the program.

3) The rewards are not immediate. Academic research sounds easy. Define the problem, show how your paper contributes to current literature and show that you indeed made those contributions by using models and experiments. However, a typical student fails at the first 2 attempts in writing a paper. A student belongs to one of these three categories.

a) Not good at math, not good at discovering interesting research questions and not good at writing either. This is unlikely, but it does happen. As you can imagine, such students do not stay long in the program.

b) Good at math, not good at discovering interesting research questions, but good at writing. This is probably the average student.

c) Good at math, good at discovering interesting research questions, and good at writing, but the student cannot convert the research question and intended contribution into a model that adequately incorporates the richness of the problem without oversimplifying it. This is probably the standard for a student attempting research for the first time.

If you can get to phase c) by the end of your first year, you are my hero.

4) As Sameer correctly pointed out, it would take a lot of motivation to keep going. 4 years is a long time. Things change. Changes in personal life or professional ambitions can play a very very significant role in such decisions. Most are married and the Ph.D is an acid test for any relationship. For single students, its probably not as difficult, but a supportive spouse can have a dramatic impact as far as keeping your sanity is concerned. It will be a great support system as you navigate through the emotional roller coaster.

5) Others simply find the time commitment too much. It puts a strain on relationships and finances. Most expect to graduate in 4 years. But its no longer enough to graduate. IF you are interested in getting hired to a top school (who isnt?), an acceptance of a journal article at a top journal in the field is fast becoming as important as the Ph.D itself. Very Very exceptional and lucky students can complete this publication "requirement" in 4 years. By exceptional, I mean a student who hits the ground running as far as research is concerned.

If everything goes right, this is what should happen for a student interested in publishing in a top journal.

End of First year - Have a written research proposal ready for the first paper. It is difficult to know what your dissertation topic is going to be right in your first year, but you should make every effort to ensure that this research will form a part of your dissertation. It will help you a lot.

In the Fall/Winter of second year - Complete the paper

In the Spring of second year - present paper at a conference and include it in the conference proceedings. -- A great way to get early feedback on the quality of the paper.

Summer of second year - Incorporate feedback and revise paper. Edit/ Re-edit paper to make it more readable.

In late summer/ early fall - send paper for publication to a top journal.

Early Spring of third year - Accept/ Revise and Resubmit/ Reject decision. Lets make the optimistic case and say "Revise and Resubmit".

Submit revisions by Summer of third year

Late Summer/ Early Fall of 4th year - Decision on paper. (hopefully an accept)

Early Fall - Hopefully, you did not forget about your dissertation that you should have been working on. Defend your dissertation proposal if required by your university BEFORE going on to the job market.

Fall of 4th year- Go on the job market. Preliminary interview with Big Name Schools at conferences. Explain dissertation work.

Spring of 4th year- Hopefully that leads to a campus visit.

Late Spring - Accept job offer.

And all this assumes that you did well on your coursework and passed your comprehensive exams.

You will do yourself a favor by spending as much time as possible preparing yourself before you even begin your Ph.D

Hope this helps.
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 [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2007, 04:12
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Thank you Praetorian. Reading your post has been extremely useful for me.

It seems that the brand of the school in which you pursue your Phd is not so important to get a good placement if you manage to publish on a top journal. Attending a Phd at a certain elite school will not bring you into a top school's faculty by itself, but since such elite school should provide you better training to become a good researcher.

My conclusion is that a strong program (coursework, advisors, environment) is a far more critical success factor than a strong school brand.
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 [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2007, 05:33
robbie1981 wrote:
Thank you Praetorian. Reading your post has been extremely useful for me.

It seems that the brand of the school in which you pursue your Phd is not so important to get a good placement if you manage to publish on a top journal. Attending a Phd at a certain elite school will not bring you into a top school's faculty by itself, but since such elite school should provide you better training to become a good researcher.

My conclusion is that a strong program (coursework, advisors, environment) is a far more critical success factor than a strong school brand.


Brand does matter in that there is a strong correlation to the quality of faculty, funding, industry partnerships. However, the Ph.D is the students responsibility. The brand will help you get noticed, but if you cannot publish or are too dependent on your advisor for ideas, it will hurt you.

Expect no one to offer you help in the program. I like to think of the Ph.D as starting your own small business. It is your baby. Expect to do everything from cold-calling your customers to picking up the trash. You will need to survive the first two years. In fact, it is very important that the first two years be challenging. It is very difficult to learn anything new once you start your dissertation or go on to a faculty position. You will be expected to take a lion's share of the responsibility of doing research. The faculty and the univ. do provide a formal support system, but they have a thousand other things to worry about.

Remember that even though it is a 4 year program, you really only have 3 years to prepare yourself for the job market. The 4th year is the time you look at your research, your dissertation and ask yourself if you are ready.

Publishing in a top journal is a big IF. You will definitely need the advice and support of your advisor. Its a bold and the right step to take. Many students take an extra year and complete their Ph.D in five years. This allows them to build up a nice portfolio of papers accepted or under review by the time they are ready to go onto the job market. I personally think taking an extra year is a great idea. Its much better to go into the faculty position with a paper or two under your belt. The process of tenure is probably 10 times as difficult.

Finally, definitely try to work with a well known professor in the field. Reputation means a lot of academia. Careers are built on it. In some cases, it is possible to work with a professor from another university. But nothing like someone on the inside. The challenge you will run into when working with a genius prof. is that you have to be really at the top of your game to keep them interested.

Its not as dramatic as it may sound. But it definitely is a challenging experience.

Hope this helps
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 [#permalink] New post 12 Mar 2007, 16:13
Just want to add that _everything_ Praetorian has written in those last two posts sounds exactly right from my point of view. The small business analogy is the best one I've heard (much better than those "monk" parallels).
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2007, 12:32
What beautiful points by Praet..

just to update ... out of 9 people in my batch, only 3 plan to finish in 4 years. Rest have decided to to do it in 5 years. I am counting myself in one of those 3 ..

Adding to the reality , is another dose .. Politics in academia. Junior faculty wants to ride on the PhD students, because it gives them more papers and therefore tenure . Senior faculty wants PhD students since they are too busy in administrative work and refreeing others work that they do not get time to do research themselves. Tough choice. One of my batchmates is right now in the crossfire between two faculty members ... ooof !
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 [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2007, 08:25
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I'm in my third year now and am debating whether I should go out to the market next year or not. Of course, my advisor will probably have the ultimate say on this. I'm at a big state school. In my cohort of 13, 11 of us are still with us but I think only 2-3 will finish it in four years. It is definitely becoming more standard to finish in 5-6 years.

I agree with most things that the above postiners said, but I do think the model needs to be changed. 5, or even 6 these days, is becoming too much of a drag for most students, especially for thoseof us married with kids. Most profs wil tell you "Stay an additional year to get a pub". The issue is that there's no guarantee that a pub will arrive in your fifth year, especialy now that the lead time for pubs are getting longer and longer. Plus, at least in my school, teaching requirement becomes heavier after the fourth year (almost comparable to faculty). That's why I'm inclined to try to finish it in four years, but I'll have to fight an uphill battle because the department wants better placement. The question will be... what is the highest ranked school I can get into without a pub by the end of my 3 1/2 yrs...



[quote="Sameer"]What beautiful points by Praet..

just to update ... out of 9 people in my batch, only 3 [b]plan[/b] to finish in 4 years. Rest have decided to to do it in 5 years. I am counting myself in one of those 3 ..

Adding to the reality , is another dose .. Politics in academia. Junior faculty wants to ride on the PhD students, because it gives them more papers and therefore tenure . Senior faculty wants PhD students since they are too busy in administrative work and refreeing others work that they do not get time to do research themselves. Tough choice. One of my batchmates is right now in the crossfire between two faculty members ... ooof ![/quote]
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2007, 20:50
hdp323 wrote:
I agree with most things that the above postiners said, but I do think the model needs to be changed. 5, or even 6 these days, is becoming too much of a drag for most students, especially for thoseof us married with kids. Most profs wil tell you "Stay an additional year to get a pub". The issue is that there's no guarantee that a pub will arrive in your fifth year, especialy now that the lead time for pubs are getting longer and longer. Plus, at least in my school, teaching requirement becomes heavier after the fourth year (almost comparable to faculty). That's why I'm inclined to try to finish it in four years, but I'll have to fight an uphill battle because the department wants better placement. The question will be... what is the highest ranked school I can get into without a pub by the end of my 3 1/2 yrs...

Adding to the reality , is another dose .. Politics in academia. Junior faculty wants to ride on the PhD students, because it gives them more papers and therefore tenure . Senior faculty wants PhD students since they are too busy in administrative work and refreeing others work that they do not get time to do research themselves. Tough choice. One of my batchmates is right now in the crossfire between two faculty members ... ooof !


You raise good points. A reason I've heard frequently (to stay one more year instead of going on the job market in the 3rd or 4th year) is that your job market paper will be better. Publications do matter of course, but I've heard that it's better to have a great job market paper and no publications than a co-authored publication in a good journal and a good, but not great, job market paper. The benefit of waiting one more year would be to improve on that paper rather than try to get something else published. Is it also your impression?

I agree completely with your politics argument, and I'd add that part of the problem is that faculty/advisers have _no_ incentive to make Ph.D students finish early. Except for some financial considerations that concern the school but not the faculty member (e.g. stipends that run into the 5th or 6th years at some places), it only makes sense for a faculty member to get whatever help they can from a good student, at the same time helping those students get better at research in the hope of landing a better placement; this assumes faculty advisers have an incentive to send their students to as good a school as possible, which I don't think is a financial incentive so much as a reputational incentive.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2007, 22:40
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Can a paper that is co-authored by the PhD student and a Faculty member be considered as part of the student's dissertation? Or part of the job market paper?

Assume that the PhD student is the main contributor of the co-authored paper.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2007, 22:54
tkkoh wrote:
Can a paper that is co-authored by the PhD student and a Faculty member be considered as part of the student's dissertation? Or part of the job market paper?

Assume that the PhD student is the main contributor of the co-authored paper.


Yes.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2007, 23:03
cabro57 wrote:
hdp323 wrote:
I agree with most things that the above postiners said, but I do think the model needs to be changed. 5, or even 6 these days, is becoming too much of a drag for most students, especially for thoseof us married with kids. Most profs wil tell you "Stay an additional year to get a pub". The issue is that there's no guarantee that a pub will arrive in your fifth year, especialy now that the lead time for pubs are getting longer and longer. Plus, at least in my school, teaching requirement becomes heavier after the fourth year (almost comparable to faculty). That's why I'm inclined to try to finish it in four years, but I'll have to fight an uphill battle because the department wants better placement. The question will be... what is the highest ranked school I can get into without a pub by the end of my 3 1/2 yrs...

Adding to the reality , is another dose .. Politics in academia. Junior faculty wants to ride on the PhD students, because it gives them more papers and therefore tenure . Senior faculty wants PhD students since they are too busy in administrative work and refreeing others work that they do not get time to do research themselves. Tough choice. One of my batchmates is right now in the crossfire between two faculty members ... ooof !


You raise good points. A reason I've heard frequently (to stay one more year instead of going on the job market in the 3rd or 4th year) is that your job market paper will be better. Publications do matter of course, but I've heard that it's better to have a great job market paper and no publications than a co-authored publication in a good journal and a good, but not great, job market paper. The benefit of waiting one more year would be to improve on that paper rather than try to get something else published. Is it also your impression?

I agree completely with your politics argument, and I'd add that part of the problem is that faculty/advisers have _no_ incentive to make Ph.D students finish early. Except for some financial considerations that concern the school but not the faculty member (e.g. stipends that run into the 5th or 6th years at some places), it only makes sense for a faculty member to get whatever help they can from a good student, at the same time helping those students get better at research in the hope of landing a better placement; this assumes faculty advisers have an incentive to send their students to as good a school as possible, which I don't think is a financial incentive so much as a reputational incentive.


Good points cabro57.

To add to cabro57's post, I would use the fifth year to look beyond my dissertation. You will never have as much time for research as you have now.

Unless you have very severe financial constraints or department constraints, take every opportunity to build up an collection of papers even before you step foot in your new job as faculty. Once in your new job, use your first year as faculty to send out as many of those papers out for review as possible.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Dec 2007, 09:35
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cabro57 wrote:
Publications do matter of course, but I've heard that it's better to have a great job market paper and no publications than a co-authored publication in a good journal and a good, but not great, job market paper. The benefit of waiting one more year would be to improve on that paper rather than try to get something else published. Is it also your impression?

My answer:
No, that is not my impression. I think most faculty members in the hiring committee look at the CV/research statements before they read the job paper. One's very lucky if his/her job market paper is read by the hiring committee. A good job market paper can be a differentiating factor once the candidate becomes more serious. However, to go through that first screening round, one needs 1) publication, and/or 2) good recommendation letter from well-known faculty members (the importance of rec letters really depends on thw level of school one's applying to). Unless one has either or both, he/she's out of luck since his/her job market paper will not be read.
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Re: Information on Phd lifestyles...? [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2008, 11:07
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