As of last August, I am officially a PhD Candidate1.
The bulk of my (non-work) time since I presented my prelim to my committee2 in August has been spent working on what grad school folks refer to as the dissertation proposal.3 I completed this last month and am set to defend4 it in a few weeks. In the meantime, since I can’t actually start working on my research until my proposal is approved AND I receive approval from the IRB5, I figured I’d try to squeeze out a few blog posts. Since this PhD thing is what’s been consuming a significant amount of my time, that seems like the most relevant thing to post about at the moment.
In the interest of keeping me on track for a while with my blogging, I figured I’d put together a simple series of short posts with some advice and experiences that may prove useful if you are an educational leader considering embarking on a PhD program. I have no idea how many installments I’ll come up with, but feel free to ask any questions that you have as well.
Every school is different, but since I have been contacted by a few fellow educational leaders on the Twitter asking about the PhD program, I figured I’d hit the highlights. I can speak only from my own experience as someone who is nearing the end of his program so YMMV.
Expect the first installment tomorrow. I promise.
- This is higher-edu-speak for “someone who has taken all of the classes that he or she can possibly take and passed his or her preliminary exam and now has no excuse not to sit down and write that darn dissertation he or she has been pretending doesn’t exist.” [↩]
- Yes, you get your very own committee. At CSU, you are mostly free to choose your own committee. There have to be at least four members. More on that later. [↩]
- Essentially, you write a plan of what you will do for your dissertation. More on that later. [↩]
- The word “defense” sounds a bit intimidating, right? Again, it’s higher-edu-speak for what basically amounts to a meeting with your committee in which you lay out your plan for your study. [↩]
- The “IRB” is the Institutional Review Board. Their job is to make sure that any research conducted using human subjects is done ethically and with minimal risk to the participants. [↩]