In the spirit of the holidays, I've gone ahead and provided you with a gift -- a list of the top five graduate school blogs! I chose the blogs based on their relevance to the graduate school experience, the consistency with which they are updated, and how broad an audience the subject matter can reach (i.e. not a blog for a specific school). I'd love to hear your comments about these blogs and suggestions for other blogs that you think are worthy of making the list. Let's check out the top five graduate school blogs, in no particular order:
- Creative Writing MFA Blog - This blog has updated posts several times a week, and the content includes general advice for both current and potential MFA students, as well as information on the rankings of different MFA programs at various institutions. There is also a regular "mailbag" feature where readers can post about their experiences applying to MFA programs and share relevant information about writing and graduate school. A regular contributor to this blog is Tom Kealey, author of The Creative Writing MFA Handbook.
- AMS Graduate Student Blog - If you are a math graduate student, or you intend to be, then this is the blog for you. The blog has a graduate student editorial board with members from nine different institutions across the country, and it is run in cooperation with the American Mathematical Society. The posts are updated regularly, the archives go back to February 2009 (right around when GradShare was born!), and the content is diverse. There are posts on everything from advice on picking the right graduate school, to how you can use mathematics to give back to society. They say it themselves, this is a blog "by and for math grad students."
- Dispatches From Grad School - So this one is a little different, it's more of a "blog within a blog." This blog series about grad school life is featured on The Way of Improvement Leads Home, a blog tied to a 2008 best selling non-fiction book by the same title. Dispatches from Grad School is authored by Cali Pitchell McCullough, a Ph.D. student in American history at Arizona State University. So far the blog has eleven installments, and Cali does a great job sharing her graduate school experiences -- touching on topics like trying to balance work and grad school, the importance of the student faculty relationship, her everyday life trying to manage family and academia, and insights into the world of a history grad student. It's easy to relate to Cali through her personal yet informative posts, and she includes some nice photographs too!
- Benchfly Blog - This blog is a feature on the Benchfly website, aimed mainly at life sciences grad students. Although it is targeted at a specific audience, the content covers a variety of topics relevant to life sciences students as well as general grad school life. In addition, there is a question and answer segment where Dora Farkas, who also guest blogs for GradShare, takes questions from readers and provides great advice to help them be more successful in graduate school. The content is updated very consistently, and the page design is aesthetically pleasing and functional.
- Adventures in Gradland - Of all the blogs on this list, this blog covers the widest variety of topics -- in the sense that some of the posts have nothing to do with grad school. Yet, others are specifically about grad school life. The value in this blog is that whether the posts are about the LA based author's interest in Japanese culture or about getting a Ph.D. in humanities, it is all written from the perspective of a grad student. Let's face it, life goes on outside of grad school and grad students are just as much a part of that life as anyone else (when they have they time). So if you want to read a fellow grad student blogging about Julian Assange one month, and then alternatives to academic careers the next month, this is your type of blog.
There you have it folks, those are my top five graduate school blogs. I would like to commend everyone that contributes to the blogs on this list. I've linked to posts from many of these blogs on GradShare 360, so thanks for providing valuable content relevant to the graduate school community. Keep up the great work!
Did I miss any cool blogs? Was my list completely awful? Did you find it helpful? Leave a comment and let me know!
Lady Gaga recently applied to be a professor at an esteemed fashion institute. I guess she plans on teaching youngsters how to dress exactly like Madonna and Grace Jones while pretending to be original and edgy. Zing! Let's check out some grad school news:
- Ever get the feeling that grad school is suddenly meaningless? You're not the only one who has doubts, fortunately there are places to find advice.
- Maybe you shouldn't be worried, maybe it's not you, maybe grad school made you stupid. Is it possible?
- You're not stupid, everyone around you is just speaking in academese. Sounding smart never seemed so dumb.
- Check out this entertaining blog about a seasoned adult heading back to graduate school. Sometimes finding the humor in things helps.
Charles Vandegriffe isn't your typical 80 year old -- he is about to receive his undergraduate degree this month from Southeast Missouri State University. Some of you may be conjuring up images of Rodney Dangerfield or Blue from the movie Old School, but Charles is a serious student that plans on going to grad school for his master's in religious studies! I guess he proves that it's never too late to go back to school. Congrats Charles. Let's check out some other grad school news:
- Inside Higher Ed recently had an article entitled What Makes Graduate Students Happy? The article cited a discussion from the recent CGS Meeting in DC. I attended this session in person, and the article does a great job of covering what was shared and elaborating on the topic.
- I stumbled across the link to this gem on Twitter, and it's a wealth of information -- a computer science graduate school survival guide.
- Wanna see something cool? Check out this motion sensored kinect-copter invented by a University of California Berkeley graduate student. The video at the bottom of the page is impressive.
- Ph.D Comics wants to know how much [grad] school spirit do you really have? As they put it, you can "test your devotion to your adopted alma mater!"
- In case you haven't heard, the GRE is changing, and Kaplan can tell you all about it.