Students Share an Appetite for Demystifying Grad School

The third annual Demystifying Graduate School Dinner welcomed 69 undergraduate students, including over 40 L&S Honors students, to the Pyle Center on Tuesday, March 5. This event, which is designed for first- and second-year L&S students participating in high-impact practice programs throughout the College, provided an opportunity to learn about what graduate school is and what life can be like in various programs. Attendees also gain a better understanding of what you can do as an undergraduate student to determine whether graduate study might be a good path for you.

Undergraduate attendees heard from current graduate students from 15 different UW Masters and PhD programs, representing diverse disciplines and specific fields such as art history, clinical rehabilitation counseling, economics, and information science. Graduate panelists were nominated and selected based on their engagement with undergraduate students and their accomplishments within the university. The panelists generously shared their lived experiences, perspectives, and advice with curious undergraduate students.

Following a buffet dinner and opening remarks from graduate students, the majority of the event was dedicated to small group or individual conversations driven by student questions. Undergraduate attendees shared that they learned about differences between undergrad and graduate school, graduate school funding, academic terminology (like “ABD,” All But Dissertation), the value of undergraduate research experience, and more. One participant shared, “I learned that there are a lot of paths to take to get into and through grad school. I also was able to hear about lots of different and specific experiences that I found useful.”

This event is co-hosted by several High-Impact Practice Programs within the College of Letters & Science and funded by the William Cronon Fund for Pathways to Excellence. Many thanks to the planning committee, L&S Student Academic Affairs, and our graduate student representatives!

Planning Committee: Andrea Boulanger, Mae Edwards, Christine Evans, Virginia Lee, Kim Lowe, Andrea Samz-Pustol, Diana Tapia Ramon

Photo credit: Andrea Samz-Pustol

Some of the graduate student representatives get to know each before speaking with undergraduate students at the 2024 Demystifying Graduate School Dinner
A panel of graduate students representing different types of graduate programs share their experiences and advice about graduate study
Master’s student Marian Azeem-Angel (Environment and Resources) connects with undergraduate students at the 2024 Demystifying Graduate School Dinner
PhD Candidate Nicholas Corrado (Mathematics) and undergraduate L&S students listen as a student poses a question about graduate study
An undergraduate Honors student speaks with PhD candidate Brendan Dowling (Chinese linguistics)
Master’s student Amy (Shih-Man) Wang (Information Science) answers student questions during the 2024 Demystifying Graduate School Dinner