Saturday 4 August 2012

Applying for PHD Studies

Any one can correct me if you feel that I am not saying the correct thing.
this is what I always ask my students: why do you need a PHD? unless you want to teach or you want to be a minister? or just to have a self fulfilling prophecy, Then I don’t think there is  a point?

Please don’t take me wrong, PHD is a lonely planet, you have to work at it for 5 years or more , earn basically next to nothing, and at the end you may add new knowledge or not. The acronym after your name is nice, but to get there it’s a heartache.  However if you want I can still do something about it.  prepare a proposal and I can see what you I can do.

PHD admission is a cumbersome process, and we need to be extra careful of how we approach the professor to be able to gain admission.  In general PHD committees meet either once a month, two months or three months, depending on the strength of the university and the number of applications they obtain.  Also choosing the subject has to be specific and matches the research interests of the professor that you are going to write to. 

The proposal need not be long, it has to be comprehensive,  concise and smart, also remember that PHD is like getting married to someone, as you will live day and night with it for at least five years, so you are better off choosing a subject that you have passion for rather than a subject that is relevant in this day and age.  Passion gives you strength to persevere. 

Many universities that are recommended by various scholarship bodies will accept a low GPA.  And also they do not have an intakes other than the one at the beginning of the year, so people wanting to get into a PHD programme have to be very careful when to apply, and if they apply they must have the patience to wait for their acceptances. 

I laugh at times when someone rings me or email me and says that he or she has to get a PHD admission in two weeks! its like I have a magic wand and when I flash it I will get them the admission.  People forget that they have to have so many requirements to be able to enter a top university, as at the end of the day the value of the PHD is only when we introduce new knowledge and we do this in a university that is very strong in the research field.

It is very important to be published, writing is a skill that one needs to master before embarking on any PHD study.  Of course I am not hampering your enthusiasm, if you want a PHD then choose well, and know what you are getting yourself into. 

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