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Expectations for Graduate Students

Many graduate students have additional expectations to fulfill in order to complete their advanced degree successfully. Keep in mind that you must complete a specified number of courses before beginning dissertation work. The courses require a large amount of work including reading and writing assignments, and in many prominent fields at the UR, laboratory or other practical work. Oftentimes, graduate students need to begin studying at the beginning of the term, rather than waiting until later and then studying for one final examination.   

To succeed in graduate studies at the UR, students need to learn how to:

  • Read or skim a large amount of written material, looking for the main points
  • Analyze material from their courses and make their own judgments about what is right or wrong, more or less appropriate, or more or less helpful
  • Synthesize (bring together and combine) material from many sources and produce their own ideas or evaluations
  • Schedule their use of time in order to complete their assignments by the due date
  • Determine whether teachers expect questions or challenges to be raised in class
  • Handle laboratory equipment (in the required courses)
  • Use computers adeptly
  • Complete examinations in a limited amount of time
  • Go to the teacher with questions or problems about a course

New graduate students will find it helpful to discuss these ideas with experienced graduate students in their own academic department or a University representative.

Adapted from: What is expected of Graduate Students in the U.S. (printed pamphlet; no citation details available).