What do professors expect from grad students?
What do professors expect from grad students?

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In our newest “how can we help you?” thread, a reader writes:

The DailyNous posted about a hidden syllabus and asked grad students to say in what ways their behaviors differed from what professors actually expected. That assumes that we know what professors expect, but at least in my program there aren’t really clearly stated expectations except boilerplate requirements. I would like to know what professors in fact expect from grad students, and also what type of things they looked out for in writing recommendation letters.

Interesting query (the Daily Nous post is here). Another reader submitted the following reply:

Clearly, the most important things to comment on are your research – ideally, your published research, for then your letter writer does not look like a bozo who is just supporting his student (even with lies), and teaching. That is what hiring departments want to know about. And evidence based remarks are really what are wanted – “she is a great teacher”, means less than reporting on her evaluations or classroom observations of her teaching. But softer things might include evidence of their involvement in a department – do they attend and participate in colloquia? I went to a lower ranked program, and everyone of the people from my programme who ended up with a decent career was actively involved in the life of the department.

It would be great to hear from other faculty who work in grad programs: what do you expect from grad students in your program, and what types of things do you look for in writing recommendation letters?

Originally appeared on The Philosophers’ Cocoon Read More

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