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Three Magic Letters

Getting to Ph.D.

Michael T. Nettles and Catherine M. Millett

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Drawing on the largest survey of doctoral students ever conducted, Three Magic Letters provides a compelling portrait of the graduate school experience and identifies key issues affecting the success and failure of doctoral students.

Michael T. Nettles and Catherine M. Millett surveyed more than nine thousand students from the top twenty-one doctorate-granting institutions in the United States. Their findings, based on rational analysis of a vast amount of descriptive data, shed light on multiple factors critical to the progression of the doctoral degree, particularly adequate institutional…

Drawing on the largest survey of doctoral students ever conducted, Three Magic Letters provides a compelling portrait of the graduate school experience and identifies key issues affecting the success and failure of doctoral students.

Michael T. Nettles and Catherine M. Millett surveyed more than nine thousand students from the top twenty-one doctorate-granting institutions in the United States. Their findings, based on rational analysis of a vast amount of descriptive data, shed light on multiple factors critical to the progression of the doctoral degree, particularly adequate institutional funding and engaged and accessible faculty mentors.

This comprehensive volume will provide faculty chairs, administrators, and students with information and evidence for assessing their policies, practices, and programs to improve the graduate school experience and the future of the Ph.D.

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Three Magic Letters

Michael T. Nettles and Catherine M. Millett

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Reviews

Reviews

Compelling picture of graduate school life... highlights important factors that contribute to student persistence and success.

The book is impressive for not merely telling you what doctoral students are thinking... but in relating what they are thinking to how they are doing—mentally, financially, socially and professionally.

Quite possibly, Nettles and Millet have produced what will quickly become a seminal piece of scholarship regarding the Ph.D.

The first major study of doctoral education since In Pursuit of the PhD (1992)... the magnitude of this accomplishment cannot be overstated.

This book undoubtedly makes an important contribution to the research literature on doctoral education... It breaks important new ground.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
368
ISBN
9780801882326
Illustration Description
17 line drawings
Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface
Acknowledgments
1. A Map from the Past to the Present
2. Context, Trends, and Conceptual Framework for Research
3. Survey Design and Research Logistics
4. Demographics

List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface
Acknowledgments
1. A Map from the Past to the Present
2. Context, Trends, and Conceptual Framework for Research
3. Survey Design and Research Logistics
4. Demographics of the Sample
5. Admissions and Screening
6. Financing a Doctoral Education
7. Socialization
8. Research Productivity
9. Satisfaction, Performance, and Progress
10. Rate of Progress, Completion, and Time to Degree
11. Predicting Experiences and Performance
12. Interpreting Field Differences
13. Group-Specific Implications
14. The Doctoral Student Experience: New Answers and New Questions
Afterword
Appendix A: Criteria and Broad Major Fields Used in This Study
Appendix B: Social and Academic Outcomes of Doctoral Students in the Biological and Physical Sciences
Appendix C: Survey of Doctoral Student Finances, Experiences, and Achievements
Appendix D: Methodology
Appendix E: Differential Effects of Attendance at Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Appendix F: Predicting Experiences and Performance Regression Tables
Appendix G: Graduate Record Examination Scores: Missing Data and Distributions
References
Index

Author Bios
Featured Contributor

Michael T. Nettles, Ph.D.

Michael T. Nettles is the Senior Vice President for Policy Evaluation and Research at the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey.