Experiencing graduate school: A comparative analysis of students in geography programs

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Journal Article
Professional Geographer, 2011, 63 (1), pp. 1 - 17
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This article focuses on the role of departmental culture and academic climate in shaping the experiences of master's and doctoral students in geography. Structured logging of experiences at nine geography graduate programs over six months reveals the types of support provided to graduate students; how students cope with emotional, academic, and financial challenges; and ways students become integrated (or not) in department communities. Analysis of log data considers variation by subgroups (gender, citizenship, program type, full- or part-time status, race, and ethnicity). For all students, the findings indicate the importance of unplanned, spontaneous, and other informal events, as well as relationships of a more formal nature with advisors and faculty in the department and beyond. Students also noted the importance of having access to resources, professional development opportunities, and support from peers as factors affecting their sense of progress and belonging in a department community. © 2011 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.
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