Harvard's Office of Career Services

GSAS: Resources for Surviving and Thriving in Graduate School

It is a truth universally acknowledged that graduate school is a long, difficult, often painful experience. Of course, it can also be intellectually and personally rewarding to immerse yourself in your chosen field and create new knowledge. Below is a list of resources designed to help offer advice on the trials and tribulations that are part of the common experience of completing one’s graduate work.


The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences maintains a comprehensive list of resources for GSAS students at Harvard, including:


Chronicle of Higher Education Career Network

Many people think of this site only for its extensive job postings, but there is much more! Explore this site for articles, columns, first-person accounts, recommended books and web sites, covering academic, quasi-academic, and non-academic careers. Recent print issues are also available in the OCS Reference Library.

Re-envisioning the PhD

A project funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts that poses the question, "How can we re-envision the PhD to meet the needs of the society of the 21st Century?" Especially relevant are the resources on obtaining a PhD.

Piled Higher and Deeper

For a disarmingly humorous yet amazingly accurate look at grad student life, check out the archives of this comic strip, and even watch Piled Higher and Deeper—The Movie!


The Chicago Guide to Your Academic Career: A Portable Mentor for Scholars from Graduate School through Tenure

by John A. Goldsmith, John Komlos and Penny Schine Gold. Three professors in different academic environments provide concrete advice to help you navigate successfully through graduate school and the academic profession. Available in the OCS Reading Room.

Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning a Master's or a PhD

by Robert L. Peters. This book could be known as, "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Graduate School, but Were Afraid to Ask." While the first third of the book describes choosing and applying to graduate programs, most of the book is dedicated to advice on making the most of your graduate experience and to professional development prior to the academic job search. Available in the OCS Reading Room.

The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Imposter Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It

By Valerie Young, Ed.D. Virtually every graduate student experiences the "Imposter Syndrome" at some point during, or throughout, graduate school. If you feel like you don't belong at Harvard, like you don't deserve the accomplishments on your CV, or that someday someone will find out that you are a fraud...you are not alone! Believe it or not, most of your fellow grad students are feeling the same way! Please note that this book is for both women and men. Available in the OCS Reading Room.