The next time your graduate students complain of overwork, lack of direction, and inadequate funds, show them the study presented by UCLA's Patricia J. Gumport as part of a session on U.S. research universities. The professor of graduate education interviewed dozens of graduate students in physics and history at a "mid-level" university--and discovered that science is Fat City compared to the humanities. Several million dollars in grant money flow in to support physics students, while those in history have to make do with less than $40,000. Aspiring history Ph.D.'s typically take eight years to finish their degrees and work on stipends of about $4,900 for the full year. Physicists pull in $6,000 for a nine-month year (most also have summer stipends), and take an average of six years to get their degrees. History students also complain that they get little or no guidance in researching their theses, and are forced...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?