What to do in your first year of PhD. in an American University?

These pieces of advice are a part of a workshop held in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville as part of the orientation for new graduate students at 8-8-2016:

1- Get the department handbook.

2- Develop an annual calendar for your work to do towards graduation.

3- apply for financial assistance (ex. women and minorities website is www.sreb.com).

4- Choose your program of study (in case that there are many options).

5- Transfer credit from other universities or courses.

6- Apply for an assistantship (Graduate Research Assistant GRA or Graduate Teaching Assistant GTA).

Note: Try to avoid GTA in your first year.

7- Try to know the professional journals in your field (and advisor’s preferences).

8- Choose an Advisor (if you did not already have one).

9- “Come to the 21st century“, how? we will see 🙂

  • Networking is magical to your career.

  • check these secrets for success (here).


For more information about how to apply to USA universities, visit this link (here, in Arabic)

general notes:

  • the most time-consuming chapter in your dissertation is chapter-2 (the literature review) or (the related work).

  • look for proposals about recent trends or grants before selecting your topic.

  • try to have self-efficacy which means that you should believe in yourself and your capability to succeed.

Hope these bits of advice are useful for you.

Best Regards.

Mustafa S. Aljumaily

PhD student in EECS

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

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