Graduate School is notoriously stressful. Here are some ideas and resources available to you so that your grad school experience is broadly rewarding.
- Be part of the Community. There may be a tendency for grad students to withdraw into coursework and research at the expense of other areas of life, especially if you are here without family. Fortunately our department has seen classes do activities together, in a balanced way. Also, there are opportunities to take part in the many activities in Salt Lake City. To start, try the Physics Astronomy Graduate Student Advisory Committee. They may provide excellent ideas. (You may become an active member!):
- Health issues. For most of us, access to health care requires health insurance. Fortunately you can get subsidized health insurance through a program administered by the Graduate School. Another important resource is the Student Health Center, where you can receive a variety of services including vaccines, diagnostic testing/screening, and counseling.
- Stress management counseling. If you need help with stress, anxiety, depression or mood swings, or if you and your partner could benefit from talking together with a counselor, then call or visit the Counseling Center. The services are comprehensive, excellent and extremely inexpensive. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for all University students and employees.
- Substance Abuse. There are many resources available to help with addiction and alcoholism. The Student Wellness Center provides some on-line links, and both the Student Health Center and Counseling Center can help more directly.
- Use all available resources. On-campus providers can guide you to more comprehensive treatment and recovery services off-campus.
Links to Campus Health Wellness Resources
Department Ombuds Committee
BEYOND CLASSES: OTHER EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
You will start off taking courses, but it is important to explore other education possibilities as well. One practical reason is that the tuition benefits program is generous, but it does limit your time here, it is best to find a research project quickly. You will want to get as much information as you can about your options. Take part in the Graduate Student Symposium, the Condensed Matter Seminars, the BOWTIE seminar (astronomy/astrophysics), and especially the Department Colloquium to learn about your research possibilities. (Note: You may be required to attend the Colloquium.) Talk with other graduate students. Do not limit yourself to the Department; there are research groups in Scientific Computing Institute and the Department of Radiology, for example, in which our students have worked.
Another avenue is that of attending conferences. Often you will participate in professional meetings with your advisor, but do not wait for an invitation. Often meeting organizers can provide some travel money for graduate students. If you are well into your research, definitely present a poster or (better) give a talk. Just for example, some good (sometimes) local meetings include:
HOW TO WRITE A THESIS, GET FUNDING, MORE
This section lists some websites that may contain useful information for you. However, first you must get on-line. As a graduate student, you will be given an account on our Department's computer system. We have terminals available for use in all of our campus buildings (INSCC, JFB, SP). To apply for an account, ask at the Physics Astronomy front desk.
Graduate School University sites that you should know about
Your Rights Responsibilities
External Funding Opportunities For Grad School
How To Write A Thesis
Dissertation Bootcamp was started in 2010 and the demand is extraordinarily high. Check it out, and sign up. It is a great idea.
(The CTLE is excellent in its own right.)
Find a job in Physics or Astronomy
AAS's Job Register for astro-ph
The APS's physics careers page
High Performance Computing job bank
PhDs.org's jobs resources
ZipRecruiter for physics
ZipRecruiter for astronomy
Physics grad salary page
Every (+/-) astronomy and astrophysics faculty member got a position here in Utah through the AAS Job Register. Every (+/-) physics faculty member found his/her position here through APS's Physics Today.
THINGS TO DO FOR FUN
Salt Lake City, Utah, and the University of Utah in particular offer many opportunities for enjoying breaks from your studies. Word-of-mouth is a good way to find fun things to do. The University always has interesting events as well: U of U events calendar Meanwhile, for your amusement only, here is a to-do list while you are in Salt Lake City. (The Department's virtual legal squad has not approved of all of these items. They do not constitute an endorsement of any kind. This list is NOT an implicit recommendation that you should ever be away from your lab bench or computer workstation.)
- Look at stars from the South Physics Observatory
- Go to a play at the Pioneer Theatre
- Volunteer as a science fair judge
- Swim in the Great Salt Lake.
- See a concert at Kingsbury Hall
- BORSCH (Bike, Overnight [camp], Run, Ski, Climb, Hike); we are less than a half-day's drive from Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands, Arches, Capitol Reef…
- Check out the Sundance Film Festival
- Take a Gallery Stroll downtown (third Friday of each month, 6pm)
- Go to one of over 15 Farmers Markets during the late spring to early fall.
- Do something cool and have the DoGS add it to this list!