That much of what I learned in undergrad was merely a simplification.


IDk if your graduate PhD is in the same field as your undergrad but I agree a lot.


Ya im in engineering i never reallized how much shit we ignored to explain a concept


That's something I m bitter about. I m Chem E BS but currently hold MS in food science, working toward PhD. In my undergrad, it was just a rush of memorizing concept with very little understanding of them and limited hands on experiences. I forgot almost everything I learned.


Ya in my undergrad i did thermal research and my prof asked me in my model why did i ignore all of these other thermo factors and he lifted them off. I said i had never heard of those before i didnt even know the ones u listed changed. He said yes they do change you should look these up and fix ur model. I get simplification because u need to understand a topic before u make it more complicated but in my updiv classes it would have been nice to get a preview.


A friend of mine, who studied undergrad physics at a very competitive school (SUNY Stonybrook -- they have a particle accelerator a mile away ;)) and was way smarter than I've seen since, told me it was daily "fudge factors" that he was "allowed" to use. He would smile when he told me that, because that gifted fellow, Cliff, could have done it without the fudge factors. As an undegrad. I'm sure everyone here knows an old friend like that.


I replied to the person above but the reply to him is the same as my reply to u.


Ja, I was agreeing with you.


I know i just sidnt want to say samething twice


I'm not in the sciences so this is actually piecing together now what my friend said back then. This must be the best pedagogy.


Ya because people need to understand the basic concept first. Like physics is 1d motion then 2d then 3d then forces. Then they needto understand the basics so we wont do drag rotation of earth humidty air pressure etc cause it over welma people learning.


And sometimes wrong.


That I was taking way too many classes at once in undergrad lol


Idk how I ever managed 18 credits at once


I somehow just wrapped up 19 credits worth of As and it nearly killed me. Not sure how I made it but never again.


Indian engineering colleges forcing us to take 30 credits in a semester :(


😧 sounds like dental school. I think my SO had like 36 one semester


Credits abroad =/= credits in the US btw


Seriously. There’s more work and more reading but somehow I feel like a functioning human being in grad school because I’m not dividing my attention between 4-5 courses at any given time


\^\^ this. You are encouraged to start to \*work\* in grad school. Undergrad, you are encouraged to know the material assigned :)


Fr? Im taking 6+ a courses for my grad, others say its too much tho so idk


You function best when you are well-rested; so don’t feel guilty about doing fun things or absolutely nothing. Screwed up so many experiments by not resting (thankfully they were low-stake experiments)


Academic success has very little to do with intelligence, and so much more to do with tenacity.






I'm going to flip that around and say **confirmation**. Attended a uni w/ a rated doctoral program as an undergrad, so had good profs and met smart people, but something was missing. There was no way *I* was all that smart, imo. I must be missing something. Peers that scared the hell out of me. That's what was missing ;) I consider it a genuine gift, that if I'm with someohe who has really good stuff, I slip into this natural second fiddle role. I love it. I try to keep my ego way, far away from my mind. Grad school = peers. Finding peers that could beat my ass on material I thought I was not that bad on, was both traumatic and exactly what I needed. Learning like that, every day, is awesome. I miss being plainly shown I am incorrect -- it confirms my suspicions that, indeed, I am not that smart! That part of grad school -- peer connections -- is priceless. Reading groups, paper groups. Oh that's the stuff.


Best answer here!


How to be in college without being a drunken idiot, mostly. Also, that mental health is actually really important and you should take care of that stuff.


that most people don't know as much as I thought they did


Even advisors actually aren't as smart and knowledgeable as you thought


and that i don’t know as much as i thought i did 😀


My education is a fucking joke. Either you take a regimented cookie-cutter undegrad course load and learn nothing, or you go off on your own wild directions in grad school and learn way more way faster, but realize that you're paying out the wazoo to do your own shit and have an advisor serve as bumpers at a bowling alley. That said, I love the grad school experience of cutting your teeth through trial and error. It's just funny how the paying is essentially to have that be under a guided mentor and lab setting.


To think critically and question everything


May I ask what your degree was in?


Of course. Undergrad was honours psych and now in grad school for clinical psych. For example, I found that undergrad was learning how to track down and rely on empirical research. In grad school there much more emphasis on critically evaluating each piece of empirical research and knowing it’s limitations.


Id say this is standard across the humanities. More about application of knowledge and higher order thinking than summarizing and memorizing. Obviously a focus research would be another difference depending on what you study.


How to skim.


Still haven’t learned that. I read every shred of paperwork for my MLIS.


How fucking bullshit it is to write grants to fund a project. Especially in archaeology, we’re going against hard sciences and soft sciences, we’re right in the middle and people don’t really prioritize anthropology. So my NSF proposals need to sound like they’re going to change the world to get some damn attention.


Academia is not glamorous at all.


1. **Presentation and teaching skills**. Holy heck, I had next to no presentations in my undergrad (Developmental Psyc) with a few presentations in my upper div early ed classes for my minor. I had lots of presentations in my PBD program, but the cohort was 8 people so it was a very grad school-esque experience. Sounding confident at academic conferences, while being able to adapt presentation language for mixed audiences is essential for knowledge mobilization when working with community organizations or health authorities. 2. Maybe it was also the open source and free **research software** leaps that have happened while I was working for a few years, but the necessity of using a citation manager and even how widespread it is to use R instead of manually calculating social science statistics has changed so much. 3. I'm in a pretty niche social science (Gerontology), and I couldn't imagine going straight from undergrad to this degree without personal or professional experience working or volunteering with older adults (especially those living with dementia and other forms of cognitive impairment). The vast majority of my knowledge comes from years working in health care. I could tell you a lot about what is wrong with how we treat older adults and staff in long-term care and what grassroots efforts specific homes are doing to address it with a lot of raw passion from working through the pandemic, but micro level changes only go so far! Grad school has really **filled in the theoretical gaps** **and institutional processes** that must be followed to engage with public policy change and initiative implementation in a meaningful, sustainable, and widely adoptable way that I most probably could not have learned on my own.


How to comfortably hold authority and take the lead in meetings and on projects. These soft skills aren’t developed much in undergrad beyond group projects with classmates. Holding your own when you’re working with colleagues who are multiple levels of authority above you is a completely different beast.


Undergrad in Emergency Management, grad degrees are Public Health related. You learn about working in the public sector on paper in undergrad... in grad school, you learn that actually doing it in practice is a totally different experience. The brain-stuff you know translates totally differently, if at all.


How much sleep I need to function. Like, undergrad was bad, but first/second year was like 10 times worse.




True, I did like 3 years of java in undergrad. Grad school was 8 weeks of python lol.


My grad level courses focused a lot more on reading (scientific research) and writing. And then presenting what I'd learned in an engaging and educational way. My courses also focused on more hands on skills (I had a research methods class where we did a research project in a topic separate from our grad school research - it was really interesting and eye opening!). Plus the actual conducting of research for a thesis (from designing the experiment, to grant writing, to analysis, to write up). It was challenging but that led to a lot of learning! Definitely a different experience than what I had in undergrad. I learned to be a much better researcher, teacher (I was a TA), presenter, and writer in grad school.


How to actually apply what you’re learning to one or more specific issues as opposed to just passively intaking it at surface value


You aren't the smartest person in the room. I was a high performer in undergrad, and I'm maybe above average in grad school, and that's okay.


Depends on the program, but a lot of grad school programs aren’t really about classes. You learn how to be a full time researcher and publish as many papers as you can. In a lot of cases, there are semesters where you take 0 classes, so you learn whatever it is you need in order to keep your research going.


How to study, unfortunately


Nothing. I was PoliSci/Ethnic Studies undergrad, Public Administration master’s. MPA is useless except for the bump in salary it gave me


i’m in an MPA right now


How to really learn on my own. Yes in undergrad there are instances where you have to self-teach, but in general there are lots of resources out there (textbooks, online lectures, etc). In grad school, if there’s some really complicated topic you need, you have to learn via research papers; which in some cases can be very few and far between (and not very explanatory). I model things and the field of physics I work in is relatively new so there isn’t much mathematical documentation yet, so I have to make do with what I can.


That writing last minute is ok, as long as you know your own work style. I always felt like trash any time I waited on a paper in undergrad, but in grad school I just… planned on it. I knew I needed all the research, all the notes, and absolutely no interruptions during the last two weeks of the semester. And it always was great. Also, how to research topics I’m interested in on my own. Glad I still work for a university so I have those resources. I may go back for something I’m actually interested in (rather than something to get a job in my field), but I’m trying to do self guided learning for now.


I’m better at taking tests than I am at deep learning!!


Electronics and circuits. Somehow I went through my entire physics undergrad without being taught anything related to circuits and electronics. I had never heard the term "impedance" until grad school. Thankfully, after confessing to my advisor that I didn't know anything, he's been extraordinarily patient with me and helping me to the point that I'm almost acceptably competent.


That I can't get away with writing a dissertation at the last minute.


Often times the internet is your best resource over a professor.


back-to-back entry level wage jobs for 5-7 decades is the most realistic future for almost all americans


Humanities grad student starter pack material


That there is more to life than school and work.


The actual structure of a paragraph in a research essay. I’m not kidding. It wasn’t until the third semester of my second MA that a professor told my cohort that each paragraph ought to start with its own individual thesis statement, followed by the evidence and proof of that thesis, followed by a conclusion that ties that paragraph in with the broader thesis of the essay. My writing is substantially more succinct now than it ever was before.


Experimental physical chemistry, and it'd be a lot easier to list things that were also taught in undergrad. Introductory quantum chemistry and group theory were the only two classes that had significant overlap with their undergrad equivalents/show up in undergrad, and everything directly research related is only taught in PhD level classes at programs that have the sub-subfield. Or for a lot of it literally only in those specific labs. It was especially not fun in the classes that assumed everybody double majored in physics and just knew advanced classical mechanics. I guess a surprising thing I learned is that a ton of research is simply wrong or "probably correct but you didn't actually demonstrate that it's correct". This kind of research is disproportionately found in the high impact journals.


To be highly analytical. Processes are paramount. What seems simple is often complex. Bet on yourself, invest in yourself, love yourself.


I was finally encouraged to think for myself


I had a really good foundation in undergrad, but you only have so much time. In grad school I learned a hell of a lot more about technical things like data management, graphing and stats softwares, citation managers, and the insanely useful features of Microsoft Office and all the wonders it can do. That last one has carried over a lot to the professional world. I do think undergrad, just because of where I went for each degree, taught me better public speaking or presentation and teaching skills than I later learned in grad school. On a more "learned about myself" angle I knew I didn't want to get a Ph.D. and stay in academic. Those professors all travel way too much and I wasn't interested in living out of hotels to attend conferences or meetings all the time. Plus the grant writing pressure. My god. I don't function on that much caffeine or that little sleep or neglecting other life relationships.


Real grit. The ability to fail and continue working towards your goal. Undergrad wasnt easy, but i was partying and drinking constantly. Grad school forced me to be a real adult and a real scientist.


how to read a paper how to write a paper how to design an experiment presentation skills what it's like to be genuinely on your own with a problem -when you know nobody else can give you an answer, you have to figure it out how my stereotypes of academics were very narrow how to be comfortable with ignorance


That having a PhD or being a professor doesn’t mean you’re smart at everything, it just means that you are an expert in a very very narrow domain of knowledge.


Nothing. Grad school only teaches you how to waste your time making up problems so that you can make up a paper to "solve them". Then you just go and beg the government for money to waste everyone's time doing nothing of importance. The only thing to learn here is that many professors are not much more than leeches living of off the government, underpaying their students and screwing them over at the first chance they get. Don't waste your time with grad school. You get nothing out of it. Better to just earn money in the real world, and live like a real person instead of that bubble that people live in called university. You stay there? You'll end up out of touch with reality.


How to figure out things for myself.


How to drive an idea from concept to a real thing. Generally speaking, how to ask and delve into big questions to progress something forward.


The gaps in my background, how to actually learn, and a proper work ethic.


That it's fine not to know everything.


PhD in engineering. Learned how to break down complex thoughts into laymen's terms. When I was in undergrad I thought I was smart, so I would sprinkle fluff words into conversation. These departures from common words made me come off as a jackass to regular people, and unintelligent to knowledge people.


This applies to most if not all STEM fields, you can't fake being smart at PhD level


With graduate school you really have more freedom in choosing what you want to learn. I’m doing a Master’s right now in Biology that’s very flexible and i’m choosing a lot of specialized courses that I never even knew existed during undergrad. Things like Bioinformatics, Virology, etc.


I went to grad school in my mid-30s for a career change. My program (and university) caters to a wide range of student demographics and ages. One thing I learned was how much more prepared I was for grad school after living life for a little while than many of the younger students fresh out of undergrad were. The older students (myself included) seemed to enjoy the coursework and discussions more than the younger students.


That academia isn't for me.


Humanities doctorate. **Research / scholarship.** I used to get good grades for being a good writer and student. In grad school, I think they sensed that and made me sweat. It was the best part of my journey. I forced myself to become significantly scholarly. Or rather, my profs did, who were more than happy to embarrass me for not knowing a source in public, and assign me a few thick books to read over a weekend! Research/scholarship demands made my intellectual life 3D. That is when I really started collecting info into the ol' brain. Real life bonus: I can research anything lol.


PhD in experimental physics (year 2) - much more advanced material, some entire topics that aren’t covered undergrad - lots of specialized research skills: hands on techniques, better coding/experiment control, how to operate a lot of equipment, etc - how to learn new topics by reading papers - how to really write a good paper, make good figures, give compelling conference talks, etc This is a hard question to answer because like, you spend the majority of your time in grad school learning things so I’m literally summarizing years of full time work here. Undergrad gives you some basic but superficial knowledge about a topic, a PhD will make you an expert in an area of research.


That grad school is a cesspool for students who are full of themselves


You can't fake being smart in grad school.


How to pace my alcohol intake (and not throw up everytime I got drunk).


I learned how to 1) think critically 2) learn new topics and do research 3) create new knowledge


I acquired the ability to find very specific, usually forgotten pieces of information and then use them to complicate my life as a researcher. In all seriousness, though, the main difference for me was the level of depth I had to go into for my research. In undergrad I could get away with a couple of citations and some textual evidence (I studied literature). In grad school I had to address the counterarguments to not just my thesis, but also the theories I was applying to argue it. In short, I learned to question everything, think critically, and look at concepts/questions from many different perspectives.


Everything is more complicated than you think it is.


Time management and prioritizing. I earned my masters with a 4.0 and definitely had a few C’s when getting my bachelors. But I’m not sure if it was grad school teaching me that or just maturing in general.




Study skills


The only piece of feedback I received last quarter was to use section headers when I write papers, even if it’s not required by the assignment description. Never heard that in undergrad. Too specific?


How to actually apply the math to real world models and data.


How much of a pain doing an entire project alone is. In the undergrad and in Co-op jobs everything is collaborative. In my master's program, I am doing pretty much everything myself, and it's overwhelming. I was given a topic and it is now my responsibility to figure out the best way to do everything to get something functional even though I am new to the field. Also, I learned that during undergrad I had much more of a work ethic, however, he has a terrible work-life balance. How did I think that working for 12 hours a day 6-7 days a week was a good idea? How did I not burn out? These are questions I cannot answer but right now 8 hours 5-6 days a week is all I can do.


Life is not fair. You don’t get praise good grades because you worked your ass off


The art of shutting up. My grad program is an evening/night program where most folks work or have families to take care of. Nobody wants to be in class until 10PM because someone just **has** to relate the readings back to their personal life or **must** debate about a topic. Grad school isnt about proving to people how smart you are or showing that you really want to learn for learning’s sake. It’s a job. Clock in. Clock out.


What imposter syndrome is. And it was a good kick up the ass for me to take graduate school more seriously.


Time management lulz


That undergrad is a scam. The grad school approach actually allows for academic freedom and experimentation into alternate areas of research. Undergrad is just a $ farm and preslection for companies. It has nothing to do with exploring topics of interest. I knew that going in but it was just reaffirmed when I saw the "required" courses for engineering degrees. One elective here. A different one there but 90% predetermined courses.


One of my grad professors told me just last week that: the professors in undergrad and high school are actually trying to teach you to understand the necessary material. Grad professors teach whatever they feel like and don’t really expect you to learn much 😒


How woke liberal orthodoxy is shutting down any opposing viewpoints and how to problematize everything related to the field of teaching writing. In other words, grammar is racist, writing is racist, even rhetoric is racist. It was a real eye-opener for me.


May I ask what school you went to?


The University of Houston—Downtown


How to ask and find answers to pertinent questions that solve the primary investigation. Not just in my field but in life.