T Nation

New to Grad School

I’m a new Masters student in a research based engineering program and am very new to the experience, as such I don’t really know much aobut the process.

When do you actually start your research? and when do you start your thesis? By the way I have 4 courses to take over my 2 years here in addition to my research, I am taking 2 this term.

If anyone could give me some kind of timeline that would be great, (I will feel retarded if I have to ask my supervisor this, he has yet to mention any research yet, just courses, and this is the 2nd week I’ve been here).


I just started my PhD, and I know exactly where you’re coming from. My suggestion is to talk to the secretaries. They know EVERYTHING. It’s pretty much impossible for anyone outside of your program to give you any specifics, since culture (and, therefore expectations) can vary wildly between different areas in the same department, not to mention between universities.

Talk to your supervisor…that’s what they are there for.

If you have a topic selected for your research sit down with your supervisor and determine a timeline. If you don’t have a topic selected just yet, still talk to your supervisor, select a topic and write out a timeline.

In the timeline try estimate when you’ll have a literary search finished, when to start procurring equipment (if needed), when you hope to actually start experimenting, and when class work is finished. Alot of this stuff will overlap.

The actual writing of your thesis wont begin until you’re nearing completion of experiments or after they are complete.

And try to have regular meetings with your supervisor.

Hope that helps!

My suggestion is to talk to the secretaries. They know EVERYTHING.

TRUTH! admin. assistants and secretaries hold a wealth of knowledge. not sure i could’ve finished my master’s program without them.