Saturday, October 09, 2004

Grad School and Grades

People have been talking about preparing graduate students for success both in and after their program. Wow, in some ways I feel like I'm from a different world.

I was sort of following along with the conversations and mentally modifying things for disciplinary differences. And then Dr. Karen commented "these are also the fac members who GIVE NEARLY ALL As in their grad courses (WTF??)." And here I'm thinking WTF? Classes came in precisely two varieties: Qual classes had written work and exams, were pretty much continuation of the undergraduate major, and had somewhat meaningful grades (but it was impossible to get lower than a C). Everything else typically had no written work and no exams and no assessments at all. Grades in the latter were almost exclusively As. And so it was normal for a slacker grad student of no particular skill to routinely get grades like this after the first year:

Are grad students in your field actually expected to do something in upper level classes?