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Everyone needs help sometimes. The best place to get that help is from other people going through your same situation.
Here are some of the most popular online communities for graduate students where you can find some people to connect with.
These sites are full of other people in your exact situation, who struggle with similar issues, and some of them have found really unique and helpful solutions to graduate school student issues. The discussion topics include finding graduate school funding, how to succeed in graduate school entrance interviews, how to write something that can get published, tips for writing a thesis or a dissertation, helpful technology for graduate students, etc.
The Grad Cafe
The Grad Cafe has a forum and a blog devoted to Masters and PhD student issues. The online population is mostly American along with a mix of students from around the world.
The forum is separated into sections:
- The Cafe (city guides, community for international students)
- Applying to Graduate School (all about applications, waiting on a decision, deciding between graduate programs, and finding funding)
- Grad School Life (all the details of starting and completing a graduate program)
- The Menu (coursework specific sections based on the graduate school program)
The forum has more than 200,000 members, so you should be able to connect with another student going through a situation similar to yours fairly easily.
The Student Room – UK
The Student Room is primarily a forum for Britsh graduate school students (did you notice the .uk in the web address?) but there are significant numbers of American, Candian, Australian, Indian and other nationalities represented.
The forum is broken down into several sections:
- TSR Community (includes blogs on topics relevant to graduate students, chat rooms, forum games, etc.)
- Life and Style (advice on relationships, health, food, finance, travel, etc. for graduate school students)
- Entertainment (sports, TV, games, movies, books, etc)
- Debate and Current Affairs (news, politics, religion, history, educational topics, etc.)
- Study Help (help and tips for specific academic disciplines, study and writing tips, etc.)
- University and University Courses (help with grad school applications, writing application essays, finances, advice on courses to take and issues with courses, etc.)
- Universities and HE Colleges (forums for different British universities)
- Careers and Jobs (job application advice, topics on job placement post-graduation, working while in grad school, etc.)
The forum has more than 2,000,000 members, which is ridiculous. It is probably the largest online graduate school student community around.
The Post Grad Forum
The PostGrad Forum is mostly populated by British students, but there are American students and other nationalities that participate. The forum is active and the website includes a blog that covers really specific graduate student problems. The site has separate sections for Masters students and PhD students.
PhinisheD is a smaller graduate student community with about 14,000 members.
An interesting feature in the PhinisheD forum is the Working Boards section. It’s a place where you can post your thesis or dissertation goals and share in the journey with other graduate students. You make pacts with other forum members and hold each other accountable for your progress.