PHD Comics

phdPHD (Piled Higher and Deeper) Comics is a webcomic by Jorge Cham that highlights the humor, inanities and difficulties found in grad school. While the main character’s major isn’t specified, it is definitely implied to be a science that involves lots of equations and experiments that fail on a regular basis. He has a major professor that either ignores him or offers unhelpful suggestions, and he’s not sure he’s ever going to graduate (which is true of all of his friends in the strip as well).

I will admit to feeling a particular fondness to this comic because I’ve experienced so many of the situations depicted. I have a Masters in Fisheries, so I was a grad student for several years, and I’ve had to go through the pain of finding grants, doing my major professor’s work for him, and trying to make my data more interesting than it actually was. Looking back on it, there’s a lot of humor, which Jorge mines to great effect. For example, my latest favorite strips were a grad school/Les Miserable crossover, where he wrote a grad school version of I Dreamed a Dream (found here), Master of the Lab (found here), On My Own (found here), and One Year More (found here). Occasionally, he’ll provide a Ph.Detour which is a video that shows science in action (like the one on the Mars Curiosity Rover found here).

If you’ve ever been to grad school, particularly in the sciences, you’ll love the comic. Start at the “New to PHD?” page and see if it makes you laugh, even if it is a bit ruefully.

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