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Noodle Staff
Noodle Expert Member

March 10, 2021

From application to graduation, these books tell you everything you need to know about grad school.

To grad or not to grad? The decision to go to grad school shouldn't be taken lightly and educating yourself about what you're really getting into is crucial for anyone considering grad school (and honestly, if you're over 22 and under 30, chances are you've thought about it). The application process is tough enough, without shelling out a large chunk of change only to realize grad school isn't for you. Check out these books to get a straightforward guide to how grad school works, what to expect, and how to apply, succeed and graduate without losing your sanity!


Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning an M.A. or Ph.D. by Robert Peters.

Hands down the most useful and comprehensive guide to success in graduate school we could dig up. Peters' book has been a classic for over 10 years for a very good reason. His excellent book takes you through every step of the process, from the application to graduation. Some might say it's the grad school bible.


Playing the Game: the Streetsmart Guide to Graduate School by Fredrick Frank, PhD and Karl Stein, PhD.

An irreverent, sassy, and humorous approach to getting into, through, and out of graduate school, by two former researchers and teachers.

Piled Higher and Deeper: A Graduate Student Comic Book Selection by Jorge Cham.

Hilarious cartoons about grad school life, or lack thereof. Be sure to check out the others in his series, adapted from illustrations he did as a graduate student for Stanford University's Stanford Daily Paper.

The Grad School Handbook by Richard Jarrard.

An insider's guide from a former admissions officer provides a well-organized and comprehensive guide to getting in, financing and succeeding in grad school.

Graduate Admissions Essays: Write Your Way into the Graduate School of Your Choice by Donald Asher.

Step-by-step advice on managing the application process, choosing a program, and of course, tackling the admissions essay.