Graduate Student Guidebook


There's a lot of information that we, as incoming grad students, didn't know and wish we had. This Handbook was put together as an introduction to Tucson, the Department of Planetary Sciences, and grad school in general. Browse through it before you apply to get a flavor of what life here is like; then read it if you decide to join us here. Come back to it as a reference; much of the information will become useful as your graduate career here continues.

If you are a current LPL grad student, use the Grad Wiki (link on left; login required). This has the most up-to-date version of the Guidebook and is also editable (please add tips and tricks you've learned in your time here!)

One thing that's stated throughout the book is the importance of talking to other grad students, both at LPL and in other departments and universities. While the contents of these pages can tell you a lot, it cannot replace the knowledge that others hold through their experiences in grad school. Remember, you are not alone in your quest for your Ph.D. or Master's degree.

As an official-type summary, here is a copy of the Graduate College Catalog Page For Planetary Sciences


The bulk of the text for this handbook was originally created by LPL graduate students in the mid 1990's, and their original acknowledgements are reproduced below. The handbook was stylistically overhauled by David Choi and updated with new information by LPL graduate students circa 2007. Due to the recent curriculum changes, it has been newly updated for the 2013-2014 academic year by the current grad webmaster, Melissa Dykhuis.

Previous Acknowledgments:

First and foremost, the grad students at the Department of Planetary Sciences contributed their ideas, thoughts, criticisms, and proofreadings, and also did a lot of the legwork to gather this information. Thank you everyone! The Lab faculty and staff were extremely helpful and supportive of this project. We especially thank Joan Weinberg, who is a veritable fountain of information. Special thank you's go to Zibi Turtle for getting the ball rolling and Bob Reid and Pete Riley for helping to get this onto the Information Superhighway. Barbara Cohen, Doug Dawson and Ross Beyer also helped maintain and update these pages.

Outside sources of information include: The University of Arizona Graduate Catalog, University and Department promotional fliers, A Newcomers Guide to Tucson, an advertising supplement to the Arizona Daily Star, August 13 1994, and the documents "How to do research at the MIT AI lab," by a whole lot of people at MIT, and "How to be a Good Graduate Student," by Marie desJardins.

The academic information contained herein is intended as a supplement to the Graduate Catalog, which contains important information about Graduate College requirements in general. If you find conflicting information in the two books, go with the Catalog. If you can't find a specific bit of information, or it is unclear in any way, ask Joan Weinberg or call the Graduate College directly.