UW Graduate School

Ask the Grad School Guru


March 23, 2017

Dread and Taxes

This Guru post has been updated from a previous inquiry. Happy filing! Filing taxes seems more complicated than it should be, and there seems to be no help from the university, despite the fact that many graduate students have very similar tax situations. What’s the best way to file to maximize our return (where do…


March 9, 2017

Friends Wanted

How do you make friends in grad school? I feel like I missed a crucial seminar where everyone else got paired up. I hear about things that happened on the weekend in passing and the middle schooler in me that followed me all the way up to graduate education is so hurt. Part of what…


February 23, 2017

Recommendations for Recommendations

How many times is too many times to ask a professor for a letter of recommendation? I often find out about opportunities at the last minute, but don’t want to burden my advisors with creating a letter for me at the drop of a hat. Is it acceptable to re-use a general one that was…


January 25, 2017

Project Prep

I’m a graduate student in Engineering. How do I effectively organize the data, code and writing materials for a project?  —Anonymous Well, that is the million dollar question, isn’t it? Everyone has their own methods, and hopefully you’ve written enough smaller papers that you’ve developed certain techniques for organizing and writing. However, as many students find,…


January 12, 2017

What I Did This Summer

My program doesn’t require (or fund) summer coursework so I’m shopping for productive options. Suggestions of places to look other than HuskyJobs? Research opportunities? Things that might pay me AND fulfill me (ideally) or do one or the other?  —Anonymous Without knowing your specific field or interests, I’ll try to provide some possibilities that will…


December 14, 2016

Finding Funding

I came across a scholarship that seemed like the perfect opportunity for me… until I found out the deadline was two weeks ago. How is it possible to find these types of awards at the right time? —Anonymous (This week’s answer is courtesy of Michelle Drapek, Counseling Services Coordinator, UW Graduate School Office of Fellowships and…


December 1, 2016

You’ve Got (Too Much) Mail

I get a LOT of email (including this one, no offense), and I can’t keep up. How do I get off all of these email lists? Shouldn’t there be one place I can change my preferences? —Anonymous I feel your pain, really I do. Unfortunately, just due to the sheer size of this university and the…


November 17, 2016

Professors on Pedestals

Is there a place on campus where I can learn how to address/talk to professors? I have been in the US for about six years now, but I am originally from a culture where one is supposed to show respect to people older than you. I therefore still cannot bring myself to address a professor by…


November 3, 2016

Health Sciences Labyrinth

Any tips or tricks for finding my way around the gigantic Health Services/Medical building? It’s been the hardest part of school so far. — Anonymous Ha! Yes, the Health Sciences Building is infamous for swallowing up unsuspecting students. A couple of tips are to stick to the third floor to navigate horizontally until you get close, and…


October 6, 2016

Off-Campus Library Access

Why can’t I use the library website unless I’m on campus?  — Anonymous Sorry to hear you’re having trouble with this. In order to access the library from off-campus, you’ll have to use the Libraries off-campus proxy service. It sounds complicated, but it’s actually really simple. Instructions on their website will walk you through it. Ask the Grad…



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