Question about Graduate Seminars

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In summary, these seminars are extremely specialized and more general in content. They are formal but more like a roundtable discussion than a lecture. You'll have fun!
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sEsposito
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I've been to many lectures; given by visitors and Professor's colleagues at my own university, but I've never been to a "seminar". I was recently "invited" to attend some graduate seminars at a university that is not the one I'm currently attending.This is my first experience with anything of the sort and I just had some questions:

I received a list of seminars going on this month. Most of them seem very interesting, but I'm not sure if they're going to be over my head. I'm a senior undergrad right now. Basically my question is: are these seminars extremely specialized or more general in content?

Also, what are they like? Are they formal? Are they like a lecture or more like a roundtable discussion? (is everyone in attendance expected to participate in the discussion?)

I've asked a Professor I am pretty close with, and his best answer was "You'll have fun! Those things are great." Not much of a help when you're nervous/anxious about something.
 
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sEsposito said:
Basically my question is: are these seminars extremely specialized or more general in content?

If it's a staff/grad student seminar within a certain field, they will be specialised. Sometimes groups will hold collaborative seminars that involve 'outsiders' so they will simplify things a bit.

sEsposito said:
Also, what are they like? Are they formal? Are they like a lecture or more like a roundtable discussion? (is everyone in attendance expected to participate in the discussion?)

You'll find out pretty quickly what the format of the one you're attending is. Most of the seminars I go to begin as an informal gathering, proceed to a level of formality with the talks then back to an informal setting for any later questions. I would say more like a round-table discussion than a lecture.

sEsposito said:
I've asked a Professor I am pretty close with, and his best answer was "You'll have fun! Those things are great." Not much of a help when you're nervous/anxious about something.

There is no need to be nervous! One thing you quickly learn at grad school is that your professors aren't as knowledgeable as you assumed them to be at undergraduate - they are infact human. They know a lot about their own area, and usually not much about others. This means seminar talks on things just outside their own interest can be baffling to them as well. You should listen to your professor - you will have fun. These events really are a 'no question is too stupid' type thing, being curious is the best way to learn too - if you're nervous about how a question will be received you can add a preface to state that you don't know much about the topic in question but are wondering if/how.. etc. Either way, you won't be forced into the discussion if you aren't comfortable talking about it, so just sit back and try and understand as much as you can - don't worry if you've no idea what's going on, we have all been there :smile:
 
  • #3
Thank you so much for your great reply. It really helps me out a lot. I'm going to just go in with an open mind and try and learn as much as I can. Thank you again, fasterthanjoao, I really appreciate it.
 

Related to Question about Graduate Seminars

1. What is the purpose of graduate seminars?

Graduate seminars are designed to provide advanced knowledge and training in a specific subject area, typically within a graduate degree program. These seminars allow students to engage in in-depth discussions, presentations, and research on current topics and issues within their field of study.

2. How do I enroll in a graduate seminar?

Enrollment in graduate seminars is typically done through the university's registration process. Students may need to meet certain prerequisites or obtain permission from the instructor to enroll in a specific seminar. It is important to plan ahead and register for seminars early, as they may have limited space.

3. Are graduate seminars graded?

Yes, most graduate seminars are graded based on the student's participation, presentations, papers, and other assignments. Grading may vary depending on the instructor and course requirements. It is important to check the syllabus and understand the grading criteria for each seminar.

4. Can I attend a graduate seminar if I am not a graduate student?

It depends on the university's policies and the specific seminar. Some seminars may be open to non-graduate students with instructor permission, while others may be limited to graduate students only. It is best to check with the instructor or the graduate program advisor for more information.

5. Are there any benefits to attending graduate seminars?

Yes, attending graduate seminars can provide numerous benefits such as networking opportunities with other graduate students and experts in the field, developing critical thinking and communication skills, and gaining a deeper understanding of current research and developments in the field. Additionally, attending seminars can also enhance your academic record and make you a more competitive job candidate in the future.

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