From historian and writer Dr. Megan Kate Nelson:
As the PhD program admissions season is upon us, here’s my totally unsolicited advice!
Unless you have a trust fund:
– Do not accept the invitation of any PhD program that does not give you full funding.
– If no program offers you full funding, do not go to graduate school.
My argument is that prospective students should only enroll in programs that value them enough to give them full funding – so that all PhDs come out of those programs without debt. This should equalize risk for graduating PhDs, regardless of their socio-economic status going in.
If you don’t care about all that and are fine with taking on big debt with slim chances of a job on the other side, then okay. Go ahead. Most PhD programs clearly won’t stop you – which is profoundly unethical in my view, but that’s a provocative tweet for another day.