I am dismayed by the amount of misinformation in your editorial entitled “Graduate Aide” (10/24/08). Though it is true that over 80 percent of our graduates will pursue further degrees, the vast majority of these will be professional degrees: business, law, medicine, public policy, social work, and so forth. CAPS provides specialized advising for business, law, health professions, and journalism.
If you are focusing on the 15 to 20 percent of our students who do go on in academic areas, most often pursuing Ph.D.s, they need to seek advice from faculty in their departments about whether they should pursue this path, and where to apply. Since graduate admissions committees are concerned primarily with faculty assessment of candidates, advisers in my office cannot and should not write recommendation letters for this purpose. Further, the GRE, though important, matters less than the candidate’s own statement of purpose and faculty letters of recommendation. Advisers always welcome students to discuss their post-graduation plans but will direct students to their departments for expert guidance.
A good starting point for those interested in academic graduate programs is college.uchicago.edu/academics/grad_prof_intro.shtml
Dean of Students in the College