UPE Delta chapter of Illinois



Ph.D. 101: Should I get a Ph.D?


Are you a person who wants to learn/discover something new? Are you a person who is curious about how things work? Are you fascinated by a particular topic and want to learn more about it?  

If you answered ‘Yes’ for any of the above questions, then you are an ideal candidate to pursue a PhD.


To help students make an informed decision about pursuing a PhD, UPE organized ‘PhD Round table discussion – Should I get a PhD?’ on Oct 29th 2015 at CDM. The event had a panel of four professors: Dr. Bamshad Mobasher, Dr. Jane Cleland-Huang, Dr. Nichole Pinkhard, Dr. Jonathan Gemmell and two current PhD students. The event was attended by around 20 students.

Medix 2015


The event kicked off with the individual introductions by the professors and their current research areas. The panel members also shared what inspired them to pursue PhD and their experiences in mentoring current PhD students. The event provided a platform to discuss different questions that students had about pursuing a PhD. The overview of topics discussed during the event is summarized below


Why PhD?

“Creativity is intelligence having fun”

-        Albert Einstein          


The process of conceiving an idea in our mind to solve a problem and making it work in reality is creativity combined with intellect. PhD helps students combine their creativity and intellect in an organized and efficient way.


What is a PhD?

PhD is a globally recognized postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities to candidates who have demonstrated proficiency in a broad area of learning. PhD shows the candidate’s potential to explore and advance his/her field of knowledge by independent research.


PhD Admission requirements

In general, students would be required to submit their transcripts, Statement of Purpose, Letters of recommendation, Curriculum Vitae/Resume


PhD funding opportunities

GAAN scholarship (Details to be included)


Choosing an advisor

Working with the right advisor is crucial to make quick progress. Things to consider when choosing the advisor


1.      Advisor’s Research area

2.      Publication record

3.      Availability of fully funded projects


At the end, it is just finding a good match between your interests and skillset to professor’s current research. Hence having one-one conversation with the professors would help in getting a well suited advisor.  Current graduate students can work with professors on a capstone or research project which could help in choosing advisors.



PhD duration

The number of years required to complete PhD varies with each person. Full time PhD students typically take 4 – 5 years. Part-time students may take 7 – 10 years.


Overall it was an informative event that exposed students to different aspects of PhD. On behalf of UPE, we would like to thank all the professors from the panel for their time and useful advice. This event would not have been possible without the support of the students and hence we thank each and every student who attended the event.


For more information on PhD, please visit http://www.depaul.edu/university-catalog/colleges-and-schools/class/academics/graduate/Pages/doctoral-programs.aspx


Please feel free to send in any questions about PhD to the panelists or UPE.


Professor Contacts

Dr. Bamshad Mobasher   | mobasher@cs.depaul.edu   | http://facweb.cs.depaul.edu/mobasher/

Dr. Jane Cleland-Huang | jhuang@cs.depaul.edu        | http://re.cs.depaul.edu/

Dr. Nichole Pinkard         | npinkard@cdm.depaul.edu | http://www.digitalyouthnetwork.org/

Dr. Jonathan Gemmell     | jgemmell@cdm.depaul.edu


Contact us @ deltaupe@cdm.depaul.edu | Twitter: @DePaulUPE | Facebook: DePaulUPE




  Thursday  October  29th  2015, 4:00PM – 5:30 PM @ CDM 924

This round-table will offer potential PhD students the
opportunity to speak with some of DePaul’s most influential faculty. In particular, the
round table will discuss the application procedure, choosing an adviser, developing a
research agenda, publishing research, writing a dissertation and transitioning into an
academic career. This event is opened to everyone


 June December  7th - 13th 2015

Upsilon Pi Epsilon is proud to be a part of the “Hour of Code” movement worldwide.
Every December, we are celebrating Computer Science education week by participating
in the Hour of Code

Join the Spring UPE Board Meetings

UPE Board meetings are held every Wednesday from 12:00-1:00 p.m.
in the Millenium Boardroom (CDM 723).
All UPE members are welcome to attend.