Barriers and Supports Experienced by Doctoral Students While Pursuing Their PhD
Huntae Chung, Erica K. Husser, Ndalapa Mhango, Enid Montague, Jennifer Mullin, Tiffaney Parkman, Kristen Pujari
trends report that over a third of doctoral students are not likely to obtain
their degree. Factors such as
program match, academic structure, faculty and advisor support, personality,
financial ability, and time-management skills are identified in the literature
as integral to doctoral student success. Face-to-face semi-structured
interviews were conducted with seven doctoral students at Virginia Polytechnic
and State University. Researchers sought to understand the supports and
barriers doctoral students perceived as influencing their graduate experience.
Qualitative analysis of interview transcripts identified five themes:
motivation, communities of support, playing the game, and academic structure.
These findings are a significant contribution to literature about students who
are in the process of completing requirements for a doctoral degree.