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Graduate School

Building a Better Graduate Education Reading Group


While there is a growing body of research and resources available to educators on the topic of graduate education, it can be difficult to take the time to sort through and identify valuable insights for our programs amidst all our other responsibilities and interests. This reading group is intentionally designed to minimize needed time commitment while maximizing engagement on topics of interest. We will discuss how relevant ideas are to our current context, cover critiques on claims and conclusions, and ponder how we might apply findings to our own programs here at USC.

 The primary purpose is to bring together faculty, administrators, staff, and students to learn and discuss about the pressing issues in graduate education, to improve the research excellence of our programs and the success and belonging of our graduate students.

Selected Book for Fall 2023

The New PhD: How to Build a Better Graduate Education
by Leonard Cassuto and Robert Weisbuch.

The reading group will come together three times during the fall semester to review The New PhD:How to Build a Better Graduate Education written by Leonard Cassuto, faculty member at Fordham, and Robert Weisbuch, former president at Drew University and chair and dean at the University of Michigan.  Lead facilitators will guide groups of 6-10 over the course of an hour and a half. The reading groups will culminate in the Graduate Education Summit on January 26, 2024, where the authors will speak. 


Each session will meet from 2-3:30 p.m. in Ballroom C of the Russell House.   
Session Schedule and Itinerary:

  • Session 1 | September 27, 2023
    Graduate Education: Then, Now, & Next (Intro, CH 1,2, Conclusion)
  • Session 2 | October 25
     Reimagining Grad Ed: Careers, Support, & Outreach (CH 3,5,8,10)
  • Session 3 | November 29
     Institutional and Cultural Change (CH 4,6,7,9)

Register online to attend the Reading Groups. Participants can access a copy of the book in an e-format through USC Libraries or a hard copy of the book can be requested through the registration form.


We encourage members to utilize Teams to continue these vital conversations, not only to extend group discussions but also to engage with the material in the book. This platform offers a space for ongoing dialogue, collaboration, and community-building in addition to serving as a central repository for resources used or discussed during sessions.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.