Myth: Getting a PhD is unaffordable/expensive.
Truth: Nobody pays out of their pocket for a PhD in engineering! Typically, you will be supported with a graduate assistantship that will cover all of your tuition costs and will also pay you a stipend for living expenses.
Myth: A Master's degree is required to pursue a PhD.
Truth: You can apply to a PhD program with just a bachelor's degree and in most cases you will not be at a disadvantage compared to someone who applies after completing a Master's degree. In fact, if you are certain you want to pursue a PhD, the best time to start is right after you complete your undergraduate degree. Of course, you could also work a few years or get a Master's and then apply if you are not completely sure.
Myth: A PhD program is grueling and robs you of a healthy work-life balance.
Truth: You will indeed have to work hard for a PhD. But you can still have a vibrant, balanced and intellectually fulfilling life, with plenty of time to socialize with others who think like you. In fact, many people with PhD degrees will tell you that graduate school was the best time of their life!
Myth: The only option after a PhD is an academic career.
Truth: While a PhD is indeed a requirement for an academic career, there are also high-quality research positions available at leading companies like Meta/Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. You also have opportunities at national laboratories like Sandia, Argonne, Batelle and Pacific Northwest, to name a few. We have PhD alumni working at several of these establishments.
Myth: You don't get paid all that much and it's not worth spending 5+ years in school when you could be out making money.
Truth: You can earn a good salary after your PhD and the earning potential lost while in grad school is minuscule compared to what your career earnings will be.