Dr. Hussein Abbas and Dr. Ahmad Houri, co-authors of the Student’s Guide to Graduate Studies
Dr. Hussein Abbas (right) from LAU’s School of Medicine and Department of Natural Sciences and Dr. Ahmad Houri from LAU’s Department of Natural Sciences are the co-authors of a new guide book called the Student’s Guide to Graduate Studies.
The book is meant to be a concise handy reference to students interested in graduate studies, and it is the only book available that discusses the methodology and details of applying to graduate schools for foreign students with specific emphasis on students from Lebanon and the Middle East.
Drs. Abbas and Houri answered some questions about their new book in today’s Friday Spotlight:
Tell us why you decided to put this book together.
We have been advising students for more than 15 years and in the process, and as a result of their feedback, we have gained considerable experience in that regard. We have realized that students need a lot of help, that may or may not be available, to decide how to go about applying to a graduate program. It is mainly because of this need that we decided to undertake this effort and write down all this experience. We noticed that the same concerns and questions were brought up every time that a student asked for help. Hence, this book should address most of these concerns and questions.
How long did it take you to do?
While the original idea started in 2006 we have been working on it on and off since then. It was in the summer of 2011 that we finally decided to complete it and publish it.
Is the book designed to focus only on one geographic area (i.e. graduate study in the United States) or is it global?
The aim of it is global but the main focus has been to minimize the costs associated with the study and the application process itself. The US graduate program is among the most generous in this regard and accordingly there is a lot of reference to the US.
Based on your experiences and what you’ve seen, do you think graduate school application processes have changed in recent years? Are things more complex and competitive now than they were in the past?
There is no doubt that the application process has been changing with the introduction of the online application and the ability to contact faculty directly. On the other hand, this has also increased the number of potential applicants which makes universities less prone to accept students despite our students’ generally high qualifications. Students now have to put in more effort to be accepted. However, this guide is meant to help them improve their chances of getting admitted.
What projects are you both working on now?
We are already planning a more expanded version of the book that will include a number of other participants who might be able to contribute their experiences in different countries from which potential applicants can benefit.
If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the book please contact either Dr. Abbas or Dr. Houri:
Dr. Hussein A. Abbas (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an assistant professor at Department of Natural Sciences at LAU and a Med-2 student at LAU School of Medicine and clinical research coordinator for Inati clinics. His current research projects including blood diseases such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia, genetic testing, as well as pediatric clinical cases.
Dr. Ahmad Houri (email@example.com) is an associate professor at the Natural Science Division at LAU. He is heavily involved in research projects related to Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, in addition to his continuous work on the production of field guides for the flora of Lebanon. Dr. Houri is currently a board member in the Arab Renewable Energy Commission and the International Solar Energy Society.