Nijay K. Gupta

Prepare, Succeed, Advance, Second Edition

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What if you had a guidebook that you could turn to at each stage of your academic journey to help you navigate through the process of getting a PhD in Biblical Studies and succeeding in the academic world? This book is precisely intended to fill that need. From theory to practice, you will find discussions and answers to the most pertinent and pressing questions that prospective and current doctoral students are faced with: How do I choose a program? How can I gain admission into an elite program? How do I choose a research topic?

Alongside the “big” questions about the process, there are also a host of smaller matters: How do I publish an article? What conferences are out there in my field? Where do I start looking for a job? How do I get teaching experience? How do I write a syllabus?

This guidebook tackles all of these questions and many more in three parts: Prepare focuses on getting into a PhD program; Succeed guides you through the doctoral program, especially the writing of the dissertation; and Advance treats issues that relate to success in the academic world such as conference participation, publishing, employment, and best practices in teaching.


“Gupta has kindly provided me a book version of an academic mentor. In a time when many professors are busy, Gupta walks the extra mile and makes himself present not only in person to those near him, but also in writing for those like me. I can't thank him enough!”
--Natan B. de Carvalho, College Student

“Dr. Gupta's book offered indispensable advice for me as I applied for PhD programs, completed my thesis, and applied for (and secured) tenure-track jobs. I am grateful for his service to the guild!”
--Madison N. Pierce, Assistant Professor in New Testament, TEDS

“Having started seminary about a year after the first edition appeared, I was able to use Gupta's abundance of clear-headed advice to build a path to doctoral study. I can see, as a student in a first-tier PhD program, that this journey would not have been possible had I not been able to learn the many unspoken rules Gupta outlines in this invaluable book.”
--Jonathan Groce, New Testament PhD student at Emory University

“This book should be required for anyone even slightly interested in biblical higher education. I've enjoyed it so much that I've bought it three times, having given it away to two students.”
--Ryan Lytton, Director of Academic Services and Adjunct Professor at Life Pacific University-Virginia

“This book has proven immensely helpful as I navigated the PhD application process. Providing useful benchmarks and invaluable suggestions, Gupta's sage advice prepared me for success.”
--Benjamin Castaneda, PhD student at the University of St. Andrews

“The world of academic biblical studies can be difficult to navigate, especially for ethnic minorities. This book has prepared me well by making an opaque process clear and straightforward. I recommend it to anyone considering this path.”
--Daniel K. Eng, PhD candidate, University of Cambridge

“I wanted to thank you for the invaluable guidance your book provided as I made decisions concerning my academic future. I have just completed my M.A. in Classical Studies at Villanova and was accepted into graduate programs at both Edinburgh and Oxford. Every step of the way your text provided clear and specific recommendations. It was a true blessing.”
--Ken Tully, Adjunct Faculty at Villanova

“Prepare, Succeed, Advance is a tremendously helpful reference tool. As an academic advisor, I will make this the first resource I recommend to colleagues who may not have the advantage of personal experience in a PhD program. As a student, I will regularly return to Gupta's work for counsel on the next stage of academic life. Doctoral students should rejoice at having such a sure guide to academic success and commend Gupta for his contribution.”
--Samuel Emadi, review in JETS 56/1 (2013) 139–141, (140–141)

“This guide is indispensable to anyone thinking about a PhD.”
--Abram K-J, “Should I get a PhD?” Words on the Word blog, July 9 2012

“Nijay Gupta's Prepare, Succeed, Advance: A Guidebook for Getting a PhD in Biblical Studies and Beyond is just that, a guidebook. It does not claim to provide a formula on how the entire process works. At the same time, it is more than that in the sense that Gupta's honesty, attention to detail, and measured optimism throughout the entire book give his voice a level of credibility and warmth that prospective students will find invaluable as they begin their own individual paths toward academia.”
--Michael Suh, PhD, Emory, review in RBL: October 2014

“Prepare, Succeed, Advance has so many helpful points that my highlighter almost gave out. If you have even the tiniest desire to pursue a PhD in Biblical Studies, get a few pencils, two highlighters, and a copy of this book. You won't be sorry.”
--Andrew Kelley, PhD, Edinburgh

“When I started to investigate what a PhD in Biblical Studies entailed I was lost. What do schools look for? What programs are better for what field? So many questions, and so little (quality) answers. When I found Dr. Gupta's book I found both a map and compass. His book laid out the road ahead--including avenues to avoid, and boulevards to explore in more detail. Following Dr. Gupta's candid advice I have received offers to study at a couple of UK PhD programs. I think I owe Dr. Gupta some money! Buy this book--you will not be disappointed!”
--Joshua Morris
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234 printed pages
Original publication



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