This handbook is designed to help you plan your path towards your PhD in our Department and to give practical information and recommendations to make your time at Brown University as successful and rewarding as possible. No written document, however, can be a substitute for personal interactions. We urge you to speak often and regularly with faculty and other graduate students in the Department. Some of you come directly from a BA program, others will have an MA degree or professional experience. Whatever your background, it is useful to underscore the fact that a PhD program is a professional degree program. It is intended not only to provide further course work, but also to hone relevant skills in research, writing and teaching, and to prepare you for your career in the museum world or academia.