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"Intro to Grad School" is a three-month long weekly virtual boot camp designed for anyone identified as historically marginalized persons who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in the social sciences and humanities in the US.


The boot camp is led by Chu May Paing, a first-generation immigrant from Myanmar currently doing her PhD in anthropology in the US.

The boot camp is to help prepare the participants with their grad school application materials as well as to offer mentorship and support before they begin their grad school careers. There will be seminar discussions on grad school related topics as well as writing workshops.

Fall 2021 Boot camp

Sept - Dec | Every Monday | 9 am - 10 am CT | via Zoom

(The fall boot camp is planned to begin in mid-September and end in mid-December. Detailed time and schedule will be shared with those in the boot camp.)

The spots are limited to offer an intimate cohort experience. Please apply early if you are interested. The application deadline is August 31 2021.


Please see below for the details of the boot camp and how you can apply.

Seminar Discussions

Preparing for grad school applications

We'll do research on the "best" program for yourself; get started on gathering and preparing materials for your graduate school applications; writing out/editing your statement of purpose.

Learning about what it means to do a graduate degree as a historically marginalized person

We'll explore whether grad school and academic career in the social sciences and humanities is a right path for you; differences between a MA and a PhD program; other career paths you can pursue with a PhD.

Learning about social & academic life in grad school

We'll learn tips on how to find a good advisor; how to communicate with your advisor; how to find mentorship; how to remain healthy in grad school; how to balance between school, research, and life.

Writing Support

We will alternate our weekly meetings between the seminar discussions and the writing workshops. In these workshops, you'll have dedicated time to write your Statement of Purpose, Personal Statement, CV, writing samples. You'll have an opportunity to receive feedback from your peers as well as one-on-one editorial support from Chu on your written materials.

About Chu


Chu is a first generation immigrant from Myanmar and currently pursuing her PhD in cultural anthropology at University of Colorado Boulder. She received her AA in secondary education from LaGuardia Community College; BA in linguistics from Queens College, CUNY; and MA in cultural anthropology from CU Boulder. In 2019, her doctoral research project was chosen as one of the 2000 nationwide recipients for the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP).


Chu has five years of peer mentoring experience with undergraduate and graduate students of diverse backgrounds in the US. During her undergraduate, Chu was a Student Success Mentor at the Center for Teaching and Learning at LaGuardia Community College where she taught lab hours to the first generation and non-traditional community college students.

During her graduate studies, Chu volunteered as a graduate peer mentor for the CU Boulder Graduate School. Since 2019, she has been the peer mentor for CU Boulder Institute of Behavioral Science's NSF GRFP fellowship workshop where she works closely with social science doctoral students at CU Boulder on their NSF GRFP application materials. In 2020, two of her peer mentees received NSF GRFP fellowships in cultural anthropology. Chu is currently teaching seminars and mentoring the Queens College Undergraduate Mellon Mays fellows on their grad school applications.

In 2020, she founded a non-profit Aruna Global South to highlight the works of scholars and thinkers of historically marginalized backgrounds working on, in, and from the Asian global south. She currently directs Aruna program initiatives and blog together with her colleagues from different intellectual trainings and interests.

Chu is passionate about helping students of minoritized backgrounds not only survive but also thrive in academia. Read more about Chu, her research, teaching, and publications here.

How To Apply

Bootcamp fees (all materials included): $500

Payable via Venmo and Paypal

To apply: please fill out this form.

Scholarships are available. If you need scholarship, please make sure to fill out this additional form.

Deadline to fill out the form(s) for the Fall boot camp: August 31 2021

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