Piled Higher and Deeper
Higher and Deeper" (PhD) is the comic strip about life
(or the lack thereof) in academia.
Cham got his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford
University, and was a full-time Instructor
and researcher at the California Institute of Technology
(Caltech) from 2003-2005.
A list of his research publications on robots and brain-machine
interfaces can be found here.
Click here to visit his homepage.
Higher and Deeper" the comic strip has appeared
in The Stanford Daily, MIT, Carnegie Mellon University and Caltech
newspapers among over 50
has appeared or been featured in the journal Nature, Science Magazine,
the Chronicle of Higher Education, IEEE Potentials
magazine, Math Horizons magazine, Stanford Magazine
and Canada's The Peer Review magazine among others,
and has been linked to by USA Today's, The NY Times and The Washington
|The PHD Lectures:
Since 2005, Jorge Cham has given invited lectures at nearly 300 universities and research centers worldwide. For a
list, click here
of the strips have been published: "Piled
Higher and Deeper: A Graduate Student Comic Strip
Collection" was first
published in June 2002, and collects the first five
years of the strip; "Life is tough and then
you graduate: The second collection of Piled Higher
and Deeper comic strips" was published in April 2005, and collects the sixth,
seventh and eight years; "Scooped! The Third
Piled Higher and Deeper Comic Strip Collection"
was published in April 2007. "Academic Stimulus Package was published in 2009.
The latest book, "Adventures in Thesisland" was
in April 2012.
are available on Amazon.com,
website, and in bookstores
throughout the U.S.
by Google Analytics - 4/27/13-4/26/14
statistics - April 2014
Visitors per month
books sold ever
Unique Visitors per year
to the website represent over 800 different fields
of study from over 1000 different schools worldwide.
|The PHD Movie:
In 2011, a live-action film adaptation of the comics was independently produced and released at over 500 campuses and research centers worldwide. The film was
produced with the support
of the California Institute of Technlogy (Caltech), and features a cast a crew of real graduate students, postdocs and faculty. More info can be found here.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education chronicle.com
laugh and wince at Jorge Cham's smart comic strip,
which feels your pain, your panic, your coffee addition...
and your departmental politics."
Cham makes the daily grind just a bit more tolerable."
- Stanford Magazine
this comic for procrastination or decompression, as
you see fit."
- The Journal Nature
Jorge Cham knows the graduate world well enough to
make fun of everything and everyone in it... but also
reminds us of the reasons why grad students chose
to study their fields in the first place."
send email to: questions(at)phdcomics.com
© 1997-2008 Jorge
Cham. All rights reserved. The images and artwork found
within these hypertext pages contain proprietary information
of Jorge Cham. They may not be copied or duplicated in any
form, in whole or in part, without prior written consent
Who are you
To borrow from "The Matrix": we are everyone,
and we are no one.
Piled Higher & Deeper is kept alive and growing by the
fans: the legions of grad students who believe there is
more to life than research--the vast underground of unsung
support PhD by spreading the word, buying the books, wearing
the merchandise. Our hats off to you, dear reader. We are
proud to procrastinate with you.
Can I use
one of your comics in my thesis/defense/website or graduate
We'll be happy to grant you permission, but you MUST
e-mail us at questions(at)phdcomics.com to let us
know how and which strips you are using (by sending this
email, you obtain official permission to use the images).
In all cases, the strips must have the following
text printed next to them:
Higher and Deeper" by Jorge Cham
How do you
draw your comic?
I draw the comics directly on the computer using a
graphics tablet (an input device that lets you "draw"
on the screen). The comics don't actually see paper until
they are published in the newspaper.
Below is a
small sampling of some reader comments submitted by email
or via our
webform. Thanks for writing in!
are really life-bringing, soul-rescuing , and totally sanity-preserving."
-grad from SUNY Albany.
collection of the ups, downs and dizzying circles of a grad
student's life! Your comic is probably responsible for keeping
many of us sane! - Archaeology grad from the Australian
Cecilia's character; you nailed down so well what it means
to be an overachieving girl in a men's world! You really
deserve an honorary geek girl title." -CS grad from
down and cry each time there's a new comic strip."
- Film Theory grad from U. Southampton
strip makes me feel that I am not alone, and there are others
suffering through the penniless ignominy that is grad school!
-Chem. Eng. grad from U. Houston
is not only hilarious, but very artistic too. I love the
expression of each character. I can FEEL the agony of grad
life" -Bioengineering grad from MIT
love PhD! I'm only an undergrad but already I can feel myself
being drawn into the dark world of procrastination"
-Astronomy undergrad from U. Canterbury, New Zealand
are awesome! I'd bet it's better than prozac." -biology
grad from Caltech
my PhD dissertation yesterday. I dedicated it to Mike Slackenerny
'for showing me the way'." -(ex)grad from U. Western
the PhD book. Can I get a receipt that says 'textbooks'
so I can get reimbursed by the finance department?"
- PhD Geology from U. of Adelaide
comic book writer. I'm in love with Cecilia. Is she modeled
on a real person, and if so, can you ask that person if
she wants to marry me? Best regards." - CS grad from
comic, you show what looks like an attractive female talking
to the male engineering grad student. How can this be? I
think doodling this comic may have caused you to lose touch
with 'the real world'" -EE grad from U. Maryland
It makes me feel not alone" -Social psychology grad
from U. Mass
hates you now. On behalf of the students in the [omitted]
lab group, I thank you for providing some humor to our otherwise
ignoble existences" -grads from BYU
please don't stop writing your comics. They are what bring
us together over our cubicle walls in our mutual suffering.
Do you have a Piled Higher and Deeper Fan Club yet? We want
to be charter members."
weird is it to develop profound emotional attachments to
fictional characters?" -anonymous
to write and say that what you do is sick. But damned funny."
-Oceanography grad student from UC San Diego
I think your comic book was just amazing, lovely, wonderful"
-Public Health grad from U Washington
don't know if you've published any papers, but I'm sure
the book [collection] will have at least a more diverse
readership! And thanks for keeping your website free, unlike
Science Magazine!" -Neuroscience grad from U. of Southern
"OH MY GOD!
If only I'd known of this strip before I started! Now that
I know of it, if only I could wait till I finish (ha!) or
am kicked out to read it. But, like a train wreck, I can't
stop looking!" -Environmental Eng. grad from University
of Western Australia
your comic is the only thing that keeps the Daily worth
reading (well, you, Roxy Sass, and the bunnies...). I worship
at your shrine of academic hilairity" -Biology grad
comics, big fan base in IIT Bombay. Keep it up!" -Aerospace
Eng. grad from IIT (Indian Inst. of Technology) Bombay
"I am currently
trying to write up and submit my PhD thesis and was wondering
if there was any chance that I could use some of your comics
as humourous inserts between chapters" -Computational
Biochemistry grad from U. of York, UK
you are telling my life here! Keep it up, I love it anyway.
Regards from sunny (not so much now, but let's keep the
cliche alive) Spain" -Northamerican Literature grad
from Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain
I am on the edge of my seat. Is she going to get Scott?
This is the best comic strip since Dilbert!" -Mech
Eng. grad from Michigan Tech
living a life right out of your art works, I am graduating
!! Don't tell Cecilia. We all know that it is hard to hear
that a fellow student is graduating. I have heard of such
a news many times, so I know. Please give her a break and
let her graduate soon. I will be following her progress"
-Geophysics grad from Stanford
it hurts! It's all so true, and so evil! I can't tell whether
I should be laughing or crying in sympathy" -Chemistry
grad from Caltech
here I am, supposed to be studying for an exam tomorrow,
and instead i just killed two hours reading Phd, online,
in its entirety. Bravo! "PhD" is much cleverer, more artistic,
and more original than most of the tired comics in the paper
have been for years! -German Studies grad from U. of Arizona
[looking through the archives] "oskie" is spelled _oski_.
not that i care. go bears. i am so pathetic. i'm sorry"
-Physics grad from Caltech (presumably undergrad at UC Berkeley)
fired my thesis advisor. PhD gave me the strength to do
this. I am going anonymous since everyone in my lab/department
reads this strip." -Anonymous
your comic strip - I'm giving a talk today at my undergrad
school, and I'm going to use some of your wonderful comic
strips to illustrate the powerful point that grad school
is hell warmed over!" -Bioinformatics grad from Rockefeller
strip rocks. I've decided not to go to grad school."
-Elect. Eng. undergrad from Yale U.
ist it really as terrible at Stanford grad school as described
in your comics? I am applying there, so I really would like
to know" -Computer Science undergrad from Munich Univ.
I LOVE your comic strip - it is becoming more and more popular
in Oz since the address was sent on our postgrad email list.
Keep up the good work - forget about graduating!" -English
grad from Adelaide University, Australia
addicted to your cartoons!! So please, feed me more"
in my lab loves your work. The songs help soothe the hurt
when my experiments fail and I think about the next 6 yrs
here" -Microbiology grad from NYU
"I can do
interpreter between the persian and japanese language also
I uesd to be DTP. operator. I can drive the car. I am looking
for the job if you can help me please." -Anonymous