The Best Grad School Supplies – Grad School Essentials

Entering graduate school can be both exciting and daunting. There are a lot of tasks ahead, from attending lectures and doing research, to writing papers and preparing presentations.

To be productive and efficient, you need to have the right tools and supplies. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best grad school supplies – essentials that will help you stay on top of your game and achieve your academic goals.

Graduate School Essentials – What Do I Need for Grad School?

Grad school demands an efficient toolkit that can help students stay organized, productive, and focused.

Some of the school essentials that students would require to successfully navigate through the demands of graduate school include a laptop, cloud storage, and a convenient backpack.

But there are so many more things that grad students need and here is a list of all of the best Grad school supplies that I have personally used or have been recommended to me by current graduate students:

Writing InstrumentsSome grad school favourites include: Pilot Frixion pens, other erasable pens, .38 mm black pens, Twist eraser mechanical pencil, Muji pens, Pilot precise v5 pens, Pilot G-2 07 pens, Fountain pen, Lamy pen, Sailor’s Athena ink, Pens, Pencils, Erasable colored pens
Highlighters & MarkersHighlighters, Zebra mildliners, Whiteboard and markers
Notebooks & JournalsPlanner/bullet journal, Goal-setting journal/planner with a daily itinerary space, Get Stuff Done brand planner, Midori traveler’s notebook with 4 inserts, Extra Midori inserts
Sticky Notes & TabsSticky tabs, Post-it notes, Sticky notes and/or small notepads, Page flags
Tablets & AccessoriesiPad, iPad and apple pencil, iPad mini, Microsoft Surface, Tablet and good stylus
Digital Tools & AccessoriesGoogle calendar, Grammarly and Dropbox (or some other cloud storage system), Microsoft Office, Smart pen system
Legal Pads & Paper3×5 legal pads, Paper
Office SuppliesAccordion folder, Pencil pouch, Tear off weekly to do list sheet, Monitor/mouse/keyboard setup, Desktop with an extra monitor or two, Second monitor and docking station, Wireless mouse/keyboard set, Laser printer, Hard drive, Extra monitor, Separate computer monitor, Printer, SD card, Batteries, Microfiber cloth
Furniture & LightingGood chair, Reading lamp (the clippy kind), Comfortable chair, Book stand
Electronics & AccessoriesLaptop and charger, Extra laptop charger, Phone charger, Bluetooth headphones, Noise cancelling headphones, Bose noise cancelling headphones, Airplane adapter, Headphones for phone and laptop, Portable phone charger
Travel & BagsTravel coffee mugs, Water bottle, Lunch box and ice packs, PackIt freezable lunch boxes, Carry-on suitcase or duffel bag for conference travel, Good bag that has separate liquid storage for coffee and water bottle, Umbrella
Clothing & AccessoriesBusiness casual outfits, Glasses with blue light filters, Glasses with an up-to-date prescription
Office Decor & Personal ItemsCoffee warmer or a little succulent, Caffeine source of choice, Book stand, Mug and stick of deodorant at school
Toiletries & Personal CarePainkillers (ibuprofen), Tea and own mug, Bigelow Constant Comment tea, Pills (ibuprofen, aspirin, antihistamine, high blood pressure med), General purpose pocket tissues, Toothbrush, Travel toothpaste, Perfume, Floss, Travel size Dayquil, Hand lotion, Hand sanitizer, Advil, Tampons and pads, Condoms, Spare underwear, Personal wipes, Chapstick
SnacksHealthy snacks, Prepackaged nuts, Protein/granola bars, Fruit like mandarins or apples
OtherCheap scotch

In the table, we can see a variety of items that cater to different needs, some of which are less common but rather interesting.

For instance, the Pilot Frixion pens and erasable colored pens provide a convenient writing solution as they can be easily erased, making them perfect for those who prefer a clean and organized workspace.

The Midori traveler’s notebook with 4 inserts allows users to customize their notebook to fit their specific needs, such as keeping track of different projects or academic subjects.

Another intriguing item is the smart pen system, which digitally captures handwritten notes and drawings, enabling users to store and organize their work more efficiently.

The Sailor’s Athena ink adds a touch of luxury to your writing experience, as it is a high-quality ink designed for use with fountain pens.

In the realm of technology, the iPad and Microsoft Surface are versatile tablets that can enhance productivity, and when combined with a good stylus, offer a seamless note-taking and drawing experience.

Noise-cancelling headphones, such as the Bose noise-cancelling headphones, provide a distraction-free environment, helping users focus on their tasks.

Unique personal items include caffeine sources of choice, which could range from coffee to energy drinks, depending on individual preferences. The coffee warmer or little succulent adds a personal touch to your workspace, and the glasses with blue light filters protect users’ eyes from the harmful effects of prolonged screen exposure.

Lastly, the good bag with separate liquid storage for coffee and water bottles ensures that users can conveniently carry their beverages without the risk of spills, while the PackIt freezable lunch boxes maintain the freshness of packed meals.

Grad School Work from home essentials

In today’s world, many students find themselves adapting to remote learning environments, making it crucial to have an efficient and comfortable workspace.

From reliable computers and ample storage solutions to ergonomic accessories and seamless connectivity, we’ll explore a range of essentials that will not only elevate your productivity but also enhance your overall well-being during your time in grad school.

Here are the must-haves:

CategoryEssential Work from Home Equipment for Grad Students
ComputersPreferred high powered laptop MacBook ProWindows Laptop
Desktop Computer (optional for later years)
StorageExternal Hard Drives (x2)
TabletiPad (optional)
DisplaySecond Screen
Computer AccessoriesComputer Stand
Wireless Keyboard
Wireless Mouse
ConnectivityUSB-C to HDMI/USB Adapter

Computers: A reliable computer, such as a MacBook Pro 2019, is crucial for a grad student working from home, as it ensures efficient multitasking, smooth processing of various applications, and easy handling of academic tasks.

Storage: Having two external hard drives provides ample storage space and allows for regular backups, protecting important documents and research files from being lost or damaged.

Tablet (optional): An iPad can be helpful for those who prefer a lighter and more portable device for reading and annotating documents, attending virtual classes, or simply working in different environments.

Display: A second screen significantly improves productivity by allowing grad students to have multiple windows open simultaneously, making it easier to cross-reference materials, attend virtual meetings, and manage tasks efficiently.

Audio: A good-quality microphone ensures clear audio during virtual classes or meetings, facilitating better communication and reducing distractions caused by poor audio quality.

Computer Accessories: A computer stand improves posture and reduces the risk of neck strain by raising the screen to eye level, while a wireless keyboard and mouse offer more flexibility and comfort during extended work sessions.

Connectivity: A USB-C to HDMI/USB adapter enables seamless connection between devices and peripherals, such as an external monitor, ensuring a smooth and efficient work-from-home setup for grad students.

Wrapping up

Graduate school is a challenging yet rewarding journey, and having the right tools and supplies can make a significant difference in your productivity and overall experience.

By equipping yourself with essentials such as reliable computers, ergonomic accessories, and ample storage solutions, you can create a comfortable and efficient work-from-home environment that supports your academic pursuits.

As you embark on this exciting chapter of your life, remember to prioritize self-care and make thoughtful choices when it comes to selecting the grad school essentials that best suit your unique needs and preferences.

With a well-prepared toolkit and the determination to succeed, you’ll be on your way to achieving your academic goals and thriving in the world of graduate studies.

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton has a Masters and PhD in Chemistry from the UK and Australia. He has many years of research experience and has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate at a number of Universities. Although having secured funding for his own research, he left academia to help others with his YouTube channel all about the inner workings of academia and how to make it work for you.