main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Kickstarter Message
TV Tropes is 149% Funded
Our Kickstarter campaign has received $74,000 from over 2,000 backers! TV Tropes 2.0 is coming. There is no stopping it now. We have 4 days left. At $75K we can also develop an API and at $100K the tropes web series will be produced. View the project here and discuss here.
View Kickstarter Project
Web Comic: PHD

PHD (Piled Higher & Deeper) is a webcomic by Jorge Cham that has been running since 1997.

The characters are a bunch of graduate students at Stanford University. They obsess about ever getting their theses completed, struggle to make ends meet with their meager stipends, wonder why life is passing them by, and slack off while their supervisors aren't looking.

The main characters are:


An engineering grad and Only Sane Man of the bunch who just recently came to crushing realization that she is, in fact, a geek. Almost always seen in the same bright red shirt. Prof. Jones is her adviser.

Mike Slackenerny

The Slacker, who has been at grad school longer than any other character. He has a surprising amount of luck in his quest to obtain free food, though this has not endeared him to the faculty. The only one who actually graduated. Now a post-doc. Prof. Smith was his adviser.


A humanities- er, Social Science student, she is constantly finding causes to rally protests. A Granola Girl and proud of it. Prof. Rivera is her adviser.


The unnamed protagonist. Has an older brother (who Mike knows) and a younger sister named Dee. Sees grad school as a good way to postpone the real world. Wonders why nobody ever uses his name. Prof. Smith is his adviser.

Professor Smith

A Sadist Teacher whose past accomplishments are spoken of in whispers by grad students. Wears a mix of Cool Shades, Scary Shiny Glasses, and Opaque Nerd Glasses.

Contains examples of:

NukeesWebcomics Long RunnersSluggy Freelance
Penny and AggieSlice-of-Life WebcomicsPictures Of You
PCShort Titlesπ
Tastes Like PurpleImageSource/WebcomicsEating Lunch Alone

alternative title(s): PHD Comics; Piled Higher And Deeper; Piled High And Deeper
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy