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UPDATE - January 4, 2011

Since its debut in September, "The PHD Movie" has been screened at over 500 universities and research institutions all across the world, with many future screenings in the works and new requests coming in daily. Last week we added McMurdo Station to our screening map, making Antarctica the seventh continent that the movie will reach!

PHD Comics creator Jorge Cham and members of the cast and crew have been traveling to select locations to participate in Q&A's and poster signings. On November 3rd, MIT's 26-100 lecture hall overflowed with hundreds of grad students and post-docs who came to see the movie and Q&A, which included appearances by Producer Meg Rosenburg and Evans Boney (Mike Slackenerny). The following evening, Jorge headed to Ohio State with Alexandra Lockwood (Cecilia) and Crystal Dilworth (Tajel), where the movie played to another sold-out crowd.

"We loved the movie, which got lots of laughs!" said Zsuzsanna Sukosd of Aarhus University in Denmark, which hosted a screening on September 29. The October 5 screening at CERN was also a "huge success," according to organizer Pieter Everaerts. "Everyone was very positive. We even needed to add more seats to the auditorium."

Screenings will continue throughout the winter and spring of next year, and we are continuing to accept requests for cast/crew appearances.


UPDATE -- September 21, 2011

Screenings of "The PHD Movie" began last week on college campuses across the globe and the results are in... "It was hilarious!" said a student who attended the sold-out screening at the University of California at San Diego, where over 400 people lined up to view the independently-produced movie about the travails of a group of Ph.D. students. "I laughed, I cried, I laughed again..." wrote another via Twitter.

"Turner auditorium was PACKED!!" said Katherine Lin, an organizer of the Johns Hopkins University screening, with a capacity crowd of 750 attendees. "We were surprised and overwhelmed by the popularity of this event," wrote the Graduate Student Social Club at the University of California at Berkeley, who just added a third screening to their schedule to accommodate demand.

An attendee at the September 15th screening at the University of California Los Angeles agreed that the movie shows a different side of the academic world and helps defy stereotypes. "The movie showed not just the travails but also the passions and loves of academics. Well done!"

Screenings of "The PHD Movie" will continue throughout the Fall on campuses worldwide. For more information, please visit:

Contact: Crystal Dilworth
(626) 765-1259


For release September 12, 2011

Film adaptation of popular webcomic series about life in Academia to be released in university campuses worldwide

Los Angeles, CA - Screenings of "The PHD Movie" are set to begin this week in college campuses across the globe. The film offers a humorous and poignant look at life in the high-stakes world of academic research through the eyes of four young graduate students trying to start and finish their Ph.D.'s.

The film project is unique in that it was produced entirely by real graduate students at the California Institute of Technology. "It is fitting that a story about the multi-dimensionality of academics and scientists be told by real researchers," said Dr. Jorge Cham, whose comic strip, "Piled Higher and Deeper" is the basis of the film, and whose website,, receives over 7 million visitors each year. "Too often in the media, scientists are depicted as stereotypical caricatures. Our goal was to show they are real people."

The film was directed by Vahe Gabuchian, a Ph.D. student in Aeronautics, and produced by Meg Rosenburg, a Ph.D. student in Geological and Planetary Sciences who studies the distribution of craters on the moon. The film stars Alexandra Lockwood, a Ph.D. student who studies how new planets are created, and Raj Katti, a sophomore in Physics, and features cameos by numerous Postdocs, scientists and eminent Professors, including two MacArthur "Genius" Award winners.

An early review of the film by London-based The Times Higher Education calls it "A brainy movie with heart and soul," while a writer for Ars Technica notes "The film breaks down the view of the Academy as a monastery, and shows us that it's full of people with passion and, more importantly, a sense of humor".

More information about the movie and screenings can be found at

"Piled Higher and Deeper" the comic strip was started by Dr. Cham in 1997 while obtaining his Ph.D. in Robotics at Stanford University. "The PHD Movie" was produced with the support of Theater Arts at the California Institute of Technology (TACIT).

Contact info:
(626) 765-1259