Teaching and research practices at the Graduate Level have been understood as an academic culture that causes suffering. The purpose of this article is to present an understanding of the suffering experienced at the Graduate Level from a cultural perspective. The paper problematizes the context of Graduate Programs and presents axioms of Semiotic Cultural Psychology that underlie the analysis of psychological processes that occur in the student’s relationship with the academic environment. Academic culture is understood as the shared set of signs build and used by people in the doctoral school, which organize their internal and external worlds, regulate social interactions, and guide human actions. Thus, suffering is a cultural product of the interaction between the guiding forces of academic culture and the student’s actions. It is suggested that future research can investigate empirically how graduate students create a personal synthesis starting from the academic culture
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