Just a quick question about MS in Physics/Applied Physics

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rs6622
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Just a quick question about MS in Physics/Applied Physics

Postby rs6622 » Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:48 pm

Hey guys. I am aiming to attain a MS in Physics/Applied Physics. I was just wondering if admissions are as intense as for attaining a PhD. I'm planning to do an MD/PhD program after that.

As for the Physics GRE, what is a good score for anyone wanting to do Applied Physics?
I am currently a freshman. I've only taken Physics I,II, and modern physics. I'll be taking Mechanics, statistical thermodynamics, and electronics next year.

Thanks guys

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grae313
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Re: Just a quick question about MS in Physics/Applied Physics

Postby grae313 » Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:47 am

Well, of course it is going to vary widely based on the institution, but the impression that I've gotten (and maybe someone here has evidence to the contrary) is that the standards for admission to MS programs are slightly less stringent, as in the grades and test scores are not expected to be quite as high. Also, when a school admits a PhD student they are investing a very large amount of money in that student, but a Master's student pays for themself through loans/work.

I haven't done any research on competitive GRE scores scores for Master's applicants, but you might want to check out http://www.gradschoolshopper.com if you haven't already. These are AIP published statistics on the admitted classes for most physics programs, and many include average test score data. It is an invaluable resource.

Good luck!

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butsurigakusha
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Re: Just a quick question about MS in Physics/Applied Physics

Postby butsurigakusha » Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:48 am

One thing you will find is that many graduate schools, including most of the top schools, do not admit students to a masters program. I would guess that the schools that have masters programs are probably less competitive.

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grae313
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Re: Just a quick question about MS in Physics/Applied Physics

Postby grae313 » Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:49 am

I just reread your post and noticed your intent to get a "MD/PhD." By this do you mean you want to go to medical school after your MS, or do you want to get a PhD in a medical related field?

rs6622
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Re: Just a quick question about MS in Physics/Applied Physics

Postby rs6622 » Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:40 am

My intent is to go to medical school after my MS degree. I want to get my MD and PhD in medical school. I would hope that my PhD can be in an engineering field or something like biophysics.

Thanks for the help guys.

excel
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Re: Just a quick question about MS in Physics/Applied Physics

Postby excel » Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:16 am

If you want the PhD in biophysics, why is it that you want to enroll in a MS program and not directly in a MD/PhD program ?

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twistor
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Re: Just a quick question about MS in Physics/Applied Physics

Postby twistor » Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:33 pm

Unless you're planning on going into medical physics or doing medical research an MD will not help you. You'd be wasting your time and money. If you want to be a physician you should go for it, but don't think physics will help you in that profession. There isn't much cross-over between medicine and biophysics. You'll be better off doing molecular biology, chemistry, or a related science if biophysics is your intention.

excel
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Re: Just a quick question about MS in Physics/Applied Physics

Postby excel » Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:16 pm

From his post, I think RS is interested in medical research that would involve application of math and physics.

rs6622
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Re: Just a quick question about MS in Physics/Applied Physics

Postby rs6622 » Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:34 pm

I would like to do research in medicine that involves math and physics. I think that the MS in Applied Physics gives me more credibility, in a sense. I could be wrong, though. I don't think my undergrad BA in Physics would be completely sufficient for future research. Currently, it will be very hard for me to attain a BS in Physics because of having to do honors classes each semester (that are humanities/literature based) and premed requirements. Also, I'd like to learn more physics beyond undergrad.

Tell me if my logic is off...

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butsurigakusha
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Re: Just a quick question about MS in Physics/Applied Physics

Postby butsurigakusha » Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:48 pm

It appears that you want to go into medical physics. The traditional way to do this is to get a PhD in medical physics. You don't need a MSc in physics to do this, and I think a BA in physics should be enough to get in. Just be aware that it is pretty competitive.

I don't think I have ever heard of anyone getting a MSc in physics and then an MD with the goal of doing physics-related medical research (or is it medical-related physics?), so I have no idea if it is a viable option.

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twistor
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Re: Just a quick question about MS in Physics/Applied Physics

Postby twistor » Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:11 pm

There are some situations where you can do a dual MD/Ph.d. in medicine and medical physics. However, I'm not convinced that there is any advantage to this over just the medical physics Ph.d.

excel
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Re: Just a quick question about MS in Physics/Applied Physics

Postby excel » Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:16 pm

RS,

If you are really keen on getting a degree in physics, have you considered getting a 5-year BS/MS combined degree from your university (if such a program exists)? However, I think a pre-med BS will suffice. Very few students enter the PhD program in your intended area with a masters degree in physics or math or engineering. As long as you have some relevant quantitative background (such as in physics and computational math), you should be all set. You can then take additional physics and math courses in graduate school as per your future research needs.

Actually, what may matter the most is the kind and quality of research that you do as an undergraduate. If you can do good research during your undergraduate years and maybe even publish, you should be all set.

By the way, if I am reading you loud and clear, I think you would be more interested in Phd in maybe computational biology programs based at medical schools than in a PhD in medical physics.

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grae313
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Re: Just a quick question about MS in Physics/Applied Physics

Postby grae313 » Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:18 pm

excel wrote:By the way, if I am reading you loud and clear, I think you would be more interested in Phd in maybe computational biology programs based at medical schools than in a PhD in medical physics.
Yeah this was how I was hearing him/her, too. Medical physics is like MRIs and radiation treatment.

rs6622
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Re: Just a quick question about MS in Physics/Applied Physics

Postby rs6622 » Fri Apr 18, 2008 11:30 pm

Wow, thanks for the input. I'll definitely research more and develop a better idea of what I want to do. Thank you very much.

I had another quick question. Is it hard to do Physics undergrad and then do Engineering grad school (once again obtaining an MS in something like biomedical engineering)?

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butsurigakusha
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Re: Just a quick question about MS in Physics/Applied Physics

Postby butsurigakusha » Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:02 am

I think I know more of my fellow physics undergrads who are planning on doing engineering in grad school than who are going on in physics. The engineering college at my university likes to recruit physics undergrads. So I don't think it is too difficult. You will probably have to get caught up on a few things, though.

excel
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Re: Just a quick question about MS in Physics/Applied Physics

Postby excel » Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:30 am

In general, physics undergraduates can receive admission to top BME programs, as long as their undergraduate research can be considered close to BME. My experience is with PhD programs though, dont know about MS programs.




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