Penalities for switiching from PhD to Masters?

  • As many already know, studying for the physics GRE and getting accepted into a graduate program is not the final hurdle in your physics career.
  • There are many issues current physics graduate students face such as studying for their qualifier, deciding upon a field of research, choosing an advisor, being an effective teaching assistant, trying to have a social life, navigating department politics, dealing with stress, utilizing financial aid, etc.

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Penalities for switiching from PhD to Masters?

Postby FortranMan » Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:02 pm

I'm not currently a grad student, just a prospective looking around. Some schools I've looked at emphasis that they only enroll or will fully fund students who plan on pursuing a PhD, not just a masters. Some grad students I've talked to said enrolling as a PhD student isn't that bad, because if you realize getting a doctorate in physics is too much for you, you can walk away from the university with at least a masters. However this seem counter intuitive to me. How can a school let you walk away from the program with a masters and the money they invested in you without some sort of consequence? Is a master in physics just not worth a lot compared to a doctorate? How do they keep students that only want a masters from getting a free ride? High admission requirements?

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Re: Penalities for switiching from PhD to Masters?

Postby fermiboy » Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:34 pm

You can walk away because the school's "investment" in you has already paid off in your service as a TA to the department. Or if you are an RA, the investment has been paid by the work you did for your research group. That's the deal, you work for the school, they pay your tuition. You can walk away at any time, within the limits for the contract you signed when hired. So the school doesn't really lose anything.

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Re: Penalities for switiching from PhD to Masters?

Postby twistor » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:19 pm

Yes, 30 lashes.

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