asymp_tote99 wrote:Hey People!
I was wondering how easy it is to change the concentration once you're in grad school. So for example, if I apply as CMT, and then later try to switch to HEP-Th, will this even be possible. I'm assuming it is kinda hard at the top tier universities, but does anyone have a rough idea of what the scenarios could be like?
Also, itd be great if you could explain how this works at your home institution, how easy it is to switch between sub-fields once in graduate school.
It depends a lot on you and your background, and every school does it differently. Ultimately, it is at the discretion of the department what you are allowed to do, and the department is composed of its professors. And, perhaps most importantly, you have to find someone with whom to do a project in the other field.
Also, about the top tier universities: my suspicion is that it is actually easier
as you move up the prestige ladder, for the following reasons: (1) most students who enter these programs are well-prepared and therefore desirable, (2) most of these institutions have large faculties and it is therefore less of a crapshoot to find someone who's willing to work with you, (3) many of them offer first-year fellowships or rotation systems which support students who are not sure what they want to do yet. And more reasons along these same lines: top tier programs have lots of resources and want their students to succeed (not merely to provide research support for their advisors). I have friends in the Berkeley, Harvard, and MIT physics departments who have made jumps from one field to another (even to other departments!) without much resistance. It is worth pointing out that doing this requires some assertiveness on your part - but you should get some anyway if you want to do well in academia.