To do a masters and then a PhD or go straight PhD

  • 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.

ruleofwrist20
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:19 am

To do a masters and then a PhD or go straight PhD

Postby ruleofwrist20 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:45 pm

Ok...this is my first post and sorry if this has already been a topic (I didn't see it on a general glance at topics, but if it is there my apology). I recently graduate with my BS in physics and was accepted to the MS program at the same school. I had planned to go straight into a PhD program, however I had waited too long to register for the pgre last year and found that I had to take a year off before I could apply to PhD programs. Thus, I decided the best plan was for me to take a year of graduate classes here at my alma mater and then apply for a PhD program in December, after I take the pgre in October. My question is: Would it be beneficial to work on a thesis, complete my masters and then apply for a PhD? Or, would it benefit me more in the long run to stick with my original plan of applying to a PhD this fall? I am currently doing research both in experimental and theoretical topics between 2 different schools (theory in my MS and experimental at UTexas where I have been doing research off and on over 2.5 years)...I enjoy both theory and experiment and honestly don't care which I pursue...I really just want to be a physicist working towards bettering this world through research and collaboration. The topics of research are somewhat different (solid state theory, high energy particle experiment), but like I said, I really don't care what I study or do so long as it is physics...I have not met a topic in the world of physics I didn't love. Now, I know that I need to pick something eventually, but my point here is that, would it be difficult to get into a PhD program with a masters from another university?
Here are my two ideas:
(1) Get an MS with a thesis and then apply to a PhD
(2) Do a year of graduate classes and then apply to a PhD

Thanks for any and all responses

User avatar
Raio
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:09 am

Re: To do a masters and then a PhD or go straight PhD

Postby Raio » Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:26 pm

ruleofwrist20 wrote:Ok...this is my first post and sorry if this has already been a topic (I didn't see it on a general glance at topics, but if it is there my apology). I recently graduate with my BS in physics and was accepted to the MS program at the same school. I had planned to go straight into a PhD program, however I had waited too long to register for the pgre last year and found that I had to take a year off before I could apply to PhD programs. Thus, I decided the best plan was for me to take a year of graduate classes here at my alma mater and then apply for a PhD program in December, after I take the pgre in October. My question is: Would it be beneficial to work on a thesis, complete my masters and then apply for a PhD? Or, would it benefit me more in the long run to stick with my original plan of applying to a PhD this fall? I am currently doing research both in experimental and theoretical topics between 2 different schools (theory in my MS and experimental at UTexas where I have been doing research off and on over 2.5 years)...I enjoy both theory and experiment and honestly don't care which I pursue...I really just want to be a physicist working towards bettering this world through research and collaboration. The topics of research are somewhat different (solid state theory, high energy particle experiment), but like I said, I really don't care what I study or do so long as it is physics...I have not met a topic in the world of physics I didn't love. Now, I know that I need to pick something eventually, but my point here is that, would it be difficult to get into a PhD program with a masters from another university?
Here are my two ideas:
(1) Get an MS with a thesis and then apply to a PhD
(2) Do a year of graduate classes and then apply to a PhD

Thanks for any and all responses



(1) (2) it does not matter because when you apply for a PhD in the fall, the schools won't have your grades I guess.

edit: damn, I just noticed this is a 4 months old thread...




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