Accepted into Atmospheric Science, but now attracted more towards general physics

  • 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.

muulex
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:44 pm

Accepted into Atmospheric Science, but now attracted more towards general physics

Postby muulex » Sat May 23, 2015 12:39 pm

Hi,

I will be attending the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology for a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science in the fall. I am satisfied with the merit of the school and the program, but am having mixed feelings about my choice of field. I know that the AS school is separate from the other physics schools, but I am feeling a strong itch to get out of AS and into a different program. I may even want to aim for a masters instead of a Ph.D.

I am wondering whether either of those two choices are possible. If so, when might I be able to change my course?

I am comfortable and excited with AS, which is why I chose it, but further information and 'soul-searching' is pushing me in other directions. I may not be as interested in research as I am in starting my life outside of academia, which is why I now begin to consider a Masters. Any help, obviously, would go a long way towards putting me at ease. Anything you can offer is appreciated.

Thanks,
Michael.

muulex
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:44 pm

Re: Accepted into Atmospheric Science, but now attracted more towards general physics

Postby muulex » Sun May 24, 2015 11:52 am

I spoke with one of my professors and this was his advice:

"All-in-all, my guess is that the South Dakota offer is still the best, even
if you are accepted with adequate funding by DSU and/or A&M Commerce.
But it is a guess, and I daresay that guessing is is all you can reasonably do too,
not having visited them in person.

My final advice: pick the best actual offer you have now and commit yourself
to doing the best you can there. Don't look back and think about the other
options once you are there. Then, if you are truly unsatisfied, think about
transferring, but try your best to get at least the MS wherever you go."

The other option is to go to Delaware State University for either an MS or Ph.D. in optics. The program is new, not nearly as established as the program at South Dakota. I applied in early february, so my options, both, are not stellar. I see that. But, in your opinion, for someone who is naturally curious about the way the world works, which program is more likely to get me to a comfortable place. I suppose that's a hard question to ask.

Rather, is attending a smaller, newer program like the one at DSU equivalent to shooting myself in the foot, even if I am able to make myself stand out?




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