Masters to Ph.D. Question

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Masters to Ph.D. Question

Postby ekuphysics » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:48 pm

I am going to graduate next year with a B.S. in Physics and B.S. in Math and an unrelated minor. I have a fiance' that originally signed on for a scholarship to work as a nurse at a hospital in Louisville for a lot of money, with a requirement of 2 years of work.

My questions are: What are the requirements for a Ph.D. once a student has a Masters (for different schools)?
What are the chances of being accepted to a top school after a Masters (and probable increase an PGRE score)?
What will the total time for a Ph.D. be in this case?

The reason I ask is it is possible to get my Masters from Louisville and she could work off her commitment saving us a lot of money. Also, I know Louisville can now award Ph.D's but they don't have the specific field or the reputation I'm looking for.

Other info: I have a 3.7 GPA (3.6 math and sciences), little research, lot of extracurriculars. All advice is helpful!

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Re: Masters to Ph.D. Question

Postby matonski » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:17 am

In general, once accepted, I don't think that students with masters degrees get any special treatment. Where it comes into play is that you may be prepared enough to pass the prelims right when you start. As I understand it, the schools I'm considering don't require you to take the standard graduate-level physics courses. Most students take them in order to prepare for the prelims. However, if you can pass the prelims right away, then you'll be able to focus on research earlier.

With regards to it helping you get in, doing well in graduate level classes and an increase in your pgre score will of course be an improvement to your application.

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Re: Masters to Ph.D. Question

Postby ekuphysics » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:11 am

So the question is, will most school accept the credits as transfer credits? I know that some schools would take those credits counting toward the Ph.D which would greatly decrease the actual coursework in the Ph.D. program and leave a lot of room for research work. If most schools would accept the Masters courses for Ph.D credit, then this is by far the best option for me.

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Re: Masters to Ph.D. Question

Postby johnpauljones » Thu Mar 25, 2010 3:16 pm

It varies. I did the same thing, for a different reason; I'm finishing my MS now and beginning my PhD next fall at a different university.

Indirectly, doing the MS has benefited me by allowing me to improve my PGRE score, get a lot more research experience, and show that I can do well in graduate classes.

Directly, the benefits vary from school to school. Some have told me that I could take the qual right away and, if I pass, be exempted from any classes. Others have said that I will have to take all the courses again because they don't really accept transfer credit. It really depends on the school.

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Re: Masters to Ph.D. Question

Postby kroner » Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:24 am

It may be different in math, but at the schools I'm looking at, while there are course credit requirements, apparently they are pretty much never an issue. If you can pass prelims right away then you can focus on research sooner and also get right into classes that are more specialized on the topics you want to be doing. If there are any PhD programs you specifically have your eye on you might check their websites or make some inquiries.

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