bfollinprm wrote:McGill is a respectable school that leaves you with a chance of finding work as an R1 research professor (also, some classes are in French).
TheBeast wrote:bfollinprm wrote:McGill is a respectable school that leaves you with a chance of finding work as an R1 research professor (also, some classes are in French).
McGill is a university where English is the language of instruction. Unless you take a French language or literature class, the classes are in English.
bfollinprm wrote:English-speaking schools that are excellent in cosmology (my field) outside of the states are (basically in order) listed below.
1. Cambridge (UK) -- top 10ish
2. UBC-Vancouver (Canada) --top 15?
3. Perimeter Institute (Canada) --top 15?
4. McGill University (Canada) --top 30 (some classes are in french)
Hey bfollinprm, thanks alot for the help. What I exactly want to do is cosmology, so your info has been very helpful. Unfortunately, Unless Cambridge has something absolutely spectacular to offer vs. other schools, I can't see myself going 100k deep into debt for a degree from there. Also, I knew that UVictoria (Victoria Island, BC) was a good school for astro, didn't know about UBC though. Did you mean UVic? If I were to choose one of those schools when applying (UBC or UVic) which one would you recommend?
bfollinprm wrote:What I can tell you is outside of the US, the PhD is thought of much more as a simple apprenticeship between the adviser and the student; you'll pretty much have to know who your adviser will be the minute you walk in the front door, and his/her opinion is the one that really matters when deciding if you'll get in.
bfollinprm wrote:Therefore, it's important to find people who are currently accepting students, and email them.
bfollinprm wrote:I know many students in the US spend the first year you spend learning the ropes (since many people are in 6-7 year PhD programs nowadays). That wont really be possible in the shorter UK/Canadian programs.
Andromeda wrote:As someone going off to do an Astronomy PhD in Europe this fall (at University of Amsterdam) I completely encourage looking into programs across the pond so to speak- always great to broaden horizons in multiple ways!
Firstly I wrote a lot more detailed version of how applying to Europe worked for me in the 2011 placement etc thread, so I'd recommend checking that out too if you want more info. But briefly I applied to programs in the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany and all were English-speaking and top-notch caliber- for example Leiden in the Netherlands has had more Hubble fellows than pretty much any other institution, and there are more astronomers per capita in the Netherlands than any other country in the world actually. Lots of interesting research also going on on that side of the pond, like the Planck satellite and the LOFAR radio astronomy array.
With regards to the UK, by far the biggest hurdle I ran into was funding as most places just plain don't have much funding worth mentioning if you're not a UK resident (EU citizens would get tuition covered but not living expenses usually) and most places just plain wouldn't accept a student who they couldn't fund- not like we need all that many astronomers in the world, y'know? I did my research on schools and most admissions folks were more than happy to write back with potential opportunities for US students, and the best opportunities are actually up in Scotland I seem to recall (the best for astro are University of Edinburgh and St Andrews). Most of the time what you need to know is whether anyone in the department is funded by the European Research Council because the profs who are can fund people from not just the UK/EU.
So I had a lot more success with places on the mainland continent of Europe- most places do graduate programs in English, and lots of programs are really as top notch as anything you'd find in the States/Canada (for example the Max Planck Institutes in Germany- main ones for astro are in Munich, Heidelberg, and Bonn). No one ever asked for a GRE score albeit you do need to interview for all these places prior to acceptance- and most will require a M.S. degree for a PhD program!
Ok t'sall for now, feel free to shout out or drop me a line if you have more questions.
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