Which US schools take BSc. (Hons.) students from India

blues87
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:31 am

Which US schools take BSc. (Hons.) students from India

Postby blues87 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:35 am

Hi,

This is a general query for a good friend of mine who is in a three year BSc. (Honors) program in Physics in India, and is interested in pursuing graduate studies in the US.

I want to know which schools accept students with a three year BSc. degree from India. My friend is from St. Stephens College in New Delhi, which is a very reputed college for undergraduate physics in India.

Inputs are appreciated!

Thanks in advance.

kangaroo
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:31 am

Re: Which US schools take BSc. (Hons.) students from India

Postby kangaroo » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:05 am

A desperate one.

blues87
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:31 am

Re: Which US schools take BSc. (Hons.) students from India

Postby blues87 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:59 am

If you have nothing useful to say, you should probably refrain from writing anything at all. Smart alec comments such as the kind you make make the purpose of such forums futile. I feel truly sorry for you if you think that is a useful thing to have said.

I am open to comments and opinions from other people on this forum, and am willing to overlook this.

blighter
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:30 pm

Re: Which US schools take BSc. (Hons.) students from India

Postby blighter » Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:09 am

Most US schools require a four year degree. But if your friend has exceptional grades, GRE scores and research experience, most schools would also be willing to overlook this requirement.

You could have arrived at all this information on your own if you had done a little research. Your post was inviting smart alec responses.

blues87
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:31 am

Re: Which US schools take BSc. (Hons.) students from India

Postby blues87 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:57 am

There are some universities which do not accept students with less than a four year bachelor's degree, which is why I had asked the question. The problem is that most universities do not explicitly say so. I myself did not have this problem as I had a 5 year degree in physics, and got into a graduate program the usual way. I guess the problem is the way in which a 4 year US degree in Physics (BS) maps to a 3 year degree in India or other countries which have a BSc system (England perhaps?). Some universities explicitly say that they will accept only the equivalent of a 4 year US degree. Others say nothing at all. Emailing the universities has not got us any responses.

Etranger
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:38 am

Re: Which US schools take BSc. (Hons.) students from India

Postby Etranger » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:58 am

Hi,

All of those people here, seem to have gotten directly into a PhD program with their 3-year B. Sc.

Your friend should consider talking about his situation with the faculty at St. Stephen's. My understanding is that people from India generally have a 5-year M. Sc degree before going for a PhD.

TakeruK
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Which US schools take BSc. (Hons.) students from India

Postby TakeruK » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:20 am

What does a Honours degree in India mean? I'm not sure what you mean by a "BSc" system, because in Canada, our undergrad degrees are also called a BSc but it's a 4-5 year program. In Canada, an honours BSc degree usually means the student has taken:

(a) more courses (An honours physics student takes about 10% more credits than a physics major)
(b) maintained full time status
(c) no failed courses, maintained some minimum GPA (my school was 68%, usually not a problem)
(d) usually an extra requirement in 4th year: either a year long thesis/independent research course, and/or enrol in graduate level courses

In Canada and maybe the US, an Honours BSc is usually a different thing than a BSc with Honours standing. The latter case usually means you've graduated above some percentile.

So, if your friend has an Honours degree like above, it would really help them get into graduate school. However, it could be really hard to get all the courses to the North American 4th year level and get some research done as well in only 3 years! Also, is a 3 year degree program in India more advanced/more specialized, so that the material in a North American 4-year program is covered in just 3 years?

I think the reason why you have problems finding this information online is that there are so many different systems across the world and these special cases are on a case-by-case basis. I would assume that the default status is that schools expect students to have an equivalence to a 4-year BSc. If the school does not explicitly say that they will take 3-year degree students, your friend will have to make a case for him-/her- self and prove that they are at the same level as a 4 year degree program.

The bottom line is that graduate students cost a lot of money, especially International students like us. If your friend's 3-year degree does not prepare them for a US grad school, they will probably have to take extra time and (undergrad) courses in the US to catch up, which ends up costing the department more money. Unless your friend shows a lot of promise/skill/etc. it's just not a good investment -- why take someone who still needs training when you have a lot of other applicants with a 4 year degree equivalency.

As for contacting schools directly, I found that most admissions secretaries won't answer many questions before you submit an application because there are just too many variables -- they don't have enough information to give you an accurate response. However, you can't just send them the application information because they don't have time to process applications that aren't sent through the normal system. So, you will likely just get very general responses (e.g. something like "we will accept degrees that are equivalent to a 4 year US BS").

Finally, US grad schools are direct-entry PhD, it's a long commitment: 5-6 years! It's already hard enough to prove yourself a worth investment doing a 4 year degree, so I can't imagine being able to do that in just 3 years. I know in England, like in Canada, a Masters degree is a completely separate degree than a PhD -- in Canada, we do a 2 year courses+thesis masters followed by 3-4 year PhD program (the PhD and MSc degrees can be done at different schools). In Canada, the Masters program is fully funded, just like PhD programs -- Masters students in Canada are treated by their school the same way a US school treats their first and second year PhD students. However, Masters programs in the US are usually unfunded!

So, maybe your friend should consider applying to Masters programs in Canada or other funded countries. It will give them the time, training, and experience to prove that they will make a successful PhD student. It's important to keep in mind that if your friend has their heart set on a US PhD program, these programs tend to start everyone at the same level (i.e. back to first year grad school), no matter if you have a Masters or not. So, a Masters might help boost your application (if you did well/accomplished a lot) but it probably won't be recognized at a US PhD program (even if the masters is from a US school).

Etranger
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:38 am

Re: Which US schools take BSc. (Hons.) students from India

Postby Etranger » Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:04 am

My understanding is that UK BSc degrees are quite advanced. For students looking to go into research, there is now a 4-year undergraduate master's called the MSci or MPhys, depending on the institution. The entry requirements for PhD programs used to be an upper second class honours BSc/BA degree but as of late, this requirement as shifted to the MSci/MPhys. The other thing is that there are no "general education" requirements.

It would appear that German B.Sc degrees are similar as well. (except that an M.Sc, on top of that, is required to enter a PhD there) Just to put things into perspective, my friend was using Jackson for advanced electrodynamics in year 2 of his 3-year degree.

Now, as for Indian public schools, there seems to be some further variation. One generally studies 3-4 subjects (for e.g: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Electronics) in the first year and then drop down with each passing year. But then St. Stephen's seems to have a straight-up physics degree. So, the best people to ask about whether the St. Stephen's degree would make them eligible is the faculty there. I reckon there should be a list of alumni and what they're doing.

jackshroff40
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:16 pm

Re: Which US schools take BSc. (Hons.) students from India

Postby jackshroff40 » Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:23 pm

As far as I know, your friends needs master degree in india or usa in order to apply for ph.d. in usa because india has only 3 years of B.S. US ph.d. programs requires 4-years of B.S. AT LEAST.




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