astroprof wrote:There are many good reasons to enter into a Masters-only graduate program, and providing evidence of academic success after a poor start as an undergraduate is one of them. However, it sounds like you have already made this point, if you have 4.0 averages in your last two years as an undergraduate. Getting similar grades as a masters student will not have a significant impact on your application, as most graduate courses give A's and B's (anything less than a B is considered 'not passing' for most US graduate programs).
However, if you would like to improve your research record, explore possible research areas, remain in Canada for a few more years, or earn a degree that will lead to more job opportunities than a BS but does not require the same commitment as a PhD, then a Masters-only graduate program may be for you. Most US doctoral programs understand that a Canadian Masters degree is not a "terminal" degree in the same way as it is treated in the US, so you should not be at a disadvantage in that regard. However, it is unlikely that any of the course work, or research, will transfer to the US doctoral program, so you would be starting over if you choose to move to the US for your PhD.
The practical approach is to apply to both Canadian masters programs and US doctoral programs this fall. See where you get in, what your opportunities will be, and what career paths they may lead you to. You may discover that the Canadian masters program you like can also transition to become a Canadian PhD program that is well matched to your interests. You may discover that the US PhD programs you get into are better than/worse than you expected. Keeping your options open is often the best approach to the graduate application/admissions process.
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