Does correspondent curriculum hurt chances?

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Izaac
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Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:24 am

Does correspondent curriculum hurt chances?

Postby Izaac » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:09 pm

Hello folks,

An idea has been taking more and more place in my thoughts and I was wondering asking you about it. I (French sophomore) decided this year to pursue my physics curriculum by correspondent courses. This was mainly motivated by 1) the fact that I got disgusted by the awful French undergrad environment, and 2) the fact that I wanted to do research during the year, which was incompatible with a "full-time" student schedule.
And so, I was wondering whether this choice would be harmful when I'd apply to graduate schools. I mean, is it considered bad, or really bad (or are schools above those kind of details) to do correspondent courses?

By the way, a similar question would be: I will soon cross the Atlantic to do an internship in the States (4 months in a university in Illinois). I see a lot of profiles remarking the fellowships they got for internships, so, would the fact that this one will be entirely self-funded make it less valuable? What I fear is that, in some way, it might be thought as a "bought" experience, some kind of bribe.

Thanks in advance for any opinion on these matters.

bfollinprm
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Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: Does correspondent curriculum hurt chances?

Postby bfollinprm » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:42 pm

By the way, a similar question would be: I will soon cross the Atlantic to do an internship in the States (4 months in a university in Illinois). I see a lot of profiles remarking the fellowships they got for internships, so, would the fact that this one will be entirely self-funded make it less valuable? What I fear is that, in some way, it might be thought as a "bought" experience, some kind of bribe.


Insofar as the research, no, but lots of summer grants are competitive, so simply winning them is a statement in your favor you won't have. The actual research, however, is far more important in terms of getting into grad school, and that will be judged on the letter your supervisor writes you and the publications/presentations/etc. you produce (if any).

I (French sophomore) decided this year to pursue my physics curriculum by correspondent courses...I was wondering whether this choice would be harmful when I'd apply to graduate schools. I mean, is it considered bad, or really bad (or are schools above those kind of details) to do correspondent courses?


Are they lower quality? My primary concern would be how the hell you'd get letters of recommendation, though if you're doing research that won't be a problem. If at the end of your undergraduate degree you can pick up a preliminary exam from a respected physics PhD program in the States and get at least something like 30% of it (without notes), you're probably fine in terms of preparation. If that's the case, I doubt grad schools will care where or how you took your courses.

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Izaac
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Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:24 am

Re: Does correspondent curriculum hurt chances?

Postby Izaac » Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:57 am

Concerning the quality, I am not really sure, since I struggled on several subjects this year because of awfully written courses. Though, French universities are typically pretty bad in terms of overall quality, so it doesn't change much. Anyway, the exams and the diplomas are the same as for full-time students, and the university itself doesn't distinguish between correspondent students and full-time ones (that is to say: it's rather all the same, qualitatively speaking).

Anyway, thanks for your answer, bfollinprm.




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