Ph D in Physics without an undergrad degree in Physics

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collectedsoul
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:04 pm

Ph D in Physics without an undergrad degree in Physics

Postby collectedsoul » Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:19 pm

Hi
I am keen on doing a Ph.D./MSc in physics and have been sounding out a lot of different universities for info about admission without having a B Sc in Physics (I graduated in Comp. Engg). I recently got a response from a professor at U Toronto that said I would have to spend a non-degree year of catching up on undergrad level Physics if I wanted to get into the MSc program at U Toronto or any other university. This has caused a good deal of distress in me. I can't afford the cost of this non-degree year and I'm worried that other schools will also take up this position if I apply to their MSc/Ph.D. program. Can anyone here who is well-informed about these matters please tell me that this is not true for all schools?

collectedsoul
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:04 pm

Re: Ph D in Physics without an undergrad degree in Physics

Postby collectedsoul » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:57 pm

Can anyone please tell me if its possible to do a PhD in Physics without a Bachelors degree in it? Isn't there anyone here who has done Engineering and then moved on to a PhD in Physics? Someone? Anyone?

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zxcv
Posts: 402
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:08 pm

Re: Ph D in Physics without an undergrad degree in Physics

Postby zxcv » Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:51 am

Yes, it is possible and has been done. But it is extremely unlikely that you'll be able to avoid the prerequisite of a significant background (upper division classes) in undergraduate physics.

Perhaps there is a way you could take courses while also employed? In any case taking upper level physics classes would probably give you a much better sense of whether you really want to go to grad school in physics.

collectedsoul
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:04 pm

Re: Ph D in Physics without an undergrad degree in Physics

Postby collectedsoul » Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:37 am

Thanks for the reply zxcv. This is not good for me...I was really hoping that a good PHysics GRE score would see me through...I'll write to a few other profs and see what they have to say. In case there's anyone here who has done what I'm trying to do, please let me know...you could be saving a life :)

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zxcv
Posts: 402
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:08 pm

Re: Ph D in Physics without an undergrad degree in Physics

Postby zxcv » Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:03 pm

What undergrad physics courses have you taken? The graduate physics courses you'll need to take for a PhD really do require a significant physics background.

collectedsoul
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:04 pm

Re: Ph D in Physics without an undergrad degree in Physics

Postby collectedsoul » Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:06 pm

Well during my Engineering days I had two applied physics papers - but thats about it. No research experience in Physics either. My only hope was to ace the subject GRE and hope for a Top 50 school. But that looks remote now...




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