Master before PhD

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astroboy
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Master before PhD

Postby astroboy » Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:52 am

I plan on applying to some of the top US grad school programs upon completion of my BSc. Just wondering if, in the case that I am not accepted into my top choices, it would be worth doing a Masters before reapplying? I realize having a masters will probably make me look more attractive to the top PhD programs, so I suppose my main concern is whether or not this would have any affect on the duration of my PhD? In other words, after completing a 1-2 year masters program, could I perhaps bypass the PhD coursework or at least shorten the length of the PhD degree by those 1-2 years?

Also, I would have the option of completing a masters by research or coursework. Which would be favourable in the eyes of the PhD admission committees?

pqortic
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Re: Masters before PhD

Postby pqortic » Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:47 pm

it depends on the phd school. some universities allow you to transfer limited number of graduate courses that you have already taken and some of them like Stanford as I remember do not accept any transfer.

since you want to continue to phd it is in your advantage to have as much research experience as possible instead of taking some minor courses. so definitely choosing Master by research plan and writing a thesis is better.

You may want to look at this topic as well.

Mcfly11
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Mcfly11 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:50 am

Quick question for you guys. I'm in a Master's program, and am planning to apply to a Ph.D program to start once I'm done my MSc. My marks in undergrad were very good (4.0), but my marks in grad school are lower (Somewhere around 3.5 GPA). Does anyone know if schools tend to weight your undergrad, or your graduate marks more?

matonski
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Re: Masters before PhD

Postby matonski » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:45 am

I'm in the exact opposite situation. My undergrad is 3.5 and my masters is 4.0.

geshi
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby geshi » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:20 pm

Mcfly11 wrote:Quick question for you guys. I'm in a Master's program, and am planning to apply to a Ph.D program to start once I'm done my MSc. My marks in undergrad were very good (4.0), but my marks in grad school are lower (Somewhere around 3.5 GPA). Does anyone know if schools tend to weight your undergrad, or your graduate marks more?


I would imagine they care more about your grad school grades than undergrad grades. I've definitely seen some schools that said stuff along the lines of "minimum GPA in undergrad work of 3.0 and minimum GPA in grad work of 3.3." So I'm not sure whether than means they think higher grades in grad school are easier, or if they are more interested in good grades in grad school. I'll try to find a link for a department or two that I saw that.

In terms of getting a master's before a PhD, it can help. It is particularly useful if your resume right out of undergrad isn't fantastic. I.e. if you have no research experience and/or terrible grades as an undergrad, then getting a master's first might be advisable. I had a friend that was *planning* on doing that. He managed to get offers from Ohio State and UT-Austin though. Needless to say, he decided he didn't need the master's after all. Check out the thread pqortic linked if you haven't already. Several people mentioning going to a lesser school for a master's then going to a top 10 PhD program after.

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grae313
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby grae313 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:38 am

geshi wrote:I would imagine they care more about your grad school grades than undergrad grades. I've definitely seen some schools that said stuff along the lines of "minimum GPA in undergrad work of 3.0 and minimum GPA in grad work of 3.3." So I'm not sure whether than means they think higher grades in grad school are easier, or if they are more interested in good grades in grad school. I'll try to find a link for a department or two that I saw that.


Having a 3.0 in graduate school is almost like having a 1.0 in undergrad. The average grade in most grad classes is A-/B+. Graduate classes are graded differently, and *everyone* gets at least a B unless you are seriously terrible. Grades aren't taken that seriously in graduate school. However, your performance in advanced graduate coursework says more than your undergraduate grades, so this is difficult to say. I don't think you should be worried with a 3.5, it's decent enough, unless you are aiming for top schools.

sumith85
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How important is MS to be enrolled in PhD in US grad school

Postby sumith85 » Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:43 am

Hi
I have completed undergraduate in Physics and hoping to be enrolled in a US grad school for PhD. I was wondering if an MS degree will help me or not . I am thinking to use my time for Physics GRE in November instead of attending MS exam. Is that a good idea? Please comment.

Sumith

adhikarir
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Re: How important is MS to be enrolled in PhD in US grad school

Postby adhikarir » Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:57 am

Looks like u got your undergraduate degree outside us, likely India ( looking at your name). So, it would depend on if your bachelors is three years or four years. If it is three years, then u might want to do your MS, because as far as I know most of the schools want you to have four year degree. If it is four year course, then u are fine and can go ahead to take GRE and apply.

arieszen
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Re: How important is MS to be enrolled in PhD in US grad school

Postby arieszen » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:59 am

I agree with adhikarir about the 4 year course requirement in most US schools but if you are talking about your final year MS exams and if your core subject is related to what you would like to choose in graduate school, you must appear for the exam. Having a masters degree will certainly help. But it is upto you. Handling MS and GRE in the same year can get tricky.

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joeleitz
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Re: How important is MS to be enrolled in PhD in US grad school

Postby joeleitz » Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:12 pm

adhikarir wrote:Looks like u got your undergraduate degree outside us, likely India ( looking at your name). So, it would depend on if your bachelors is three years or four years. If it is three years, then u might want to do your MS, because as far as I know most of the schools want you to have four year degree. If it is four year course, then u are fine and can go ahead to take GRE and apply.


I agree. Plus there's not much risk with trying to tackle the GRE asap because most of the prep sites that offer the gre practice test[/url] programs are actually guaranteed. They won't take you on if you seem unfit, and they will refund if you simply can't get it.

I'm doing mine real soon, I'm just looking for the best offer/experiences. :)
Last edited by pqortic on Mon May 10, 2010 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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sumith85
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Re: How important is MS to be enrolled in PhD in US grad school

Postby sumith85 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:21 pm

Thanks all of you for their posts. My bachelor is a 4 year one. Actually I am thinking about putting my efforts for Physics GRE in November and avoid MS. I don't know whether it is good or bad decision.

Thanks again for your help and I think it will not stop!!

Peace

golick2000
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Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:21 pm

Re: How important is MS to be enrolled in PhD in US grad school

Postby golick2000 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:07 am

sumith85 wrote:Thanks all of you for their posts. My bachelor is a 4 year one. Actually I am thinking about putting my efforts for Physics GRE in November and avoid MS. I don't know whether it is good or bad decision.

Thanks again for your help and I think it will not stop!!

Peace


I would not recommend you to do that. I had the same situation. I started my M.S. academic year in september and had PGRE in October. Only one month difference. Then you can suffer a bit but kill two birds with one shot.




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