All Other Majors to Physics

  • This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
  • There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.

blackcat007
Posts: 378
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:14 am

Re: Switching from CSE to Physics ... need advice

Postby blackcat007 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:07 am

cybergeek wrote:That is because in the initial phase of our academic careers we are forced to look for jobs, and when the financial conditions are met whatsoever, we start looking for what will actually bring peace to our inner selves. We have to prove that we can get a so-called 'lucrative' job and then let it go and start all over again. It calls for a lot of inner strength and self-motivation, if u know what i mean. Atleast this applies to me.


you got me wrong. I was not questioning your plan to change from engg to physics. I was referring to the stereotype pattern of question, where one asks what should he/she do? without searching anything for themselves. and trust me I think 99% people asking this type of question were found Indian. Even I did the same when I was new to this forum :lol:

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quizivex
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Re: Switching from CSE to Physics ... need advice

Postby quizivex » Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:27 pm

blackcat007 wrote:I am truly intrigued, why only Indians ask such questions? :lol:

Hahahhaha, you're not the first to notice this pattern. It's been a recurring theme for many years...

Take a look at this classic thread for instance...

quizivex on Feb 7, 2008 wrote:We've seen so many cases where someone posts an unreasonable inquiry just like sekharsrinadhu's and it just tickles us a little bit... we have established the convention to let grae313 make the first response to such threads. It's just a coincidence that so many of these users are indian. Another trend is that these users never follow up with their inquiries and ask more guided questions... I bet we'll never hear from sekharsrinadhu again!

blackcat007
Posts: 378
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:14 am

Re: Switching from CSE to Physics ... need advice

Postby blackcat007 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:54 pm

quizivex wrote:
blackcat007 wrote:I am truly intrigued, why only Indians ask such questions? :lol:

Hahahhaha, you're not the first to notice this pattern. It's been a recurring theme for many years...

Take a look at this classic thread for instance...

quizivex on Feb 7, 2008 wrote:We've seen so many cases where someone posts an unreasonable inquiry just like sekharsrinadhu's and it just tickles us a little bit... we have established the convention to let grae313 make the first response to such threads. It's just a coincidence that so many of these users are indian. Another trend is that these users never follow up with their inquiries and ask more guided questions... I bet we'll never hear from sekharsrinadhu again!


:shock: what a thread it was.. :lol: :lol:

I wonder what the thread starter did after he went through all those replies... :mrgreen:

darkmav
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:52 am

Re: Physics after computer engineering?

Postby darkmav » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:31 am

sumit.agarwal3 wrote:Hi Friends,
I am a software engineer working in Mumbai, India. I have done my under graduation in computer science in India. With my 1.5 years of IT experience, I have realized that I would like to pursue my graduation and even PHD in physics. I wanted to know about the challenges that I would face in doing so, as for the last 5 years I have been associated with computer engineering and have not been remotely associated with physics. Theory of relativity and quantum mechanics have always excited me, and I would like to pursue a study on the same. Please let me know if its possible for a software professional to get into physics. If yes, then what should be my immediate steps. Should I take GRE or the subject GRE. I just needed some sort of a guidance from you for the next 6 months or which would help me improve myself to the extent that I can work in physics. Keenly awaiting your guidance.
Thanks.

If you're really interested, it is definitely worth taking a shot Sumit. You'll need to do well on the GRE and Physics GRE of course, but you will also need recommendation letters preferably from physicists who can write positively about your physics coursework/research. A good idea would be to talk to people at TIFR, IISc or HRI (all Indian institutes) and also consult faculty. Getting into a grad program in Physics is not impossible. Graduate schools in the US are very open and encouraging generally. Its rare, but not unheard of for IT professionals to get back into academia.

Well, the general 'advice' is: study basic UG physics- Classical Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics, Classical Electrodynamics, Quantum Mechanics. Practice the sample Physics GRE papers, and gauge your preparation. Meanwhile, try and get some research experience. If you're a hardcore programmer, perhaps you can do an internship somewhere in computational physics, get involved in a research group which can capitalize on your programming/coding skills, and let you explore some physics too. You'll also have to demonstrate that you have significantly pressing reasons to switch from IT to Physics at this stage, in your SOP and application. A good idea is to pace yourself, since you'll need a lot of time to prepare properly for these tests. I'd say give yourself a 6 month to 1 year margin and try to build your application alongside as you prepare for the GREs. For specifics, feel free to PM me.

I don't know if BTechs are eligible to take the JAM and gain entrance into an MSc program at the IITs. You could explore that also.

And Vaibhav, I always thought Physics departments liked CS grads more than us EE grads :wink:

akwaghmare
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Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:55 am

Physics after Electronics background(applied phy)

Postby akwaghmare » Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:38 am

Hello
I completed my B.E. from Pune University last year from Electronics and Telecomm stream. I want to pursue my masters in applied physics, in fields such as photonics, solid state physics/electronics. I have three months and a half now for AGRE Physics Nov2010.
I am well versed with fundamentals I need to brush up problem solving. I have known the books mentioned viz. HRW, Griffith. I will read them top to bottom. Pl suggest me preparation strategies, and universities that I can apply after Elex engg. for Physics. And WHAT ELSE do i need to do in order to suffice for the stream change. ?
Please reply coz this formum is the biggest stage i can ever get for my assistance.
thanks all.

akwaghmare
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:55 am

MS in physics after Electronics Engg

Postby akwaghmare » Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:06 pm

Hello
I completed my B.E. from Pune University last year from Electronics and Telecomm stream. I want to pursue my masters in applied physics, in fields such as photonics, solid state physics/electronics. I have three months and a half now for AGRE Physics Nov2010.
I am well versed with fundamentals I need to brush up problem solving. I have known the books mentioned viz. HRW, Griffith. I will read them top to bottom. Pl suggest me preparation strategies, and universities that I can apply after Elex engg. for Physics. And WHAT ELSE do i need to do in order to suffice for the stream change. ?
Please reply coz this formum is the biggest stage i can ever get for my assistance.
thanks all.

pqortic
Posts: 398
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:24 am

Re: MS in physics after Electronics Engg

Postby pqortic » Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:21 am

search the forum, there are answers to each of your questions.

diabolicswati
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:27 am

shift from mech engg to cosmology

Postby diabolicswati » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:57 am

I want to do post grad in theoretical physics and cosmolgy once i am done with my mechanical engineering......how feasible is it and what are the options once has in oerder to pursue this..?

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grae313
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Re: shift from mech engg to cosmology

Postby grae313 » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:07 pm


rahuldatta
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Re: shift from mech engg to cosmology

Postby rahuldatta » Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:12 pm

It is certainly possible to go from Mechanical engineering to Cosmology. The Univ that you can aim for depends on many factors though like
1) whether you have any research experience in physics, or any field, as for that matter
2) PGRE scores
3) are you interested in theory or experiment? remember that being an engineer, you will always have a better chance to get in if you specify your interest in experimental physics

tiponuevo
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Hi, and asking for advice moving to Physics from Byteland

Postby tiponuevo » Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:36 pm

And, obviously, "Byteland" is a sadly lame metaphor for computer sciences :wink: (more like software development, in my case).

Ok people, this is my (basket?) case: I'm an old, old man (41) who wants to go back to his youthful dream of being a scientist, of the natural sciences variety, preferably the physics one. I, in the times of old Númenor, took about 2 years of what you in America would call undergraduate physics, before the so-called "real-world realism" hit my innocent head and I moved to a "real world" career, because scientists die of hunger in the streets, obviously. Well, long story short, bad move. Realism is to follow your hearth. Sappy, yeah, tacky and true.

Back to the elusive, nonfixed point: I have an undergrad Computer Analyst degree from Panama, a Master in networks/programming (from Spain), some coursework in a Computer Science-AI PhD (another Spanish thingy there) and more than 10 years experience as a developer, in three countries. My long-term goal is to get a PhD in Physics, perhaps in climate-change related studies. I know that, at this age, any scientific career will not be...long. But I'm beyond that. I just want to do what I love, so I have no hurries. So, my questions are:

1. Due to $$ issues, I don't think I'll be able (or willing!) to pursue studies in the USA. But Europe is much less expensive and I actually like it there. I'm not aware of an equivalent GRE-like test there, so the question is: if I take the GRE-Phys, would it be about as useful in an Euro U. as an American one? Yes, I know most of you guys are actually American, but perhaps some of you used the GRE to get to an Euro program.

2. Is there any easier way of doing this "transfer" that escapes me? Any input/crazy idea will be appreciated.

Well guys and girls, that's it. Thank a lot, and keep on loving science with all your hearth!

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grae313
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Re: Hi, and asking for advice moving to Physics from Byteland

Postby grae313 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:44 pm

PhD programs in the US are fully funded. They pay your tuition, health insurance, and a stipend to live off of comfortably. In Europe I hear that funding, especially for international applicants, is more difficult to come bye. To gain admission to any physics PhD program in the US or otherwise, you'll have to demonstrate your knowledge of the core undergraduate physics topics. A good score on the PGRE is not enough -- if you don't intend to obtain another BS in physics, you'll at least have to take some advanced physics courses to show that you're actually capable of doing physics. The only way I could see you getting admitted to a program without any advanced physics classes is if you published physics papers in respected journals.

I think your best bet would be to enroll at a local institution that allows non-students to take classes. Take the core upper-division physics courses and do well in them, and see if you can get involved in physics research. You could easily do this in a couple years or less if you pushed it. If you find a university that also has an advanced degree program you're interested in it may be a good way to get your foot in the door. This is probably the fastest way. The best way would be to start over and get an undergraduate degree in physics before moving on to graduate school.

Also, if doing climate research is more important to you than having a degree that says "physics" on it, you might look for graduate programs that approach the problem of climate change from your area of strength. I'm sure there are lots of research teams out there developing software for and doing computer modeling of climate change issues. It would be a lot less work for you to get admitted to a CS graduate program, and you can still be a scientist. Just a thought.

cesascencio
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Re: Physics after Electronics background(applied phy)

Postby cesascencio » Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:58 pm

akwaghmare wrote:Hello
I completed my B.E. from Pune University last year from Electronics and Telecomm stream. I want to pursue my masters in applied physics, in fields such as photonics, solid state physics/electronics. I have three months and a half now for AGRE Physics Nov2010.
I am well versed with fundamentals I need to brush up problem solving. I have known the books mentioned viz. HRW, Griffith. I will read them top to bottom. Pl suggest me preparation strategies, and universities that I can apply after Elex engg. for Physics. And WHAT ELSE do i need to do in order to suffice for the stream change. ?
Please reply coz this formum is the biggest stage i can ever get for my assistance.
thanks all.

Hello akwaghmare,

You are taking the exact path I have. I did my BSEE with a concentration in Electronics and Solid State Engineering and now I am doing two MS degrees. One is in Physics and the other is in EE. I am focused on the physics as I will be pursuing a PhD beginning Fall 2012.

In order to prepare for graduate school I would become well acquainted with the following books. As an EE I am telling you that these are the BEST undergraduate textbooks to really understand the physics and be able to solve problems very well (and will give you a great foundation for grad school in physics). It took me a while to find good textbooks for each subject. Be sure to solve a LOT of problems.

Classical mechanics by John R. Taylor

Introduction to Electrodynamics by Griffiths in conjunction with Electromagnetic Fields by Wangsness

Introduction to Thermal Physics by Schroeder

Introduction to Quantum Mechanics by Griffiths in conjunction with Principles of Quantum Mechanics by Shankar

Goodluck! If you have more questions, feel free to send me a message.

By the way, you can apply to any university for grad school in physics. You need to take the physics GRE and doing well will show grad schools that you are a competitive applicant and will give you a better shot at admission to the university of your choice.

satishrm
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:13 am

Mechanical Engineering to Physics

Postby satishrm » Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:28 am

Hello, I am doing my final year in B.tech (Mechanical) at NIT, Trichy, India. I am planning to join a graduate course (M.S) in Physics in US. I currently have a CGPA 6.99/10. My GRE score is 1440. I will be taking GRE physics on November 14th. Let us say I get around 800, then could you suggest some Universities for such a profile ?
Last edited by satishrm on Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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twistor
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Re: Mechanical Engineering to Physics

Postby twistor » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:16 am

How do you plan to do graduate research when you can't even do basic internet research on potential graduate schools? Appropriate questions for forums draw on the experience of the posters -- something that cannot be obtained from a google search. We're not going to do your research for you.

satishrm
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Re: Mechanical Engineering to Physics

Postby satishrm » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:47 am

Good question. I am not going to stop with your replies. I just need some names to get an idea. I need to compare them with the list I prepared. Consider it to be like a seed the initiates a crystallization process.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Mechanical Engineering to Physics

Postby WhoaNonstop » Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:32 pm

satishrm wrote:Good question. I am not going to stop with your replies. I just need some names to get an idea. I need to compare them with the list I prepared. Consider it to be like a seed the initiates a crystallization process.


Information in deciding which schools you should apply to is all over this forum as well as all over the web. You haven't taken this into serious consideration until you have searched yourself.

-Riley

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

Re: Mechanical Engineering to Physics

Postby bfollinprm » Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:40 pm

As an international with less than a 900 PGRE, it's not likely you'll get funded at all anywhere. Thats actually probably not true, but since I'm not going to do your HW for you, I'll pretend it's true.

Minovsky
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Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:05 pm

Re: Mechanical Engineering to Physics

Postby Minovsky » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:22 pm

satishrm wrote:Hello, I am doing my final year in B.tech (Mechanical) at NIT, Trichy, India. I am planning to join a graduate course (M.S) in Physics in US. I currently have a CGPA 6.99/10. My GRE score is 1440. I will be taking GRE physics on November 14th. Let us say I get around 800, then could you suggest some Universities for such a profile ?


No, this is something you need to do based upon your academic interests, not your grades.

Physics M.S. students are generally not funded in the U.S. Funding for physics programs in the U.S. is typically reserved for PhD students. This information is easily found on many FAQ pages of physics departments.

satishrm
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Re: Mechanical Engineering to Physics

Postby satishrm » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:30 pm

Right. But how common is such a transition from engineering to pure physics ? How is it seen by the graduate school, are they tolerant, if not encouraging ?

TheBeast
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Re: Mechanical Engineering to Physics

Postby TheBeast » Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:59 pm

satishrm wrote:Right. But how common is such a transition from engineering to pure physics ? How is it seen by the graduate school, are they tolerant, if not encouraging ?

It's not common, but it isn't rare either. That being said, your application is already at a disadvantage if you haven't taken the advanced upper level physics courses that physics undergraduates usually take and if you don't have physics-related research experience.

satishrm
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Re: Mechanical Engineering to Physics

Postby satishrm » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:14 pm

That is unfortunate. It is not possible for me to take any extra courses in physics, let alone advanced courses, thanks to the rigid educational system. But I have strived to do as much physics as possible. I studied Quantum Mechanics in a research institute during a summer and currently doing my final year project in Coupled Oscillations, essentially a physics topic. I presented a research paper in a national level physics conference on the same topic. Also, I have been teaching physics part-time for the past six months in a coaching institute (college preparatory) to high school students. Surely these should help, won't they ? I am very determined to study physics.

TheBeast
Posts: 114
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Re: Mechanical Engineering to Physics

Postby TheBeast » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:09 pm

satishrm wrote:I studied Quantum Mechanics in a research institute during a summer

I would argue that while this is better than nothing, an admissions committee would not consider this work a substitute for actually taking a quantum mechanics course. Besides, quantum is just one of the upper level courses that would be expected.

currently doing my final year project in Coupled Oscillations, essentially a physics topic.

I'm not really familiar with the modern work being done in the field of coupled oscillations, but admittedly that could just be my own ignorance. Is this sort of work in any way related to the kind of research you would like to undertake as a grad student?

I presented a research paper in a national level physics conference on the same topic.

This is better than nothing, but unless this was a prestigious conference or a peer-reviewed paper, it probably won't hold much weight in the application process. It might if it's related to the kind of research you want to do.

Also, I have been teaching physics part-time for the past six months in a coaching institute (college preparatory) to high school students.

So this shows that you know high school physics. That's somewhat assumed if you intend to pursue graduate level physics.

Surely these should help, won't they ?

See above.

I am very determined to study physics.

If you are very determined and do not have the necessary coursework, my suggestion to you is to perform a second undergraduate degree in physics or sign-up at a university somewhere as a non-degree pursuant student (after your undergrad) and take the physics courses that you are missing.

satishrm
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:13 am

Re: Mechanical Engineering to Physics

Postby satishrm » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:46 am

Honestly I have not yet formed any decision about grad school research. I am looking forward to study physics and identify my research interest meanwhile. I am into theoretical physics, of that I am sure. High Energy Physics, Field theory.. to be more exact but I cannot narrow down any further. A second undergrad degree is a good idea, in fact I am considering it too. Would it be possible to do that in US ? I believe they prefer students just out of high school. I wonder which is better, second undergrad leading to a good grad school or a decent grad school followed by a good doctoral work (If that is possible).

But I suppose there is no harm in trying for grad school.

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twistor
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Re: Mechanical Engineering to Physics

Postby twistor » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:03 am

I've run your profile through a sophisticated neural network. The analysis has just finished. There is only one university that fits your profile. You must apply at Bob Jones University. http://www.bju.edu

Bob Jones is known in the US for it's excellent physics program. I would say it's at least as well known as Harvard and Stanford in the physics community.

satishrm
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Re: Mechanical Engineering to Physics

Postby satishrm » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:34 am

Nice. Bob Jones University do not offer graduate program in physics. So, you want me to do a B.S there ? Hmm.. I don't think so. Thanks for your effort though.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Mechanical Engineering to Physics

Postby HappyQuark » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:22 pm

satishrm wrote:Nice. Bob Jones University do not offer graduate program in physics. So, you want me to do a B.S there ? Hmm.. I don't think so. Thanks for your effort though.


Although twistor is frequently a sarcastic poster on the forum, in this instance he is mostly right. The only aspect I disagree with in his post is that it is as well known as Harvard and Stanford. Among physicists it is certainly considered a top institution but among the rest of the world it's still a well guarded secret. You'd have to be a fool to blow off such a prestigious university so quickly.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Mechanical Engineering to Physics

Postby WhoaNonstop » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:59 pm

satishrm wrote:Nice. Bob Jones University do not offer graduate program in physics. So, you want me to do a B.S there ? Hmm.. I don't think so. Thanks for your effort though.


I think that would add greatly to your resume for graduate school. In fact, I remember back when I applied to Bob Jones. Unfortunately I didn't get accepted, but I think you'd have a solid chance. They are always looking for diversity in incoming students. Check it out.

-Riley

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twistor
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Re: Mechanical Engineering to Physics

Postby twistor » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:27 pm

A BS from BJU is as prestigious as a Ph.D. from Harvard.

bfollinprm
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Re: Mechanical Engineering to Physics

Postby bfollinprm » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:18 pm

twistor wrote:A BS from BJU is as prestigious as a Ph.D. from Harvard.


In parts of this country, that's actually true.




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