Department Interchange!

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satyad18
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Department Interchange!

Postby satyad18 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:34 am

Is it possible to switch over to (say) math department in the university, after being admitted to their physics program?
Is it allowed? If so, under what conditions? Any idea guys..?

Thanks..

admissionprof
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Re: Department Interchange!

Postby admissionprof » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:59 am

satyad18 wrote:Is it possible to switch over to (say) math department in the university, after being admitted to their physics program?
Is it allowed? If so, under what conditions? Any idea guys..?

Thanks..



Generally it is not. Students are admitted separately by each program. Obviously one can switch if the math department wants you, but their class may be filled up.

Applying to one program with the explicit intention of trying to transfer is unethical and unfair to the students you will displace from the physics program.

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satyad18
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Re: Department Interchange!

Postby satyad18 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:05 am

admissionprof wrote:
satyad18 wrote:Is it possible to switch over to (say) math department in the university, after being admitted to their physics program?
Is it allowed? If so, under what conditions? Any idea guys..?

Thanks..



Generally it is not. Students are admitted separately by each program. Obviously one can switch if the math department wants you, but their class may be filled up.

Applying to one program with the explicit intention of trying to transfer is unethical and unfair to the students you will displace from the physics program.

Thank you. I certainly don't intend to hurt anyone! :)

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grae313
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Re: Department Interchange!

Postby grae313 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:35 pm

A student in my year in physics is doing research with a professor in the math department so depending on the University, that is also often available to you.

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satyad18
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Re: Department Interchange!

Postby satyad18 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:51 pm

grae313 wrote:A student in my year in physics is doing research with a professor in the math department so depending on the University, that is also often available to you.

True. I have noticed this at a few university websites. But how flexible can this be?

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Department Interchange!

Postby WhoaNonstop » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:52 pm

At my school there are students who work with Computer Engineering / Electrical Engineering professors. However they are still in the physics department. I'm sure it works differently at many schools.

I wouldn't say this is grounds for being able to transfer though. I'm not sure.

-Riley

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satyad18
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Re: Department Interchange!

Postby satyad18 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:55 pm

grae313 wrote:A student in my year in physics is doing research with a professor in the math department so depending on the University, that is also often available to you.
WhoaNonstop wrote:At my school there are students who work with Computer Engineering / Electrical Engineering professors. However they are still in the physics department. I'm sure it works differently at many schools.

I wouldn't say this is grounds for being able to transfer though. I'm not sure.

-Riley

Well, I'm only too happy with this degree of freedom! :D

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grae313
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Re: Department Interchange!

Postby grae313 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:01 pm

satyad18 wrote:
grae313 wrote:A student in my year in physics is doing research with a professor in the math department so depending on the University, that is also often available to you.

True. I have noticed this at a few university websites. But how flexible can this be?


It's going to vary from University to University. At Cornell, for example, we have or have had students working in the departments of applied physics, chemistry, molecular biology, genetics, EE, computer engineering, mechanical engineering, materials, math, etc. You'll still need to satisfy the requirements of the physics department in terms of courses and exams, but your research adviser is in another department. Check the department webpages for their policy on who can be your thesis adviser and when in doubt, just email the program coordinator to ask and make sure it's OK before you apply.

pqortic
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Re: Department Interchange!

Postby pqortic » Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:42 am

there is no restriction to do research out of department as long as someone pays you in other departments. you still need to meet the degree requirements of physics department e.g. passing core courses. sometimes in some universities you can work with someone else and still get paid by physics department and this depends on the department policies and common research programs and...
the way you worded your question at the very beginning sounds like you want to change to another major while you've got admission to physics program. normally you are not allowed to do so. you cannot apply to chemistry and after getting accepted, study physics.

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grae313
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Re: Department Interchange!

Postby grae313 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:00 am

pqortic wrote:there is no restriction to do research out of department as long as someone pays you in other departments.


You can't get your PhD in physics by doing English research in the English department, so logically there are some restrictions on doing research out of department, and these are going to vary depending on the University. At some places it's common practice and at other places it just isn't common practice. This is something you'll want to investigate before applying.

pqortic wrote:sometimes in some universities you can work with someone else and still get paid by physics department and this depends on the department policies and common research programs and...
The only way I can think of that happening is if you are TAing for your support and doing research for free, which is a hefty load for any first or second year. In any case, this arrangement wouldn't continue for more than a semester or two. If you had a department fellowship they may allow you to work outside the department, but department fellowships are also usually for about a year. Eventually, you have to work full time in your research lab and your research adviser has to want to pay you out of his grant money or you have to secure an outside fellowship.

Anyway, switching fields in graduate school is not like switching majors, you would have to actually apply to and be accepted to the other department like a regular grad student. Of course, if you have been doing research in the department with a professor for a year and they like you, your chances are probably pretty good.

kroner
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Re: Department Interchange!

Postby kroner » Sat Nov 06, 2010 10:26 pm

grae313 wrote:The only way I can think of that happening is if you are TAing for your support and doing research for free, which is a hefty load for any first or second year. In any case, this arrangement wouldn't continue for more than a semester or two. If you had a department fellowship they may allow you to work outside the department, but department fellowships are also usually for about a year. Eventually, you have to work full time in your research lab and your research adviser has to want to pay you out of his grant money or you have to secure an outside fellowship.

Funding doesn't work quite the same way in math. It's common for math students to stay on a TAship even while doing research. Math advisors often don't have funds for paying students, and there's also much higher demand for math TAs since so many undergrads take math classes.

Anyway, to satyad18, I would recommend getting in contact with some of the departments you're interested in applying to and explaining your situation and asking what they recommend. How close the departments are probably varies a lot from school to school. For example I know someone here in the math department whose advisor is in CS, but he's part of an interdisciplinary program between the two schools.

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satyad18
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Re: Department Interchange!

Postby satyad18 » Sat Nov 06, 2010 10:51 pm

kroner wrote:Anyway, to satyad18, I would recommend getting in contact with some of the departments you're interested in applying to and explaining your situation and asking what they recommend. How close the departments are probably varies a lot from school to school. For example I know someone here in the math department whose advisor is in CS, but he's part of an interdisciplinary program between the two schools.

Thanks kroner. I'll check it out. :)




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