Re-apply?

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ayushya
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:45 pm

Re-apply?

Postby ayushya » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:40 pm

Hi guys,

I'm kind of in a situation where I should make a decision and in this regard, I need your comments/suggestions. I do not want to be very elaborative and bore you people with too many words, so here are a few key points about me and some questions that I have:

1) International student admitted as a full time student to top 60 physics and astronomy PhD programs.

2) Research interests in quantum gravity, QFTs, Quantum Cosmology.

3) Upon talking to professors here, I realized there isn't anyone that I'm particularly interested to work with. The ones I'm interested in don't take students or are not having funding.

4) By the time I get my masters degree, I would have taken graduate courses in Classical Mechanics, Quantum mechanics, Classical Electrodynamics, Statistical Mechanics, Mathematical Methods in Physics, Differential Geometry and General Relativity, Introduction to Group Theory.

Should I opt out from this program with a masters degree and re-apply again? What are the chances of getting into better places than I'm in now? I'm looking for schools in US and Canada, but wouldn't mind Europe either.
Would there be any visa problem as I'm an international student?

Thanks in advance!

esopterodactyl
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:54 pm

Re: Re-apply?

Postby esopterodactyl » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:16 am

I don't know about the visa situation, but my initial thought was "reapply".
If the department can't satisfy your research interests, why would you want to spend another 4-6 years there studying something else?
For suggestions of schools, I would look at the other threads on this site.

TakeruK
Posts: 812
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Re-apply?

Postby TakeruK » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:03 pm

For the US, if you are on F-1 status for your first school, then that status will end when you finish and leave with a masters. However, there is nothing that would stop you from reapplying to F-1 status again at another school. I am not sure if there is a way to "transfer" your status from one school to another but if there is, then that would make things even easier for you. The schools' international student program offices can help you work out the details but otherwise there should be no problem with immigration for you to change schools/programs (but you might have to reapply for F-1 status, including all the paperwork and fees etc.).

ayushya
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:45 pm

Re: Re-apply?

Postby ayushya » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:06 pm

Thanks for the comments guys.

@esopterodactyl: Thats exactly what I was thinking. And if I do opt out with masters and apply again, I will still need to make sure I get into some place else, which is why I'm confused as to what tire of schools should I be aiming for after getting a masters degree.

@TakeruK: That is one of my main concern, because I also don't want to take any chance which might make visa people doubt me and deny me the visa, you know what I'm saying. If transfer is possible, that'd be great, for which I will inquire at my school first.

Thanks!

ayushya
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:45 pm

Re: Re-apply?

Postby ayushya » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:34 am

I had one more question:

Would the credits be transferred? If yes, then would one need to take the core courses again?

Thanks!

TakeruK
Posts: 812
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Re-apply?

Postby TakeruK » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:41 pm

Maybe it does depend on what country you're from but from my experience (I'm from Canada) and from the experience of other international students I know, getting approved for a student status (e.g. F-1 or J-1) is a routine procedure. If you got it once, there's no reason to doubt why you can't get another one, unless you did something in the meantime to make them not want to have you around. Getting visas (to enter the country) is also routine -- many Chinese students I know only have 1-year visas, so if they leave the country to visit home or go to a conference after their visa expires, they have to apply for a new one before they can return. With proper planning, this is "routine" in the sense that you have to pay the money and do the paperwork, but in general, it's not a big concern that they won't get approved again. (Although, some students I know have been randomly selected for additional screening, which might delay their return by a little bit).

ayushya
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:45 pm

Re: Re-apply?

Postby ayushya » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:29 pm

@TakeruK: Yes, that is true. I just heard from one of my friend and he said that visa isn't a big issue as you have already been issued once. It also seems to be the case that one needn't go through the whole procedure again, sending the US embassy your new I-20 suffices. I'm not sure on this, more inquiry required.

Also, what sort of schools should I be aiming for after masters degree? Top 20? Or should I still apply to a range of schools, just in case?

Thanks.

TakeruK
Posts: 812
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Re-apply?

Postby TakeruK » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:48 pm

For courses, it really depends on the school program. In general, you cannot "transfer" graduate level courses unless there are some very special circumstances. I had a Canadian Masters degree when applying to US PhD schools and here are some of the schools' responses when I asked about my courses:

1. One school said that nothing will transfer at all, but if my MSc courses is equivalent to one of their core classes, I can replace the core class with an elective. That is, I don't have to retake anything but I still take the same amount of courses.
2. Another school said that their list of 12 courses is technically all optional -- as soon as you pass the qualifying exam, you are with courses. So, I can challenge the exam (happens every year) whenever I feel that my MSc courses + PhD courses has prepared me enough.
3. Another school had a minor/breadth requirement (3 out of 16 courses) that could be waived if you had a MSc.

I think the most common answer was something like #1 though.

As for what sorts of schools to aim for, probably applying to a whole range of schools is the safest. But since it sounds like you are already in a program you don't really like, I would be more careful / be more picky in making sure I like the programs I'm applying to. That is, in your shoes, I probably would not really apply to any "safety" schools (in the sense that it's not a school you are really interested in, but it's better than nothing). In your shoes, after already experiencing a school I didn't like, if I didn't get into any program I really liked then I would either consider staying put and finishing or just do something completely different (i.e. not grad school). But that's just me!

ayushya
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:45 pm

Re: Re-apply?

Postby ayushya » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:05 pm

@TakeruK: Thanks so much for your responses. I think I will start emailing professors and graduate secretaries and ask about the transfer of courses. In my opinion, the transfer should work, but if doesn't, one will obviously have to follow the system. And about applying to schools, applying to schools where I would really love to go to would be the best way ahead. Thanks again. Much appreciate it. :)

User avatar
Andromeda
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:17 pm

Re: Re-apply?

Postby Andromeda » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:31 am

I would reapply, especially if you're ok with moving to Europe. Here a M.Sc. is usually required for a degree so it wouldn't be perceived as unusual at all for you to apply again- people have given a good assessment of the American side of things.

Plus honestly at the end of the day I'm a firm believer that something on your resume is always better than nothing!




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