DO physics phd porgrams pefer masters?

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epislon58
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Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:57 pm

DO physics phd porgrams pefer masters?

Postby epislon58 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:43 pm

Would it be more beneficial to get a BS physics and a masters in physics in four years or an physics(honors) and math double major in four years.

photomagnetic
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:13 pm

Re: DO physics phd porgrams pefer masters?

Postby photomagnetic » Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:07 pm

i cant talk for every school
but i know a few of them are looking for a ms degree.
for eg iowa state.
it's not required but it comes in handy

epislon58
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:57 pm

Re: DO physics phd porgrams pefer masters?

Postby epislon58 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:52 pm

well, would it hurt to have a masters?

blighter
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Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:30 pm

Re: DO physics phd porgrams pefer masters?

Postby blighter » Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:56 pm

epislon58 wrote:well, would it hurt to have a masters?


It wouldn't hurt to have a master's. But I'm not sure if it helps either.

epislon58
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:57 pm

Re: DO physics phd porgrams pefer masters?

Postby epislon58 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:03 pm

well, if you have a masters would you be considered a transfer student?

blighter
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:30 pm

Re: DO physics phd porgrams pefer masters?

Postby blighter » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:07 pm

epislon58 wrote:well, if you have a masters would you be considered a transfer student?


Depends on the programme. Some places do let you transfer graduate credits, some don't. One advantage I can think of doing master's is that it opens up the Canadian and European PhD programmes for you. :) Both Canada and Europe have some awesome programmes which would otherwise be closed if you only had a bachelor's degree.

epislon58
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:57 pm

Re: DO physics phd porgrams pefer masters?

Postby epislon58 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:43 pm

Well at my school you can take a total of 14 credits of senior physics courses and take 16 credits of grad courses and do a masters thesis and you will get a BS and MS in physics at the same time. You also have to take an exam on undergraduate physics and score a B or higher. If I do this I can only see it as helping me. I'm not really interested in international schools, btw.

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

Re: DO physics phd porgrams pefer masters?

Postby TakeruK » Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:44 pm

That kind of Masters degree isn't always super helpful for graduate admissions. I think you should go with whatever option that will give you the most research experience when it comes time for graduate school application. That will definitely increase your chances the most. It sounds like both option will cover the minimum coursework required and I find that most PhD programs prefer you do your coursework in their program, not transferred from elsewhere. Even if you spend an entire semester doing extra graduate courses, I think most schools will prefer you had spent that semester increasing your research experience/output and then just learn the coursework at their program.

epislon58
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:57 pm

Re: DO physics phd porgrams pefer masters?

Postby epislon58 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:24 am

I honestly do not mind retaking grad courses at different institutions, so if they do not transfer it is ok. Also I feel with a master's I will have an advisor thesis which wo more research also I believe I will better letter of recomindation from my thesis advisor.

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

Re: DO physics phd porgrams pefer masters?

Postby TakeruK » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:18 pm

epislon58 wrote:I honestly do not mind retaking grad courses at different institutions, so if they do not transfer it is ok. Also I feel with a master's I will have an advisor thesis which wo more research also I believe I will better letter of recomindation from my thesis advisor.


Okay, I wasn't sure if you would have a thesis-based Masters or if it would just be a course-based Masters. Have you thought about not doing a full Masters (and just take some graduate courses in your interest field instead) and just doing a Physics BS, and taking minimal courses (since it sounds like you will be able to finish a 4 year degree in less than 4 years) in order to do more research? I'm not sure what kind of program you are in though, if this will work.

At my current US school, although it's possible for undergrads to tack on a Masters with their BS if they take a ton of courses at once, I really think it's more beneficial to just take the relevant courses and spend the rest of the time working on research. I don't think having a Masters will help you get into grad schools at all and once you are in a PhD program, you're going to get a Masters through that program anyways. I am also not sure a MS thesis added to your 4th year of undergrad will be much different than a senior thesis anyways. Unless of course, your program doesn't allow you to easily do thesis level research as an undergrad and the only way to get this extra research experience is to do a Masters.

The bottom line is, in my opinion, I don't think having an extra piece of paper or line on your transcript from the MS will be very helpful. If there are a lot of extra courses required for the MS, I think that time would be better spent on a research project (but still take a couple of graduate courses that interest you). However, if you will not be able to get the research experience without the MS, then you should do the MS option as a means to get more research experience. Don't do the MS just to get more courses under your belt, or just for the sake of having a MS, because since your goal is grad school, you'll get all this later anyways.

epislon58
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:57 pm

Re: DO physics phd porgrams pefer masters?

Postby epislon58 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:21 pm

Thank you for the advice, I will have to take some time and weight in the different factors.

epislon58
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:57 pm

Re: DO physics phd porgrams pefer masters?

Postby epislon58 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:27 pm

A MS will require 2 or 3 additional grad courses as well as passing the exam with a B and the master's thesis. Would a BS physics (honors) + a senior thesis be wiser with 2 or 3 fewer courses? What would you do?

Instead of those 2 or 3 additional grad courses and study time for exam I could participate in more research projects.




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