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Masters or PhD?

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:27 am
by Wassminaym
I'm working on applications to grad school, preferably in Astronomy or Astrophysics, and intend to eventually get a PhD in one of these. But when applying, should I apply for the Master's program with the intention of getting a PhD at the college, or just apply for the PhD program?

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 3:33 am
by fermiboy
If your career goal is a PhD, then apply for a Phd. You can always leave with a masters later, if you decide on a different path.

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 4:31 am
by will
Schools don't want Masters students. You show up for two years, they have to pay to teach you, then you leave without doing any significant research to make up for it. If you actually want to get admitted, apply for a Ph.D. If it ends up not being the right place for it, leave with your Masters.

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:40 pm
by rohan
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Phd admits are harder to come by? At least in a place like Stanford, the Phd entrance is way more competitive than the MS entrance. So, is it better to still apply for a Phd , or is it better to make what may seem to be a smarter move, and apply for an MS, with the intention of following it up with a Phd.......

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:52 pm
by will
I don't see how that's possible since Stanford appears to be one of several schools where you can't even apply for a MS in physics. ... sions.html

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 4:52 pm
by grae313
Master's aren't usually funded. There may be a few highly competetive fellowships, but if you want to be in a Master's program, expect to fund yourself. If you will not be able to fund yourself, you better apply for a Ph.D. program.

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:32 am
by rohan
yeah....... as grae said.... if a masters isnt funded..... why would the department not want to give it to you???

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 6:08 am
by will
Well sure, if you're paying for it yourself, but why not apply for a Ph.D., get paid, and then leave with a Masters? There aren't any prestigious programs that offer just a Masters, so you can't "sneak in" above the tier of schools that would accept you to their Ph.D. programs.