What is Phd advice: Definition and 48 Discussions

Piled Higher and Deeper (also known as PhD Comics), is a newspaper and webcomic strip written and drawn by Jorge Cham that follows the lives of several grad students. First published in 1997 when Cham was a grad student himself at Stanford University, the strip deals with issues of life in graduate school, including the difficulties of scientific research, the perils of procrastination, and the complex student–supervisor relationship. As of 2017, the strip's website received 6 million visitors each year.

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  1. scribblekibble

    Physics Best PhD to stay in physics research?

    Hi, I'm an incoming first year undergrad physics student at a US institution. I want to be an experimental research physicist desperately; the fields I love the most are particle physics and astrophysics (and even a combination of the two: astroparticle physics, DM/DE detection, neutrinos, you...
  2. F

    Admissions Profile evaluation for astronomy Phd applicant in the fall 2023 cycle

    I will apply for a Ph.D. in Astronomy in the fall of 2023. I want to have a realistic evaluation of my profile to see if I am over-ambitious or not. I think I am out of reach for the "big four" universities. I will donate money to two of them only and will be targeting other top schools...
  3. CyclicAvatar

    PhD in condensed matter theory or theoretical cosmology

    Hi all, I just graduated from my master's program in theoretical physics. I did 60% of the coursework in high energy physics and rest in condensed matter theory plus a few experimental physics courses. I did my master's thesis in what can be called as theoretical cosmology, studying particle...
  4. redditflingbing

    Unsure of the path I should take after univeristy

    At the start of univerity I had a huge problem that really threw me off track. Thus during the first two years (4 year total due to masters) I focused my time on the core maths modules (maths 1, 2, 3, 4). In year 3 and 4 I sorted the problem and really got my head down and ended up achieving a...
  5. A

    Admissions Advice for improving PhD application next year (UK)

    Hi Everyone, I applied for some PhD positions in astronomy this year and was unsuccessful. I was wondering if anyone could offer up some advice for improving my applications for next year. To give you some context: I gained my Master's in Physics with Astronomy from the University of...
  6. F

    Programs Condensed Matter PhD Program Choice - Advice Needed

    Hi, I don't want to be too specific here, but specific enough for relevant advice. I'm finishing a Masters in Physics and am lucky to have been made offers by 2 excellent institutes: a Max Planck Graduate Centre (MP), and at Oxford UK. Both are in experimental condensed matter; Weyl...
  7. E

    How to explain serious extenuating circumstances in PhD apps

    Hello! I am planning on applying to physics PhD programs in the fall. My first two years of undergrad I averaged Bs in my lower division classes. Last two years I got a majority of As and A-s in my upper division courses. Those first two years I had some extremely personal extenuating...
  8. dark photon

    PhD: UChicago vs UZH: Ranking Impact for Future Prospects

    I was about to start my PhD in physics at UZH (Universität Zürich, not to be confused with ETH Zürich, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) in April when the Coronavirus lock down trapped me in my country (not Switzerland nor USA) a few days before my plane was supposed to lift of. So now...
  9. F

    From software development to physics PhD

    Hi there, Last June 2019 I graduated with a First class honors in Theoretical physics from one of the Top Unis in the UK. Then I started working for a company (of good prestige) as a software engineer full time. However, a few months in, I decided to apply for Masters and start a side project...
  10. P

    Other How to develop independence as a PhD student?

    Hello everyone! So, just out of curiosity, how does one learn to come up with their own questions to answer and come up with ideas for new experiment/science as a graduate student? I ask because in my experience, graduate students get assigned a project from their professor (which hopefully the...
  11. P

    Programs What should my focus be during my PhD?

    Hello everyone! So I recently finalized attending UIUC for my PhD in Astronomy. Before beginning my undergraduate studies, after learning about what I needed to do in order to get into a successful PhD program, I made the following and laser focused on them: -Maintaining a 4.0 cumulative GPA...
  12. I

    Career advise: theoretical physics PhD?

    When I was studying the bachelor in physics, I was happy and got good marks (not the best, but good). I always liked the more theoretical and mathematical subjects. Then I did a masters in Theoretical Physics in Spain. At the beginning I was happy: all subjects were hard but interesting. I spent...
  13. hagopbul

    Physics Work During PhD: Tips & Experiences from H.B.

    Hello all: I am asking for your personal experience , did you were able to work normally with your PhD studies ? What kind of work ? Is it easier with theoretical PhD or an experimental one ? Best H.B.
  14. L

    How to pick a concrete PhD objective in this QFT/Gravity formalism?

    I have a major in Mathematics and Mathematical Physics and I'm finishing a masters in Physics (just finishing to write down the dissertation really). I have also already enrolled the PhD course so that I need now to pick an advisor and a theme before june. My main interest since the early days...
  15. A

    Admissions Think I made the wrong choice of PhD

    Hey folks. I could really use some advice as I'm in a bit of a situation... I graduated in 2018 with a 1st in Theoretical Physics from a well respected UK uni, and at the time I was fairly sure that I wanted to pursue a PhD in HEP. I had tailored my final year MSci modules to reflect this, and...
  16. R

    PhD Inquiry, Modified Gravity or String Theory

    Hello everyone, I am currently finishing my Masters in Theoretical Physics and looking forward to continue in a PhD. I always thought I would love String Theory, and now that i am actually doing it I see that my feeling was correct. I do not know why but trying to understand its concepts...
  17. astroman707

    Physics What should be my plan if I wish to do physics in Europe?

    I'm currently an undergrad in the United States, and plan on pursuing my PhD in physics. I'm most interested in astrophysics and cosmology, and an ideal job would be a faculty position. I really want to work in Europe, and am willing to choose another focus area of physics, as well as different...
  18. A

    Physics Starting my PhD in cosmology -- question about my career prospects

    Hello all, Next year, January I will start my PhD in Cosmology. Salary is fair and I don't have to pay the tuition fee. I always loved the idea of doing a thesis about Cosmology. My master's degree was about computational physics where I had to learn how to program in C/C++, Fortran, Matlab...
  19. DeathbyGreen

    Physics Doing experiment and theory

    So during my PhD I've done one analytic based theory paper with one advisor and will now do an experiment paper with another advisor. I'm curious as to how this will look applying for postdocs. Would this allow me to apply for either theory or experiment? Or would it just make me look not...
  20. L

    Courses What courses do I need for a Ph.D. in theoretical physics?

    Due to circumstances outside of my control, I couldn't go to college after high school. Physics is my passion however and I refuse to give up. I have a 5 month old so it would be in my best interest to start my schooling online. I'm only the 2nd person in my family to go to college. So, I don't...
  21. G

    PhD after being in industry (EE)

    Dear members, I am an analog designer and I don't get to do a lot of interesting design work at my job. There is a PhD opportunity that came my way which offers really interesting work (will be in a top tier uni and will be working on project for a world famous research institute). However, I...
  22. Will K

    Physics Pursuing a PhD in Astrophysics - Is it Worth It?

    I am a sophomore in High School, and I am considering getting a PhD in astrophysics. Is a PhD worth it? Also, what job opportunities will be available to me? Thanks for any feedback : )
  23. L

    Admissions Low GPA, EE undergraduate major applying HEP PhD

    Hi Before closing, I apologize for too long passage calling for the advise. I thought I need to give the potential advisors as precise information as I can. I graduated from a university in South Korea with major in Electrical engineering and minor in physics. I decided to change my major to...
  24. 1

    Where do physics and game theory meet?

    This is going to sound really strange, but I don't want to have this question inside of me and never ask it. I love business/economics/game theory. However, the subject I've studied the most in my life at this point is physics. The question of what I want to write about for my PhD thesis is...
  25. 1

    Is it possible to get a PhD in Physics in 2 years in the US?

    I have a ton of things I want to do in my life before I'm young. The problem is that I won't be so young for long! Ideally, if I get my PhD in about 2 years I will be on track with the things I want to do. Has this been done before? Why exactly is the average time needed 4 years? Why that number?
  26. M

    Admissions (UK) Where to apply for theoretical PhD programs in Physics?

    Firstly I'd like to apologise as I know this is a pretty common topic to post questions on! Basically I recently graduated with a first class (72% average) from the University of Southampton (Russell group, but obviously not Oxbridge level) and am planning to spend a year out applying to PhD's...
  27. Qiao

    Other Recommend research groups for PhD position

    So I've been thinking of continuing after my MSc degree to do a PhD. But I have trouble getting a good feel on research groups of quantum optics and nanophotonics in the world. So my situation is: I life in the Netherlands and I have a good feel on most research groups in the country, but I'm...
  28. H

    Job Skills Optics: Master's or PhD?

    I am entering my senior year at a liberal arts college where I am earning a BA in Physics. I have some research experience in optics and by the time I graduate I will have more. I am fairly certain that I do not want to continue doing research for my career and that I am more interested in some...
  29. O

    Schools University of Hawaii physics PhD-neutrino physics?

    Was wondering if anyone could give me some stats about the University of Hawaii. I'm tentatively looking at them for particle astrophysics or neutrino physics. Anyone know what the acceptance rate is/how hard it is to get in? Any reviews of the school? Should ranking concern me? They seem to do...
  30. J

    Guidance regarding Mathematical Physics

    Hello all, I've done an MSc in Physics alongwith a BE in Electronics Engg, graduating in 2014. My scores are quite poor (GPA: 6.23/10), but I am interested in doctoral studies in Mathematical Physics. I wrote exams for PhD admissions here in India for this year but did not fare well enough for...
  31. O

    Admissions Chances that a rising senior can make it into nuclear physics PhD programs?

    Hi PhysicsForums, I was hoping to get a little guidance on my chances for PhD programs. I am a second-semester junior. I feel like I'm going at this totally blind and am starting to get nervous, I'd mostly like to know how strong my credentials are so far, what kind of GRE score I might need...
  32. DeathbyGreen

    PhD Field Selection: Tips & Advice

    Hello, So before I start, I realize that this question has been asked in the past, but all of the threads were over several years old so I'm not sure if the information is still current. I've been thinking about this decision for a while: I'm currently in my second year at a respected...
  33. K

    Where can I study (research) Loop Quantum Gravity?

    Thank you for opening this Thread I am kind of new here and this is my first time to post so I apologize if I did something wrong So my question is where can I study/ research Loop Quantum Gravity I have checked fair amount of grad school websites and compared to Super String, I have not yet...
  34. Joydeep Munshi

    Nuclear Instrumentation and medical applications PhD scopes?

    Hi, I am currently pursuing my masters in Nuclear Engineering and my graduation is in Instrumentation Engineering. I am interested in Nuclear Instrumentation and Control engineering and currently I have taken coursework also regarding the same. Could you please suggest me universities where...
  35. W

    Teaching a Programming Language for Physics PhD students

    Hello everyone, Head of our Physics department has asked me to teach a programming course for a few of their PhD candidates (mostly theoretical) who unfortunately are very bad in programming. He has shortage in his department and he wants someone from CS to do the job. I looked around and it...
  36. M

    Profs asked me to send motivation letter

    Recently I have been contacting profs from different research groups about the possibility to work my PhD research in their group. Again, the e-mail I have sent to them only asked if there are open positions in their research group as well as asking for a brief description of the position. I...
  37. M

    What to say in the e-mail to the professors?

    I am planning to apply for a PhD position in the coming December and I think now is the right time to start contacting research group leaders in my desired universities. What I want to know is what you typically say in you first e-mail apart from telling him that you are interested in his group...
  38. AlanKirby

    Best physics PhD for going into industry?

    Hi, I'm currently thinking about what area I want my physics PhD (which i want to do anyway) to be in. I'm interested in condensed matter physics, although I'm not stuck on that idea. (I'm an experimentalist by the way.) What area is best to do a physics PhD in, in order to have a good chance...
  39. A

    Schools Extra courses for physics grad school after Mech.Eng?

    Hello everyone, I am starting my third year in Mechanical Engineering. I wish to get a degree in physics after my bachelors, theoretical physics, to be precise. So what extra courses should I take now in order to be ready for grad. school ? Please note that my college does not offer minors.
  40. P

    Doing a PhD in the same topic as masters?

    I have the choice between doing a PhD in a topic which is very similar to my masters or starting on something slightly different, I find the topic very interesting at the moment but after doing something for one year already do you think it is a bad idea to do the same thing for another 3/4...
  41. J

    Which of these PhD is better for financial quant industry?

    Hi everyone, Could you please tell me how would you rank these PhD for someone looking for a future career in the financial quant industry? (assuming I have math background and decent programming skills). Thank you in advanced! Between parenthesis are the specific research groups found in each...
  42. A

    Computational Physics PhD CMU

    My interests are mainly computational physics and theoretical soft matter physics. How good is the PhD program in (Computational) Physics at CMU (and the Physics Department in general)?
  43. V

    Engineering PhD Advice Required

    I'm kind considering doing a PhD in engineering mainly because I have no idea what else to do with my life. I don't plan on being a researcher but I am happy delaying real life by 3 to 4 years. My questions: 1. I am doing an integrated masters. Until just less than halfway through my final...
  44. M

    Research and PHD advice

    Hey PF! If any of you have experience as a graduate student or a professor please help me out here. I'm a Master's student in mechanical engineering doing research for a professor now and I really don't like what I'm working on. I've told the professor this and he said this is temporary and...
  45. S

    Programs UK PhD Advice: How To Pursue a PhD with a 2:2 BSc

    Hi I'm not new to the forums and a long time lurker. I've currently been teaching College level Physics since graduating from my BSc in Physics 5 years ago. When an Uni, I was unsure of myself and what I wanted to do in the future, and with very little work and effort (with was all due to my...
  46. E

    Schools Phd advice good idea what schools?

    Phd advice...good idea...what schools? I'm a couple years out of grad school (M.S.) mathematics, and I am considering applying this fall for a phd program. My math UG math gpa is a 4.0 except for a b+, my grad gpa is a 3.8, and my physics gpa is a 3.7. My gpa dipped my last semester partly...
  47. I

    Programs Set on math PhD advice needed

    So I'm pretty sure I want to get a PhD in math...what are the proper steps I need to take as an undergrad? I'm currently a freshman in Calc II, planning on taking Calc III and linear algebra next semester. I currently know the stuff I'm learning right now inside and out...however I think I...
  48. K

    Programs Realistic Math PhD Advice

    Well, let me start with a bit of background info. My transcript is an absolute mess, I have dropped out twice (one withdrawal, and one semester of all F's). So basically I am finishing a 4 year degree in 5. Since my whole dropout phase I have been at 3 schools total, a community college, a local...