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1 or 2 year master's?

  1. Dec 9, 2009 #1
    I have an undergraduate degree in chemistry. I'm taking some physics classes and I plan on eventually getting a PhD in physics. I plan on getting a master's before I go for the PhD. This will allow me to fill in some gaps in my physics education.

    My question is, what are you guy's thoughts on the one-year master's degrees offered by some universities? Cornell's master of engineering in engineering physics comes to mind. Would I be better off doing a regular two-year, research oriented master's degree at a less prestigious school?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 9, 2009 #2


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    If you don't have an undergraduate degree in physics, a one-year masters program isn't going to fill in enough of the gaps for you to be ready for a PhD in physics. Especially if the masters isn't in physics (engineering physics probably isn't close enough). If you are going to go for a PhD, a masters that includes a thesis is invaluable - not only to show PhD schools that you can handle the coursework, but also that you're ready to do research. My university requires that incoming grad students with masters degree retake some of the coursework anyway.
  4. Dec 9, 2009 #3
    Well, I'm going to end up taking almost every required undergraduate physics course, excepting some labs.

    For Cornell's master's degree, you have to do a thesis and I believe you can take physics classes that are the same ones that PhD students have to take. I may be wrong, though.
  5. Dec 9, 2009 #4


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    Science Advisor

    I think it helps to be more specific: what courses have you taken already, what courses are you planning to take in a 1-year master, and what other courses would you take in a 2-year master?
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