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Admission on EE in Caltech / Berkeley

  1. Feb 18, 2012 #1
    I am undergraduate first-year student from Georgia (country, not state of US). I am planning to continue learning in caltech or berkeley on electronics / mechanics faculty. I have been studying physics for 2 years by МГУ program (it's beside university), which used to be the best physics program in Soviet Union. My question is, will it do any good to continue learning physics beside university? I mean, will it affect chances of my financial aid or application to have completed physics GRE subject test or to have done any work in physics? I'm planning to take subject tests in math / Computer sciences.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 18, 2012 #2
    When it comes to engineering there is generally NEVER "TOO MUCH" math or science you can learn before engineering school.

    However, it may or may not help to get too far ahead of where everyone else will be.

    I'd look at the online information at Berkeley or Cal Tech and see what the engineering program requirements are and also what the degree course work entails. Be aware they often will let you "test out" of course you've already taken if you pass a test but they don't usually let you test out of more than Freshman year courses. Exceptions sometimes are made but you usually but get specific permission from the Dean of the school.

    Best of luck in your school applications and career!
  4. Feb 19, 2012 #3
    Thanks jsgruszynski.
    I know that it won't be "too much", but I'm planning to apply for masters degree there, and now I'm learning advanced physics + EE + computer sciences + a lot of math. As I have no time left for anything else, I am wondering if it's better to give up physics and spend more time on EE / CS. To sum up, will advanced knowledge of physics increase my chances of being applied & financial aid? How much GRE subject tests are required there?
  5. Feb 19, 2012 #4
    Consider that I am about to start an undergraduate degree myself, so can only provide insight to the extent that a prospective undergrad in sciences & math, who has read a fair amount, would know.

    In general, when one is admitted to a graduate program, the tuition fees are waived. Further, they are awarded a stipend for their living expenses in the form of a fellowship, a teaching assistantship (where one would teach undergraduates) or a research assistantship (where one would conduct some kind of research).

    MS degrees are usually *not* funded. If one is seeking funding, it is better if one is to apply and enrol in a PhD program. For PhD programs, the prerequisite is a bachelor's degree and usually, the general GRE test and the GRE test in the appropriate subject. The PhD program consists of coursework for 1-2 years, followed by research, writing and defense of the PhD thesis.

    There are no GRE cut-offs as far as I'm aware but as a general rule, the more selective the program, the higher your scores should be but your mileage may vary.

    For one to be a competitive applicant, one must have very good grades and have some research experience. I do not know much about engineering or computer science but the following websites might give you an indication of the profiles of physics and mathematics applicants for PhD programs.


    I should again stress that all of the above is only information that I have amassed on this forum, other similar forums and the websites of American universities, over the past year and a half or so. Nothing will be more accurate than what the departments you are interested in say to you. I would suggest you e-mail the schools you are interested in if you have any questions of a more specific nature.

    I am not familiar with the Georgian university system and I would suspect that not many on these boards would know much, if at all, either. Do you know if you would be eligible to apply directly to a PhD in the states with your degree? Do e-mail them to confirm! (or search their website, for some schools *may* have information that is specific to Georgian candidates)
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