Advice about doing 1 or 2 masters during 2 yrs before doing PhD?

  • #1
Zapped17
8
2
Hello!
As the topic suggests, atm I am a math grad student, beginning my 2nd and last year after the summer. Note that I have allmost taking more physics courses than math courses during my first year, and to me theoretical physics research seem more appealing than pure math research.

Would like to do teaching math (for adults like community college or uni lvl), and/or do Phd in some theoretical/mathematical physics.
Have started to thinking more about doing research in physics and liking that subject more and more, and to get a Noble prize in physics are actually one of my biggest dreams.

Have 3 options atm:
(1) do 1 masters in pure math (1 yr programme),
(2) do 1 master in theoretical physics (1yr programme and 1 master in pure math (2 yr programme),
(3) change programme to 1 master in theoretical physics (2 yr programme).

Note that option (1), (2), and (3) should all take the same time (2 years) before I will be done.
But the problem is that I need at least a Msc in math in order to become a adult teacher in mathematics, and i would guess that the best option for physics research is option (3). Since the thesis of option (3) is longer (20 weeks), compared to option (2) (10 weeks) and with a longer thesis I can imaging that it will be more research based.

Do you think its still possible to do research in theoretical physics with option (1) and/or (2)?

If you were in my shoes, what would you do? Or do you have any insights?

Kind regards.
 
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  • #2
"If you don't know where you are going, any path will take you there."

I think your need to figure out what your goal is first. Then we can discuss how to reach it.
 
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  • #3
Zapped17 said:
Do you think its still possible to do research in theoretical physics with option (1) and/or (2)?
If you want to do research in theoretical physics, you will need a PhD in physics (with the exception of outliers). So come up with a candidate list of physics PhD programs, and see what their prerequisites for admission are.
 
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  • #4
But do you think that its way better to have a 2 yrs master in physics compared to 1 year master in physics for phd? Cause I have heard that the thesis is one of the important parts to get into a phd programme, for instance getting your thesis published at a journal.
 
  • #5
The reason why I am wanna do both math master and physics master is mostly to broadening my career possibilities and not quite sure what I wanna do. So many options :p
 
  • #6
Your profile has your country listed as Finland. What universities are you considering for your PhD? I can't offer you advice on master's programs, because I'm in the US. Here students typically enter a physics PhD program after a bachelor's degree. Others can advise you better if you identify a candidate list of universities for your PhD program.
 
  • #7
Hmm, i actually live in Sweden. Heres some Universities I am thinking about to do a phd in:
Lund University (LU), Royal Technological University of Sweden (KTH), Uppsala University (UU), and University of Stockholm (SU).
Note: also open do a phd in other countries in europe, Australia, or New Zealand.
 
  • #8
Zapped17 said:
not quite sure what I wanna do
I'm sorry but I can't let this go.

I surmise English is not your native language, so someone must have taught you to write like this. Please, do yourself a favor and stop typing "wanna." It is a "word" spoken by eight-year old kids. In writing it makes you sound like a baby. You should have been told this before now.

- a grumpy old guy.
 
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  • #9
Zapped17 said:
Hmm, i actually live in Sweden. Heres some Universities I am thinking about to do a phd in:
Lund University (LU), Royal Technological University of Sweden (KTH), Uppsala University (UU), and University of Stockholm (SU).
Paging @Orodruin who knows some things about the situation in Sweden...
 
  • #10
Assuming you want to do your PhD in Sweden, either option will qualify you for admission into a PhD program - although you may want to check each program’s specific admission requirements. For example, the physics PhD program at KTH (which I direct) requires you to reach the general admission requirement* in the subject of physics or another subject relevant to the particular position. This may differ between programs.

However, satisying the admission requirements is only the first step. The typical PhD position is announced in open competition and will go to the person best suited for the position. If you are best suited will depend on many things, but will differ from position to position depending on the specific research subject. As such, if you want to do a PhD in Sweden you have two options:
  1. Do the subject that interests you the most in the hope a PhD position will open in that subject and that you will be selected.
  2. Do the subject that has the most funding, making it more likely that PhD positions open.
1 is more if you want a specific field, 2 is more if you prefer doing a PhD over entering a particular field.

Be aware that competition is absolutely fierce. The last position for which I was in the selection committee for had something like 170 applicants for a single position. At least half the candidates were good fits into the field (high-energy physics) and even within the particular subfield (neutrinos and dark matter). We called 10 people for interviews but could have called 30 without being too far off in terms of subject for their Master thesis.


Zapped17 said:
Royal Technological University of Sweden (KTH)
Royal Institute of Technology. (The official name in English actually being KTH Royal Institute of Technology)


* The general admission requirement is to hold a Master’s degree or reach 240 ECTS credits (with at least 60 on advanced level) or have the equivalent knowledge. I don’t think I have ever seen the last criterion used though … The second criterion is usually used for people who have not yet obtained their Master’s degree but will do so before starting. It just speeds the admission process along so there is less risk of a ”gap”.
 
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  • #11
Zapped17 said:
for instance getting your thesis published at a journal.
This certainly helps your case with a selection committee. What helps even more is having done your thesis in a relevant field for the position.
 
  • #12
Vanadium 50 said:
"If you don't know where you are going, any path will take you there."

I think your need to figure out what your goal is first. Then we can discuss how to reach it.
And it needs to be a realistic goal.
 
  • #13
But 1 year of master in Sweden (aka magisterexamen in swedish) count as a masters degree right?

Right now i am thinking about doing option (1) or (2), perhaps I could start with option (2) and see if the workload is to much or not.
If I do option (2), my physics thesis will be about something in theoretical physics (in particle physics/plasma physcs/mathematical physics), and my math thesis in mathematical physics/some applied mathematical area, how does that sounds?
Cause thats the areas I am most interested in.
Really feel in love with the "mathematical methods for physicsts".
 

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