Aeronautical Engineer to Physicist?

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  • #1
Varshit Jain
Hey guys,
I needed some help in my course advice.
I recently completed my course in Aeronautical Engineering from India. I scored not-that-great with a 67% avg and a gap year cause of sickness.
I always wanted to do a masters in physics and specifically in theoretical physics in topics related to cosmology and string theory. But i completed an engineering degree for family reasons.
Ive mostly self taught myself basic and most bachelors level physics and math. A couple courses at coursera too.
Id applied to a few colleges for my masters but i dont think ill be getting a positive reply at all.
What do you think i should do? How do you think i should go around pursuing the masters?
Im pretty sure ill end up sitting for an year/semester where i plan on doing a good internship in similar subjects and a few courses too.
I was also looking to see if i can complete another bachelors in physics from a distance program and finish it in a year, but so far i havent found any.
Require some help.
Thank you guys.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
FactChecker
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My two cents from my experience (since no one else has commented):
Unless you expect to be really good at theoretical physics, it would be disappointing to work really hard on a degree and then not find a job. I also hesitate to turn something that I enjoy into a job. On the other hand, it's nice to be trained in a subject that companies really want to hire people for. I ended up with a satisfying engineering / computer programming job and left math and physics as interesting hobbies. (Those "hobbies" also helped greatly in my engineering job.)

But that is just my experience. Everyone is different. Take my story for what it's worth.
 
  • #3
Choppy
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I'm not sure how your 67% converts onto a 4.0 GPA scale, but I suspect it's not that high. Generally speaking, admission to graduate school (in North America) requires a minimum of 3.0, and even then, that's no guarantee of acceptance. To get into the more popular/competitive programs you're looking at somewhere north of 3.5 and some research experience. If you were hoping to get involved in a project that has a lot of overlap with aerospace engineering, then that might boost your application a little. If you want to get into string theory and cosmology, chances are the admission committee will want to see more than a GPA that would be considered a borderline pass (if at all) in graduate school in a major that doesn't cover the prerequisite material.

So to get there from here, you'll very likely need to get into a physics undergraduate program and show them that you're capable of getting very high grades. Unfortunately, while self study will work to your advantage when taking the material formally, you won't get much credit for it.
 
  • #4
ZapperZ
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Hey guys,
I needed some help in my course advice.
I recently completed my course in Aeronautical Engineering from India. I scored not-that-great with a 67% avg and a gap year cause of sickness.
I always wanted to do a masters in physics and specifically in theoretical physics in topics related to cosmology and string theory. But i completed an engineering degree for family reasons.
Ive mostly self taught myself basic and most bachelors level physics and math. A couple courses at coursera too.
Id applied to a few colleges for my masters but i dont think ill be getting a positive reply at all.
What do you think i should do? How do you think i should go around pursuing the masters?
Im pretty sure ill end up sitting for an year/semester where i plan on doing a good internship in similar subjects and a few courses too.
I was also looking to see if i can complete another bachelors in physics from a distance program and finish it in a year, but so far i havent found any.
Require some help.
Thank you guys.

What exactly is your career goal? You stated that you've "... always wanted to do a masters in physics...." but this is not a career goal. Doing a masters in physics is a MEANS to get to something. It can't itself be the actual goal.

If you want to be a cosmologist and all those things that you think are "theoretical physics", then you need to a PhD in physics, not just a "masters". And if you intend to pursue a PhD degree in physics in the US, then I suggest you start with this thread:

https://www.physicsforums.com/threa...if-my-bachelors-degree-isnt-in-physics.64966/

Zz.
 
  • #5
Varshit Jain
What exactly is your career goal? You stated that you've "... always wanted to do a masters in physics...." but this is not a career goal. Doing a masters in physics is a MEANS to get to something. It can't itself be the actual goal.

If you want to be a cosmologist and all those things that you think are "theoretical physics", then you need to a PhD in physics, not just a "masters". And if you intend to pursue a PhD degree in physics in the US, then I suggest you start with this thread:

https://www.physicsforums.com/threa...if-my-bachelors-degree-isnt-in-physics.64966/

Zz.
Hey ZapperZ.
My intermediate goals involves a masters in physics to assess my strength and viability of it as a career. If i find it likable, obviously i pursue for a Ph.D further and then onward to research. If not, Ive alternate options which could help me regardless.
Thanks.
 
  • #6
Varshit Jain
I'm not sure how your 67% converts onto a 4.0 GPA scale, but I suspect it's not that high. Generally speaking, admission to graduate school (in North America) requires a minimum of 3.0, and even then, that's no guarantee of acceptance. To get into the more popular/competitive programs you're looking at somewhere north of 3.5 and some research experience. If you were hoping to get involved in a project that has a lot of overlap with aerospace engineering, then that might boost your application a little. If you want to get into string theory and cosmology, chances are the admission committee will want to see more than a GPA that would be considered a borderline pass (if at all) in graduate school in a major that doesn't cover the prerequisite material.

So to get there from here, you'll very likely need to get into a physics undergraduate program and show them that you're capable of getting very high grades. Unfortunately, while self study will work to your advantage when taking the material formally, you won't get much credit for it.

It roughly translates to 3.0 on the GPA scale. And i get what youve stated in this post and have been facing it to.
I know self study matters little but i get you. Thanks anyhoo.
 
  • #7
Varshit Jain
My two cents from my experience (since no one else has commented):
Unless you expect to be really good at theoretical physics, it would be disappointing to work really hard on a degree and then not find a job. I also hesitate to turn something that I enjoy into a job. On the other hand, it's nice to be trained in a subject that companies really want to hire people for. I ended up with a satisfying engineering / computer programming job and left math and physics as interesting hobbies. (Those "hobbies" also helped greatly in my engineering job.)

But that is just my experience. Everyone is different. Take my story for what it's worth.
Im not sure i expect to be really good. Maybe competent but i have no means of knowing. But i want to do the degree for a personal satisfaction and to see if Physics can be a career choice for me. I have at least 3 alternates as jobs which i expect to be good at. Just want to explore physics first.
 

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