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Programs Applying to a Physics Masters Program

  1. Sep 29, 2016 #1
    I'm a senior undergrad majoring in physics. I've decided recently that I want to get a Masters to improve my chances in the job market (I'm still undecided if I want to get a PhD after that). So I've done my research, but am a bit confused, since information about Masters and PhD's are lumped together in the category "graduate school", and the focus is more on PhD's than Masters.

    My question is, how different is applying to a Masters Program than a PhD program? My main concern is that I have no research experience, and everyone always says that it's virtually impossible to get into "graduate school" without it. But does that apply to Masters equally as well? Or can I get into a reasonably good school as long as my GPA and Physics/General GRE are good? Or should I really do one research project, even if it's minor? (It's probably too late in the semester to do any, but I can push back graduate school a half a year and do something for next semester).
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2016 #2


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    Depends on the program and specific funding situation, I would say. Some are looking for master's students to work on some (relatively) short-term projects. Others would need the commitment and greater experience attained by a Ph.D. student to complete a reasonable amount of work. Either way, research experience is certainly helpful, but I don't think you should think of it as a strict pre-requisite even in top programs. It would be worth doing a research project if you can manage it, because research tends to give you a lot of "on your feet" training that classes just don't provide, but I wouldn't necessarily delay my schedule to accommodate it.
  4. Oct 13, 2016 #3
    Bumping this thread in case people didn't see it (I posted in the wrong forums initially).
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