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Applying to physics PhD programs with a non-traditional background

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Dear all ,

I'm interested in applying for PhD programs in physics this summer. I'm mostly interested in high energy theory. There are two things that concerns me :

1- I didn't take any physics / math course during my undergraduate years "In fact I graduated from medical school" but I studied the undergraduate+ graduate level curriculum independently.To substantiate this claim , I took the PGRE and scored 920 and worked as a physics TA and RA.During my RA years , I independently studied some advanced topics such as Twistor theory , mathematical gauge theory , QFT and other things.

2- I'm also interested in systems biology , biophysics and other medicine related disciplines. Unfortunately , I didn't spend much time researching biophysics , and so I think my SOP may be weaker in this regard.


Given my background , Do I have a reasonable chance to get admitted to a physics PhD program studying Hep th?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
symbolipoint
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Missing equivalent course credit for the equivalent of undergraduate degree in Physics, best conclusion is, No.
 
  • #3
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Most graduate programs have a firm requirement of a degree in physics or a related field.
 
  • #4
Vanadium 50
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Is the person you RA'ed for willing to write you a letter? Is she known in her field?
 
  • #5
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No. But I intend to request LOR from professors who taught the graduate level courses that I attended and also the professors I TAed for. I understand the grad schools look for strong research potential. I'm going to use the available SOP space to highlight very specific physics problems that I have found interesting. e.g. in AdS holography.
 
  • #6
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To give you an idea about my background , I studied QFT and Supersymmetry from textbooks such as Weinberg , Srednicki ,.. I also studied algebraic topology , complex analysis from Hatcher , lang and others. I face some difficulty substantiating the claim that I have this background aside from LOR.
 
  • #7
Vanadium 50
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If you have no undergraduate degree, claim you did research and the research advisor won't write you a letter, I am not going to waste my time with your application. Sorry, but that's the way it is. Sure, it's possible that you might turn out to be an incredible find, but there's no evidence in your packet that this is likely to be the case. There will be much better prospects elsewhere in the stack of applications.
 
  • #8
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Thanks. I think you are right. I c manage to obtai
If you have no undergraduate degree, claim you did research and the research advisor won't write you a letter, I am not going to waste my time with your application. Sorry, but that's the way it is. Sure, it's possible that you might turn out to be an incredible find, but there's no evidence in your packet that this is likely to be the case. There will be much better prospects elsewhere in the stack of applications.
If you have no undergraduate degree, claim you did research and the research advisor won't write you a letter, I am not going to waste my time with your application. Sorry, but that's the way it is. Sure, it's possible that you might turn out to be an incredible find, but there's no evidence in your packet that this is likely to be the case. There will be much better prospects elsewhere in the stack of applications.
 

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