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Programs At what age did you complete your undergrad and grad degrees and phD?

  1. Aug 21, 2008 #1
    and at what age did you complete your undergrad and grad degrees and phD if you did it???

    I have a feeling that after one reaches thirty one cannot progress further... since most famous researchers were still young while making their greatest discoveries...

    anyways, my feelings aside...
    I want to know about yours???

    Chow
    xaviers
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 21, 2008 #2

    BobG

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    31 might be a bit low. I completed my undergrad at 34 - provided you're not overly stuck on that boring base 10 numbering system. Otherwise: 52.

    It probably depends on whether the person really enjoyed what they were doing. I think quite a few people build up tenure, build up their reputation, build up their income and can't afford to take off some new path just because the current path got boring (not just research, but any career a person might follow).

    Quite a few people are really looking forward to the day they don't have to go into work anymore. After too many years doing the same thing, they can't stand the idea of going back in there day after day.

    Some people have to be pried out of their jobs with a crowbar. They won't retire in spite of being in their 70's or maybe even their 80's and in spite of having so many health problems they can barely get out of their car and make it in the door.

    I imagine the latter group is a little more likely to make new discoveries even after they've hit that old and decrepit age of 31.
     
  4. Aug 21, 2008 #3

    f95toli

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    I was 24 when I got my MSc and 29 when I completed my PhD.

    Anyway, you can't compare modern science to the situation in the early 20th century. Back then a lot of people completed their PhD when they were 21-22. One reason for this is simply that most of the physics you study as an undergraduate nowadays simply did not exist in 1920 (obvious example being quantum mechanics and subatomic physics but also most solid state physics etc).
    Another reason is that there are so many physicists around today meaning it is much more difficult to do something truly original. The experiments also tend to be very complicated and takes a lot of time (PhD students in my field often spend 3-4 years just learning the basics and setting ut their experiment).
    My point is that some of the famous researchers you are referring to would probably have been just "average" researchers if they were active today.
     
  5. Aug 21, 2008 #4
    I have the feeling that this is one of those things that is said but is becoming less and less true as time progresses. I also think it's even less true in particular areas (for instance, I know Roger Kornberg, who won the chemistry Nobel for his structural studies of transcription, mentioned that his prize recognized decades of research, not just one point). At least here in the US, we hear a lot about an increasing time to independence for young scientists, especially with respect to their first RO1 grant. But anyway.....

    B.S. at 23 (after changing majors and transferring universities), Ph.D. at ~ 30 (defended about 7 weeks before my birthday, deposited about a week after my 30th birthday). I also worked for about a year before starting my Ph.D. program at 24, just to be clear.
     
  6. Aug 21, 2008 #5

    berkeman

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    LOL :rofl: "There are 10 kinds of people in the world...."
     
  7. Aug 21, 2008 #6
    B.S. Chemistry at 23, PhD Chemical Physics at 28. I'm 25 now. ;)
     
  8. Aug 21, 2008 #7
    I will be getting my BS when I'm 25, thanks to changing majors a few time. I could have easily of graduated in four years and got a job, but my reason for going to college is to learn the skills required to perform a job that I can actually enjoy for the next forty years of my life. That's the idea anyway...
     
  9. Aug 21, 2008 #8

    cristo

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    I got my undergrad masters at 22 (yea, I know, an oxymoron to you folks) and plan to obtain my PhD by 25.
     
  10. Aug 21, 2008 #9

    jtbell

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    "Why should Halloween and Christmas really be on the same day?" :wink:

    Back to the original question: B.A. at 21, M.S. at 23, Ph.D. at 28. (all in physics)
     
  11. Aug 21, 2008 #10
    BS at in ME at 22, starting my MS and will finish hopefully by 25, going to try to get my PhD by 28.


    How does this work?
     
  12. Aug 21, 2008 #11

    mgb_phys

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    An ugrad masters (MSci in the UK) is a 4year undergrad degree - equivalent to the old 3year Honours degree rather than to an MSc.
    It's also common to do a PhD in 3years (officially = 4 years realistically) since the ugrad is so much more specialised/concentrated and PhDs do not normally involve lectures or teaching.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
  13. Aug 21, 2008 #12

    mgb_phys

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    That's my wife's technique - she is always 21 but the number base increases!
     
  14. Aug 21, 2008 #13

    stewartcs

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    First BS at 22, second BS at 27.

    CS
     
  15. Aug 21, 2008 #14

    Dr Transport

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    BS at 21, MA at 23, then a two year break, MS at 27, PhD at 34. All the time I worked nearly full-time in industry after my BS.
     
  16. Aug 21, 2008 #15
    BS at 23 and PhD at 28. Really wanted to finish my PhD in 4 years, but my school would not waive some credits so I had to stick around for another year.
     
  17. Aug 21, 2008 #16

    Vanadium 50

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    20 and 27.

    I don't believe this is the case. John Bardeen was 50 when he came up with BCS theory. Carlo Rubbia was in his late 40's when UA1 ran. Marty Perl was 50 when the tau was discovered. Karl Mueller was in his late 50's when he discovered high Tc superconductors.

    It's probably true that there are no productive old physicists who showed little promise when young - but that's because you don't get to be an old physicist if you show no promise when young.
     
  18. Aug 21, 2008 #17
    BA in physics at 22, MS in physics at 31. Various things caused the delay. If I do a Ph.D. I will probably not start until I am in my late 30s or early 40s, so look at mid 40s to early 50s to complete it.
     
  19. Aug 21, 2008 #18

    Redbelly98

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    BS physics at 23.
    Worked for a while.
    PhD physics at 35 (took 7 years).
     
  20. Aug 21, 2008 #19
    BS physics at 21, hoping to complete my Ph.D. at 26.
     
  21. Aug 22, 2008 #20

    Andy Resnick

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    BS in physics at 22, Ph.D. at 29, also Physics.
     
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