Bachelor's, Masters and Phd's sequence for Math & Physics

In summary, the conversation revolves around the speaker's decision to pursue a PhD in physics and their concerns about their math knowledge. They are considering getting a master's degree in mathematics before applying for a PhD in physics, but there is debate about whether this is a good idea. The speaker also expresses interest in a theoretical physics PhD, specifically in a field that involves abstract mathematics. However, there is uncertainty about which specific field to pursue.
  • #1
ahmed markhoos
49
2
Hello,

It seems like mostly, the masters degree is skipped for those who are seeking a Phd degree (from Bachelor's to Phd directly).

I'm in my fourth year as undergraduate, studying physics. I like both math and physics and I really want to master them both. The thing is that my university physics degree (Bachelor) does not offer that much supplements in math and does not focus on it. I will absolutely apply for a Phd in physics "theoretical". But I don't think I am mature enough and satisfied with my math knowledge.

So I was thinking of taking a masters degree in mathematics, then apply to a Phd in physics. My decision is based on seeking knowledge. But at the same time it seems like a silly decision!

I know most of the math needed in the physics Phd will be learned through it, But the truth is I don't want to be limited with the tools provided for me.Does this decision seems silly for you? What is your opinion?
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
Yes, this is a silly decision

1) You're interested mostly in physics and you see math mostly as a tool. A master in math will NOT give you further tools necessary for physics. What you learn there might not at all what you need for physics.
2) If your math background is bad, then you won't be able to handle a masters in math.

You want to do a Phd in physics, then I'd say to go for it immediately. You can self study the necessary mathematics.
 
  • Like
Likes ahmed markhoos and Ben Espen
  • #3
micromass said:
Yes, this is a silly decision

1) You're interested mostly in physics and you see math mostly as a tool. A master in math will NOT give you further tools necessary for physics. What you learn there might not at all what you need for physics.
2) If your math background is bad, then you won't be able to handle a masters in math.

You want to do a Phd in physics, then I'd say to go for it immediately. You can self study the necessary mathematics.

I don't really see it as a tool.
Hmmm, I might say that I am actually trying to study them together at the same time each for its own sake!- Should I instead apply for a mathematical physics degree "Another silly decision I think. Mathematical and theoretical physics degrees seems to be somehow the same thing!"

It's like wanting to marry two girls at the same time :DD:DD:DD
 
  • #4
ahmed markhoos said:
Mathematical and theoretical physics degrees seems to be somehow the same thing!

They are definitely not the same thing. They can be very different.

As for mathematical physics, I wouldn't say that they actually do physics. They investigate the math behind the physics. Theoretical physics tries to predict new theories in physics.
 
  • #5
micromass said:
They are definitely not the same thing. They can be very different.

As for mathematical physics, I wouldn't say that they actually do physics. They investigate the math behind the physics. Theoretical physics tries to predict new theories in physics.

Okay, then I think the most appropriate degree for me is a Phd in Theoretical Physics, but in a field that is abstract mathematically!.
What are the physics fields that deal with abstract math (not necessarily abstract physics!) ?
 
  • #6
I don't really think it's a good idea to accept any physics field that just deals with "abstract math" (whatever that is). Isn't there a type of physics you like more than others?
 
  • #7
micromass said:
I don't really think it's a good idea to accept any physics field that just deals with "abstract math" (whatever that is). Isn't there a type of physics you like more than others?

I don't really have a favorite type. But for sure I don't like to deal with experiments >_<. For real, I don't know! Maybe I need help in how to search and what to search for.
 
  • #8
If literally anything in math and anything in physics is good for you, then you're going to have a very tough time deciding on a research field. You really should narrow down your options.
 
  • Like
Likes Ben Espen and ahmed markhoos

Related to Bachelor's, Masters and Phd's sequence for Math & Physics

What is the difference between a Bachelor's, Masters, and PhD in Math and Physics?

A Bachelor's degree in Math or Physics is typically a 4-year undergraduate program that provides a broad foundation in the fundamentals of these subjects. A Master's degree is a 2-year graduate program that allows for specialization in a specific area within Math or Physics. A PhD, or Doctor of Philosophy, is a research-based degree that usually takes 4-6 years to complete and prepares individuals for careers in academia or industry.

Do I need to have a Bachelor's degree in Math or Physics to pursue a Master's or PhD?

Generally, a Bachelor's degree in a related field is required for admission into a Master's or PhD program in Math or Physics. However, some programs may accept students with a strong background in math and physics, even if their undergraduate degree is in a different field.

What types of careers can I pursue with a Bachelor's, Masters, or PhD in Math or Physics?

A Bachelor's degree in Math or Physics can lead to careers in fields such as data analysis, finance, or education. A Master's degree can open up opportunities for higher-level positions in these fields, as well as research positions in government or industry. A PhD can lead to careers in academia, research, or high-level positions in industry.

Is it necessary to have a PhD to have a successful career in Math or Physics?

No, a PhD is not always necessary for a successful career in these fields. A Master's degree can lead to a variety of fulfilling and well-paying careers, while a Bachelor's degree can also provide a strong foundation for entry-level positions. However, a PhD may be required for certain research or teaching positions, and can also lead to higher salaries and more opportunities for advancement.

Can I pursue a Master's or PhD in Math or Physics without a strong background in these subjects?

It is possible to pursue a Master's or PhD in Math or Physics without a strong undergraduate background in these subjects. Some programs offer bridge courses or remedial classes for students who may need to strengthen their skills in math and physics. However, having a solid foundation in these subjects is important for success in graduate programs and future careers in these fields.

Similar threads

  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
8
Views
2K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
6
Views
4K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
5
Views
2K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
19
Views
3K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
23
Views
1K
Replies
15
Views
2K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
5
Views
1K
Replies
17
Views
2K
Back
Top