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Admissions Can I get into a graduate physics program without a Bsc degr

  1. Mar 27, 2017 #1
    I am a physics sophomore. I have been told by some of the graduates that most of the courses can be self-studied through the books that are demanded. I want to know if a masters or Ph.D. program would accept me if I self-studied everything. It's going to save me a lot of money.
     
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  3. Mar 27, 2017 #2

    DrClaude

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    If you don't pass an exam, how can an admission committee (and yourself) know that you have learned the material?
     
  4. Mar 27, 2017 #3
    Are there no standardized exams for graduate schools? Like the SAT for undergraduates?
     
  5. Mar 27, 2017 #4
    No. A BS degree is an admissions requirement for most graduate schools.
     
  6. Mar 27, 2017 #5

    ZapperZ

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    Since you relied so much on these "graduates", why don't you ask them if any of them actually did this, and got into a graduate program without actually taking such classes and getting their degrees? That in itself should tell you something.

    Standardized tests ALONE do not tell any admission committee anything. Even LSAT is now no longer being required for admission at many law schools, Harvard being the latest one to not require it.

    So, without such emphasis on these standardized tests, what do you think is the most important evaluation criteria here for admission?

    Zz.
     
  7. Mar 27, 2017 #6
    I think that graduate schools focus on finding dedicated students that are able to perform research and think critically. I don't know what self-studying would tell them about a person, though.
     
  8. Mar 27, 2017 #7

    ZapperZ

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    1. How would you be able to prove that you are capable of doing that by doing a self-study?

    2. A graduate school also wants to know if you have the basic knowledge already to proceed into graduate level courses. That is why each school often has its own qualifying exam, or means to evaluate a student's physics knowledge. Do you think you can prove that you have that via self-studying?

    3. You never did tell me if you asked those "graduates" the question I asked you to, or if you are planning on it.

    4. Many of us here are physics "graduates". In fact, many of us are also physics professionals. Will you listen to us?

    Zz.
     
  9. Mar 27, 2017 #8
    1-2- I think I can't.
    3- I haven't had the time yet and all of them were talking about not relying on class but no one mentioned that I should leave my degree, that is all my idea.
    4- I am listening and that is why I asked. I think I got the point now. Thank you for your patience!
     
  10. Mar 27, 2017 #9

    radium

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    The admissions committee needs to be able to see the courses you have taken and how you performed in a transcript. The physics PGRE is required for admission, but it does not give much useful information about your knowledge of physics since it's just a multiple choice test of 100 questions in three hours.

    Also, how are you going to get letters of recommendation if you haven't completed a physics (or some related) degree?
     
  11. Mar 27, 2017 #10

    Vanadium 50

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    More to the point, why would you want to do such a thing?
     
  12. Mar 27, 2017 #11
    A relative who went to law school told me that you could become a lawyer (at least in theory) if you passed the Bar exam in the state. He told me you do not have to go to law school to be a lawyer. However, this may have been an option in Abe Lincoln's time about 150 years ago. I suspect this is unpractical today.
    I understand Clarence Darrow never went to law school(?).

    More to the point, there is no single exam (at least in the USA), like the LSAT (law school admissions test) that serves as a gatekeeper for physics graduate study, The usual route is college classes (i.e grade point averages: GPA's), GRE's, and LORs, (letters of recommendatons) . I have kept up with graduate schools for almost 40 years, and I do not know anyone who did it any other way.

    I think I did see a person on TV once who was an autodidact of mathematics like Ramanujan. He single-handedly learned (I think it was math for the guy on TV), and was published. It may not be totally impossible, but it is very unlikely. You could certainly not get this far from books alone.
     
  13. Mar 27, 2017 #12

    Vanadium 50

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    It's true in only 4 or 5 states now, and most if not all of them require an apprenticeship in lieu of law school. (I looked it up - all do, and in 2014, a grand total of 17 students nationwide were successful taking this path) And, as you say, in physics there is no "bar exam". (If there were, though, we could call it the hbar-exam)
     
  14. Mar 28, 2017 #13
    [QUOTE="Vanadium 50, post: 5727537 (If there were, though, we could call it the hbar-exam)[/QUOTE]

    I hate standardized tests, but I love that name!
     
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