Can one skip masters courses in US grad school if already got masters in Europe?

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Can one apply to the US grad school and skip masters level courses to start working on PhD in the first year? Because in Europe, masters degree is usually obtained instantly after undergrad, whereas PhD level studies are separated. One really wouldn't want after obtaining masters and getting into US grad school to attend standard classical mechanics, electrodynamics etc courses which one already covered studying for masters in Europe. Is it possible to wriggle out of them?
 

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  • #2
eri
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It really depends on the school. Many of them will make you retake some or all of your coursework, even transferring from another US school. They might not make someone from Europe retake the masters entirely, but my friends from India and South America had to do their masters over again, even at low-ranked physics programs in the US. It depends on how good they judge your background to be. But if you can pass their qualifying exam coming in, you'd have a good argument for not having to retake classes.
 
  • #3
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... But if you can pass their qualifying exam coming in, you'd have a good argument for not having to retake classes.

So if one arranges to sit the qualifying exam at the beginning and passes it, then one could proceed to PhD after that without retaking classes? Or it will require some additional argument?
 
  • #4
Dr Transport
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So if one arranges to sit the qualifying exam at the beginning and passes it, then one could proceed to PhD after that without retaking classes? Or it will require some additional argument?

at most universities, it'll take some extra argument. Remember, these places are looking for money in terms of tuition, so if they can force you to take classes, they are going to do it.
 
  • #5
HallsofIvy
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at most universities, it'll take some extra argument. Remember, these places are looking for money in terms of tuition, so if they can force you to take classes, they are going to do it.

Are you saying that if you could get more money out of people by forcing them to do something, you would?
 
  • #6
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at most universities, it'll take some extra argument. Remember, these places are looking for money in terms of tuition, so if they can force you to take classes, they are going to do it.

that doesn't make sense to me. at most phd porgrams in the US, it's the school/professors paying for your tuition and stuff. if they could move you right into research, why wouldnt they?

why would they spend their money making you take classes, classes that are suppose to build up the skill of students so they can do reserach (and said someone can move right into research)?
 
  • #7
I can tell you for certain that at my grad school you are not required to take the standard courses in Classical Mechanics, E+M etc. Even students without a masters degree are not required to take them. They are just there to help you pass your qualifying exam. There is some coursework required but these are more advanced specialized courses.

In the end, you can probably ask the departments you are considering applying to what their policy is on this.
 
  • #8
Dr Transport
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that doesn't make sense to me. at most phd porgrams in the US, it's the school/professors paying for your tuition and stuff. if they could move you right into research, why wouldnt they?

why would they spend their money making you take classes, classes that are suppose to build up the skill of students so they can do reserach (and said someone can move right into research)?

Even though I had a Masters and almost all of the coursework I needed for a PhD, I was only allowed to transfer 2 classes toward my PhD at my new institution. The reason i was given was that they wanted the $$ from my research contract for tuition... The university would not allow a person to directly enroll in a PhD program even with a prior Master's degree. Unless your new school allows it, you'll have to take a bunch of courses and pay tuition, either your pocket or your advisers, for the repeat of some of your coursework. In this economy, I would think that it would be worse than the early '90's.
 
  • #9
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In this economy, I would think that it would be worse than the early '90's.
On the other hand, 20 years is plenty for people to come to their senses :smile:
 
  • #10
Vanadium 50
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I don't think it's helpful to try and discern why a university acts as it does. What is relevant is that universities have certain residency requirements for a degree, and these determine how many credits can transfer. This varies enormously from place to place, as well as circumstances. (A university hires a professor away from somewhere else, and he wants to bring his students with him. He will likely negotiate an arrangement whereby the students don't start from Square One.)
 

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