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Career in Physics(limited money) help!

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  1. Aug 16, 2014 #1
    Hi and thank you for reading this,

    I live in Canada and will soon be going for my last year in high school, and I really want to pursue a career in physics, I've wanted this for a long time(5 years). Physics just intrigues me, and I'm quite good at it, but my family's income isn't that great. They can possibly afford to pay for my undergraduate, but probably nothing higher. Is there any career opportunities if I only do undergraduates? And lastly will i be able to pay off loans for graduate and doctorate degree if i decided to go that route to become a researcher/physicist?
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 16, 2014 #2

    jtbell

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    Staff: Mentor

    You should not have to pay for graduate education towards a Ph.D. in physics. If you get into grad school successfully, they will normally cover your tuition and give you a stipend that will be enough for basic living expenses as long as you are making satisfactory progress towards your degree. This is the case in the US and I'm pretty sure also in Canada. You will "earn" that money by some combination of teaching (usually undergraduate laboratory classes) and assisting with your professors' research.
     
  4. Aug 16, 2014 #3
    Thanks for the reply, just to clarify something, they give you a stipend for Masters and Ph.D? And is this always the case?
     
  5. Aug 16, 2014 #4

    jtbell

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    In the US, if you're aiming for a Ph.D. you don't normally do a separate Master's program. In effect, the Ph.D. program combines both degrees, and you can pick up a Master's along the way after you finish a certain amount of coursework. You get funded all the way through.

    In Canada I think it's more common to do the Master's and Ph.D. as separate programs. (Or maybe I'm thinking of Europe?) In any event, you still get funding all the way through, but the details are different. We have people from Canada posting here, so one of them will probably verify this for us.
     
  6. Aug 16, 2014 #5

    Choppy

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    Yes that's correct. In Canada, it's common to receive full support for both the master's and PhD programs. And generally speaking you enroll in the master's degree first, then either complete it and proceed to the PhD, or jump directly into the PhD after about a year or so, with your supervisory committee's approval.

    For what it's worth, there aren't that many opportunities IN PHYSICS with only a bachelor's degree in physics. It seems common that BSc graduates struggle a little to market themselves in the non-academic world, although most end up doing alright career-wise. You might want to look up the statistics on these things kept by the AIP or APS.
     
  7. Aug 16, 2014 #6
    Thanks to you both, thrilled to hear that I'll have support in my Ph.D journey.
     
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