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Programs Changing direction from master to Phd

  1. May 20, 2010 #1
    Hi, I am currently studyng a master degree in physics with an specialization in biosciences. When I was choosing my specialization, I talked with professors from astrophysics, theoretical physics and biophysics. I was really confused about which choice to make, and finally choose bio because I though I would had more career oportunities in case I could not find a place in academia. However, now I feel I am regretting my choice. Sometimes, I feel I would like to go to astrophysics or other more hardcore physics area for my Phd. However, my coursework did not turned out to be as good as I would have liked. I used to be the top of my class in udergraduate, but now I did slighly below the average of the class in every single course I took (and they were all physics courses: QM, Stat mech, QED, even an astrophysics course, I have not taken yet biophysics courses). And I think that the research I am doing now is easy enough for me, and probably I am not good enought to do something harder like cosmology / theoretical physics.

    Also, since my marks are not something to be proud about, I think getting admitted to a Phd in another university will be difficult. Staying in the same university would be reasonably easy, and I can change topic / supervisor if I want, but I probably talked with every single professor in astrophysics / theoretical physics in the department when I was choosing my master specialization, only to tell them at the end that I choosed biosciences. It would probably be weird to tell them: you know what? I change my mind, I want to do a Phd with you. Also, I really like the university I am studyng now, and I would be happy to continue my Phd here.

    I know that at the end the decission is entirely mine, but I would like to hear some suggestions, or some related past experiences from you. Do you think It would be too difficult for me to change directions in my Phd?

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2010 #2
    Look, awkward situations arise. This is research - people's minds work in strange ways, and people figure out what they really want to do often only after a bunch of tries.

    You should talk things over with some professors. Just make it clear to them your interests are changing, and only go into the huge deal of background as to why you started the path you did if they question you further.
  4. May 31, 2012 #3
    I am only a junior undergraduate student so my opinion may not be as relevant as those of other people who have experience studying at your level, but I imagine your professors will understand your change in focus. After all, all fields you considered before selecting your focus area were in the realm of physics. It is not as if you up and decided you now want to be a historian. If anything, I think it is great that you have a more clear vision of what you want to study now than you did a few physics courses ago. Tell the professor you now would like to work with that you've taken a few advanced physics courses and found them very challenging and interesting and would like to continue to explore that field instead of branching out to biosciences and I'm sure he/she will understand.

    Best of luck!
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