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Chemistry major looking for a way out.

  1. Apr 3, 2013 #1
    Hi everyone,

    I have almost finished my BS (chemistry), and I would like some advice on where to go from here. I have an interview at a med school coming up, but I'm not really sure if medicine is what I want to do right now.

    My undergraduate is from a mediocre university, but I have good grades (4.0 so far) and some research experience. I am considering studying a masters of physics/engineering as working in chemistry does not appeal to me. Unfortunately I have focused on the biological side of things in undergraduate and thus neglected physics/maths which makes getting into a masters program all the more difficult. To give you an idea, I've only done the equivalents of Calc1-2, DiffEq + Linear algebra, Physics with calculus 1-3, Intro to relativity + QM. The divisions between subjects in my country (Australia) aren't as neat as they appear to be in America so some of my subjects were mushed into one.

    Also, it is worth mentioning that I'm interested in studying either in the US or the EU - currently leaning towards EU because of the cost. France in particular has caught my fancy, but I'm concerned about the transferability of the qualification between countries, and the quality of the institutions. Australia has some highly ranked universities that are very easy to get into (UMelb, USyd - both ranked about 30th-40th globally) but I'm not sure it will be the same overseas - the grand ecoles are very very competitive apparently?

    My question is: what do you think a good option (course, country) for a BS grad looking to study overseas in engineering/physics/other is in terms of employability and income? I've found a few courses "Master of science in x engineering" (2 years), however it's not clear if I would be able to work as an engineer after completing such a course.

    Sorry my post is all over the place, my head is in a mess even thinking about all the possibilities! Thanks for any input, would love to hear others' experiences :).
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 3, 2013 #2


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    Gold Member

    First of all, you need to get going asap. Get admissions data and documents and try to set up some appointments with the admissions people or even local alumni.
    University admissions procedures here in the US start in the fall and acceptances are sent out in late winter/early spring, so you are out of cycle for the more competitive universities.
    That need not be a killer if you are able to pay and have solid credentials, but it makes scholarships and support harder to get.
    Having seen somewhat similar cases, I'd put in a kind word for a couple of years in practical work. You will get a better feel for what you can do outside of academia and you will have a more substantive record to strengthen your eventual application.
  4. Apr 4, 2013 #3
    Have you done any practical work?- one way to "buy some time" would be to look for a field of study and work in a professors lab - assisting research, and finding a field that you really like. I can see doing an undergrad program not really knowing what you want to do - but IMO you should only go into grad school on a subject that you are keen on.
    Another thing I have noticed - in Europe masters and PhDs seem to be more of a continuation of the undergrad programs preset programs - where in the USA they seem to be a little more research based - self guided.
  5. Apr 4, 2013 #4
    Excuse the tangent,

    Which University do you attend, if I may ask?
    As I am also Australian, and have a friend who had pretty much the same crisis.
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