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Programs Comparison of physics masters

  1. Aug 4, 2016 #1
    hello everyone,

    i am currently a physics undergraduate in europe and i am thinking about possible graduate studies either in usa or europe.i want to study theoretical particle physics(string theory,quantum fileds,cosmpology etc.). my first choice is a phd in usa. but as an alternative i am thinking about a master degree in europe(and then a phd). i have narrowed down my options to some master programmes and i would like your opinions on these programmes. all of these proggrames are considered top-tier (or at least thats what i think) . the programmes are:

    -cambridge part 3 (theoretical physics)
    -Oxford Master Course in Mathematical and Theoretical Physics
    -imperial quantum fields and fundamental forces
    -durham M.Sc. in Particles, Strings and Cosmology
    -LMU munich elite master course in theoretical and mathematical physics
    -eth zurich Msci in physics or Msci in high energy physics
    -ecole de lozanne Msci in physics
    -ecole polytechnique high energy physics
    -ecole normale superieure ICPF masters program

    i would really appreciate any opinion or thought about the programmes, or any ither programme that you believe that it would be appropriate. what do you suggest?

    i would also like to ask two more questions:

    as far as i know the first five programmes are only towards theoretical physics. i mean that in these programmes the courses someone must take are like string theory , standard model etc....no labwork...
    in the last four programmes (in switzerland and france) the programmes aren't so specific and someone must take both theoretical and experimental classes along with elections towards the personal goal. what do you think would be more appropriate??or it doesnt matter?personally i prefer a programme more specific towards theoretical physics but i dont know whether that is better or not.

    and the last question:

    as i said above my first choice is a phd in usa. but i am afraid that entry requirements are a lot more difficult in top tier usa programmes. if i obtain a master's degree from europe could i become accepted for phd in usa only for the three years (like in europe) or i am obliged to do a 5-yead phd even after a master's???

    thanks you all in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 4, 2016 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    You need to understand that there is no set time for the completion of such a degree here in the US. You can do it as fast as you want as long as you fulfill all the requirements and get approval of your advisor. Period!

    Now, that may sound simple, but "fulfill all your requirement" isn't trivial, because it means that you have done, among other things, a sufficiently high level of original, research work with approval from your advisor, wrote and defended your thesis. Each school here in the US has different sets of requirements for a PhD, and you must fulfill all of them.

  4. Aug 4, 2016 #3
    thanks for your reply. it really made me understand how it works.so basically it depends on the advisor , the university and my thesis.it is made a bit clear now. could you give any feedback about the programmes?or about my other question? thanks a lot anyway.
  5. Aug 4, 2016 #4


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Have you read my "So You Want To Be A Physicist" essay?

    And it would be silly for me to comment on the other part of your question since I have no intimate knowledge of programs in Europe.

  6. Aug 4, 2016 #5
    yes i have read it.ok thanks a lot.
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