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Distance education MSc. a disadvantage ?

  1. May 9, 2007 #1
    i'm doing a MSc. physics from an open university( distance education ).
    Would that be a major disadvantage in getting an MS from a US university even if I score well in general GRE and possibly subject GRE(physics).
    I'm doing MSc. from an open university because I'm doing job and cannot attend a regular course.
    Any advice would be helpful.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 9, 2007 #2


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    How can someone seriously study and learn at the graduate level of a science without direct in-person interaction with a professor and without (especially for a physical science) practical laboratory activities?
  4. May 9, 2007 #3
    if its theoretical(proofs,theorems,simulations)...or his lab is at his job(industry MSc)..or direct contact if any could happen over biweekly or monthly.

    Those however would also be the disadvantages unless his job is closely tied wiht his studies.
  5. May 10, 2007 #4
    I'm with symbolipoint. Neurocomp's point about having your industry lab to work in is a good one, but even then, I would think your Msc would be much more valuable if it included new labwork in an area you weren't familiar with before.

    I'm not so big on the "direct in-person interaciton with a professor" outside the laboratory - most of that has turned out pretty useless for me - but labwork is undeniable useful.
  6. May 10, 2007 #5


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    Make sure your "distnace learning" qualification is from a reputable source; ie. not one that you've only seen advertised on the internet.

    Contact with a supervisor's a diffeent issue -- for me, you should have at least weekly contact, if possible daily; even if it's theoretical, the regular contact will keep you motivated. Plus, I think there should be no time to do a normal job when studying towards a higher degree -- MA's or PhD's should not be a part-time hobby.
  7. May 10, 2007 #6


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    There's nothing at all wrong with distance learning, as long as it's well-done. I'm working on an MSEE from Stanford, and nearly all of my interaction with the university is via the internet. I watch my lectures online, I email or fax my homework, and I ask the TAs questions over email or over the phone (during their office hours).

    The only downside to the whole system is that it forces me to work and study in isolation. Most students do their homework in a study group, and get together before exams to review material with other students. I can't do this, so I am at a constant disadvantage compared to the rest of the class. Unfortunately, all of Stanford's classes are curved, so my grades always suffer from this disadvantage, though only slightly. I tend to be just a bit above average in nearly every class I take, but I don't doubt that I work a lot harder to get those grades than do the on-campus students.

    If your Master's requires lab work or research, though, you really cannot do the entire degree remotely. You might be able to take all your classes remotely, though, and just stay on-campus for a semester or two if necessary.

    In general, getting a degree remotely is a little tougher than being on-campus the entire time, but it might be the right decision for you.

    - Warren
  8. May 11, 2007 #7
    What's a MSEE ? Master in electrical engineering ?
    I always asumed that you were working in a company.

  9. May 11, 2007 #8


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    Yep. :cool:

    Yep. I work full-time, and and working on my master's part-time (hence the online program). This means I have no time to eat, sleep, or bathe myself, unfortunately.

    - Warren
  10. May 11, 2007 #9
    Respect man, honestly...

    Well, this maybe sucks for the people in your cubicle :wink:

  11. Feb 23, 2009 #10
    i would like to join a theoretical physics msc course. i searched in the net but couldnt find any such course in India. is there anyone who knows about any university providing the course in India?

    thank u
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