1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Fast Track Masters

  1. Jun 4, 2007 #1
    Hi guys, i've just completed my first year at Florida Tech with a 3.78 GPA (and completed Physics 1 and 2, and Chem 1 and 2, as well as up to Calc 3 - all with A's except Chem 1 which was a B. I also took a technical writing course and got an A). I also switched from an Astrophysics major to just Physics because I figured it would be more versatile and I would have more freedom in my courses. I also added a computational math minor which requires me to take 3 extra courses (I have chosen Parallel Processing, Numerical Analysis, and Linear Algebra).

    I'm currently working for an associate professor on Quarknet (cosmic ray detection) and also on a computing cluster for GEANT simulations and the open science grid. I have to be honest, the work is quite boring. Probably because I have very little to do - when I do have work, it involves repairing and calibrating the detectors (with an oscilloscope) which I LOVE doing. I have noticed that i'm a very fast learner when it comes to technical apparatus.

    That's my current situation, but my question is this. I know that a good Masters program will open a lot more doors, and I was recently invited to participate in a new program at the school (Fast Track to Masters) which tells me that I can get my masters degree in Physics within 1 year of completing my Bachelors by taking 2 graduate courses in my senior year. The requirements of the program are quite high (~3.4 GPA for invite, 3.0 by the end of Senior year). I asked the school if the degree would be regarded as any different from a regular masters degree, and the answer was an unconvincing "no". From your point of view, would doing a masters degree in shorter time be an advantage, a disadvantage, or arbitrary?

    Also, I am not entirely sure what field of physics I want to get into. I got into physics because I figured it would give me a background as a "great thinker" as well as a broad technical knowledge. But it seems that I should start thinking about what general line of study I should follow. How feasable are my interests? Also, what kind of courses or projects should I pursue to get into them?
    1. Plasma research - I'm fascinated by plasma for use as an energy source (fusion) or other things like weapons, windows, shielding, propulsion, etc. I think electric/magnetic fields are my favorite part of physics so far.
    2. Solid State - I work in the HEP lab which seems to be related to Solid State (or condensed matter), I am interested in metamaterials - but don't know that much about the field.
    3. Nuclear physics - I like the concept of radioactive decay and atomic/subatomic behaviour.
    None of these fields are that big at my school, which worries me. But I figure I could do internships in these fields if I wanted to - or go on to a PhD after Masters.

    This got a bit longer than i'd intended, but I have a lot of questions - and I'd rather not make any serious mistakes with my education.

    PS: I'm getting more and more interested in entering Industry or Government work over Academic.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 4, 2007 #2
    I honestly don't see how the time spent on a degree makes any difference whatsoever. (Well, perhaps if you spent 8 years as an undergraduate... :smile:)

    It seems to me that the disadvantage of doing things quickly is not being able to explore alternatives, so you might want to take your time. But as far as employers/grad schools are concerned, I can't imagine that it will make any difference one way or the other.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Fast Track Masters
  1. Masters then (Replies: 2)

  2. Am I on track to MIT? (Replies: 18)