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French student wishing to do nanoscience

  1. Jun 4, 2015 #1
    I am a French masters student that wants to do research in nanoscience. At this point, my first choice is a Canadian school but my professors back in France told me that, given that particular choice of a Canadian school (a Quebec one, mind you, in which case I would not cost them any more to take me on as a doctoral-level RA than if I was a local student), I should look at American schools also. Yet, here are some suggestions they made, given that I want to do experimental nanoscience, assuming that I would be able to stand up to the locals:

    Maryland
    Rice
    Northwestern
    Minnesota
    WUSTL
    Notre Dame

    In France, the undergraduate program usually does not cover the material in that much depth so I am not sure how does a French 15-16/20 stacks up to American undergraduate grades. However, in Europe, it is possible to spend up to one year study abroad while in a masters program. So going to my first choice, in fact, amounts to returning to that very school I did my graduate-level study abroad in for a PhD.

    As for my research experience: back in Montreal, I spent about four months full-time in a condensed matter experimental lab, plus an additional four months at my home university in experimental nanoscience. No papers from either.

    Perhaps my professors assumed that I want to return to Montreal for my PhD because I had some problems with European PhD programs, when they suggested US schools... and I feel like my professors are of little help. Did they give me a nonsensical list of suggestions?

    On the other hand, I have started studying for the physics GRE.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 9, 2015 #2
    Thanks for the post! This is an automated courtesy bump. Sorry you aren't generating responses at the moment. Do you have any further information, come to any new conclusions or is it possible to reword the post?
     
  4. Jun 15, 2015 #3
    Can I realistically get into one of the following schools for a PhD, doing experimental nanoscience research?

    Maryland
    Rice
    Northwestern
    Minnesota
    WUSTL
    Notre Dame

    For the record, here's my file:

    GPA: 15/20 (undergrad) 16/20 (masters)
    Research experience: 4 months of experimental condensed matter in Montreal, 4 months of experimental nanoscience in Toulouse

    I have to understand that not only I have to take the GRE (both general and physics), in Europe, the norm is to undertake a masters before a PhD (since European undergrad programs usuallly give little to no opportunity to do research). But am I on the right track?
     
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