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Gate, jam, Omg!

  1. Jun 1, 2009 #1
    Gate, jam,.... Omg!

    Hi. Im from India. I have just completed my BE in Automobile Engineering. But i have no interest in standing on assembly lines and checking whether the carburetor specs are right.. Physics attracts me more. So i have decided to pursue my masters in it rather.
    What will qualifying in GATE physics get me? No M.Sc, i'm informed. So what else then?
    For M.Sc in IITs, one has to write JAM but they demand that Physics should have been a subject for atleast two years(4 sem) and math one year(2 sem). The latter is satisfied but will subjects pertaining to Automobiles be accepted as physics stuff? (Automotive Petrol and Diesel Engines, Chassis, Transmission, Automotive Electrical etc)
    Is there any other option that i haven't noticed?
    Earnestly waiting for your replies.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 1, 2009 #2
    Re: Gate, jam,.... Omg!

    oh sorry. I should have posted this in Academic Guidance forum.. I request the admin to move it there..
  4. Jun 7, 2009 #3
    Re: Gate, jam,.... Omg!

    Call the JAM office and send them an email: http://jam.iitkgp.ac.in/contact.htm [Broken]. If you can somehow contact the chairman at any IIT, he/she might be able to guide you better.

    My impression is that they let you take the exam, but they won't admit you until you have a bachelors' degree in Physics or have taken 4 semesters of Physics (the latter is for students in India who have a BSc degree -- sometimes called a BSc General degree to distinguish it from BSc Hons). The engineering courses you have taken do NOT count towards physics courses. My information is a year old however. So you might do well to contact them.

    Since JAM 2010 is (probably?) a year away, you might want to explore the possibility of studying physics elsewhere. Perhaps getting in touch with professors at TIFR and IISc to seek their advice would be a good idea. One of my friends worked after his BTech, at HRI, for a few months as a system administrator and later joined UFlorida for Physics. I guess with some extra hard work, it should be possible. There are good places in India to do PhD other than IITs also...check them out. Have you thought of univs in US and Europe? They are more open and flexible about accepting candidates intending to switch majors.

    Also, while you have expressed an interest in physics, you haven't mentioned which branch of physics you want to get into. Think about it, if you haven't already, go through ZapperZ's article: http://physicspost.com/science-article-205.html [Broken], and make a list of programs centered around your areas of interest.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Jun 9, 2009 #4
    Re: Gate, jam,.... Omg!

    Thanks for the reply maverick. :smile:
    What im planning to do is to study Bsc physics through correspondence(IGNOU). I've applied for it and the acknowledgment slip will arrive later this month. This will enable me take up JAM and do MSc in a IIT. I'll also have time for learning the fundamental concepts of classical and quantum physics in this period. I don't think going to foreign universities will be a good idea as it would cost a fortune.
    Do you have any other specific idea?
  6. Jun 19, 2009 #5
    Re: Gate, jam,.... Omg!

    Yeah, I do. I suggest you work hard for GRE or JAM, after finding out a sufficient amount of details about either route. I really do not recommend taking the correspondence route. I've been there. I even toyed with the idea of completing said program before I got into BTech EE at IITK, as I always had an interest in physics. But I've seen the booklets they send -- very outdated and boring stuff. There's virtually no credibility in this program...its useful for those who must finish some degree requirements for vocational or professional settings -- say in the Army. You cannot learn physics through correspondence way, and you're not going to have an easy road later -- in an MSc program at IIT or elsewhere. If it were vocational training via correspondence -- say some kind of computer coding stuff, I'd concede for the sake of argument, but physics no. You need to have a decent setup where you have access to good professors, a decent library and peers.

    You have the equivalent of a BTech degree. Why don't you just talk to faculty in IITK or elsewhere about your interests and how you can pursue them formally. Field switching is hard (I haven't done it yet) but its clearly not impossible if you are willing to devote in a lot of time and effort. Don't settle for a substandard undergrad in physics this way -- not only is it a waste of the 4 years you put into engineering but also a misleading step to doing physics.
  7. Jun 19, 2009 #6
    Re: Gate, jam,.... Omg!

    Ya. But along with JAM, i must have completed a course that had atleast two years of physics courses and one year of math to do my MSc. Thats the reason im going in for correspondence to meet those requirements. And IGNOU has provided me with a college as a study center. So their library will be open to me ; so will their professors. And i have heard this "talk to the professors in some IIT" advice before. Im confused. How can they help? the system has specific rules to induct candidates right? Can they interfere in it and try to help me? That would be great though!
  8. Jun 22, 2009 #7
    Re: Gate, jam,.... Omg!

    I assume from your arguments that you have not contacted the administration and have interpreted the rules for yourself. Several (5-7?) years back, there was an engineering student who entered the MSc program at IITK -- or so I was told by a graduate student I was working with last summer. He was into astronomy. Also, there are places in India where you can do a PhD in Physics or at least a masters, with your BTech degree...look at TIFR, IISc, RRI, IUCAA...I'm sure you've heard of these places. RRI recently announced openings for engineering students interested in pursuing graduate programs in astronomy/astrophysics, while also working as visiting scientists. Pretty sure you can make your degree count!

    I only suggested that you speak to the professors who manage these programs because that way you will get the rules and their interpretation/application to your case in the most authentic way. Maybe I'm wrong about this one, but it would certainly pay to know what the exact interpretation is, don't you think?

    Ultimately it is your call...just don't expect universities or places you go to later to consider such a bachelors' degree in physics obtained via correspondence credible enough.
  9. Jun 22, 2009 #8
    Re: Gate, jam,.... Omg!

    OP talking to the department for their interpretation of the rules is not the only (or indeed the best) reason for talking to them. Taking the time to talk to them shows them that you are really serious about doing this and you are enthusiastic enough to find out all the information, get all the leverage you can to make it happen.

    Now as to whether doing that will get you a place becuase the procedure is set; possibly not, but it certainly wont hurt your chances. They will be able to give both better advice on applications and it will get your face/name known. This may not seem like much, but any edge you can get over a fellow applicant is one you should take.

    The above is precisely how I was able to switch to Mech Eng from Chemistry when the course was technically full. I went and talked to the guy in charge of admissions, showed an enthusiasm and a bit of knowledge from background reading and they made a place on the course for me.

    PS: This all depends on you making a good impression though :P
  10. Jun 22, 2009 #9
    Re: Gate, jam,.... Omg!

    Thanks maverick and Chris. I now think it might pay to visit the faculty directly. But before that i will have to make myself strong in the fundamentals to develop confidence in approaching them as chris said in his P.S :smile:.
  11. Jun 22, 2009 #10
    Re: Gate, jam,.... Omg!

    Chris, in this particular case, unless he talks to them in person or sends them a letter (email or post), they won't really remember him -- typically the JAM office gets a lot of requests and queries. But I hope your point is well taken.

    sganesh88, a prof you approach who is in-charge of JAM operations etc will not be inclined to quiz you about your fundamentals. He/she will believe you if you can clear the JAM..they won't have the time to conduct a personal quiz. If you can be admitted into the MSc program, he will say yes and give you some options to make up for the lack of undergrad physics (entrants who manage to clear the JAM are sometimes deficient -- the exam is not the be all and end all). Otherwise he will tell you that such a switch isn't possible under the present scenario. That also doesn't mean the end of the world -- you may have a chance by writing to the JAM board. Also, you should consider other places in the country to pursue a PhD in Physics -- many of them are absolutely fantastic, especially in theoretical physics and mathematics.
  12. Dec 22, 2009 #11
    Re: Gate, jam,.... Omg!

    First of all I must thank chris n maverick for thier concern and guidance.

    Even im in a similar situation.I've done my Btech in ECE.I want to study physics and continue teaching n research in it.Im planning to take JAM.Im planning to contact the prof and current students at iisc and other institutes for more guidance.
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