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Getting all three degrees (B.Sc., Masters and PhD)from same University

  1. Apr 18, 2014 #1
    If I honestly really like the University I am currently at, so I was wondering if it is acceptable to get all three degrees in Mathematics from this institution if I want to become a Math professor? Some of the professors in their department got all of their degrees from the same university, but it was outside of the United States. A couple of them went to the university I'm studying at, for their undergrad and masters, but another university for their PhD and came back to the university they went to for undergrad to teach. If I want to teach at the university I'm at, one day should I go somewhere else for my PhD?
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2014 #2
    Most people go straight to PhD programs (no master's program after undergrad). My professor for inorganic chemistry at UCLA taught at UCLA and also got both his bachelor's and PhD from UCLA.
  4. Apr 18, 2014 #3


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    The impression that some may get is that you did not get in anywhere else and so your Bachelor's granting university did you a favor and let you stay aboard.

    Personal anecdotes:

    Several students at my undergrad institution who indeed did not get in anywhere else were permitted to stay aboard and do their PhD there.

    In my current graduate institution, some of the weakest students were those who had stayed here from undergrad.

    In addition to how others may perceive this, it is a good idea to broaden your exposure to research programs during your transition to graduate school.
  5. Apr 18, 2014 #4


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    Check with your department. Some math departments have a general policy of not accepting their own undergraduates into the graduate program. Others seem to be OK with it.
  6. Apr 18, 2014 #5


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    While what Zombie Feynman statement may be true, I've come to the conclusion that by the time you are finished with graduate school the people around you and you yourself will know your caliber while compared to your peers. If you have good potential for research and your adviser and those who know you on a professional level concur with that assessment, then I would really like to find the person who say'll "Man this guy is great, but too bad he got his PhD from his undergraduate university, toss his resume in the trash!"

    The only reasonable argument I would make for going to a different university is the simple one. No one professor knows everything nor is do one group of professors work together the same. It is nice to be exposed and meet different people in your field to enhance your academic world view gather insight from a different group of people for a few years.

    However, if you're content with your university, then, I personally do not find that a point against you.
  7. Apr 18, 2014 #6


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    I've been on quite a few hiring committee both in industry and in academia and I've never once heard "Wow, this candidate is great... too bad they got their Ph.D. at the same university as their BS though".
  8. Apr 18, 2014 #7

    Vanadium 50

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    People ask the question "how does it look?" here all the time. I think that's the wrong question - I think the right question is "would I learn more by going somewhere else?" and for most people, I believe the answer is yes.
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