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Getting an undergraduate and graduate degree at the same school?

  1. Jun 6, 2009 #1
    Often times I see people talk about getting their undergraduate degree but then transfering to a graduate school. UF has a 5 year program that awards a student with both their masters and bachelors degree in physics. From their its jsut a rout to a Ph.d..IS there something wrong with this? Why do people switch to a different school for their graduate degrees?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 6, 2009 #2
    There are a lot of answers to this.

    One is that many people do not get into top tier schools for undergrad.
    Other answers may be that they want to network, not fond of their undergrad university, etc.
  4. Jun 6, 2009 #3
    I have recently heard from another forum that getting one's bachelor's and master's/PhD from the same university is looked down upon if one is going into academia or perhaps some of the natural sciences. That thread continued to explain that this was mostly due to how each university may focus on a particular part of a subject (such as algebra over geometry) or other wise lean towards some specific viewpoint. I've been wondering how true this is, and this place seems like an excellent place to ask.
  5. Jun 6, 2009 #4


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    I think that's true - I've heard things along the same lines. Along with networking; if you want to be a successful physics researcher you pretty much need to have contacts at other institutions who you can collaborate with, or who can help you with job opportunities, or whatever... I'm not exactly sure as I'm only a grad student ;-) The point is, staying at one university for both degrees limits your opportunities. My undergraduate university would refuse to admit its own students into its graduate program for precisely these reasons (although sometimes they'd make an exception for people who were heavily involved in a local research project)
  6. Jun 7, 2009 #5
    What if I get a BS/BA at university X, then get a MS/MA at university Y, then a PhD at university X again? I have seen a few professors that do something like this. Would this still be a disadvantage?
  7. Jun 7, 2009 #6


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    Well... probably less so than going to 3 different schools. Although it's typical for people to go straight from a bachelor's degree to a Ph.D. without a master's in between...

    Of course, it's hard to say anything definite about all this. I have known one professor who stayed at a single institution for nearly his entire academic career - undergraduate, graduate school, postdoc, professorships - and he's doing pretty well. I wouldn't recommend that route though.
  8. Jun 7, 2009 #7


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    This is the kind of issue that gets overblown.

    There are naturally advantages to studying in different places, as others have pointed out. You expand your network of contacts. You are exposed to different teaching styles, research methodologies, different ways of thinking and problem-solving. You are exposed to different facilities.

    But, I don't think that it necessarily becomes a detriment if you stay in the same place. I can't think of any situations where I've seen a person turned down for a postion because he or she did all work at the same institution.
  9. Jun 7, 2009 #8
    Ah, so it's less of a problem with how a potential employer might perceive one's education than of an actual detriment to one's education and network of contacts?
  10. Jun 8, 2009 #9
    I'm not exactly worried for that I also have a half brother already in school for the same major but in Ohio, so its sorta a i know someone who knows someone. Would it really hurt my employment? Like All they need to know is where I got my Ph.d...right? Although I've heard it doesn't exactly matter..And a 5 year Bs/Ms in 5 years is kinda hard to pass up..
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