So here is my situation: I'm planning to finish my final bachelor/honour's year next year (2012) and I plan to apply for grad school (electrical engineering)in US (looking at UT Austin at the moment). The final exams/presentations should finish at mid november, results should come out early november. If things don't change much, deadline at UT's ECE department for registration is at 15th of December so in theory I can submit everything just before the deadline assuming I can get the reference letter somewhen mid year. or I can have 1.5 year gap doing... nothing (except for stuff like self study and whatever work I can find locally with my honours) And I realized, in my university I should only take one more year to get masters in physics, with way better chances of getting funded for it (I just found out the level of difficulty of getting money to study in US as international student...) So basically I can take my time applying for US (electrical engineering) grad schools in 2013, while getting my (physics) masters degree at the same time and save up more money. Would this be a good idea?