Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Grad School Question

  1. Oct 10, 2007 #1
    I am finishing up my bachelor's (double major in EE and physics) and I want to pursue graduate studies (PhD) to do research on organic electronic devices. I am mainly interested in EE and applied physics grad programs, but some of the organic electronics research is done in the material science, chemistry, and chemical engineering departments. Would it be a problem for me to apply to EE or applied physics grad programs, yet do research in say the material science or chemical engineering departments? How does this work? I am not all that interested in applying to chemistry grad programs, especially since I don't have a chemistry degree (I do have a minor though).
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 11, 2007 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I'd suggest your best course of action is to call up the people who are doing that research and ask them which programs they accept students from. While someone may have their primary appointment in a chemistry department, if their research is interdisciplinary, they may also be on the graduate faculty in an engineering department and accept students from that program as well, but the only way to find out is to ask.

    On the other hand, if your interest is that interdisciplinary, it might suit you better to apply to the chemistry grad program, and take additional courses in EE, so that you get more depth of understanding of both fields.

    The third option is that you have two research mentors. This can be a bit of a hassle, because one may tug you one way, and the other the other way at times, but it is doable. One would be in your department of interest, and the other doing the chemistry side of things, so that you can develop research that bridges the two fields. Again, be cautious about this. Talk to a lot of people before applying to a program with this idea in mind. In particular, find out if your potential mentors have done something like that before, talk to other grad students when those mentors aren't around to find out if they "play nice with others," etc. These are important things for any grad program, but especially important if your success may require seeking mentoring outside your graduate program faculty, and having co-mentors who get along with one another.
  4. Oct 11, 2007 #3
    Thanks moonbear. I figured I should contact the faculty member I am interested in working for. I will also look into applying to chemistry and material science programs, but I might not be as competitive for those grad programs since I lack significant chemistry background (outside of my minor).
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook