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Help! How can I still pursue a career in physics/engineering after the Naval Acedemy?

  1. Jul 5, 2012 #1
    Hello,

    I'm interested in applying for the Naval Academy. I know they have great undergraduate programs in both engineering and physics, which I'm really interested in. (I'm not sure which one exactly I want to get a degree in yet). Graduates from the Naval Academy are required to spend 5 years on active duty. I don't have a problem with this at all; in fact; I really want to serve my country. The problem is this: how will I be able to continue my education after those 5 years of service? Is it even possible to still be accepted to a good Physics/Engineering school? The schools I'd like to go to for Grad/Ph.D years would be like MIT, Caltech, etc. Would this ruin my chances of getting in? Is it a good idea to even get a Ph.D that late?

    Any information would be amazing. As you can see I have a lot of questions, and a detailed explanation would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks, Matt.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 5, 2012 #2
    Re: Help! How can I still pursue a career in physics/engineering after the Naval Aced

    Son, there are people who don't get their PhD's until their forties.

    In all seriousness, it sounds like a great plan to me. If you like nuclear engineering you could do a navy ROTC program at a good school and go into the naval nuclear power school. I hear they are desperate for new recruits and they will pay you ~$20000 a year for two years before you even begin your training (as long as you stay in school with good grades). If the military is your thing I would hit that up. I'm sure the navy has plenty of opportunities in other fields of engineering as well. If you're into aerospace engineering or computer science, try the air force.
     
  4. Jul 5, 2012 #3
    Re: Help! How can I still pursue a career in physics/engineering after the Naval Aced

    Well, I don't want to pursue a military career, although I do want to spend some time in the service. What I'd like is a civilian job as a physicist or an engineer. I just need help choosing between:

    Naval Academy -> 5 years of service -> Masters -> Ph.D -> job

    or

    Regular 4-year undergrad program -> Masters -> Ph.D -> job
     
  5. Jul 5, 2012 #4
    Re: Help! How can I still pursue a career in physics/engineering after the Naval Aced

    Not sure if nuclear is your thing, but with the Navy program I mentioned you can take graduate classes, receive the Navy's "equivalent" of a master's degree in engineering, and teach nuclear engineering to recruits for four years. I don't think you even have to go onto a ship if you take the instructor track, and you will receive officer pay. My guess is you could go directly into a PhD program after finishing your service.

    edit: http://www.navy.com/careers/nuclear-energy/nuclear-power-school.html
     
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