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High Energy Physics in Europe

  1. Oct 5, 2011 #1

    I'm currently an undergraduate student (well, a graduate one in France, but I'm considered as an undergraduate in the UK or the US) in Ecole Polytechnique, France. I followed a strong cursus in mathematics and physics and I am know in my last year in Ecole Polytechnique with a major in High Energy Physics. My interests are mainly in particle physics and theoretical physics.
    Next year I have several opportunities to finish my graduate studies before beginning a PhD :

    - Do a Master 2 in France : a joint master from Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Theoretical Physics (should be admitted without problem)
    - Do the final year of the master in High Energy Physics at ETHZ, Zurich (where I'm sure I'll have no problem being admitted), graduating with a joint high energy physics degree from both Ecole Polytechnique and ETHZ.

    Other opportunities in Europe : one year MSc in England. I'm considering :
    - Imperial College, UK (MSc in Quantum Fields and Fundamental Forces)
    - Cambridge, UK (Master of Advanced Studies in Mathematics, partIII, which is were you can study theoretical physics in cambridge)
    - KTH, Stockholm

    Pros of UK : practice of english language, worldwide renowned universities. I definitely would like to have an international experience.
    Cons : fees, need funding... Studying in Switzerland of in France would be almost free.

    Do any of you know these degrees? Which one would be best suited to prepare for a PhD in theoretical/particles physics?

    Thank you for your advice!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 7, 2011 #2
    If you are happy with your course at EPF think about staying there - better the devil you know - as long as the MSc course is as good as the one you are taking now. Try and suss out *exactly* what the MSc course involves. Can you do the courses you want? Get the supervisor you need? Are the courses well taught? Are the MSc students happy? You can find all these things out by just asking around at EPF - and if everything is good, why move?

    I made the mistake of moving to take an MSc course and ended up doing badly - I didn't realise I wouldn't be able to choose courses/supervisor in topics I was interested in. The courses I was forced to take were awful. I went from being a top student at my UG university to a bare pass at the one I moved to - a one way ticket out of physics into a programming job (which was more fun & better paid than physics, so not too bad...)
  4. Oct 9, 2011 #3
    Thank you for your answer.
    I know a few people doing the course in Ecole Polytechnique and they enjoy it, but I definitely would like to have some different experience, even if I'm happy with my course right know. Living in another country is a part of it. But I'll take notice of your advice and try to contact former students of the other courses to have further informations.
  5. Oct 28, 2011 #4
    Hi! I cannot answer to your question, but I'm writing because I am very interested in studying at ETH for the Joint Master in High Energy Physics.
    I wanted to ask you why you are sure to be admitted...roughly, what are your academic records? I am very curios, because I don't have termsof comparison and I don't know if my records are good enough to be admitted. I am an Italian student, and I am studying in Salerno for now.

    Do you know somebody who has entered the joint Master in High Energy Physics? What had been his academic performance?

    Sorry for the questions, but I am a little anxious and I can't have any informations of this kind.
    However, I am also considering Imperial College to apply, but I think that a two-year programme would be better to pursue a Ph.D afterward...So, I am hoping to be admitted at Zurich/Paris. Moreover, in this Masters the lessons are in English, so after graduating from that, you won't have to give any further evidence of your mastering of the language for future studies.

  6. Oct 28, 2011 #5
    Ecole Polytechnique has exchange agreements with a few other universities/ecoles, one of them being ETH-Z. Spending one's final year elsewhere is part of their 4-year program, from what I gather. It would seem one can stay though, judging by what IvanG has said.
  7. Oct 29, 2011 #6
    OK! I thought it was a matter of academic records.
  8. Oct 29, 2011 #7
    You are right.
  9. Oct 29, 2011 #8
    Thanks for your confirmation.
  10. Jan 10, 2012 #9
    Hi IvanG,
    can you tell me what are you currently doing for your future studies?
    I am advancing in my path (gathering some conditional offers, actually), but really indecisive. And I am still really uncertain about the field, maybe HEP is for me, maybe not. What about you? Just to know and to have some comparisons, if you want.
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