How competitive are europe msc programs?

Netherlands.In summary, Leiden and Utrecht are both very competitive for Theoretical Physics programs, but it may not be as competitive as some PhD programs. Utrecht has a scholarship program for those who don't meet the minimum GPA, so it may not be as bad as it seems.f
  • #1

i want a know if anyone has ever attended or is attending a msc physics course and will tell me how competitive they are , i am interested in :

LMU Munich

I guess it will be less competitive than phd programs since you have to pay it.

  • #2

I have been accepted to both Leiden and Utrecht for this coming September - I am waiting on funding decisions.

I was really worried I wasn't going to get into Utrecht because there are only 30 odd places, and I am doing Natural Sciences with a significant physics component at a university without a physics department! So maybe it's not so competitive...

Leiden replied to me really quickly (first reply, actually), so I think that's probably somewhat less competitive anyway.

I'm afraid I didn't apply to any of the other three (entrance exams in Germany, no funding at the other two). The Imperial one is second only to Cambridge Part III, so I would imagine that's very competitive.

Have you considered Durham? The MSc course is called Particles, Strings and Cosmology now I think.

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I´ve looked at the durham program an seems interesting i didnt had search for more universities in england apart for imperial.

For utrecht and leiden , is the decision only made on your califications or do you get extra points for research or others activities? how good are your califications?
t want to know if i would need good grades or very good ones

  • #4
My marks are mostly above 70%, with a few 60s, and even a couple a pieces of coursework down in the 40s/30s. I have had a bit of research experience and a publication though, and two strong references. The nomination letter Utrecht provided to the scholarship committee mentioned grades (even in specific courses), referees' comments and research, so I think they all weigh in.

'Very good' grades for Utrecht and 'good' grades for Leiden, I would say. What sort of grades are you getting?

Cambridge, Imperial and Durham have already been mentioned, I believe Glasgow also has a dedicated Theoretical Physics MSc now (no funding for home students, don't know about international students).

Another thing I would say is contact admissions departments if you want to ask about competitiveness or how they view your grades. The ones in the Netherlands have been nothing but friendly and helpful - the UK departments a little less so, but they'll usually give you something.

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Are you from uk? for what i heard above 70 % is great there
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Yes, sorry, I am a UK student. We divide our degrees into 'divisions', with >70% being a 1st class, a 60-70% being 2.1 class, 50-60% being 2.2 class, and 40-50% being 3rd class (<40% is failed). So above 70% is like 'the best' but it's a different ball game to 4.0 GPA in the US (despite them being notionally equivalent) - many of our courses seem like they're less intense, and I just saw an article yesterday about the massive problems with grade inflation (my institution has gone from awarding 5% 1st class to 15% since the 1970s).

So you have to put your qualifications into perspective. It depends on your country's grading system, the reputation of your university, and how harsh they tend to be with grades.

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anybody knows anithing about munich or cophenague??
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Munich is a lot more competitive than cophenague, since cophenague´s program isn't too good.
  • #9
cophenague program isn't too good?
  • #10
Oh hey xGame-Overx! I'm glad to hear that you got accepted there! So you're going to Utrecht then? or everything depends on the funding? I remember the thread in which we discussed about this last year.

To the OP, you may be interested in checking this thread
we came up with a good list of universities with good programs in Theoretical Physics.

I myself have never been in Copenhagen, but since there is the Niels Bohr Institute of theoretical physics I would guess that it could be interesting to pursue a MSc there.
  • #11
Hi Redsummers!

(Sorry to go a bit off topic here)

Yea, thought it would be a little boastful to do a post just saying "I got into Utrecht...". I have been admitted, and I am waiting for a funding decision with regard to a Huygens scholarship - very competitive, ~140 awarded compared to ~2000 applicants. But really happy I got accepted anyway, not coming from a straight physics degree I was worried I would be disadvantaged.

How are things for you? Applications underway I assume?

  • #12
Those are great news then! I think you will be fine, even in the case that you don't get the Huygens scholarship (it sounds indeed competitive!) tuition in Netherlands is not that bad as you know, compared to the UK. It will be a whole new experience to study abroad. Also, if you have questions about their program or whatnots related with the university, I'm sure that the user 'wasia' would help you; he studies there and answered some questions I had (by PM).

Hm, about my current studies, I actually have one more year to go (i.e. I will apply this coming September to enter somewhere in the fall of 2012). Thing is that I may actually apply for a Mathematics graduate program. This past year I've gotten more interested in pure mathematics topics, specially mathematical logic, so I'll see. I'll probably consider studying for the GREs (oh no...).

Anyway, best of luck regarding the Huygens scholarship! one of this days I'll send you a PM asking how did it go, or how is it going in the Netherlands ;)

Also, anyone in this thread who may be interested, wasia would answer questions about the Utrecht program, he may be really helpful for those considering applying there.

By the way, Preuton, where are you from?
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The tuition fees are about half UK tuition fees, but the cost of living is somewhat higher.

Oh I didn't realize another user on here had been through the programme. I may just do that when I get my funding decision.

That's cool, what maths programmes are you thinking about?

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