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How many years lasts a Bachelor of Sciences degree in the US

  1. Nov 22, 2008 #1

    fluidistic

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    After having read a big part of "Who wants to be a Physicist" I was quite surprised that it is possible to apply for a Ph.D. with "only" a Bs.Sc.
    It is the same here in Argentina so now I'm guessing that Argentina took US example.
    I'm currently finishing the first year of University and the "Bachelor of Physics" lasts 5 years minimum. (The last year and a half consists of a specialization by doing research to help a teacher or something like that. It can lasts of course more than a year.)
    If I'm not wrong it is not written in "Who wants to be a Physicist" how many years does the Bs.Sc. lasts in the US. I had a feeling of like it lasts 5 years which really surprises me. I thought it was 3 years. But I'm not sure though. Can you tell me?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 22, 2008 #2
    A bachelor's of science in physics (like most undergraduate degrees) should last only about 4 years in the US. Typically Ph.D. programs last 5-7 years, with an intermediate master's degree possibly awarded in the middle based on coursework or intermediate research work.

    P.S. Argentina is lovely. I spent time in Bariloche and Buenos Aires... and would love to visit again!
     
  4. Nov 22, 2008 #3
    In Argentina an other Latin countries you work for an undergraduate thesis or "tesis de licenciatura" but in USA & other regions there are programs to allow undergraduate students to join research projects so they can add the experience to their resume.
     
  5. Nov 22, 2008 #4

    fluidistic

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    You are probably right but I think that the thesis consists of helping a professor into his research. So I'd call that a research project and as it is specialized I guess it counts for the curriculum. But I'm not 100% about this. I only saw only 2 people that were going to get their Bs.Sc. diploma. There are approximately only 4 people by year (on maybe 50-70 people that start the first year) that reach this point, so it very uncommon to meet one of them and knowing they are about to finish their undergraduate studies. I may ask to the one I recognize.
    Maybe you even know more than me about what the final undergraduate thesis really is. If you know well the subject, I'd be glad to learn about it.

    Thank you very much physics girl phd.
     
  6. Nov 22, 2008 #5

    eri

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    I have a friend from Argentina getting her PhD here in the US. Her degree BSc from Argentina was almost the equivalent of a BS and MS (masters) in the US, but she still had to complete the masters classes (pretty easy for her, since they had used Jackson in her 'undergrad'). It will definitely contribute to your application, since many grad schools expect you to have some research experience. You apply for the PhD program with a BSc, but you usually earn a masters degree along the way, either through coursework or coursework and a thesis.
     
  7. Nov 22, 2008 #6

    fluidistic

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    Hi eri,
    Do you know in which city did she study? I study in Córdoba.
    What is Jackson (a book?). And a coursework? Sorry for my ignorance.
    Glad to hear that the Bs.Sc. here is almost equivalent to the one in the US.
    Yeah it is beautiful. If you come another time do not miss to visit Iguazu's falls : they are absolutely amazing.
     
  8. Nov 23, 2008 #7
    I thought a PhD in the US was 3 years.
     
  9. Nov 23, 2008 #8

    Vanadium 50

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    A PhD in the US takes as long as it takes. 5-7 is typical.
     
  10. Nov 23, 2008 #9

    jtbell

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    J. D. Jackson's "Classical Electrodynamics" is a very commonly-used textbook for graduate-level Electricity & Magnetism courses. I've never heard of it being used in an undergraduate E&M course in the USA, which suggests that the BSc in Argentina goes to a higher level than a typical B.S. in the USA.
     
  11. Nov 23, 2008 #10

    Vanadium 50

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    When I was at MIT it was used for 8.07; undergraduate E&M.
     
  12. Nov 23, 2008 #11

    fluidistic

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    Thank you all for your answers. :redface:
     
  13. Nov 23, 2008 #12
    Is there a typical age at which people enter a PhD programme in the US and an age at which they finish?
     
  14. Nov 23, 2008 #13

    jtbell

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    In physics, people usually enter a Ph.D. program after finishing their bachelor's degree, i.e. at about age 22. The length of time varies depending on your field, how good (or lucky) you are, etc. I was in experimental high-energy particle physics and took seven years to finish. I probably could have done it in six if I had been more efficient, but so long as my research group had stuff for me to do (programming etc.) they weren't in a hurry to push me out.
     
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