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How much does having a masters degree help for phd admission

  1. Dec 13, 2014 #1
    Hi I was wondering how much will having a masters degree actually help with getting into a PhD program? Is it sort of a minor boost or will it actually make me substantially stand out vs other candidates.
    If more specifics are needed I will have a BE in Electrical engineering and a Masters in physics and will be attempting to apply to a phd program in physics (specifically condensed matter physics). I feel like theres some very nice areas there that I would be able to nicely utilize a background in EE for.
    Oh and a quick aside how important is actually publishing vs just having research experience for admissions.
    (sorry these questions were probably asked 8000x)
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2014 #2
    As long as you did well in your master's courses (i.e. mostly A's) I think it will boost your profile more than just an undergraduate degree, especially since you are pursuing physics in your PhD. I think admissions committees are mainly wanting to see research experience, publishing is certainly a step up, but they mainly want to know that you know what research is and you are certain that you want to commit yourself to doing physics research for several years at least. That's why they like to see research experience, because if you don't have it you might go into a program and end up hating it/not keeping up with it.
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