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Importance of research experience matching with Interests

  1. Oct 13, 2013 #1

    I thought about what I wanted to ask and decided to rewrite my question more concisely.

    Has anyone had any experience with an applicant to physics grad school, who applied in a field almost totally unrelated to his undergrad research? Particularly, in applying to high-end schools? Any advice for a person in this position?

    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2013 #2


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    Education Advisor

    Graduate admissions committees know that students:
    - don't always have the opportunity to do research in their desired field
    - may not have decided which field to pursue before committing to a research project
    - may take on a research project simply out of interest
    - may have multiple interests
    - may have changed their minds about their academic interested as they progressed through a project
    - etc.

    Of course it can be an advantage to have worked on a project in something that you want to pursue. Your supervisor (who would presumably be writing the reference letter) may be well-known in that field. You will likely be better versed in that sub-field than other incoming students. You may have demonstrable evidence of success in that field in terms of a published paper or two. But NOT having all of these does not put you at a disadvantage.

    And at the end of the day your experience is what your experience is. If you're not in a position to change it, then there really isn't any sense in worrying about it anyway.
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