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Interested in doing thesis in subject not directly being researched at school

  1. Oct 15, 2011 #1
    I did a search but didn't see a thread related to this query, so here goes (and forgive me if this is an utterly idiotic question). I'm in a Physics Masters program (first semester) and before recently I didn't have a concrete idea of the research I wanted to pursue. After months of investigating, I'm really interested in Quantum Information (specifically related to Quantum Computing), but I don't think any of the groups at my school are directly related to my interests. I'll have a talk with my graduate adviser Monday, but I'm wondering if you guys have had any experience in a situation like this. Do grad schools allow students to actively and somewhat independently pursue research in areas that might not be directly related to research being done there, or am I in a situation where I need to just join a group that's still somewhat interesting to me and worry about QIP at another university if I go for my PhD? Or can the answer be somewhere in the middle, where I'll be allowed to find a way to apply QIP to the research that's already being done?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2011 #2


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    You can do whatever you like. However, if you want your research work to count towards your degree, then you need to have the approval of your advisor. That's it. It is that simple.

    If you go off on your own research work, with no approval and no supervisor, then you receive zero credit towards your graduation, and no one will approve that your research work will count towards your graduate degree.

  4. Oct 15, 2011 #3
    Okay, thanks a bunch. I had a feeling I was overthinking the situation and missing the forest for the trees. I'll talk to my advisor and see if I should be concerned with rounding out an advisory committee.
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