1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is getting a masters in theoretical Physics a good idea?

  1. Feb 11, 2016 #1
    As a Mechanical engineering graduate who aspires to become an Astrophysicist one day but only has a formal knowledge in Physics, is getting a masters degree in theoretical physics a right step towards my goal of becoming an Astrophysicist?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 11, 2016 #2

    SteamKing

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I doubt it. If you want be become an Astrophysicist, take courses in astrophysics. There might be some overlap between theoretical physics and astrophysics, but you want to emphasize study in the latter branch as much as possible.

    If you want to get a job as an astrophysicist, it's not clear that a master's degree would be all that attractive to prospective employers. You would be competing against others who would probably have doctoral degrees in the subject.
     
  4. Feb 11, 2016 #3
    I am thinking about getting a masters first and then going for a PhD in Astrophysics. Is that possible?
     
  5. Feb 11, 2016 #4

    SteamKing

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Why waste your time and money doing that? In the U.S., a master's degree is typically a terminal degree. Doctoral candidates usually skip the master's and seek enrollment in a doctoral program after obtaining their undergraduate degree, if they ultimately want to obtain a doctoral degree.

    For the most part, master's degrees in the theoretical sciences, like physics, are of dubious value. To be eligible for consideration at really good jobs in physics, you need that PhD. after your name. The master's degree holders usually become freshman physics instructors in college, or they take jobs teaching physics in high school.
     
  6. Feb 11, 2016 #5

    eri

    User Avatar

    If you want to get into a graduate program in astrophysics, you need a strong background in physics. The same would be required for a graduate program in physics. So either you can get into those grad programs now based on your physics background and Physics GRE scores, in which case just apply to astrophysics programs and plan to get a PhD, or you need to go back and learn more physics first. Neither program starts over at the beginning.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Is getting a masters in theoretical Physics a good idea?
Loading...