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Testing M.Sc. Entrance Exams in 2008, India

  1. Mar 31, 2008 #1
    My name is Tanuj Trivedi. I am a final year B.Tech. Electronics & Communication Engineering student from Nirma University, Ahmedabad.
    I'm planning to switch to Physics for my graduation studies. I have not appeared for the JAM '08 test, though.
    I am planning to appear for the M.Sc. Physics entrance tests for University of Pune, University of Delhi and University of Hyderabad.

    Is there anyone preparing for any of the Uni entrances above? If so, I would like to know what material you are using- would Halliday and/or Irodov suffice?

    One more: Is anyone out there who's made this switch before, or is planning to?

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 10, 2008 #2
    Hi !

    Dear friend,
    I am a BSc physics student.
    Right now i am working in Gandhinagar as a project assistant in IPR.
    Last year when i was in my final year of BSc, i have appeared for Pune Uni. entrance exam from bombay center and i have got the first rank in Mumbai and my all india rank was 27th. Unfortunately there are only ten seats for candidates from outside of maharastra and i could not get admission.
    Still i am preparing physics and i have given JAM too, but it was so tuff.
    You can mail me on edit: personal email address removed

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2008
  4. Apr 27, 2008 #3
    @ tanujt

    I'm a final year B.E. Electronics & Communication Engineering student,like U, planning to switch to Physics and have decided to take a break for a while to decide my next move.
    I'm pretty sure now that I would really like to study for a Masters, I'm slightly unsure what at the moment, but i think it will proberly be in Theoretical Physics course.
  5. Apr 28, 2008 #4
    Are BTechs/B.E.s eligible to take JAM?

    (I'm also a BTech student, studying EE at the moment...)
  6. Apr 29, 2008 #5
    to maverick:

    yes, BTech/BE are eligible for JAM. I had called IITK physics department. They say we can take the test and apply as regular students to the M.Sc. programs.

    to anigol:

    what year are you in, and what University? i'll graduate this month. i'm presently appearing for University of Pune and University of Hyderabad's MSc entrance exams. i'll anyway apply to IITs next year. what are your immediate plans?
  7. Apr 29, 2008 #6
    Oh, thats good to know. I'm an EE student at IITK too. Also, there have been instances of EE students applying to the Mathematics graduate programme at TIFR, so its possible that engineering graduates may have tried for the Physics programme as well.

    Are you taking GRE as well?
  8. Apr 29, 2008 #7
    TO Maverick,

    Yes, I did take the general gre. will take the physics gre this year. what year are you in? being an IITian you must have the flexibility of taking courses/projects in other departments. you should take advantage there. do you plan to apply to PhD's abroad?
  9. Apr 29, 2008 #8
    Hi Tanuj, I'm finishing my second year as an electrical engineering student. As for courses, yes, I am taking quantum mechanics next semester from the physics department. But of course, I cannot do enough u.g. courses outside the department as our curriculum is quite tightly packed. I will be content to pursue graduate studies anywhere, so long as I can do physics. At least as of now, I have no preference for one place over the other. Please do keep me posted about your gre/physics gre prep/experiences. What field of physics are you currently interested in pursuing?
  10. Apr 30, 2008 #9
    i did apply this year, although i dont have a huge physics background and dint make it this time. so a piece of advice, if u want to pursue physics in a reputable university abroad, try to do as many physics courses and intern/assistant-ships that u can. if ur project and paper work during the degree duration as well as national competitions, shows an inclination towards fundamental physics/math, thats also a strong point on ur resume. e.g., if u want to pursue condensed matter, then you can work on topics such as material science, semi-conductor physics, quantum optics etc during ur degree project/paper work. they basically want a strong resume with conventional achievement flow. motivation only rarely does the trick.

    my interest lies in particle physics and cosmology.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2008
  11. May 1, 2008 #10
    Thanks for your advice. I am interested in a wide range of theoretical and experimental physics, so if you would ask me to narrow it down it would be a mixture of condensed matter and high energy. However, my understanding is that a firm understanding of undergraduate physics is a starting point. And given that our majors are not physics, its not going to be an easy task for us to learn all the physics we should know at the time of applying to grad school. As of now, my interests therefore do not have as much of a priority as does my inclination to study quantum mechanics, electrodynamics, classical mechanics and in general field theory. I have spent my first two years and some time before that in doing some of this myself and using the freshman courses to strengthen my basic understanding, but its not good enough.

    And I have not had any success in being able to convince my professors that given a chance, I can actually work on a project in some area of physics or mathematics, despite my lack of 'formal preparation'. Besides, you know as well as I do that our BTech program is just four years long and its only in the third or fourth years that the "meat" of the curriculum is introduced to us and thats when you start working on a project. Given that most of us become rather specialized in our fields by this time and ignorant of other areas. So I don't know what you mean when you refer to topics like quantum optics, etc.

    Having said all that, I do agree with your advice. Its just that these things are less relevant an Indian perspective since traditionally, there is a greater inclination of the system to accept people with specific degrees and backgrounds in specific areas of research.

    Please do keep us updated about your progress. I hope you're successful in your ventures and study your dream topics and work in your favorite area(s) after your graduation! Best of luck!
  12. May 1, 2008 #11
    i would like to know the names of few Good Indian Universities and Institutes which offer
    Masters in Physics.I am interested in (Theoretical) Particle Physics and Cosmology.
  13. May 1, 2008 #12
    2 tanujt,

    preparing for masters in physics after engineering requires some form of ' formal preparation ' for it,what are U doing about that? if u are refering some books,can i have
    the titles plz
  14. May 1, 2008 #13
    In India, I doubt if they allow admission into a PhD programme without having a masters. I suppose its possible in engineering (at least my college has allowed it in some cases) but not in science. But if you were to apply to a school outside India, would you be eligible to apply to a PhD programme directly after a bachelors' degree in engineering?
  15. May 1, 2008 #14
    to anigol and maverick,

    in india, you definitely can do an M.Sc. or a Ph.D. in physics directly after a B.Tech. in all the institutes like IISc, IITs, RRI, PRL, HRI etc., BE/Btech is listed as an official eligibility criterion. so there's no problem there. here's a good link to universities in India offering very good physics graduation: (they're not letting me post the link, mail or message me for it)
    what follows is from personal experience and from conversations with some senior physicists that i know from PRL:

    in US, and majority of other countries, there are two direct options for post-graduation (after bachelor's): an M.S. or a Ph.D. for addmissions to the PhD degree (in pure sciences), applicants from bachelor's are preferred becuase of the fact that their PhD's are basically (and typically) of 5 years duration. in the first two years you study all the courses you usually study when you are doing an M.S., the next three years are the core research years. so basically, there is absoultely no need to have a master's to apply to PhD in Physics. Now, for India, our B.Sc. degree (3 years) is absolutely no match for the undergrad preparation that they expect from applicants. that is why you hear people talking about getting a master's.
    the situation for us BTech's is very different. I know a few senior scientists at PRL, Ahmedabad. I have had many a talk with them about all this, and this is what I know to be true: most of the Indian physicists who have graduated from uni's abroad, are engineers. and most of them working in big institutes in India are also engineers from IITs. there's a reason behind this: our Btech preparation (be it in any field) is definitely a lot technically sound (especially in math) than BSc students from India. as for the core physics courses, they expect every indian university to have an 'IITian flexibility'. and anyway, what they want of you is mechanics, quantum and electrodynamics basically. so you pick up all that from your college or other institutes (like i did a Q.mech. course at community science center, as a part of advanced bsc course), and you really show a motivation towards physics research, they will consider you. for the harder fact: you need a good GPA, you need a good general AND physics gre score, you need atleast some "achievements" on your resume that are linked with topics from physics (or atleast applied physics).

    in short, there are two ways: a master's / Phd in india after btech is most definitely possible-you just have to score good on entrance tests.

    a phd in US in a reputable university is also possible after btech, but you need to show a little more. in any case, a very good score (around 900) in physics gre will put you at an awesome advantage to a physics PhD. keep in mind that they're looking for one thing more than anything else: how good do YOU fit their program. so if u have worked more in a filed that a prof in their department is working on, you have a good chance to get admitted. (mind it, i am not making this up, one of my classmates has gotten into phd's at two universities, one of them an Ivy, even without physics gre)
  16. May 1, 2008 #15
    to maverick,

    i can understand your situation about discouragement from people about switching fields in india. but thats the real fun. you pretty soon get to know yourself if you really are motivated for it.

    anyway, what i meant before about 'working' in physics field was this: pick up as much as you can. as a real example: if u want to do a project that links both the lines, think of something like this: real-time DSP algorithms for analysis of Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation in space. (i made that up, if you can actually find resources to work on something like that, do let me know! DSP is my second love. for a year, i've been working in sound processsing)

    too bad i dint have a staggering gpa, and i dint give the physics gre, although i had a pretty good score on the general.

    stay in touch. i really want to come to IITK next year. :P
    Last edited: May 1, 2008
  17. May 3, 2008 #16
    Those are things I do not have :smile: and am extremely unlikely to acquire, given that I have only one more summer left and I will be just as ignorant about physics than as I am now.

    Btw, that DSP idea sounds pretty cool :-). I am interested in signal analysis and electronic circuits and devices, in addition to my areas of interest in "pure" physics.

    Yes, sure...hope to see you here :-). Its good to run into likeminded people. Btw, have you considered other places in India for a masters, like maybe TIFR/IISc/SINP etc and also places abroad? Or are you solely applying to IITK. I ask you because in the IIT system, a MSc degree has more or less an undergraduate standing, even though its technically a masters' degree. With an existing bachelors' degree you would probably want to capitalize on the exposure you have and dive right into the things you want to do for your coursework...and my understanding is that if you come here through JAM, the fact that you have a BTech degree will be effectively "whitewashed" (I hope you get my point).
    Last edited: May 3, 2008
  18. May 4, 2008 #17
    as far as a PhD is concerned, I definitely want to get it in a University abroad. I am pretty sure that i wont get even near a particle accelerator, let alone write a thesis on one, if i stay here. one major reason why i dint get in any university this time was the lack of physics courses on my transcript. so as an immediate goal, i want to pick up as many physics courses as i can during an MSc.
    I am aware of TIFR, IISc and others offering awesome research opportunities, but once again, they dont offer master's in pure sciences.

    about the whitewashing, i am not so much worried about my standing in industry after an MSc, as i really dont want a career in core electronics. ultimately i plan a career in physical research, so i dont care what 'employers' say about taking up an MSc after BTech. and anyway, i'd rather study in IIT, concentrate on fundamental physics, study as many disciplines as possible and build a firm base. I can then easily specialize for further research. i am pretty much sure an MSc physics here, has more fundamental subjects than spec. courses, considering the level of BSc's that many colleges offer.
  19. May 4, 2008 #18
    You might want to check out http://www.iitk.ac.in/doaa/DOAA/coursesofstudy2006/Physics.pdf [Broken]. This will give you some idea of the course structure here, although I must state that this document is not updated often and not all these courses are offered every year.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  20. May 8, 2008 #19
    I have gone through the course structures of many institutes before. and about your previous reply, you still have two more years to do the catching up. dont worry, its only the last year or two when you actually do the bulk of your profile, that is if you DO it of course.
  21. May 8, 2008 #20
    So you're at Nirma Institute right? Send me a pm with your contact details, we should keep in touch. I have at least one other friend at your college. Are you graduating this year or do you have a year to go as well? What about electives and physics courses in your college.
  22. May 8, 2008 #21
    I'm in final year EC (graduating in a month or so). and your last question makes me laugh. he he. there are no 'physics courses' at Nirma. There was a "Physics" in 1st sem. Then there was "Electromagnetic Theory" in 5th. These are pretty much the 'theoretical' subjects I have studied in physics. We have 3 departmental and 2 institute electives to take in 6th and 7th semester. mine were:
    6th sem- Telecom. Transmission & Switching, Entrepreneurship Development (inst.)
    7th sem- Mobile Comm., Information & Coding Theory, Prob. & Stats (inst.)

    what about you? what field are you specializing in?
  23. May 8, 2008 #22
    Academically, I would classify courses on theoretical fluid dynamics, MEMS and things of that sort as "applied" physics (if you argue that they are not 'pure' physics, but I don't want to get into that sort of an argument). ;-)

    Pretty similar I guess..just that we had three physics courses in our first year...two theory courses, mechanics and electrodynamics (with the second one consisting of electromagnetism, wave optics and quantum mechanics). The other one, of course, was a lab course. There's an electromagnetic theory course for us in the 6th semester.

    In my programme, we have electives from the 5th semester to the 8th semester. You have to be lucky to get something you actually want to do but generally there is a huge degree of freedom (in theory :-) ) as there are many departments and you can always take mathematics courses--always very very useful.

    Well, there is no system of specialization in the B.Tech. programme, but my course trajectory presently includes microelectronics, quantum mechanics, probability and statistics, control systems/control theory, signal analysis, digital electronics, communications, solid state devices (microelectronics II in our institute), DSP (some of these are professional electives). Maybe at some point I will do more of "pure" physics ;-) We do have an option to specialize in power electronics or microelectronics..I suppose I would be opting for the latter route.

    By the way, you said you have interests in particle physics and cosmology. Are you also interested in quantum computation, solid state/condensed matter experiment or theory, and things of that nature? These, IMHO, are things relatively easier to get into with an experimental/EE background...esp given the interdisciplinary nature of work that goes on in these fields. There are a lot of applied physics topics like plasmonics, quantum dots, nanowires, molecular/organic electronics which both EE and Physicists work on these days. (Of course you would already know, but you're probably only interested in Theoretical Particle Cosmology? Btw, this article might interest you: http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=when-fields-collide&colID=1. If you can get hold of the May 2007 Issue of SciAM India, you can read all of it.)
  24. May 8, 2008 #23
    i am very much interested in theoretical particle physics. i know its a long shot to get into it after the EE background. so i have kept the option of quantum information/computation and computational physics open. i in fact have done a little work there.

    if you want to go in condensed matter, then microelectronics (with a few more negative powers of 10) would seem closer to it than anything else in EE. but really, DSP and microelectronics are two fields at two different ends when it comes to EE. and i despise thoroughly the latter!
  25. May 8, 2008 #24
    Oh, interesting..what exactly, if you don't mind sharing.

    Well, you will really be surprised about how interpenetrating these fields are! Most of our circuit design courses prove to be really useful (i.e. if taken seriously) while working on experimental physics projects. I just finished a project in which I had to model blur mathematically and determine the extent of defocus in an image, and make necessary corrections by changing the focal length of the imaging system...mechanically. My experience really helped a lot in that direction, not to mention the mathematics required to characterize the image from its spectrum.

    Yeah, quantum computing is something I'm interested in as well, but the experimental challenges involved are just as appealing to me as the theoretical problems. Ultimately, whether or not quantum computers can be "made" will be governed by our experimental prowess...things like NMR, laser cooled atomic traps, etc. do require considerable experimental involvement (things we could work on).

    I won't argue further about microelectronics (as I don't think its appropriate for this particular thread anymore) but I am somewhat surprised because microelectronics research draws up everything from materials science to solid state physics, theory and experiment. Plus, circuits are usually more fun than some other topics which are more strongly non-physics..anyway, its more a matter of personal taste than anything else.
  26. May 9, 2008 #25
    i've done a paper on quantum cryptography, and am planning to engage in a computer simulation of the same.

    it is my personal opinion about microelectronics and the likes (vlsi etc). i am really not interested in solid state or material sciences. in the end everything is related, but i want to focus on another division of the science.

    once again, the technologies you speak of, due to my extremely narrow interests, do not interest me. in some ways, narrow interests is a reason why i have not been able to garnish my resume much with physics.

    but if you really are interested in condensed matter and solid state, then i must tell you that you should concentrate on strengthening your fundamentals with subjects like the omni-potent quantum mechanics, microelectronics, material science etc. it will also strengthen your resume. how many major projects carry credits in your system, apart from the final year project?
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