Masters abroad (in Israel) or PhD in America with condensed matter theory focus?

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  • Thread starter doggydan42
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  • #1
doggydan42
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Hello. I have been accepted into a few Graduate programs in physics. I have narrowed down my choices to two: one in America, UMich, and one in Israel, namely the Weizmann institute.

There is an important distinction between the two programs. In America, it is a PhD program, which from what I can tell is the norm here. In Israel, it is a masters program, and I would plan to return for a PhD in America if I go. However, I am concerned about having to effectively restart in America with taking courses.

Is this an issue, or do students who already did a masters in physics abroad start with just research in America?
 

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  • #2
Vanadium 50
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While all colleges have their own policies, you are correct to be concerned.
 
  • #3
Frabjous
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There is also the other question of how you get an advisor. Do you get one cold or do you need to spend time looking.
 
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doggydan42
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There is also the other question of how you get an advisor. Do you get one cold or do you need to spend time looking.
Do you mean in going from masters to PhD?

Going into either program I know how to look for an advisor. But I definitely did not consider the question of getting an advisor when going into a PhD program with a masters.
 
  • #5
Frabjous
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Do you mean in going from masters to PhD?

Going into either program I know how to look for an advisor. But I definitely did not consider the question of getting an advisor when going into a PhD program with a masters.
I was thinking of getting a PhD advisor at a new school with a masters.
 
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  • #6
doggydan42
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While all colleges have their own policies, you are correct to be concerned.
Yes, I am definitely aware the colleges have their own policies. I am trying to determine (roughly) how much of an issue/concern this might be. Is it that most colleges will accept (including top universities) or is it more 50/50 or maybe most will reject credits?
 
  • #7
CrysPhys
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Yes, I am definitely aware the colleges have their own policies. I am trying to determine (roughly) how much of an issue/concern this might be. Is it that most colleges will accept (including top universities) or is it more 50/50 or maybe most will reject credits?
Come up with a list of, say, 6 US universities that you would be most interested in applying to for a PhD program should you decide to go to Israel for a MS. Then contact the graduate physics admissions offices at those US universities and ask them what their policies would be on course requirements, placement exams, qualifying exams, advisor selection, and other relevant issues should you apply for a PhD program after receiving a MS from Israel. You can then make a decision on whether it would be worthwhile to get a masters in Israel.
 
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  • #8
gwnorth
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I've been doing some research into various options now that my son is in his 3rd year of his undergrad and is starting to contemplate graduate programs. We're in Canada where it's most common to do standalone Master's and PhD degrees (though some universities do offer integrated degrees for top applicants) and so he has a similar decision to make if he decides to apply internationally. From what I can tell just based on preliminary research, if you want to study in the US, the most expeditious and cost effective approach is to do an integrated PhD. If separate Master's and PhD degrees are preferred, then it's probably best to consider countries other than the US as it is unlikely that a university will give 100% advanced standing due to having previously completed a Master's and most likely will require part of the requirements to be repeated. @CrysPhys is correct in recommending that you should contact the school's you're most likely to want to apply to and see what their specific policy is however.

I don't know what kind of a funding arrangement the university in Israel is offering you, but one of the advantages of doing an integrated degree in the US is that both the Master's and PhD portions of the degree are fully funded. In looking at doing a separate Master's and PhD as an international applicant, I have found that often times the Master's degree doesn't receive funding and will need to be paid for out of pocket (unless your home country offers scholarships that can be applied to universities outside of the home country). For this reason, if my son decides he wants to do a separate Master's and PhD, and he wants to apply out of country, he most likely would do the Master's at home (which would be funded) and then a PhD abroad (probably in the UK or Australia). If he wants to study in the US he's probably going to be better off applying straight from undergrad.
 

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