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Programs Moving directly to Phd after 4 year bachelors

  1. Nov 12, 2012 #1
    Hey I'm currently an undergraduate Physics student in my third year. I wish to continue on with Physics and complete a Phd

    Preferably I'd like to avoid doing a masters, I've looked at a lot of threads on here and the general consensus is that with a three year bachelors (like the ones in europe) you would have to do a masters.

    However, I'm studying in Ireland and so my degree programme is 4 years of purely maths and physics courses and I have good grades and so I'm curious as to whether I'd be able to apply directly for a phd with that. I would be applying to UK and mainland europe.

    Any Advice is appreciated

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 12, 2012 #2
    Hi. I'm in a similar dilemma, bachelors in Spain are 4 years and apparently I would need to get an out-of-pocket masters to pursue a phd in most places in Europe. You wouldn't have to do a masters if the phd program you apply to doesn't require it, but that generally means graduating with a 1st class at many UK institutions. Look into German universities

    Assuming you want to start next year, you could try some US graduate programs that don't require the Physics GRE since the last chance to take it this year was last Saturday(you would almost certainly need the general GRE, but you likely won't require much preparation for it, you could take it in 2-3 weeks or less).

    I don't think getting phd funding in the UK will be a problem for you, but everything I know indicates it is far easier to procure a funded phd program in the states for most people in the EU.
  4. Nov 13, 2012 #3


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    A few comments on the previous threads: It is important to keep the differences between US and Europe in mind. And what works for one place may not work for the other.

    Note that while in the US it is the norm to enter a PhD program after a four years bachelor, those PhD programs contain about one or two years of coursework before the PhD students start engaging in any serious research efforts. That is, the total duration of a PhD program in the US is much longer than in Europe, and it is not at all uncommon that people spend five to eight years in graduate school. You would not save any time by going that route.

    Also you should not compare just the length of the bachelor programs. In Europe, usually a lot of the topics are already covered at the higher schools (especially general education) which in the US are covered during the first two years of university. After a US four year bachelor, US students are not any farther than the Europe students after a three year bachelor.

    There are some PhD programs in Europe, too, which require only a bachelor for entry, but many of those also require coursework. In this case one could still save the time for the masters thesis, but on the other hand one would also be in a worse position to judge what is a good project for PhD. And getting a good project for PhD is very important.
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