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Programs Need advice: master in Canada and phd in the US?

  • Thread starter Stan Marsh
  • Start date
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Hello, everyone! I have a question here and I am really looking forward to hear your advices.
I am now applying for phd programs, and I am aiming at the top universities in the US. However, based on my performance, I think my chance going to the, say, top 6 or top 10 is very small. (personally I think maybe I can get an offer from colleges rank 20 or around) So I am thinking of one possible career path:

Doing a master at a Canada university like U of T first, then apply for a top univ phd. master programs there have scholarships so I can do it. Then with a stronger research background, I am more likely to get in a top college in the US.
Of course other master programs like cambridge part iii math, imperial college QFFF and ETH master program are also taken into my consideration. But the financial support may be a big problem.

I am choosing this also because I am from China, and for certain reasons, Chinese students are less likely to get admitted if they state that they want to do theoretical physics, which is (unfortunately) my interest. So another year's training may take me out of the disadvantage.

I am now thinking this seriously. But I am not sure of the possibility. Can you give me some advice? Any comments are appreciated!
 

fss

1,176
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Getting a Masters' in physics before applying to a US PhD program doesn't really help you, as most of the top programs will make you start from the beginning anyways. Also, unless you do incredibly well in your Masters' program it's likely not going to improve your candidacy very much.
 
42
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Getting a Masters' in physics before applying to a US PhD program doesn't really help you, as most of the top programs will make you start from the beginning anyways. Also, unless you do incredibly well in your Masters' program it's likely not going to improve your candidacy very much.
Thanks for your reply, fss.
However, there may be a few factors you may not considerate:
1. A master degree with a thesis means (possibly) publication in a leading journal, which will put one at advantage in application.
2. Chances of research experience with some first class group worldwide, and recommendations from them.
3. In a western univ, maybe one have a chance to meet my desired phd advisor personally and let him/her know about my capabilities.

Since I am now in China, chances of convincing recommendations and research experience with excellent groups are rare. But these things are really critical in application.
 

fss

1,176
0
1. A master degree with a thesis means (possibly) publication in a leading journal, which will put one at advantage in application.
Sure, possibly.

2. Chances of research experience with some first class group worldwide, and recommendations from them.
Possibly.

3. In a western univ, maybe one have a chance to meet my desired phd advisor personally and let him/her know about my capabilities.
Also a possibility.

However, none of these matter if you don't do well academically as far as getting into a "top" program. Research experience only goes so far.
 

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