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Physics Need guidance for my career (physics and astrophysics)

  1. May 21, 2016 #1
    Hello, I live in a developing country, i've lived in this town of my country since my childhood, and i was a type of loner who went to school and came home, not having any outside world experience that much or i could say my family didn't go to countryside or any other part of my country frequently, i stayed home most of the time.

    So may be because of this, i had bored a lot and it made my fantasy or "what i want to become" too big and ideal or made me intensive daydreamer. I have lot of dreams about going to space, exploring it, discovering how the universe work, traveling around the world, doing paleontological things and etc since my childhood, or in other word i have wanted fantastic and adventurer life.

    So i thought that if i got into university, all of this became come true or at least close to the way of it, and I thought university is fun and a lot different from boring middle and high schools, but in my country, the university life is just a continuity of high school, same town and go to school and come back home type life. Also because of some dumb reasons, i chose engineering major, i chose this because i thought that choosing physics as a major is too broad, and everybody in here talked that choosing physics means you'll become a teacher, and everybody in here competed for engineering and getting into engineering meant you're number one and will have a job, and also my ocd greatly affect me (whenever i have to choose or decide something important, my ocd affect me and show me bad side of that thing). I know all of this sound too dumb and idiotic, but this kind of stereotypical things still exist in my country.

    Anyway, after my first year of university i realized that i made a mistake, choosing wrong major, but coincidentally, i came across a program that teach people to how to study abroad, like exams, application process etc. So from this, my only goal has become studying abroad, and by doing so, i can fix my wrong career choice, get a great experience, and get out of my boring comfort zone, and most importantly get highly qualified education. So i prepared for my second language as well as a standardized test for some study abroad program, while not paying much attention to my school in my country and why i couldn't drop out of it is because i thought it is safe.

    Long story short, learning second language took a long time and i had family issue, death of parent, depression, ocd, all of them combined and decreased my efficient. So because of dead of my father, all of my plan shattered and i had to graduate of that career in my country because at that time i was in end of my junior year, while helping my mom. I thought it's wise to graduate this major and transferring basic courses and take a extra year to study physics in my country. But my university said that once you graduate, you can't study unless take the sat like test of my country again to enter and transfer my courses, and that exam is taken once a year, so i have to wait one year to my home to take that exam and study my country's university which i disliked.
    May be, this is way life teach me how you shouldn't undervalue something. Anyway i'll never give up and reach my goal of becoming astrophysics and work for world renowned space agency.

    Sorry for boring and long story, my question is after studying in my country for 2 years and getting good gpa and gre score and some research experience, will/can i get into good master's program abroad without having work experience for one or two years or more? because i don't waste more time doing work experience in my country, and physics is academic thing, not art, so is it right that it is not required to have work experience for one or two years if you have research experience in your undergraduate right?

    i'm asking this because my acquaintance who wanted/planned to do his master abroad and graduated same year as me is working somewhere and gaining experience, yet still not studying abroad. If i will have to work one or two more years to qualified to be accepted, then it'll take so long time, and it would same as i'm studying abroad in undergraduate level again, and there is not advantage for transferring courses, and if so, it's better for me to study abroad and get highly qualified education.

    With good gpa, high gre, and some undergraduate research experience, can i get accepted to study abroad in some countries as soon as i graduated in my country ?
    Physics and any other natural science or academic careers are different from practical careers which require real-world experience right?
    I need to know the difference between research experience and work experience, and are some specific time or duration required for them like one or two years?
    Last edited: May 21, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. May 22, 2016 #2
    I did read the post but perhaps I missed a part, whats your end goal after your masters because I dont really see much benefit in doing a masters in physics/maths unless its to get into cambridge/imperial/sometimes oxford to do a phd in the uk and from what I understand a masters is considered a terminal degree in the US

    But to quickly answer the work experience for masters put, at least in the uk you dont need work experience to get onto a masters, just good grades as postgraduate masters programs here arent that popular
  4. May 22, 2016 #3
    thanks for your replay
    Yes of course i'll use master's degree as a bridge to Phd, and my ultimate goal is work for world recognized astrophysics agency. As i said in my post i graduated with engineering degree, not paying much attention to it, and because of it my gpa is sub 3.0.
    I've other option in here that i can get into master's degree program in here, but i heard even with good master's gpa, it is difficult for one who has a low gpa in undergrad to get accepted in US, UK, etc. That's why i'm considering re-study in bachelor level with transferring some courses for raising my gpa as well as acquiring physics knowledge. Is it right or should i study master in physics in here with taking some non-degree physics courses in undergrad? can that beat my low gpa?
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  5. May 22, 2016 #4
    did you mean to quote me? you didnt write anything
  6. May 22, 2016 #5
    How below 3.0 is it? because I think a 2:2 (uk grading system) converts to roughly 2.5-3.0 gpa which is normally minimum youd need to do a masters in the uk. If you can get the 2:2 equivalent then you should be able to get onto a taught masters course at some uni in the uk. You would also need to contact a few unis you would think of applying to in X country to make sure that a masters is enough to be eligible to do a phd with them as it might not be

    The best situation application wise would probably be to do a bachelor in physics and get 3.5+ then you would have more unis that would consider you and more chance of funding but thats probably the most time consuming too. If you go down the masters route, if I were you I would contact unis before hand and ask 'do you accept a engineering degree with physics masters as entry to X Phd'. As I said though the UK at least is fairly competitive to get into the top 10 unis to do a phd as a 4.0 GPA is equivalent to 70% here but many people get 80% + in their degrees but you would perhaps have a chance at a mid ranked uni

    so in short best situation get a great bachelors in physics, though a masters may be enough for some places but youll need to contact them before hand as every uni will accept different qualifications. You will probably get onto a masters with 2.5 + but anything less then you wont (youll have to pay for the masters too which is normally around £17000 + £6000-£9000 living depending on where you go in the UK)
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