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Out of state graduate education

  1. Mar 2, 2008 #1
    Im a physics major in my junior year in a fairly small and unknown university. I plan to graduate at the end of winter 2009, and then its off to graduate school. My question is about paying for graduate school. As far as I understand, the majority of physics graduate students do not pay for their education out of pocket. Usually they are teaching or doing research, which pays enough to cover tuition, living and even some other minor expenses. First of all, is this true, or am I delusional to think I wont be knee deep in debt by the end of my education?

    If the first part is true, then here is my second question. Being in michigan, my choice of in-state graduate schools is fairly limited - basically University of Michigan or Michigan State University. If I was accepted into a school out of state, are the tuition practices the same as for undergraduates? Do out of state graduate students get raped by having to pay 3x more than their in-state counter parts? If thats the case, Im assuming no TA or research position will cover these hefty tuition costs. And therefore, how do students go to schools not in their home state?

    Any clarification here would be great.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 2, 2008 #2
    It depends. If you are only going for a masters degree then the most common scenario is that you will be paying for tuition etc (this isn't always true though). But if you are going for a PhD then your tuition fees etc. will most likely be waived and you will be given a stipend, on the condition that you are TAing or doing research.
  4. Mar 2, 2008 #3
    In the school I'm looking at, tuition runs 600 dollars per credit hour out of state, but is like 150 in state. It is my understanding that receiving funding as a non phd is tough, and that generally you have to pay the full fees for at least a semester or two until you've "proven" yourself to a faculty member if you do not get a TA. As a physics major, applying for a phd looks pretty common though, so I wouldn't worry too much if you are committed to that path.
  5. Mar 2, 2008 #4
    Ive heard of programs where you work towards a PhD straight after receiving the bachelor's degree. How common are these programs compared to the traditional course of receiving a masters and going towards a PhD afterwards?
  6. Mar 2, 2008 #5
    Yes, the majority of physics grad students do not pay for their tuition out-of-pocket in the U.S.

    I attend grad school at a public university in a different state than my legal residence, but because I'm living and working in that state, they consider my tuition in-state. Not that it matters to me, since I don't pay my own tuition. You should contact the out-of-state universities you're considering to double-check.

    Edited to clarify: By "working" in that state, I mean that I have a graduate assistantship.
  7. Mar 2, 2008 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    The traditional PhD program is not as you describe. The traditional PhD program accepts students with a BS. After one or two years, one can pick up a MS if one really wants to. Many don't.

    As far as in-state vs. out-of-state tuition, if there is any distinction, the university pays it if one gets a fellowship. Considering that grad students are adults who move to the state where the university is - and pay taxes there - establishing residency (if it even matters) is trivial.
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