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Ph.D on mathematics or physics. . .?

  1. Aug 28, 2009 #1
    Okay, I really wanted to get a Ph.D on either mathematics or physics. I have current knowledge all the way up to differential equations for mathematics, and just classical mechanics and Principia for physics. I will go for the doctoral degree after six years (after the Navy). If I want to get a Ph.D sooner, then should I choose mathematics or physics for doctoral degree? Also, I've heard that physics takes a bit longer to problem solving than mathematics does, but anyways, any helpful replies will be appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 29, 2009 #2


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    Your "current knowledge" is not enough for either subject to pursue a Ph. D. It's not even enough for a bachelor's degree. I hope you are currently studying while you are in the Navy, before even hoping of getting into a Ph. D. program.
  4. Aug 29, 2009 #3


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    I think he or she is suggesting that it will take six years to complete both the undergraduate degree and any naval service committments.

    You can't pick a PhD field based on 'time to completion' because this is highly variable. A PhD is awarded based on the completion of an original research project. Research is not a matter of just putting time in. Some projects go quickly. Others drag out. A funding expiration date provides additional motivation in some cases, but it doesn't guarantee that a student will finish in four years. Whether you chose a mathematics-based or a physics-based project, the time to completion will be a much stronger function of the project specifics (and your personal efforts) than the field it's in.
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