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Physics Grad Schools in Nashville, TN

  1. Dec 29, 2008 #1
    I think I'd like to go to grad school for theoretical physics, and I'll be in Nashville next year (and 1-4? years after that). Right now, I'm looking at Vanderbilt University, Fisk University, and Tennessee State University.

    Does anyone have any info about these schools?

    Also, I'm kind of surprised that I can't find any other universities in the Nashville area that have physics graduate programs. Does anyone know of any others?

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 30, 2008 #2

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    On;y Vanderbilt offers the PhD. I'm not sure Tennessee State even has an MS program. If you want to do theory, you need a PhD.

    There are only 189 physics PhD programs in the country. There aren't many cities that have more than a few programs.
     
  4. Dec 30, 2008 #3
    Fisk University's program site only mentions a master's of arts (MA not MS). I saw no graduate work on Tennessee State's site. I concur that in the Nashville area, the only program of possible good reputation is Vandy's.

    Honestly, if you are looking to do theoretical physics at the Ph.D. level, you need to look at a variety of programs around the country and try to find the best ones where your application would still be competitive (and apply to a number of them). Ph.D.'s typically take 5-7 years if you are at it full-time (typically you are offered stipends of some form so you can be at it full-time). This advice is, of course, if you are planning to pursue a career in theoretical physics of some form, not just dabble in a course or two or do it at a snail's pace for self-edification while you're committed to other pursuits.

    I realize, of course, that there can be familial or other obligations that keep one in a given geographic region... but don't do that to yourself until you're absolutely committed to that track.
     
  5. Dec 30, 2008 #4
    Hm, consensus seems to tell me to get off my butt and finish that Vandy application. Darn.
    I'd love to be able to flit around, but that's not really an option.
    Since I plan to be in Nashville for less than 5-7 years, I figured I'd go for a masters degree, and then either a job or PhD.
    Thanks, people! :smile:
     
  6. Dec 30, 2008 #5

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    If you're interested in theory, I'm afraid an MS is not terribly valuable. You really need a PhD for that career path.
     
  7. Dec 31, 2008 #6
    Yes, I figured that. But I don't plan on being in America long enough to get a PhD, and it seems that Israeli universities require a masters before a doctorate. Hence the MS plan.
     
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