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Rankings vs funding (MSc in physics)

  1. Dec 14, 2015 #1
    Hello everyone!

    I recently graduated with a BSc in physics from a good university in my home country with a very decent GPA. I didn't have a long term plan in mind but I at least wanted to continue with a master's degree so after a little bit of research I applied to 2 universities in Germany; Heidelberg and RWTH Aachen. Long story short Aachen didn't happen and while I got accepted to Heidelberg, I couldn't attend because of one unfortunate thing after another (visa, blocked account issues)

    Right now I'm left with a choice of either continuing in the same university I graduated from or reapplying to universities abroad (more than 2 this time in case of unfortunate events)
    Thing is, as we know almost no MSc programs abroad have funding and while I could work part time, that would only cover my living expenses. In the case that I stay at my university, I would have research funding and possibly a part time TA position which would allow me to not only cover my expenses but also save up for the future. Not to mention I get along pretty well with the professor I would be working with.

    My plan after getting my MSc degree is to hopefully continue with a PhD in one of the more prestigious universities and I guess my question boils down to this;
    Would getting a MSc degree in a higher ranked university make a big enough impact for my PhD plans that not having funding is worth it in the long run?
    I guess it depends more on the quality of my work/publications during MSc and less on the university but I wanted to hear from others with more experience.

    Also, I'm older than an average new graduate at 29 years old. Since I already have had a late start I thought about skipping MSc and doing a PhD straight away but I'm not very confident in my research experience even though my advisor says that I would do just fine. What are your thought on this?

    Thanks for reading and any input is appreciated :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 15, 2015 #2


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    More importantly, do you want to work in that research group? Is the research what you are interested in?
  4. Dec 15, 2015 #3
    Honestly, I'm having trouble deciding on what I want. It's just that I am slightly more familiar with their research because of my bachelor thesis, so naturally it feels safer to stay with them than to chase something else.
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