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Requirement of M.S. before Ph.D in U.S.

  1. Nov 26, 2005 #1
    I am Arun. R. doing M.Sc in Physics(Specialization in Electronics) in India. I am intersted in doing ph.d in Nanotechnology in U.S.A. I have a few questions to ask.

    a) Is M.S. a must before Ph.D, with my background of B.Sc & M.Sc(Physics) in Physics or can I directly apply for a Ph.D.(If I have a good GRE & TOEFL score.).

    b) Are there any Ph.D qualifying exam after joining for Ph.D. in U.S. with coursework of 1 year or so. Does it involve any coursework?

    c) In general, how much time does it take to finish
    i) Ph.D if applied directly for it
    ii) M.S. Integerated Ph.D.

    Thanking you in advance.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 26, 2005 #2

    Pengwuino

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    I've been told that you can go straight into the phd programs. I was told you would only want to go MS -> PHD if you want to get into a top top university (because you'd have better scores hopefully then the people who are straight out of their bachelors program).
     
  4. Nov 26, 2005 #3
    First of all you should read:
    https://www.physicsforums.com/journal.php?do=showjournal&j=2

    That is ZapperZ's journal and is filled with everything you want to know.

    I can give you what I know directly though:
    a) No, some schools have direct Ph.D. programs where you go from a B.Sc. to a Ph.D.- some schools you get an MS along the way- some you don't.

    b) All schools that I know of in the US have Qualifying examinations. These are exams that you must pass to continue in the Ph.D. program. It is the first big step in a Ph.D. program after getting accepted.

    c) in the US from after a B.Sc. to Ph.D. it takes about 6 years or so on average.
    I don't understand what parts i) and ii) mean so I cannot comment.

    again please read and excellent article on this whole process written by ZapperZ:
    https://www.physicsforums.com/journal.php?do=showjournal&j=2

    Cheers,
    Ryan
     
  5. Nov 26, 2005 #4

    robphy

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    From what I know, few places let you apply for a terminal-MS if there is a PhD offered (although there certainly are exceptions).
     
  6. Nov 26, 2005 #5
    Since an MSc and MS are essentially the same thing (Masters degree in Science), there should be no need for you to repeat unless you're switching fields, or the school you're applying to decides not to accept your current masters degree. If your GRE and TOEFL scores are acceptable, you ought to be able to apply to a PhD program. Don't bother with the MS, you'll already have one.
     
  7. Nov 26, 2005 #6

    Dr Transport

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    Many schools will make you get a Masters on the way to a PhD regardless of whether or not you already have one....many places will not enroll you directly into th ePhD program, you'll have to repeat some courses and take their version of the qualifiers/comprehensive exams.
     
  8. Nov 26, 2005 #7

    Gokul43201

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    An M.Sc in India is not recognized in the US. You will have to apply to a PhD program and most likely go through the coursework. It may be possible, in some Universities, to skip the coursework if you can take and pass the qualifier. Depending on the school, the group and the dept. policies, it could take you anywhere from 5 yrs to 7yrs to complete a PhD in Physics. If you applied to EE instead, you could finish in 4 or 5 yrs. There is no such thing as a PhD in Nanotechnology.

    When you say you have a specialization in electronics, what do you mean ? Could you please elaborate a little on what you have done to claim this specialization ?
     
  9. Nov 27, 2005 #8
    By Specialization I mean I have taken extra 4 courses on Electronics in my final year. My university doesn't give the course as M.Sc(Electronics), instead M.Sc Physics (specialization in electronics).

    Do I have to do a course work for Ph.D., even if I do M.S. in the same university (for M.S. integrated Ph.D.) or Ph.D. in some other university.

    Thank you.
     
  10. Nov 27, 2005 #9

    Gokul43201

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    In physics, the degree after a BS is simply a PhD. This usually includes a year or two of concentrated coursework. After completing this coursework, you may terminate your study and ask for an MS. So, in that sense, every PhD is an MS integrated PhD...except that there is no separate degree for the MS.
     
  11. Nov 27, 2005 #10

    Pengwuino

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    Gokul are you sure about that. My university offers a Masters in Physics.
     
  12. Nov 27, 2005 #11

    Gokul43201

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    Most Universities do offer an MS (at least on paper), but if you apply to the university for the MS program, the dept. will not likely support you. So what people do is, they apply for the PhD program and cut it short and bail after completing coursework and a research project.
     
  13. Nov 27, 2005 #12

    Pengwuino

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    We don't even have a phd program... just the masters program...
     
  14. Nov 27, 2005 #13

    loseyourname

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    The University of Washington offers a PhD in Nanotechnology. It claims to be the first of its kind.
     
  15. Nov 27, 2005 #14

    Gokul43201

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    I stand corrected...but really, looking at the cartoons on their webpage, would you want to go there ? :biggrin:
     
  16. Nov 27, 2005 #15
    Ph.D in Nano

    So I will go ahead with Ph.D. I will be writing Physics GRE , General GRE, TOEFL. Is this enough for getting into caltech, MIT or UC. Are there any other requriements to get into these top universities. Should I go & work for a Project in IISc or IIT for an year, before applying to U.S.

    Thankyou
     
  17. Nov 27, 2005 #16

    Dr Transport

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    That is not entirely correct. Both Universities I went to for graduate work supported students working on TERMINAL masters degrees. In the cases I am talking about the students were working on degrees to earn their permanent certificatin as high school teachers.
     
  18. Nov 27, 2005 #17

    Gokul43201

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    Oh, that's unusual nowadays. At least, I don't know anyone like that at my University. The dept. will first (naturally) look out for its PhD students and only then look to support MS students...if it's rolling in the dough. :rolleyes:

    If you're an international applicant, you all but destroy your chances of getting admission by applying for an MS.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2005
  19. Nov 27, 2005 #18

    Gokul43201

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    No it is not - not by a long shot. If it were, nearly everyone would be getting into Caltech, MIT or UC-B.
    Yes, there are lots of requirements. For starters, plan on scoring full marks on the GRE tests. Once you've done that (or come very close), all you need is an excellent GPA, strong research experience (preferably resulting in publication) and very strong recommendations.

    And the reality is, unless you come from IISc, TIFR or IIT, your chances are pretty slim anyway. But this doesn't mean there aren't any good schools you can get into given a strong academic performance. Naturally, how high you apply depends on the strength of your application.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2005
  20. Nov 27, 2005 #19

    Dr Transport

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    I agree with this statement.
     
  21. Nov 27, 2005 #20

    ZapperZ

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    Actually, I don't quite agree with that. In light of the drop in international graduate students enrollment in the sciences after Sept. 11, I'd say you have a greater chance of getting an acceptance. Besides, if you're paying full fare, there are many smaller colleges that will accept your money just to do a M.Sc degree.

    Zz.
     
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