Seeking educational advice

  • Thread starter CoherentLaserRadar
  • Start date
In summary, the individual is currently a photonics engineer with a B.S. in Applied Physics and is pursuing an MS in Applied Physics part-time. They are considering enrolling in the Phd program at George Mason University, which offers a Phd in Computational Science with a concentration in Computational Physics. They are unsure if it would be better to finish their MS and then take the qualifying exam at another school to get a Phd in Physics or stick with GMU for both degrees. They are also concerned about the impact of having a Phd in Computational Sciences on their career as a physicist.
  • #1
I'm currently a photonics engineer with a B.S. in Applied Physics. I work full time and have been pursuing an MS in Applied Physics part time and I'm considering enrolling in the Phd program there at George Mason University. Unfortunately, they don't actually offer a Phd in physics, but rather offer a PHd in Computational Science that includes a Computational Physics Concentration.

Would I be better served by finishing my MS and then taking the qualifying exam at another school to get a Phd in physics or sticking with GMU for both my masters and Phd?
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  • #2
Would I be better served by...
Better served? That is entirely up to you and entirely dependent on what you want to do with your life. Unless you are talking about specific qualifications for specific jobs...?
  • #3
I guess I was a bit vague...When I was applying to grad schools during my last year as an undergrad I remember going to a lecture by a professor from William and Mary who was recruiting for their relatively new Applied Science Phd program and he was saying how WHAT you get your Phd in isn't nearly as important as what you DO once you've gotten it. I intend to work as a physicist for the bulk of my career and was wondering if its that big a deal for hiring/employment purposes if my Phd is in Physics or Computational Sciences with a concentration in physics, especially since both my bachelors and masters would be in Applied Physics.

  • #4
Do you want to do computational physics? eg, designing simulations and so forth? If not, then I'd go for a straight phys grad school... eg if you want to do research, or more hands-on physics work, I'd get your MS and go someplace else.

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