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Should I take this chance?

  1. Jun 7, 2008 #1
    I am a senior physics major in China. Now there is a chance in UMKC, which is a regular state university, to get a master degree in physics. I am not sure whether I want to make a career out of physics. So I hope I can have more options after I finish it if I decide to go. Is there a possiblity that this master degree will help me get a chance to study in a better school, whatever physics or engineering? If this is ture, then how better? I think this is a litter hard to answer, but is there an average situation or someone who have similar experiences? If I don't go, I have to wait here for a year for I have missed the time to application, but in that way I think I can get much better offers. So do you think I should go? Any help will be appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 7, 2008 #2


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    If I understand your question: you're wondering if it's worth it to pursue a master's degree at an institution that is perhaps not your first choice, or if you should wait a year and hope to get into a "better" school.

    I don't know anything about the program at UMKC, or even what those initials stand for for that matter, so I can't comment on the program itself. As long as the courses cover the material you want to study and the opportunities for research are acceptable to you, I don't see how going to a "better" school would make that much of a difference (and if they're not, then there's no point in entering the program).

    Either way, I wouldn't wait a year. Most programs that I'm familiar with admit new students in the winter semmester. You can also contact the graduate coordinator of the program you're interested in and see if there's any way you can submit a late application. On occasion, they make acceptions.

    Also, pursuing a master's degree is, in my opinion, an excellent way of figuring out whether or not you want to make a career out of physics.
  4. Jun 7, 2008 #3
    Thank you for your advice.

    Mostly we chinese use the university ranking by major to help us make decision for lack of knowledge. It has some sense I think. And to make a career out of physics in my oppinion often means never get out of school, like become a professor at school, and to achieve that you have to graduate from a university of at least top 20 in the US and here we have similiar situations. So a better univerisity of high ranking means a lot when you consider your value in the job market.

    UMKC(university of Missouri at Kansas City) is not such a university(ranked 100 or after in physics), but it waivers the GRE test, which I have not taken until now. So I don't have too much choise if I want to go this year. And to go means after my first masters' degree I have to pursue a ph.D in physics or another master's degree in engineering, and in a better university. So it will help a lot if I know whether the first degree helps a lot on this point or not.
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