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Suggestions for places for M.Sc. Interested in astro-cosmo

  1. Aug 18, 2009 #1
    Hey guys.

    I'm in third (final) year of my B.Sc. in physics. Have done/will be doing courses like Relativistic QM, intro to QFT, GR, condensed matter, etc. I am interested in astrophysics and cosmology and have done some work on it under a prof during vacations. But, my CGPA is on the lower side (7.1/10). I want to do PhD from a good place (say, Harvard?), and chances of getting in there with this score look bleak. So, I thought I'll do M.Sc. first and then dream of such things. Can anyone suggest me some places which might be accessible for me?

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 19, 2009 #2
    Hi there,

    Plenty of good schools. Are you ready to leave the US??? What field of astronomy interests you most???

  4. Aug 19, 2009 #3
    Hey. Sorry I forgot to mention. I'm from India, studying in cmi. I am particularly interested in gravitational wave astronomy (though i don't know much about it..) . I have been doing a numerical analysis of a collapsing star and as i mentioned before I did basic cosmology (I can give the details if you want) and i loved it.

    And I'd also like to mention, funding will be a problem. So I'll only be able to go to places where i can get fellowships or such.
  5. Aug 21, 2009 #4

    sorry for that >.>
  6. Aug 22, 2009 #5
    Saurabh, take the Physics GRE and apply to a school of your choice. There is no hard and fast rule in such matters, but the better your GRE score is, the better chance you have to offset grades which might not be top-of-the-notch. If you have research experience, that will also count I guess. Most importantly, your concepts in basic UG physics (CM, QM, SM, EM) should be very strong as thats what everyone will look for at the end of the day.

    On a more territorial route, you could take the JAM exam and get into the 2 year MSc Physics program at one of the IITs, and apply to a school of your choice after that, to the US/wherever else. The exposure you will get in the MSc program will be extremely useful later on when you apply for a PhD.

    In any case, you won't be starting your PhD programme directly after the BSc. Btw, I am told by some friends that Harvard does not prefer to take candidates admitted in the 3 year BSc programme in Indian universities. To quote http://www.gsas.harvard.edu/prospective_students/academic_requirements.php:

  7. Aug 22, 2009 #6
    Thanks, I get your point there.

    I did consider IITs as they are the only decent place in India for MSc, but as i was talking to a friend at IITK, only one person does research in cosmology (and none in any other fields I mentioned) and he published his last paper in 2002, similar stats in other IITs as I went through their site :( It would mostly be a waste of my time in courses which I have already taken or have little to offer in my interest (their MSc curriculum includes one course on GR, nothing in Astro/cosmo).

    I know most US universities don't take 3 year BSc graduates (Harvard as you mentioned, also TAMU, Michigan, etc), but some do (Northwestern, Syracuse, Rochester, etc). In any case, I am looking for places to do MSc. I came to know to about McMaster in Canada, Oxford and Cambridge in UK and a few others; but probably there are more places which I am missing.
  8. Aug 22, 2009 #7
    That is not correct. There are at least two researchers working on cosmology and one of them also works on astrophysics.

    That is not true either. First of all, the website is not updated that frequently. Second, during your MSc, you will not be publishing papers at that rapid a rate (if you get to publish at all) so the publishing statistics of someone should not concern you at all. In an MSc program, you will be strengthening your knowledge and grasp of physics -- as I have stated before, the coursework is good at IITK MSc physics. You can also take advanced courses on quantum mechanics, field theory, statmech etc. Bythe way, there is a Cosmology course in IITK, but the GR course is more of a science elective.

    I will reply in detail later.
  9. Aug 22, 2009 #8
    Oh I'm sorry then, I have wrong info:uhh:

    Thanks for the info, please reply.
  10. Aug 22, 2009 #9
    What else would you like to know? I think searching admissions pages for universities and contacting them individually would give you a better idea of the ones that accept BSc students for a masters and a PhD (perhaps an integrated program).

    By the way, doesn't CMI have an Integrated Masters program in Physics?
  11. Aug 23, 2009 #10
    I want to know about other places which offer Masters program, abroad. I went through webpages of some universities, I want to know about more.

    And no, CMI doesn't have a masters program in physics.
  12. Aug 23, 2009 #11
    You just have to browse through pages about admission requirements of the universities you're interested in, and contact them with queries that are unanswered in their documentation if necessary.
  13. Aug 23, 2009 #12
    I agree. What I am trying to say is, I don't know enough good places. I want you people to suggest me places to apply...
  14. Dec 3, 2009 #13

    You might try Virginia and Maryland. The other unies you mention might be good too. My nephew was not treated well at Cornell for physics research. I do not know if Yale has a programme.
  15. Dec 3, 2009 #14
    This standard reference book for US programs is the AIP directory


    It's got hundreds of programs. Also most programs in the US go straight from bachelors to Ph.D., and it's a little difficult to find places that will admit people with US masters, although the rules may be different for overseas programs.
  16. Dec 6, 2009 #15
    Maryland, looked really good as I went through their site, refused to accept 3 year undergrads :(
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