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Switching fields

  1. May 8, 2008 #1

    I am a final year Bachelor of Technology student in Electronics & Communication Engineering from India. I am planning to switch to physics as my further study and career objective. I first plan to obtain a master's here in India, and then opt for a PhD abroad, as of course I do not have a strong background in many areas of physics. My interest lies in particle physics and cosmology.

    My question is to those who are doing/done with their doctoral degrees, or are pursuing graduate study in physics. Right now, I should concentrate on picking up fundamental courses. But while applying, I will be asked for my research experience with the field as well. At this point, I am not aware if I will be able to pursue my specific interest in particle physics during my master's study over here, in terms of theses, papers or projects, due to any number of reasons.

    So, the question is:
    if for example, I do not actually get to do much in particle, and instead have a research profile in, say computational physics/quantum computation (very likely due to my electrical engg. background), would I be able to convince a grad school that I can work in particle physics? I dont think subjects would be a problem, as most institutes here offer all the that you require to build a base in any field of physics.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 8, 2008 #2
    It is difficult to say. I think at best, if a graduate school does decide to accept you, they may require that you spend some time taking undergraduate courses to make up for unknown information. You'll have to do a pretty good job at selling yourself though. I can't really say much more, but good luck.
  4. May 15, 2008 #3
    to poweriso,
    I'm not worried so much about subjects (UG/PG) as i am about research 'experience'. as i said, institutes here do offer a variety of subjects. so the unknown information you are talking about, might not be a big problem.
    I have no means of finding out if it's ok to have your master's research exp in a different field than the one you're hoping to do a PhD in.
  5. May 15, 2008 #4


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    I switched fields going from a Master's to Ph.D. You may have a disadvantage compared to other students who have been in a particular area for a few years already, but if you have a desire to be in that new field you'll eventually catch up.

    Contact the graduate advisors at the schools that have the programs you're interested in. They can let you know if you have the background to enter any given program.
  6. May 15, 2008 #5
    to choppy,
    may i ask what fields did you switch between?
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