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Terminal masters program and PhDd

  1. Jun 3, 2013 #1
    I have a question. If one decides to enroll in a terminal masters program (such as one designed for students with a full time job), then later leaves industry to pursue a PhD, how would that look on a PhD admittance committe vs taking the usual route of getting a masters with thesis first? Is there a significant difference in probabilities of acceptance/funding?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 3, 2013 #2


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    Well, this isn't exactly the same, but here's my little story.

    I was technically part of a PhD program (simply for funding yay) but after meeting the requirements for a masters, I decided to leave because I had a kid and I really like money. Anyway, recent life changes have given me the ability to restart a path towards a PhD (yay wife works a higher paying job!) so I applied to somewhat local Universities and have been accepted into all of them.*

    Thus I am one example of a person who took a non-traditional route. Funding wise, less than expected, but this isn't a great concern of mine.

    *I wasn't very far removed from my masters degree regarding work. My thesis was on statistical learning theory, and I used that in all my jobs, so it isn't like I left academics and went to Quality Control or something.
  4. Jun 5, 2013 #3

    Andy Resnick

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    Our (Physics) graduate programs are terminal MS, and while I don't know of any student that has later applied to a PhD program, I suspect that as long as you pass their comprehensive exam (or the equivalent)- an exam that tests your mastery of coursework which must be passed prior to entering the research phase of a PhD program- I can't imagine it's an issue.
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