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Theoretical physics grad school

  1. Oct 20, 2015 #1
    Can anyone tell me the level of difficulty (approximately) of getting into QS world ranking top 150 theoretical physics graduate programs in Europe? ex. ETH Zurich, Durham University, University of Amsterdam, Uppsala University, etc.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2015 #2
    HI, well if you are thinking about entering grad school in theoretical physics, perhaps the most important thing is to find a place where the specific research developed there has some interest for you. Theoretical physics is a broad field and in every university there are different departments with different research topics.

    I will advice you first to have clear which specialization you would like to follow (for example, theoretical particle physics or condensed matter theory, cosmology.... every field has its own theorist working).

    Secondly, to enter a top university is not easy in most of cases, but in grad school if you are thinking about applying this places, you need to have outstanding background, if that is the case, there are always grants you can apply for.

    My final advice, its not about the institution you go to, but also about how much interested you are in the research developed there.
  4. Oct 24, 2015 #3
    Well I'm interested in particles, fields and string i know that is still broad but i know i'm not interest in theoretical condensed matter.

    I have a 3.8 GPA and i have 2 year of experience of research in a lab with 2 publications and 2 good letters of recommendation and have presented at several national conferences with involvement in a couple of student organisations. The research that i was doing was in nanoparticles for biomedical applications, I'm just worried that my lack of research in the fields that i'm applying for will have a negative impact on my application. I have been told many times that a lot of schoos don't see this as too much of a disadvantage but i have a hard time believing they would choice me over someone with the same qualifications but more relevant research. Also, i don't know if this situation is seen differently in European universities compared to U.S. universities.
  5. Oct 24, 2015 #4
    mmm I would say that in you case should be enough to start a PhD in theoretical physics... In most of cases people just do a master before starting with the PhD, but I will tell you that in my case I did a master totally different from theortical physics and now I am doing a theoretical (condensed matter) physics PhD. At the beginning I thought that there is no apparent connection between what I do and particles/string theory, but when you start studying it you realise that the methods (Quantum field theory, RG equations and so) are pretty much same.

    My advice is that you apply as many places as you can, and even if you think your chances are not high enough, because you never know. Good luck with it!
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