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Undergrad Research-focused Degrees

  1. Sep 20, 2008 #1
    I dunno if the US has programs like that but we have them here at ANU (Aust)



    I'm thinking of transferring to the Science one if I can get in. Do you think it'll help my application to a good grad school? (I'm planning to go to the US for grad school)
    Also, I checked out a few US unis websites (MIT, Stanford..) and it seems like international students have to do a MS before doing a phD. Can anyone confirm that? I'd always thought that one could do a phD without having to do a masters :S
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 20, 2008 #2


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    I don't know of any formal programs like that in the US, but there are ways for students to obtain that research experience if they seek it out.

    Yes, research experience will help a graduate school application immensely (assuming you are good at it...but then if you aren't good at it, you probably would already be rethinking that plan anyway, and then the experience is good to keep you from wasting more time pursuing something that's not right for you).

    I don't know anything about requirements to do an MS before a Ph.D. for international students. Every school and program has their own requirements though. It might also depend on where you've gone to school. If the educational system is similar enough to the US, maybe they can waive a requirement, and just have it listed because they can't reasonably evaluate the quality of an applicant from a country with very different educational systems from the US, or perhaps to see how well they fare in a program taught entirely in English for those who come from non-English-speaking countries? It's worth asking the specific programs about when you're ready to start applying.
  4. Sep 20, 2008 #3
    Ok, thanks for the advice :)
  5. Sep 20, 2008 #4


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    Are you sure they say you have to actually do an MS before applying for a PhD, or that you should primarily be enrolled onto the MS course. If the latter, then I presume that you can be transferred onto the PhD course when you prove that you do well enough on the course. That happens over here in the UK: students get enrolled onto MPhil courses and then upgrade to the PhD course when they have proven they can cope.
  6. Sep 20, 2008 #5
    Hmm I'm not sure, Cristo. Stanford's admission requirements to the Engineering grad courses had this: 'PhD and Engr applicants must have received, or be in the process of obtaining, an MS degree before applying'.
    And MIT's faq page says 'in most cases, students without a master's degree will get that degree before proceeding on to the PhD. If you already hold a master's degree from another school, you can apply directly to the PhD'.

    They didn't say much else. Or maybe I didn't look hard enough :S
  7. Sep 21, 2008 #6


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    It sounds like MIT's procedure is the same as most US colleges (that I know of): namely, one enters as an MS student, and then on satisfying certain criteria on that course, applies to be upgraded to the PhD programme, with or without physically obtaining the MS. I'm sure someone familiar with the US system can confirm, or add to this.
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