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Other What should I do after my graduation in physics?

  1. Mar 29, 2016 #1
    I am international student studying in US. I am about to graduate in my third year. I have done two experimental research but they are not too significant works. I want to do theoretical physics in the future and I really want to go to those top graduate programs in US. My GPA is around 3.7 and I am not sure which professor can provide me a strong letter of recommendation. My family is broken so I don't think I have the money to continue school. I tried to find some summer research, but most of them require US citizen or green card. I will try to apply for grad school in the end of this year, but I still have one year time after graduation which I don't know what I can do. Professor doing theoretical physics might consider me under qualify for their research since I don't have the chance to take QFT, GR yet. But I really want to do research in some theoretical aspects. What should I do in this case? Appreciated any advice!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 29, 2016 #2
    So you've applied for the internships that you are qualified for, and been rejected? Or you didn't apply?
  4. Mar 29, 2016 #3


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    Not that I'm any expert, but you need to be legally eligible to work in the country that you plan on spending the next year in. So if it's a given that you're not starting graduate school in September, you need to figure out how to clear that hurdle, if you can.

    And if you're not going to attend school, then you need a position. Sure, it would be ideal to find a research assistant position somewhere, and even better if that was doing some of the theoretical work that you want to do. But given the competitive nature of such positions, the requirement for a green card, and the fact that you won't be a student once you graduate, the probability of obtaining a position like that is fairly low. So you'll probably have to look at expanding your horizons.

    You might want to talk to the people you've been doing research with already to see if there is any way they can keep you on as a research assistant. If they have funding, they might be interested in keeping someone on the project who doesn't need to climb as much of a learning curve. Failing that, I would look around for other opportunities at your school with the goal of at least staying involved in physics to some degree or another.

    If that doesn't work out, and you try elsewhere without success, I would shift your focus onto just getting "a" job and try to maximize the financial end of things. Maybe it would work out fiscally better to move back to your home country and then work for a year while you apply to graduate schools and live with a parent? At least that way, you can build up some savings to make your graduate school years more comfortable.
  5. Mar 29, 2016 #4
    I don't know what job to apply now. My main goal is graduate school. I am international student so if I want to stay in US, I need a job and I also need money to stay.
  6. Mar 29, 2016 #5
    Thanks. It seems like the only option I have.
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