Hello everyone. I am currently enrolled in a masters course in theoretical physics, this is great and I am very interested in the subject, so I have no doubts in my mind that I do want to do a PhD. in that area. I am studying in the UK and have been considering applying for positions and such. Yes, I have left it rather late I suppose. I intended to take next year off and spend it pursuing other interests, i.e. motly for personal reasons. I thought this would be cool because I am 23 at the moment, figured I'd then be starting my PhD. at 25 and completing it at, well, at worst 28 or 29. I always intended to apply this year as well to some courses, and so it's also still possible I may complete it by 27. anyways, shuffling my feet as i am i only recently realised that i would be far more interested in doing a phd in the US. particularly cal-tech, but you know, probably cant afford to be too picky. (main reason being that you are forced to perform a rather comprehensive review of your more basic physics knowledge, and that you get direct feedback in whether or not it is up to scratch) of course it's far too late to take the required gre's now, so i'm basically stuck waiting until next year. that would mean that by the time i'd start the program (if i was even admitted) i would be 25, and probably 30 by the end of it if their site is accurate. i guess in some sense the difference between 29 and 30 is splitting hairs, but at the same time i am under the impression that youth is in some ways beneficial in physics research, partciuarly if i could fnish by 27, and yeah, i am interested in pursuing a career in academia so i thnk it would be beneficial, but i'm also far more interested in doing my phd in a us university. so! quite long-winded, im sorry! but the short versuon: is 30 too old to complete a phd? and if i have the option of completing at 27/28, which is preferable?