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Who have wone nobel prizes or discovered many theories

  1. Aug 30, 2006 #1
    Many well regarded physicist, who have wone nobel prizes or discovered many theories, never got their BS/SB/or Bsc in physics.

    Is it any easier to get a phd in physics without getting a undergraduate physics degree? (time wise)

    Math degree (2 years) Masters (1 to 2 years) phd (3+ years)
    Physics (3 or 4 years) and so on

    is graduating 2 years earlier in math but still getting a phd in physics better, worse or it doesn't matter?

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 30, 2006 #2


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    Here's something that you may seriously want to consider: Do not take the attitude "Well, if that Nobel Prize winner can do it, why can't I?"

    The overwhelming majority of us do not have the exceptional talent of these people, and we certainly cannot wait and depend on the luck/opportunities that they had. So using them as if it is the norm will be a terrible mistake!

    That doesn't make much sense, does it? I mean, if it is easier (timewise or not) to get a Ph.D in physics without first getting an undergraduate degree in physics, then why even bother having a physics undergraduate degree in the first place? Students from other majors who are accepted into a physics graduate program usually have to spend a year or two catching up on undergraduate physics courses just to get them up to speed to be able to pass the qualifier. I do not call this an "easier" path.

    I'm clueless on what you're asking here.

    I wrote a while back on a simple "first-order" test for anyone from a different background wanting to do graduate work in physics in the US. You may want to read it.


  4. Aug 30, 2006 #3
    What is your goal?

    Is it being a good physicist, or is it having Dr. before your name?
  5. Aug 30, 2006 #4
    By no means am i looking for the Dr. title. My goal is to eventually work for the government.

    What i have been told recently by many alumni from UofT and other top Canadian and American schools is that age plays a role in top competitive jobs.

    I'm not the smartest guy, by a long shot, but i will be 20 by the time i enter university, i don't want to spend unnessacery time at school.

    What i would like to achieve is a Bs in physics and or math, Ms then phd.

    What i don't want is to be 35 receiving my phd.
  6. Aug 31, 2006 #5


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    From these two statements, I don't think a PhD is suited for you.

    However, as it seems you haven't started uni yet, you may find that you get on really well with a subject and want to take it further.

    A PhD should be about original research, not about taking more classes and getting a higher qualification. (In fact, as a side, I hate to see taught courses given as part of a PhD.)
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