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Physics Will a 3 year bachelor of science degree create problems?

  1. Jun 20, 2017 #1
    Hello, I am currently in India and have completed the standard 12 years of schooling and eventually want to get into Physics academia and research. Now I currently have a choice between a three year standard science degree(BSc honours in Physics) and a four year engineering degree(BTech in Engineering Physics).
    I really prefer the Science degree as it is more theoretical and thorough. But would it create problems if I want to move to another country and continue my further studies from there?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 20, 2017 #2


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    Probably would depend on the school and on how well you have done in the 3 years.
  4. Jun 21, 2017 #3
    I don't know about the foreign credit transfer issues.

    In the US, we mentor a number of students who enter college with sufficient earned credit to complete their BS in 3 years. They usually have some temptation to graduate that quickly or add a double major thinking it will be more impressive.

    In most cases, we advise them (strongly) to set a course to graduate in the full 4 years, especially since most are on scholarships that will cover a full 8 semesters. We advise them to stick to a single major and use the reduced course loads to average 12-14 credit hours a semester in order to make a full and good effort at every class they take (better for the GPA) and to make the most of research opportunities. Four years averaging 12-14 credit hours each semester gives a lot more time for study (in those courses) AND research than trying to cram all the credits into 3 years and do much research.

    Another point to consider is that most grad school applications are due sometime in the fall of the year before you enter grad school, and these only tend to include accomplishments completed during the earlier years of college. In a four year program, the accomplishments on the grad school application include the first three years of undergrad work. In a three year program, the accomplishments on the grad school application only include the first two years of undergrad work. An awful lot of important accomplishments can happen in that third year, strengthening the grad school application considerably.
  5. Jun 21, 2017 #4


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    Goodluck with that, but so far plans should come after you are done with your studies (especially pursuing the theoretical field)...

    I would prefer the degree in physics than engineering, because well I am a physicist. I would choose engineering only if the institute had a higher reputation (so that I could move abroad easier)
  6. Jun 22, 2017 #5


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    I think what the OP is concerned about is the different between a three year degree in, for example the UK system, where students interested in graduate studies would typically be qualified to go on to add a masters degree to that, and a three year degree in a system where the typical requirement for graduate school admission is a four year degree but occasionally three year programs are offered for those who are not interested in graduate studies. I've seen some Canadian schools offer such three year degrees in the past and they do not generally qualify one for graduate studies.

    The easiest way to figure this out is to see where graduates of the three year program you're interested in are going afterwards. If about half or more of them are going on to graduate studies, then it's reasonable to expect that it will enable you to get there too. And vice versa.
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