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Programs Will Distance Education be considered for Phd programs

  1. Dec 22, 2008 #1

    I am doing m.sc. physics through distance education.
    i want to do phd in physics field.
    If i take up gre general and gre subject in physics,
    will i be considered by colleges in u.s. or u.k. for higher education since i did m.sc. education through distance education.

    Please advice.
    Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 22, 2008 #2
    From what I understand, it depends on which school you take your distance education at and which colleges you want to apply to for PhD.
  4. Dec 22, 2008 #3


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    How does that work? I thought that physics is a subject where you learn by doing it (as in half of it as an experimental endeavour and the other half as a mental endeavour to analyze the experiment through mathematical analysis). If this were the case wouldn't you have to have a significant lab component if you were studying physics (or any natural science for that matter)?

    It just sounds like doing it via distance education might leave you in the dark with this. It's hard enough doing physics itself but its even harder if you can't map whats going on to apparatus and phenomena in the real world (I have done a few physics units at university level so I've been exposed to this).

    Similarly, if a graduate institution were to take you on, you would more than likely have to be aware of how to put your physics knowledge into practice in an experiment and from my experience mucking around with apparatus, calibrating things for measuring and solving problems physically takes practice just like solving problems but its a different kind of problem solving that takes place other than just solving mathematical models. I'd relate it to reading a book on riding a bike without ever having been on one.

    Maybe i'm way off though, but I just couldn't imagine any natural science without a significant lab component and if your doing it by distance ed wouldn't that rule that out?

    Maybe someone else could comment on this as its not really my area of expertise.
  5. Dec 22, 2008 #4
    thanks all,

    I am from India. Any comments from any friend is welcome.
    i am in confused state. Any thought can help me out.
    Actually i am working in a software concern for 2 years. i have completed engineering in electronics and communication. i ve planned to do m.sc. physics through distance education where i ll be handling labs and will be having classes also... i dont have any exposure in physics. but i want to pursue my higher education in physics field.

    i cant leave my job now and go full time education as i have financial problems.
    the only thing i can gain knowledge in physics is through this distance education.

    but can i write gre exams with this knowledge?
    Will i be eligible for M.S or physics in abroad through writing GRE exams?

    Please pour your comments!
  6. Dec 22, 2008 #5


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    Science Advisor

    As long as it is an accredited program it should not matter. In fact, most of the time the only way to tell is by looking at your transcript at what section you took.

  7. Dec 23, 2008 #6
    My campus has many many bright international students but I also know that for every one we have, there were 10 applying for the exact same spot. If you want to shoot for a top 10 university in a field, I'm not sure what your chances will be with a distance-learning degree, for the same reason that community college students (unfairly) have a harder time getting into grad school; because the program is not well-known.

    If this is what you really, really want I would see about your chances to attend a regular university in India because I am worried about how the admissions office will judge your situation if it's only a distance-learning degree. Technically, there's no restriction but what the committees actually consider is another factor.
  8. Dec 23, 2008 #7
    Also: Weighted very highly in the admissions process is research experience (it shows you have the skills and mindset to successfully complete a thesis project). I'm concerned that with a distance education program, you won't have the needed research experience to make a competitive application for many programs.
  9. Dec 23, 2008 #8
    Physics girl phd is absolutely right, I forgot about that bit. Research is prima in grad school apps and it's how my university (UIUC) basically determines who gets in and who doesn't. If you can get real research experience, I think it would help your application immensely.
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