PhD in USA after BSc in India?

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PhD in USA after BSc in India?

Post by asmi373 » Mon Mar 21, 2022 2:45 am

I am currently pursuing my BSc. I have a credit based course- 120 credits for 3 years, the same as a USA University which offer 120 credit course over 4 years. Astronomy/Astrophysics major do not have a MSc, only PhD. My friend is studying at UIUC and his professor said it does not matter how many years I take, they only need 120 credits.
Also, I am assisting a PhD Chemistry student and I will probably do my own research next year in physics.
Do you suggest anything I should do to make my profile better?
Also is the information correct about being able to do PhD after BSc in USA?

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Re: PhD in USA after BSc in India?

Post by PobaFett » Mon Mar 21, 2022 5:00 am

It depends on the universities but I've seen most universities requiring a minimum 4-year based bachelor's degree. I have seen people take a two-year master's degree after Bachelor's and then apply.

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Re: PhD in USA after BSc in India?

Post by flut34 » Thu Mar 24, 2022 1:52 pm

Yes, in the US the masters is part of the PhD program i.e. you'll be taking coursework for your first 1-2 years while doing research. In Europe for example, you do BS then MS then you can apply for a PhD. One could take courses in the PhD in Europe but it's not mandatory to take them like in the US (generally speaking here).

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Re: PhD in USA after BSc in India?

Post by cosmologyftw » Sun Mar 27, 2022 11:42 am

It depends on the US institution. Normally under their Physics PhD graduate admissions FAQ section it says if they require any bachelors degree or specifically a 4 year bachelors degree. For the programs that require 4 year of undergrad study, 3 years + a 1 or 2 year masters is fine for international students.

Additionally, there is a difference between completing a 4-year degree in 3 years (acceptable for all US graduate programs) and completing a 3-year degree in 3 years (acceptable for some graduate programs), so I would look closely at the wording online.

Lastly, with admissions becoming more and more competitive, especially for international students, I would double check that you have completed all of the recommended undergraduate courses for each university plus electives in your field. For example, UIUC requires that applicants have "Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism, Intermediate Mechanics, one or (preferably) two semesters of undergraduate Quantum Mechanics, and Mathematics through (at least) advanced calculus and differential equations." Plus, they highly recommend that you have taken "courses in light and in thermodynamics."

UC San Diego says "Entering graduate students are required to have a sound knowledge of undergraduate mechanics, electricity and magnetism, to have had senior courses or their equivalent in atomic and quantum physics, nuclear physics, and thermodynamics; and to have taken upper division laboratory work."

So each university has different required/recommended courses for admissions, plus the expectation that you have completed extra electives in your specific subfield of interest. So yes, you do not always need a Masters between a BS and a PhD in the US (you normally pick one up along the way in your PhD program), but with admissions being tighter every year, it is important to make sure you can prove you have a rigorous enough background in physics.

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