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From Mechanical engineering to Physics

Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 5:19 pm
by ananthu
Hi Guys,

I'm a mechanical engineer from India.My passion was to pursue physics and life long ambition to become a theoretical physics, but,due to unforeseen circumstances i couldn't. Although,I've have an eng. degree, I have a strong understanding of physics at UG level.But I later came into realization that, taking masters from a different field is difficult and some universities may not accept it.So what are the requirements that i should fulfill to take MS in physics for a person from an eng. background? In addition to General GRE ,should I take the physics GRE too? and what are the cutoff marks in physics GRE for a decent university?
When I searched quite a few university websites,I found out that most universities only offered direct Phd admissions from UG degree in the US. Although I'm comfortable with the prospect of pursuing a Phd in Physics, is there any university that offers MS in Physics alone for someone from an engineering field? and can you please outline any other requirements that could maximize my chances of my admission? Will strong letters of recommendation from my professors(Phd from IIT) and Statement of Purpose help in this regard? I do Acknowledge my chances of getting in the top 20 even with a 900+ for PGRE is bleak for an international candidate.So I wouldn't mind compromising with the top 20s,but can i atleast make it to the top 50s?

any advice/suggestions would be highly appreciated.

Re: From Mechanical engineering to Physics

Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:00 am
by bunnysid
I am also an Indian student and my whole education background is in physics. I did Bachelors and Masters in physics and I would say it is difficult to get into Theoretical Physics because the competition is immense. I am not discouraging you but my advice is to give it a serious thought before embarking on this journey. Most universities doesn't have a cut off but below 900 in PGRE will surely hamper your chances as an international student even in Universities ranked beyond 50 given your engineering background. Your letters of recommendation and statement of purpose are very important.

You can apply to apply to MS but there are few universities who have funding for international students for MS. It is better to email and ask the universities individually.

Re: From Mechanical engineering to Physics

Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:18 am
by ananthu
Could you list some universities that I would have a shot at getting through?

Re: From Mechanical engineering to Physics

Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:50 am
by phy1234

Have you considered Master's programs in Europe or Canada? Given that you are from a non-science background, it could be very tough to get into a PhD program in the US mainly because most of the applicants for the "top 50s" are from strong science background. You see, the admission committee should find a strong reason to select you over the other candidates. Also, you should know that they expect you to have basic coursework (Classical and Quantum Mechanics, Electrodynamics, Statistical Mechanics, and Mathematical Physics) even for the 'MS en route to PhD' programs. Furthermore, the number of MS programs in US are limited. On the other hand, there are numerous places offering MSc programs both across Europe and Canada. So, given your interest and background, I would recommend that you prioritise MSc applications over a PhD application.

All the best!