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M.S. for those returning after a long absence?

Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 3:16 pm
by Relativist
I'm going this route, just curious what others think. My impression is that doing a M.S. (in my case at a school that doesn't offer a Ph.D.) can only help me in my quest to get into a good Ph.D. program. I belive if I had taken the standardized test after my undergrad I would have gotten into almost any school I wanted to, but after 10 years It would probably help if I had recent reccomendations. One concern I had before I started is what if I didn't do well in my M.S. program. I belive that it's better to find out then if there was anything I needed to work out & review. Also, I am seriously thinking I should do a project for my M.S. program, that way I can have some research experience to talk about durring my application to a Ph.D. program.

Any thoughts?

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 7:57 am
by Ingrid
I'm also looking at trying for a PhD after taking a rather non-linear route. I've just finished my MSci and am taking a year to build up the finances, take the GRE and go through the application process. (I took my degrees in the UK so it makes it a little more tricksy getting to interviews and testing centres and the like!)

I think the MS is a great idea if you have a chance to do some research--it gives you definitive proof that you've not become rusty with the general material and have had a chance (recently) to go over the basics and are currently involved in the all-too-happenin' physics scene, such as it is....

I'd *definitely* *definitely* get some research in--that's the main thing I've been asked by PhD programs; what have I *done*. The test scores and gpa only get you in the door.

One of the best things I've done for myself is to write up my work and put it online; even if it's just an overview of a project with an abstract and some basic results, it allows you have something immediate that assessors can access. I also include a page with information on areas of interest to me which I'm trying to tailor to the programmes to which I'm applying. It's made life sooo much easier, being able to point people to a URL and I've already received very positive feedback from grad schools.

I'm running on a bit so will stop myself becoming *too* boring; would be more than happy to compare notes, though, if I could be of any help in any way!

All the best,


Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 1:44 pm
by NaijaProfessor
Hi Relativist,

Pls could you tell me the universities u re considering or if already studying where i mean for the MS. I have the same plans as u and took the physics test last dec in the UK. My preparation time was three weeks and i did not cover 40% of the topics bf the test. What I am sayin is that with three months study plan I will shoot into top 10%. No doubt.

anyway, just let me know tthe MS universites u r considerin.


Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 4:37 am
by Relativist
It would all depend on where you want to live. I suggest searching here:

Since it allows you to find MS programs also. My choice is for geographic convinience more than research interest. For my Ph.D. I will pay more attention to the research.