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Topic: phd - how is it like?  (Read 31059 times)

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Offline Berettagtz

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Re: phd - how is it like?
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2007, 05:00:45 PM »
Thanks enahs and borek for your replies.  I still want to know how fast one can get through phD school.  I understand that it is not easy and it takes time, but on average how many years does it really take?  I've heard 6 years, I've heard 10 years but nothing concrete. And what are the requirements to get into phD school?  I suspect they don't accept just about anybody.

Thanks in advance!

Offline enahs

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Re: phd - how is it like?
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2007, 05:23:50 PM »
The requirements will be at minimum a 2.7 cumulative GPA (out of 4) in your undergrad chemistry classes. Some schools (most probably in America) will require the GRE (http://www.ets.org/gre/). More well known or schools with a larger graduate chemistry program will require a letter of recommendation. Any professor will do, does not even have to be a chemistry professor. Just somebody who has done the work that can state they think you can do it, and do it well.


I would not expect to get a PhD in under 5 years going straight from BS to PhD. But again, while you will not be making much money during this time, you can still be being paid to get your education; and all your student loans for undergraduate will be deferred during that time.


Also note, you do not even have to have a undergraduate degree in chemistry. Virtually any school will accept a undergraduate degree in Physics, or math, or chemical engineering, etc. They will just require you to do more traditional classes upfront.


To get a PhD you have to make an original contribution to your field of study. No time frame can really be put on that. And in chemistry there are many different fields, and depending on what school you go to, and what the faculty there focus on, and the kind of help you can get, some sub disciplines of chemistry will be much "easier" to produce an original contribution to the field of study then the other (note, being able to produce an original contribution and define it properly in a thesis and defend the thesis are two entirely different things).


Really, they almost do let just about anybody in with a bachelors degree in a scientific field (except in the very very top of the schools with the best and most well known chemistry programs). The requirements for the stipend and paid tuitions are higher. And getting in and being able to handle the workload are two different things!

Offline Berettagtz

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Re: phd - how is it like?
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2007, 05:47:27 PM »
thanks once again enahs.  Your replies help a lot.  I just finished my second year of ACS chemistry and I think this is a good time for me to decide what I want to do with my education.  I definitely want to go to grad school, but I am still deciding between masters or phD.  The only drawback that would keep me from going to phD school is the time it takes.  Six/five years is a long time, but then again it might not be. 

Offline enahs

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Re: phd - how is it like?
« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2007, 06:04:31 PM »
Talk with some of the faculity members at your current school. Ask them these question. Especially if you are considering going there for the graduate programs, as they will know everything you need.

Offline Berettagtz

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Re: phd - how is it like?
« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2007, 06:15:37 PM »
at my current school they only offer a masters.  For phD I would have to move.
Moving would not be a problem.  I might even consider going to europe.  Are phD programs any different in Europe?  And do they offer stipend there?

Offline constant thinker

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Re: phd - how is it like?
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2007, 10:03:49 PM »
One pro to having a PhD is personal glory and satisfaction.

The biggest reason why I'm planning on eventually going to graduate school to hopefully get a PhD is for the satisfaction of having the highest degree possible...

...along with the monetary rewards.
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Offline Berettagtz

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Re: phd - how is it like?
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2007, 10:52:11 PM »
Constant thinker,
I agree with you.  I think the personal glory is far more satisfactory than the money.  Any PhD graduates who can elaborate on this one?

Offline mir

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Re: phd - how is it like?
« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2007, 05:53:17 AM »
When your done with the PhD and you are satisfied and got the glory. What are you going to do next? I guess, you will never be satisfied. And about the glory, there is always a bigger mountain to climb. And if Mt. Everest is defeated by you, you have still yet Mt. Olympus on Mars.

And also, can you afford to make your own ego satisfied? And the risk for climbing mountain is falling and falling far. Its blowing on the top, its a rough environment. Over the death zone (8000 m), you cant expect to keep sustain a normal life.

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I might even consider going to europe.  Are phD programs any different in Europe?  And do they offer stipend there?

In Norway there is no problem getting a PhD-degree also for foreign students, because very few in Norway are choosing chemistry for living and those who do, chooses to work in the industry (well paid and lots of jobs especially in the oil-industry). The Norwegian government pays you minimum 139 NOK/hour. A normal PhD is lasting for 3-4 years. Which 3 of them are pure reasearch and 60 ECS-credits of subjects (if you are a foreign student, a Norwegian-class is included). The fourth year you are employed as an researcher (engineer). You are also need to lead some student-courses an do some lectures in subjects you choose to share your experiences.
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Offline mir

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Re: phd - how is it like?
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2007, 03:14:45 AM »
No single thing abides, but all things flow.
Fragment to fragment clings, and thus they grow
Until we know and name them.
Then by degrees they change and are no more
The things we know.
- Titus Lucretius Carus

http://www.ife.no

Offline hmx9123

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Re: phd - how is it like?
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2007, 04:31:14 AM »
I kind of wonder if, after I'm done with my PhD, I won't simply become a tree farmer somewhere and never use my degree again.

Offline constant thinker

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Re: phd - how is it like?
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2007, 11:11:21 PM »
I kind of wonder if, after I'm done with my PhD, I won't simply become a tree farmer somewhere and never use my degree again.

That's why I wonder if chemistry is entirely right for me. I tend to get bored/distracted really easily. I want something that has many options. During my undergrad studies I'm probably going to try and double major chem and bio. Then I figure I'll probably also be close to pre-med.

I'll have the option of sticking with chemistry (which looks like what's going to happen), go into a branch of biology, or go to med school. Also I figure a double major of chem and bio basically is complementary to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries so I'll be an appealing applicant... At least that's what I hope.
"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.' " -Ronald Reagan

"I'm for anything that gets you through the night, be it prayer, tranquilizers, or a bottle of Jack Daniels." -Frank Sinatra

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