Applying for a phd

<p>Universities don't specify whether students applying to grad school with a masters degree will need to take the same courses as undergrad applicants. So how long will it take on average if you have a masters degree to get your phd in cheme? Do the credits for courses you took in your masters get transferred or do you have to take the offered courses from scratch?</p>

<p>Also is it better to go to grad school after your undergrad directly for a phd or to wait till you are done with your masters to apply? Can someone give me an instance from experience?</p>

<p>Generally, credits earned in a related-field master's program will transfer in. However, depending on your advisor and your committee, you may have to take some intro-level graduate courses anyway.</p>

<p>Most Ph.D students enter directly from undergraduate studies, but that can be highly field-dependent.</p>

<p>It varies greatly from program to program and school to school, so there's no exact answer that fits every situation.</p>

<p>Most schools have a handbook for students that specify things like milestones and courses required for graduation. Ask for a copy of that handbook (or Google, they're often available online at program websites). Every handbook I've seen has a list of courses or types of courses that must be passed as part of the PhD program. Some will specifically say that a student with an MS in the field can skip certain coursework. In other cases, I've seen a clause where a student who has already taken a graduate course as part of another program can apply to skip that course.</p>

<p>Again, this varies, but usually an MS will cut off a semester to a year of a PhD program. Although this doesn't really help you estimate the time of the program. Especially in lab-based fields like ChemE, your dissertation research varies wildly from student to student, sometimes taking 2 years after coursework and sometimes taking 5 years (or more). You can't really control it.</p>

<p>"Better" is a subjective term that relies heavily on the student's readiness for graduate school and other factors. Some people have the disposable income to pay for an MS and further narrow their research interests and goals, whereas others don't. Some undergraduates and college grads are very focused and already know what they want, so they don't need that MS honing time to get more focused; they can do it in a PhD program. Some people need the MS to boost their grades. It all depends on the applicant.</p>

<p>But yeah, I agree with the above poster - on average, you can expect a master's degree to shave off a semester to a year's time.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Also is it better to go to grad school after your undergrad directly for a phd or to wait till you are done with your masters to apply?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>While "better" depends on goals, I think in the US, for most programs it is customary to go straight after undergrad to the PhD. In some countries, the custom is to get a master's degree, then head to a PhD program and begin research nearly immediately. </p>

<p>This basically means US schools tend to include a master's into their PhD program; the first part of the program involves passing qualifying exams and getting up to speed with some coursework. </p>

<p>
[quote]
Generally, credits earned in a related-field master's program will transfer in.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I think often, you will receive less benefit than might be thought in terms of transfer credits. Usually, the course requirements are quite standardized and in fields such as mathematics, geared to help students pass qualifying exams. The actual number of courses other than these fundamentals required may not even be enough that transferring credits is applicable.</p>

<p>I think one of the only good reasons to get a Master's before doing a US PhD is if one, as juillet said, wants to spend that time honing one's interests. This can be applicable to people who didn't figure out what they wanted as quickly as others in undergrad, maybe partied the whole first part of undergrad, or had a change of major in between.</p>