关于留学读研究生和博士应该知道的几点

admin 2014年09月25日 留学生活 1407次阅读 查看评论

Finding the right Postgraduate program can be difficult. Unlike American and British undergraduate admissions, there isn’t a whole lot of uniformity or even equivalence between different schools.

So trying to decide whether to jump into a PhD application or pursue a Master’s first is impossible without first getting better information. Here, I’m going to give broad advice about how to think about Master’s vs PhD programs.

LUMS_grad_talk.jpg

Master’s Degrees: The Basics


关于硕士学历

Master’s degrees give you several advantages: first, if you are new to the whole field or a specific subdiscipline before, getting a Master’s can give you the credentials you need (writing sample, letter of reference) to get into a top PhD program. Second, getting a Master’s before entering a PhD can help you to decide if you want to commit 4 or more years to a PhD.  One final benefit, often overlooked, is that doing a Master’s and a PhD at two separate institutions can give you a broader sense of the field, by introducing you to different methods and people. That can be important down the line when it comes time for jobs, publications, and contacts.

However, the biggest downside to pursuing a Master’s is that often times there are limited funding opportunities—meaning you might be forced to pay out of pocket or take out loans. Funded Master’s programs are rare, but they exist!

When is a PhD the right move?


何时申请读博最适合?

If you are certain that you want to pursue a PhD, applying directly and avoiding Master’s programs can save you time and money. However, this is contingent on your ability to get into a good doctoral program. The general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t pay for a PhD, but paying for a Master’s can be justified if it is needed to get into a top program.

If paying for a Master’s degree is out of the question, my personal view is that applying directly to PhDs makes a lot of sense, even if you might not get into your dream school. Most programs allow you to leave after 2 years with a Master’s if you realize you don’t want to pursue the PhD, and transferring between PhD programs isn’t unheard of either.

How do I find out which is best for me?


我怎么才知道哪个适合我呢?

Every application is different, and PhD admissions is more art than science: you might hedge your bets and send out a few PhD applications with your Master’s apps. Or you might decide to get credentialed in a good MA program as a stepping-stone to that dream school. Take a look at current PhD students' profiles-- did most of them get MA's first? Or does it look like a lot went straight into the PhD program?

Two things that have never hurt anyone are pursuing expert advice and seeking the counsel of your teachers. Hopefully this helps you get started.


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