PhD, etc outside the US
hdvorak at cns.caltech.edu
Tue Feb 20 21:01:26 EST 1996
In article <4ga637$g7t at ccshst05.cs.uoguelph.ca>, kcudding at uoguelph.ca (Kim Cuddington) says:
>Janet Joy (jjoy at nas.edu) wrote:
>: After listening to the US-Brit-NZ comments, I thought I'd throw in the
>: Canadian perspective. I did my undergrad years in the U.S. at a
>: research-intensive Big10 university, then went to Canada to do my PhD at
>: a similar size research-intensive university. When I got there I was
>: astonished to find most graduate students working 9-to-6. I then did two
>Hmmm, well, I've attended 3 Canadian universities and I've never seen
>anything like 9-6 hours. However, I'm in ecology so maybe it varies across
>disciplines. My last supervisor (MSc) expected at least 8-8, 6 days a week,
>and I often worked till midnight.
>Here's another cross-cultural difference. In my discipline, the MSc is a
>research degree. I wrote and defended a 150 page thesis while doing course
>work. I then entered a PhD program that is entirely research oriented (no
>course work) although I also have to assist in the teaching of classes.
>What is the status of the MSc in the US? I'm under the impression that it
>is a "consolation prize" for those that don't obtain their PhD.
As a Canadian, I applied to graduate programs in both Canada and the
U.S. At Canadian schools I applied for the MSc program, where after
a year of satisfactory progress it would have been possible to switch
into the PhD program without completing a Master's separately. Here in
the U.S., however, the programs I applied to didn't offer a terminal
Master's, and the MS is indeed the consolation prize for dropping out;
I even saw something in a student guide along the lines of "If you
have any doubt about whether you're going to stick it out for your
PhD, apply to receive your MS."
Another thing: Canadians who come down here after getting a Master's
back home seem to have at most a one-year head start on those of
us coming with just a BSc.
Hannah Dvorak hdvorak at cns.caltech.edu
Division of Biology 216-76
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125
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