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Can you do any biology phd with any biology related masters? Watch

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    Hi,

    I'm applying to masters courses at the moment and was wondering if you can do any biology phd with any biology related masters? For example if I did a biological anthropology masters would I be able to do a phd in say biodiversity or would it have to be in biological anthropology? To make things more complicated if I had an undergraduate degree in anthropology (combination of both biological and social) but then did a biology based masters would I still be able to do a phd in something linked to biology?

    Thanks guys.
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    (Original post by Bongo Bongo)
    Hi,

    I'm applying to masters courses at the moment and was wondering if you can do any biology phd with any biology related masters? For example if I did a biological anthropology masters would I be able to do a phd in say biodiversity or would it have to be in biological anthropology? To make things more complicated if I had an undergraduate degree in anthropology (combination of both biological and social) but then did a biology based masters would I still be able to do a phd in something linked to biology?

    Thanks guys.
    Generally it depends on the philosophy of the PI doing the hiring. My degree was in immunology and I did a masters in Imaging & Microscopy.

    I applied for a PhD in evolutionary biology which was a milliom miles away from either qualification and the PI was hesitant in our initial discussions as he felt that my previous area of study was quite far removed from his research groups. However in interview I held off stiff competition from people in the evolutionary biology field and was given the offer as the person who came in first place.

    I actually felt terrible turning it down but I had 3 offers to consider and just couldn't justify it over the PhD I took. But I think it goes to show that at PhD level what differentiates you from the other candidates tends to be enthusiasm & passion as lets face it we all have pretty stellar qualifactions going into interview.
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    I would think as long as you prove you are clever enough to pick things up along the way (which I am sure you are) using previous university qualifications then you should be able to apply and have a good chance for acceptance.


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    (Original post by doom_rever)
    Generally it depends on the philosophy of the PI doing the hiring. My degree was in immunology and I did a masters in Imaging & Microscopy.

    I applied for a PhD in evolutionary biology which was a milliom miles away from either qualification and the PI was hesitant in our initial discussions as he felt that my previous area of study was quite far removed from his research groups. However in interview I held off stiff competition from people in the evolutionary biology field and was given the offer as the person who came in first place.



    I actually felt terrible turning it down but I had 3 offers to consider and just couldn't justify it over the PhD I took. But I think it goes to show that at PhD level what differentiates you from the other candidates tends to be enthusiasm & passion as lets face it we all have pretty stellar qualifactions going into interview.
    Hey, Thanks for your reply, good to know that phds can be quite flexible in who they accept.
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    (Original post by Bongo Bongo)
    Hey, Thanks for your reply, good to know that phds can be quite flexible in who they accept.
    Yeah it's just all about showing them that you have the chops and the enthusiasm for their subject. PI's do realise that a biology PhD means incredibly long hours, lots of failed experiments and is for the most part thankless work so really your enthusiasm for the topic is whats going to sustain you.
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    I think there's always space to move around in biology/between different biology fields, although I've always been told that usually a masters is a means of specifying so you can apply for a more specific set of PhDs. I decided to go straight from honours into a PhD rather than waste time with a masters and I applied for a whole range of different ones because my undergrad was more generic than having a specific masters, it opened more and I got a fair few interviews for different fields. Some of which were actually not really related to my undergrad. Definitely room for moving but be careful with the specificity a masters can cause.


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