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    Will be applying for a PhD soon and find the idea of getting a scholarship very attractive; does it make a difference in the end? As in do you have more money to play with or does your host institution just say 'ok they brought their own funding so we're gonna save some cash, good for us'? Specifically I am talking about a US university or a joint US/UK program lasting ca. 5 years. Or would it be better to just apply directly to the group you want to work with?

    Also, is it worth doing a Masters degree before going to the States for a PhD?
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    (Original post by =gabriel=)
    Will be applying for a PhD soon and find the idea of getting a scholarship very attractive; does it make a difference in the end? As in do you have more money to play with or does your host institution just say 'ok they brought their own funding so we're gonna save some cash, good for us'? Specifically I am talking about a US university or a joint US/UK program lasting ca. 5 years. Or would it be better to just apply directly to the group you want to work with?

    Also, is it worth doing a Masters degree before going to the States for a PhD?
    I don't understand your question. Scholarship from where?

    Funding is very different in the US. If you get a PhD offer, it will be funded--for all intents and purposes.

    As for the Master's, that depends on the course. Most students in the US enter PhD programmes straight after a 4 year bachelor's degree. Your 3 year degree is probably sufficient, but you need to check with particular universities you are interested in. Suffice it to say, you will not have been the first Brit to want to study in the US.
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    (Original post by poi12)
    I don't understand your question. Scholarship from where?

    Funding is very different in the US. If you get a PhD offer, it will be funded--for all intents and purposes.

    As for the Master's, that depends on the course. Most students in the US enter PhD programmes straight after a 4 year bachelor's degree. Your 3 year degree is probably sufficient, but you need to check with particular universities you are interested in. Suffice it to say, you will not have been the first Brit to want to study in the US.
    There are schemes such as the Skaggs or Fulbright scholarships where you get a grant before you apply for the specific PhD. So you effectively bring funding to the uni where you end up working. Obviously there are not that many of those so I'm asking if it's worth the hassle (inc. applying early)

    As for the degree I'll graduate in the 4th year with an MSci which is a master's but not a graduate master's degree like MSc..technically
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    (Original post by =gabriel=)
    There are schemes such as the Skaggs or Fulbright scholarships where you get a grant before you apply for the specific PhD. So you effectively bring funding to the uni where you end up working. Obviously there are not that many of those so I'm asking if it's worth the hassle (inc. applying early)

    As for the degree I'll graduate in the 4th year with an MSci which is a master's but not a graduate master's degree like MSc..technically
    Only you can answer whether it's worth the hassle (or prestige?). If you are good enough to get a scholarship like that, you probably are good enough to get a funded offer in the first instance. It's not my future though...

    I wouldn't bother with another graduate degree; a good four year Cambridge degree should take you far.
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    (Original post by =gabriel=)
    There are schemes such as the Skaggs or Fulbright scholarships where you get a grant before you apply for the specific PhD. So you effectively bring funding to the uni where you end up working. Obviously there are not that many of those so I'm asking if it's worth the hassle (inc. applying early)

    As for the degree I'll graduate in the 4th year with an MSci which is a master's but not a graduate master's degree like MSc..technically
    I suppose it depends on whether the courses you're hoping to apply for are fully funded if you get the place? I've been looking at the Fulbright website too but since the courses I really want to apply for are fully funded anyway (though I think that makes them much more competitive ), I decided it's not worth the hassle :nah:

    It's also worth looking at whether the PhD courses you'd be applying for include a Masters course. As far as I can tell, the first two years of any course I'd do in the States would effectively be a Masters degree, so there's not a huge amount of point in me doing on here and then trying to go, because they don't let you jump straight to the PhD bit even if you already have a Masters
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    I have done some more research and there are quite a few programs (e.g. at Stanford, TSRI, UC Berkeley) that offer funding for say 3 years which can be extended up to 5 if you have another scholarship. It is a bit confusing as those 'other scholarships' are awarded nationally and have different application deadlines. They mention for example the NSF and NDSEG but after inspecting their websites I found out those are only open to US citizens.

    Does anyone have experience with applying for any of those programs? Are there similar sources of funding for overseas students?

    On a different note, what is the logistics of applying in the US as in how many programs can you apply to simultaneously, how many would you apply for to be safe? I'm expected to graduate with a 2.1/1st class MSci degree.
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    (Original post by =gabriel=)
    Does anyone have experience with applying for any of those programs? Are there similar sources of funding for overseas students?
    Funding is done at the departmental level. Again, if you receive an offer, it will, for all intents and purposes, be funded for the 'normal' duration of your studies--whether it be 4, 5 or 6 years. (You won't/can't finish the PhD in 3 as in the UK!).

    (Original post by =gabriel=)
    On a different note, what is the logistics of applying in the US as in how many programs can you apply to simultaneously, how many would you apply for to be safe? I'm expected to graduate with a 2.1/1st class MSci degree
    You can apply to your heart's content. How many to be safe? Well, that depends on the competitiveness of the universities you are applying to, as well as how competitive you are as an applicant. But, even then, who knows. Admissions is a real crap shoot. You could apply to as many as 10-15 and fall flat on your face, or 2-4 and be extremely successful.

    I'll say this: Predicting admissions is far less accurate there than it is here. Make of that what you may.

    I suggest you take real/actual advice from your DoS/Tutors; people who know you, and who know the system.
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    (Original post by poi12)
    Funding is done at the departmental level. Again, if you receive an offer, it will, for all intents and purposes, be funded for the 'normal' duration of your studies--whether it be 4, 5 or 6 years. (You won't/can't finish the PhD in 3 as in the UK!).
    I thought so too but then the Stanford website (http://sgf.stanford.edu/program/index.html) says this:

    'Stanford Graduate Fellowships provide tuition and stipend support to students seeking a doctoral degree. The standard SGF fellowship is a three-year award, four quarters per year, and consists of tuition to cover minimum full-time enrollment (eight, nine, or ten units) and a stipend. '

    ..and then:

    '...Receipt of an outside award and an SGF typically extends the length of a Fellow's guaranteed support, up to a maximum of five years of support.'

    :confused:
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    (Original post by =gabriel=)
    I thought so too but then the Stanford website (http://sgf.stanford.edu/program/index.html) says this:

    'Stanford Graduate Fellowships provide tuition and stipend support to students seeking a doctoral degree. The standard SGF fellowship is a three-year award, four quarters per year, and consists of tuition to cover minimum full-time enrollment (eight, nine, or ten units) and a stipend. '

    ..and then:

    '...Receipt of an outside award and an SGF typically extends the length of a Fellow's guaranteed support, up to a maximum of five years of support.'

    :confused:
    Does not imply/mean the PhD is three years. It says the fellowship will last three years. That's it. Consider it a special distinction. Not everyone who goes to Stanford is on this SGF; it's the best of the best--hence its high monetary value: 32k maintenance.

    After three years, those on SGF, if they aren't on some national fellowship thereafter (e.g. NSF)), then they will just have standard funding (e.g. TA/RAships) from the department.

    PhD is not three years.
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    (Original post by poi12)
    Does not imply/mean the PhD is three years. It says the fellowship will last three years. That's it. Consider it a special distinction. Not everyone who goes to Stanford is on this SGF; it's the best of the best--hence its high monetary value: 32k maintenance.

    After three years, those on SGF, if they aren't on some national fellowship thereafter (e.g. NSF)), then they will just have standard funding (e.g. TA/RAships) from the department.

    PhD is not three years.
    OK that explains a lot, thanks. Are you doing a PhD in the States yourself?
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    (Original post by poi12)

    PhD is not three years.
    Really? So a transfer to the US after a MPhil is out of the question then...
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    (Original post by joshlyman)
    Really? So a transfer to the US after a MPhil is out of the question then...
    May help with getting in; and, you'll be better prepared, etc., but, you'll still have to take all the coursework and/or exams like everyone else.
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    (Original post by =gabriel=)
    OK that explains a lot, thanks. Are you doing a PhD in the States yourself?
    Had the choice, but no. I'm at Cambridge.
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    (Original post by poi12)
    May help with getting in; and, you'll be better prepared, etc., but, you'll still have to take all the coursework and/or exams like everyone else.
    And how long does it take a complete a PhD in the US? Four or five years? Could I, at least, transfer some credits or not re-do the coursework I did during my masters?
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    (Original post by joshlyman)
    And how long does it take a complete a PhD in the US? Four or five years? Could I, at least, transfer some credits or not re-do the coursework I did during my masters?
    Depends on the course. 4-9 years. Generally, 4 or 5 is considered standard minimum.

    No transferring. You must do it their way, on their terms. You'll have to take qualifying exams, generally, in the first two years. You may be able to take the exams early (e.g. upon arrival), but some departments enforce residency requirements, as a way of forcing *everyone* to take the coursework, no matter his/her background.
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    On another note, is it a good idea to take the GRE's even if it is not a requirement for a PhD application? On my practice subject test I scored about 890 (95%) but that is only a rough figure; the maths part of the general test seems very doable if you get in the habit of answering easy questions quickly. So basically I could potentially score in the upper 90th percentile, would that be a good CV point? What kind of scores are expected for a fellowship like the previously mentioned SGF?
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    (Original post by poi12)
    May help with getting in; and, you'll be better prepared, etc., but, you'll still have to take all the coursework and/or exams like everyone else.
    That's wrong, actually. I've been looking into some programs (NYU, GW, Brown, Penn) and they all let you, to different extents, transfer credits you'd have previously acquired during a master's at another school. The amount of credits they'll accept is at their discretion, naturally, but doing a masters might help shorten the length of your Ph.D.

    Also, most schools seem to cover tuition and give you a living stipend (which I assume will be consumed entirely by rent), so that leaves you with TA positions or other things. I'm more worried about finishing school at almost 30 though... although yes, Ph.D students technically have a job since they get paid.
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    (Original post by joshlyman)
    That's wrong, actually. I've been looking into some programs (NYU, GW, Brown, Penn) and they all let you, to different extents, transfer credits you'd have previously acquired during a master's at another school. The amount of credits they'll accept is at their discretion, naturally, but doing a masters might help shorten the length of your Ph.D.
    Actually, you asked the question; no need to be snarky with your 'research' findings. Naturally, the clause university-specific, department-specific, course-specific should be understood when general advice is given. Even at the unis you mentioned, transfer credit is not a given; it must be petitioned and is entirely up to the discretion of the department. Good luck with that. I'm not going to argue the point further, but suffice it to say, you should not count on any MA reducing your PhD time in the US.
 
 
 
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