PhD, MPhil or an MS programme?

Studying Abroad
Last Updated 20 January 2010, 18:46 IST

Dear sir,

My son has completed M.Sc. (Biotechnology) and would like to pursue Ph.D. in the US or Canada. He has completed 15 years of schooling (10+2+3+2). After completing his M.Sc., he worked for one year as a Research Assistant. He has also given  the TOEFL and GRE exams. Is he eligible for Ph.D. admission in the US?  If yes, what is the procedure to apply?  If no, what is the alternative?

Prasanna Kumar

Dear Prasanna Kumar,

I appreciate your interest to help your son by collecting information on his behalf. It is certainly an advantage that he has worked and gained some research experience in India.  With the completion of an M.Sc. course in India, your son has completed 16 years of education and is eligible for a Master’s programme in the U.S. In fact, he can now seek admission to a doctoral programme, provided he has done some research work on his own. Any doctoral programme involves a lot of research work. If not, he should have some published material in the field in which he is interested.
In the absence of either, it would be a long and arduous procedure to search for a university that can take him in for doctoral studies.

The author is the Director of Banjara Academy and co-ordinator of Helping Hand. Send your queries to: Studying Abroad, DH Education, Deccan Herald, # 75, MG Road, Bangalore-560001, or email us at: dheducation@deccanherald.co.in.

He has to keep contacting a number of  universities to identify the subject for research and then start the  application process.

His other option would be to seek admission to an M.S. programme. For his additional year of study of M.Sc., he will be awarded course credits. After the evaluation of his academic performance, assessment will be done on his arrival at the university in USA, and he will be awarded more course credits, which will reduce the number of course credits he would require to complete his M.S. there.

This will either reduce the duration of the course or the number of required credits, which, in turn, means a reduction in course fees. Most importantly, he will be able to make the necessary contacts in the industry. He will have the time and the opportunity to research his doctoral programme thoroughly.

He can also pursue a doctoral programme by paying for the course, which is a very expensive option as the minimum period required would be 3-5 years.

Another option would be to apply for an M.Phil through self-funding. Here, your son must look for research work that will be sponsored and funded by the university. The following websites may provide further information.

For Canada: 
www.studyincanada.com, www.aucc.ca, www.cbie.ca.  For USA: www.petersons.com, www.fulbright-india.org, www.educationusa.state.gov, www.nafsa.org, www.infozee.com, www.degreesabroad-cis.com.

(Published 20 January 2010, 13:18 IST)

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