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Author Topic: Phd?  (Read 1006 times)

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Offline LilBanditTopic starter

« on: November 11, 2010, 01:04:14 PM »
Hey guys!!!!

I never posted here, in this sub forum.. so I hope its the right place.  Well.. Im a final year geology student in the UK.  I am gonna be graduating in june and I have NO clue what I wanna do afterwards... I have considered doing a phd, but not really looked into it as I thought I couldn't afford it.  But my friends have been looking and said some are funded.  Soo... I though why not look across the ocean at the University's in the USA.  My question is.. Is anyone doing a Phd?  Inanything?  I honestly have no clue about how to go about this.  ((I only really had this idea bout an hour ago)).  I tried lookin at some of the websites like Yale.  But couldn't find any PHD they are offering for next year.  Anyone any ideas on where they are?  Hidden!?  I dont really know what Im after really.. I just wanted some opinions and such from those of you across the pond.  Any good unis?  Tips of how to look at phds? 

Oh.. I am interested in palaeontology and environmental studies.  I am actually going to florida on a field trip in Jan, so Im hoping that will open up my eyes to some of the possibilities in environmental studies and such but I just wanna start looking now.  I probably can't afford to do a phd, i just feel like I need to explore the worlda bit, and America / canada seem to be calling. I've wanted to visit for ages, and travel and look at all the amazing geology.. n i thought.. kill two birds with one stone.. study and explore!  Anyhoo.. enough of my rambling.. if any of that made sense, then yay!  Cheers all!!!

Offline mystictiger

Re: Phd?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2010, 11:14:27 AM »
I'm doing a PhD in 'international law' in the UK, so not exactly in line with a 'real' science.

Do a PhD if you like: long hours, low wages, lots of reading. My understanding is that the normal way into a PhD is via a Masters - either an MSc or an MPhil. It is relatively rare to go straight from undergrad to a doctorate. If you can put up with a Masters, then you can probably put up with a PhD. Also, given a lack of 'biological' qualifications in a Geology BSc, you might consider a specialist MSc programme that throws in enviro- stuff?

Given that you're doing something 'useful' from the persective of oil companies, have you considered approaching one?

Offline LilBanditTopic starter

Re: Phd?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2010, 02:33:30 PM »
I am actually doing a masters .. of sorts.  Im a 4yr.  Which is a Geoscience MSci.  So an undergraduate masters.  There is actually alot of environmental stuff in the course I do and biology.  Modules this year are : coal geology.  Palaeoclimtes (past climates).  Terrestrial palaeocology (plants and animals on land n how it started).  Water quaility: managment and diagnostics.  Oceans and atmopshere.  Field trip to florida keys for environmental study in water and ecosystems.  As well as a dissertation - based on a cave system in france.  I also have done plant and animal biology in relation to fossils as well as ecosystems and environments of depsition. :).

Im not really doing any subject desireed by oil companies.  And Im not really interested in working for one tbh.  I don't like the chemistry involved... nor the competition...
Im not fussed by a bit of hard work so long hours aint really an issue, n im used to low wages... sooo... Im gonna look into stuff still.  talk to lecturers.  Just want opions from USA students on phd's over there. :)  But thanks anyway.

Offline TheLegionary

Re: Phd?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2010, 02:58:46 PM »
Hi Lilbandit,

I fully understand what you mean! I have just finished my PhD in Economic Law and I must say it was the best thing that ever happened to my life: to get rid of the thesis!

Good luck! Be strong! It will make sense someday!



Offline HockeyGod

Re: Phd?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2010, 08:32:51 PM »
I too have a PhD and it is related to social and aging policy. It was the best thing I did - keep going on and find your life's work. I've found most PhD's do what they actually love.

Try using the Chronicle of Education. You can find programs. Also associations related to the field have programs listed.

Offline Aeval

Re: Phd?
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2010, 02:15:51 AM »
Hello LilBandit..
I also have a PhD and it is in Counseling. The average PhD takes 7 years..I have heard some finish it in 5 years if that is ALL they do..most of us have done it with full time jobs as it is the only way to finance the studies. You can certainly look for scholarships and Teaching Assistantships once you get accepted.
I don't agree with mystictiger that if you can put up with a Masters you can put up with a PhD. The studies for the PhD were wonderful! They were everything I thought they would be: a collegial relationship with my Professors. HOWEVER.. the Dissertation was the most difficult thing I have ever encountered in my life!
I would suggest looking very carefully into a school that appeals to you from the standpoint of classes offered AND from the standpoint of characteristics of the Professors that teach there. The characteristics of the Professors you only learn by speaking to them in person..interviewing them because you are going to RELY on them to grant you the title of Doctor.
Good luck! If you have questions etc. please feel free to PM me.

Offline Mercurial

Re: Phd?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2010, 05:34:51 PM »
LilBandit - feel free to PM me, I'm in a PhD program in the States as well, spent some time in a UK style system (Ireland), and would be happy to talk. I'm not quite a science graduate student - depending on who you ask I could be a social scientist, a biologist or a statistician - but I'd be happy to talk.

Offline outsidethelines

Re: Phd?
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2010, 01:30:09 PM »
Looks like you have good help with people who can fill you in on PhDs!

As for universities, Yale is what is called an "Ivy League," school here; it's one of the top-rated universities in the country.
However, if you plan to work in the States, where you get your degree from isn't always the most important thing considered by employers (I don't know about the UK). This is sometimes the case, however it may not be in your case so you should REALLY look into it. Yale is incredibly expensive and very demanding.  If your planned career field won't be one in which potential employers focus a lot on the name/reputation of the university you graduated from, maybe consider something other than Yale... then you'll have time to explore the area a bit more :)
My PhD program leads to a career in which employers won't focus mainly on the university name I get my PhD from, so I chose a university with a good reputation but won't knock me out with work.
Keep in mind, you'll likely end up taking the SAME classes no matter where you go.
Here are the "top 25 phD geology colleges" in the USA:

There are a few Ivy Leagues in there, so just take the time to decide if you really want to apply to one of those. It's a rigorous application process and they will likely be incredibly demanding.

As for the idea of getting a PhD, go for it! It may be quite a bit of studying to get it, but it'll be worth it in the end.

Check out this bar graph for the average differences in annual salaries based on education levels/degrees: