Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsPhysics · 1 month ago

How hard is It to get a PhD in Physics?

Im An high school student, Im really good at It but getting a PhD in It seems something impossible.

14 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    First, the physics and maths you learn at high school is extremely limited. even the so-called advanced stuff is almost mental Pablum. It's good enough for a layman's understanding and a lot of it will be superseded when you start to study the deeper stuff.

    If you stick to it, it's not that hard to get a Ph.D. in anything, but you will need to contribute a new view on something within the field -- good professors help you find a topic that will allow you to do this. It just takes time (usually four years for a bachelor's degree, a couple (2 to four) more for a Masters degree, then three of five more for the doctorate).

    The hard part is putting in that time and effort into a specialization that might be a dead end for you.

  • Tom
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    You will be very limited as to employment also---perhaps as a teacher in some college or a rare research job.------otherwise it's a waste of effort and money. 

  • 1 month ago

    you're good at math and science, getting a Ph.D. is just a continuation.

  • Jim
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    If you're good at math and science, getting a Ph.D. is just a continuation. Just make sure you have a clear plan. I'm finishing my Masters now with Phd on the horizon, looking good. I basically exhausted some physic PHD's with questions along the way (good idea).

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  • 1 month ago

    You must take it a piece at a time.

    Start by getting An ASc degree Then A BSc

    Then ...

    If you start college and go for a PhDSc in physics, you will get them all at once. You will not get anything until you finish. This means no job until then, Not a good idea.

    Get the degrees along the way and the jobs along the way too.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    You're only just beginning to learn physics.  You've got four or five more years of learning before you have to decide whether or not to go for a physics PhD.

    Learning physics is a good thing for your future earning prospects, no matter how far you go.

  • 1 month ago

    The PhD is awarded to the candidate who can come up with some original and innovative understanding in the knowledge domain of that degree, like physics, English lit, economics, etc.  

    To come up with original and innovative understanding in any field requires that the candidate has a thorough and comprehensive skill set in that field.  That takes hours of study and experimentation or original work.  And that study begins in kindergarten and builds up over the next twenty or so years of formal training.  When you graduate from HS, you'll have finished just 12 of those 20 years.

    So to reach the PhD, at a minimum you have eight more years of formal education.  During that period you'll get the MS in physics or related.  That typically takes two to three years.  Then, if your grades are good enough, you get into a PhD program which includes about two years of classwork followed by a weekend of comprehensive exams, written or oral depending on the school.

    If you pass your comprehensives, you'll be cleared to demonstrate and defend your original and innovative contribution to the knowledge base of your field by researching, experimenting, and writing a peer reviewed dissertation.  You will typically have a professor in your chosen field as your sponsor and lead for your dissertation committee of three.  The committee guides and reviews your work.

    The dissertation can take from two to six more years or so to finish.  Mine took six years because I was still working full time; so I had to work on the dissertation only part time.  

    Half the class was eliminated by the first PhD seminar, which wasn't even in the domain of knowledge.  It was a "weeder" course about how to write a dissertation.  It was called a weeder class because it was designed to weed out students who had little chance in making it to the PhD.  

    It was given first because the school found that most of the students who took all the technical courses and got to the dissertation stage were unable to properly write a dissertation.  So they failed to get their PhD after spending large sums of money and time with the course seminars.  So the school opined that if the students were going to fail the dissertation, it was more fair to the students that they do it in the beginning of the course rather than later after spending big bucks.

    As to how PhD class started with thirty students; each had their MS degree. Out of that thirty, eight of us actually earned the PhD.   How hard is it to get the PhD...damn hard.

  • 1 month ago

    Getting a PHD is very different from learning what a teacher gives you.  A different skill.  You might be good at mathematics and terrible at physics yet still get a good mark at school.  The PhD is related to independent research and study.  You need to be able to produce some work entirely of your own.  Where there simply ISN'T anyone to teach you.  That said I do know some very "thick" PhD students.  Who really aren't very good but can still produce the type of work required.  You are too inexperienced to know what is possible nor even what is desirable. 

    Let me give a different example.  Someone says to you "why don't we run a marathon together".  You freak having never run as far as the front door.  But you start training.  A few hundred metres at first. Then a km every day.  Then increase and do a few longer runs.  Eventually the marathon is possible.

    And you could never have imagined that at the beginning.

  • 1 month ago

    What do you mean by "very good"? Does that just mean that you can memorize what the teacher said and regurgitate it on a test paper? Then, you WILL have trouble getting a Ph. D. degree. Or does it mean that you have taken a prize in a science fair? That would bode a lot better. 

    Either way, it is too early to decide. Get your bachelor's and do some independent work on the side. By the end of those four years, your ideas may have changed. Or not. Graduate work is not rote memory. I'm not so good at that myself but can take observations and turn them into publishable research. If you have no publications by the time you get your bachelor's no big deal. But you should have something published before you get your doctorate, if not earlier.

    BTW, I did two independent studies as an undergraduate. One got published some years later. The second was turned into part of my doctoral research and also into a publication in a professional journal. Things I learned assisting professionals also got turned into publications, both trade and professional. I am, however, a biologist, not a physicist.

  • yodi
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    if you find that you can do any form of mathematics  with ease and complete understanding, then go for it.

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