One of our ardent contributors Swapnoneel, has volunteered to help the prospective PhD Students by writing a series of articles sharing his experiences. Thanks to him for such a kind act. If you have any questions for Swapnoneel, please leave a comment.
This is my first article on this topic. Here I aim to tell prospective PhD applicants about how to prepare oneself towards the target of getting a full funding for PhD in the U.S. I’m from an engineering background, but while this article may be engineering oriented, it would help students of any field. OK so here’s what you should have in mind.
Eligibility for PhD after B.tech ? B.A, B.Com, B.Sc?
If you are an engineering student (B.E/B.Tech) you are eligible to apply directly for a PhD after you graduate. In case you are a general science or arts student, you need to complete your post graduation (M.Sc/M.A/M.Com) before you apply. For engineering students, if PhD is really your goal, I’d still recommend you get a post graduate degree (M.E/M.S/M.Tech) preferably from a good institute (IIT/IISc/NIT/IIIT etc). For IIT B.Techs, this is absolutely not required, but I’m targeting a wider audience. The reason for this suggestion is very simple:
How does Credit Transfer work in PhD ?
1. You would have some postgraduate courses done which you might transfer into your PhD degree (I transferred 12 credits from my IIT courses).
2. This means, the university won’t have to pay for those credits, and that will act as a positive ground for your application over other applicants without a postgraduate degree.
3. You are likely to have more research exposure which will be helpful and be a positive point on your application.
4. If you manage to get a postgraduate from a better institute than your undergraduate, you get better recommendations (from better known people).
So my first advice to the engineering students aiming for a PhD in the US is to get a postgraduate degree from a good institute before you apply.