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confidence and science

Hannah Dvorak DvorakH at starbase1.caltech.edu
Thu Jul 21 12:35:16 EST 1994

In article <Jul21.050718.36288 at acs.ucalgary.ca>, ktetro at acs.ucalgary.ca
(Kelly Tetro) wrote:

> Mary....I am doing a MSc. first and then a PhD somewhere els. I
> have found this good so far because I was also inexperienced. I
> feel that I have learned from my mistakes in choosing my MSc.
> supervisor, dealing with lab politics, defending my ideas etc.
> and I am looking forward to starting fresh, armed with this new
> knowledge, on the degree that really counts.
>  Things might be
> different in states, were a lot of people have been discussing on
> other groups, that an MSc. is seen as a consolation prize. 

As a Canadian in the U.S., I'd have to say there is a difference between
the perspective on an M.Sc. (they call it an M.S. down here, and so a B.Sc.
is also correspondingly a B.S., which sometimes seems awfully appropriate)
in the U.S. and in Canada.  I knew a lot of Master's students in biology
back at Queen's, but there aren't any here (except for the Ph.D. students
that drop out).  There are people with M.Sc.'s working in biology here, but
only as lab secretaries or techs.  (That isn't meant as a disparaging
comment - most labs wouldn't function without their secretaries and techs,
who are often the only people who really know what's going on!)  In any
case, if you come to the States, it'll probably take you just as long to
finish a Ph.D. as if you didn't have the M.Sc. already.  On the other hand,
one of my classmates here had an M.Sc. (from U. of Alberta) already, and he
did take his qualifying exams a year before the rest of us, so he'll
probably get out earlier.  In any case, it sounds like your M.Sc.
experience is/was a good dry run for further grad work - in retrospect, I
wouldn't have minded doing the same.

Hannah Dvorak
DvorakH at starbase1.caltech.edu
Division of Biology, Caltech, Pasadena CA

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