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Will I still be able to get admitted into Atmospheric Science Phd program if I have a Mphil Degree in Environmental Science Policy and Management?


jjasonlam

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If I get an MPhil degree in Environmental Science Policy and Management and do well with it, whats the chance of me getting admitted into a decent Atmospheric Science Phd program?

http://www.envr.ust.hk/programs/research-postgraduate-program/mphil-phd-in-espm/curriculum-courses/curriculum.html

I am a BS in Atmospheric Science but GPA 2.8, and 1-year working experience in air pollution modeling. My poor GPA is due to performing poorly in maths and physics and this should be a main problem in graduate school admission for atmospheric science.

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I have no idea. I think it would be a big flag, masters or not, that your math and physics performance is bad. Most of the atmospheric science programs I know take many physics and math majors because atmospheric science is a heavy modeling field. You'd need to be able to address that and show you have the quantitative ability to not just get through a PhD program but contribute to the overall literature of your field. 

I am not sure if that masters degree with help you: I had a low GPA  but did a Masters in Geophysics and that helped me a ton. But I was also going directly into geophysics. The name of the degree doesn't matter: will the research you do be relevant to what you want to do for a PhD? Will you build skills that are interesting and unique to masters program that will be valuable to potential advisors in a atmos PhD program? I have no idea.

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I have been doing researches on air pollution modeling for a year now and will be doing related researches during my master degree as well.

Therfore I am not sure if the research portion contributes more to my degree overall or the coursework still matters.

Its a 2 year program and it requires only 3 coursework  2 core courses and 1 elective

1. Climate Change: Science, Policy and Management (core)

2. Sustainability Economics; or Sustainable Development (core)

3. Atmospheric Chemistry; or Introduction to Atmospheric Aerosols (Elective)

The two core courses seem irrelevant to want I am pursuing and that's why I am wondering if that will make any difference towards my future, if I choose to get a Phd in Atm Science.

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Not an atmospheric science guy, but I've been in the academe for a bit of time now and have applied and been accepted to PhD programs, so I have just a few general input.

1 hour ago, jjasonlam said:

The two core courses seem irrelevant to want I am pursuing and that's why I am wondering if that will make any difference towards my future, if I choose to get a Phd in Atm Science.

For one, the two core courses might veer you away from being "purely science" person (if there's such a thing), swaying your interest, depending on how set you are with your career path.  You might end up considering a PhD that is not purely atmospheric science.  I've seen that happen to some of our masters students here in our department.

Adding to what @GeoDUDE! said, finding a potential adviser or research group who has work the same as your background and interests is probably the most important thing you should consider.

Research is a big plus in any situation.  Published papers help, but I have been accepted to good programs even without them (working to submit some soon!).

If you really want to do Atmospheric Science for a PhD you greatly increase your chances of getting accepted if you have a more scientific (and yes, math and physics) background.  You would most likely be competing with others who have great GPAs in those subjects and good research background in atmospheric science if you want to get into top-ranked schools.

 

 

Edited by jader
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I know someone doing an atmospheric science PhD who had an intermediate policy masters (both at MIT). I don't think the time away from science is a problem at this stage in your career. I'm not sure that policy/management research will necessarily be viewed favorably by an admissions committee for the PhD, I imagine it would depend on the specific focus and work. The GPA seems like more of a roadblock than the above.

Edited by Usmivka
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Alright yea I think GPA will be more of an issue for me. I will try to take some math courses during my master to see if it helps. So the name of the major doesn't really have much influence. It's just about the courses and research right?

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On 6/29/2016 at 6:03 PM, jjasonlam said:

Its a 2 year program and it requires only 3 coursework  2 core courses and 1 elective

1. Climate Change: Science, Policy and Management (core)

2. Sustainability Economics; or Sustainable Development (core)

3. Atmospheric Chemistry; or Introduction to Atmospheric Aerosols (Elective)

The two core courses seem irrelevant to want I am pursuing and that's why I am wondering if that will make any difference towards my future, if I choose to get a Phd in Atm Science.

If the coursework you would be doing is irrelevant to your interests, why are you planning to do this master's program, rather than one more suited to what you're actually interested in? Is it because is one you think will be easier to get into? (FWIW, I'd say the climate change stuff should be and is related to your broader interests but the sustainability courses seem less related.) What led you to this course? Have you investigated others where you can take courses you're actually interested in and which are more related to your interests?

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