I hold a MSc degree from a small university and had planned for a second MSc degree from a highly-ranked university.

I am now uncertain about my plans since I have received a PhD offer from a top university and I am wondering whether pursuing a second MSc is necessary for securing good postdoctoral opportunities or not.

To make my question clear: If I apply for a postdoc after successfully completing my PhD, will my application be assessed based on my performance during my PhD studies, or will my MSc be taken into consideration as well?

  • Regarding an ambiguity in your question, would the second MSc degree be something obtained after completion of the Ph.D. you currently have an acceptance offer to, or something obtained before accepting any Ph.D. offers? In any event, it seems silly to me to pursue another MSc degree (presumably in the same field, although this too probably should be clarified, which in fact could give the appearance that you didn't learn the material the first time) if you feel capable of successfully completing a Ph.D. at a "top university". (continued) Commented Mar 2, 2023 at 8:08
  • So I suppose the real question is, do you feel that you are very, very seriously incapable at this time of completing a Ph.D. at the university you received an offer from? If so, it would also mean -- which seems very unlikely to me -- that they seriously misjudged your background and potential when you applied for the Ph.D. Commented Mar 2, 2023 at 8:12
  • A month ago, I received an admission letter for an MSc program. However, this week I received an offer to pursue a PhD. Now, I am considering whether it would be beneficial for me to undertake the MSc program part-time while pursuing my PhD studies.
    – AlexS
    Commented Mar 2, 2023 at 8:13
  • Are the fields of the second MSc and the PhD program the same? or different?
    – Nobody
    Commented Mar 2, 2023 at 8:15
  • Not same, but some how close to each other
    – AlexS
    Commented Mar 2, 2023 at 8:16

1 Answer 1


All the time you spend on doing that second master is time you cannot spend on something else, like publishing an article. If I were hiring a postdoc and I saw you with the second master and you with an extra publication, then I would be more impressed by the extra publication than by the second master. So my advice would be to not do the second master, and instead use that time to be good at your PhD.

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