I am currently an Engineering Physics undergrad at Delhi Technological University. Most of the courses we completed were about applied physics, you can find the syllabus here. I want to pursue research but I am not sure about what exact field I want to pick. So I decided to get into a master's program. In India for masters you either pursue MSc or MTech.

MSc(Master of Science) has a more generic syllabus for physics and MTech(Master of Technology) is highly specific. Considering that MSc is more generic I decided to give the entrance exam for that and I was able to score in the top 1 percentile. So I can take up admission in IIT Delhi(which is one of the best colleges in India).

Now the issue is that my bachelor's syllabus and master's syllabus have at least an overlap of 30-40%. I originally wanted in because it would give me some knowledge, good connections, and a reputation from a good university. Keeping aside the fact that I do not gain much direct knowledge from the syllabus will MSc help me for my PhD applications at top universities around the globe? Even with a stellar GPa and fancy college people considering me for PhD candidacy could ask me why did I do I degree, 40% of syllabus I had already completed in my previous degree.

A bit of a disclaimer, generally people do MSc after BSc, I am a BTech student which is a more comprehensive course. This was the leverage I used to get into MSc easily.

1 Answer 1


You assume that people will take the time to compare your BSc and MSc syllabus. This is not going to be the case. When you apply for a PhD programme, the most important question they will ask themselves will be, “does this candidate have all the necessary background we need for our project?”

Do not focus on the name of the degree; that is not going to be relevant. I do not agree with your statement that "BTech is more comprehensive than BSc"; it depends on the goals of the individual.

The answer to your question then lies in the goals you want to set for yourself for the future. Will the degree you do next prepare you for all the qualifications that PhD applications are looking for? Which one will keep several other options open for you if you do not want to do a PhD?

  • Also -- following your first two sentences -- no one is likely to have much of an idea of whether BSc and MSC courses with essentially the same name are essentially the same or drastically different. For example, in undergraduate physics (in the U.S.) one often takes courses titled "mathematical methods for physicists", "classical mechanics", electromagnetism", "quantum mechanics", etc. and then in graduate school take courses with identical or nearly identical titles which are drastically different. For an example from my education, the 2-semester undergraduate course in (continued) Apr 1, 2023 at 10:34
  • electromagnetism used Foundations of Electromagnetic Theory by Reitz/Milford/Christy (1979, 2nd edition) and the 2-semester graduate course in electromagnetism used Classical Electrodynamics by Jackson (1975, 2nd edition). In mathematics departments, "algebra" could mean college algebra (i.e. school algebra), undergraduate algebra (groups, rings, etc.), or graduate algebra (groups, rings, etc. at a much higher level), and similarly for "linear algebra" (1st/2nd year vs. more advanced). Apr 1, 2023 at 10:34

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