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I am starting a MS program next fall (in statistics). At the time, I had a personal circumstance that limited the schools to which I could apply, and this was the outcome. Those circumstances however no longer exist now and I am entertaining the possibility of applying to a PhD program this fall. I am an older, returning, student so another year I didn't have to spend advancing my career is something I would rather not do.

The problem is that I would not finish my MS program and I am wondering how departments feel about that. I know that I am investment to them and they would have to approve renewal of my gta next year,so I am wondering if applying to a PhD program this fall would be a wise idea.

I am wondering if anyone can give me advice based on their own experiences relevant to my situation.

  • have you obtained already another master degree prior to the mentioned stuff ("MS program next fall (in statistics)"). if not, that sounds interesting because usually (e.g. my country --- Austria) it is not possible to avoid a master degree and join a phd study (without a prior master study). – mnemonic Jun 12 '14 at 13:58
  • @mnemonic This is generally not true for the US and asia. – xLeitix Jun 12 '14 at 16:58
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In departments I've been involved with, you need a masters in order to apply for a PhD. You'd need to complete your masters first, or find an equivalent. Thus, you cannot really transfer from Masters to PhD, as they are not on the same level.

On the other hand, in countries like the UK and Australia, an undergraduate honours degree that is enough to gain entry into a PhD program, at least, in those countries.

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  • I'm not sure if the issue is one of semantics, so allow me to clarify. I want to apply, not transfer, to a PhD program in stats.I have a MS in math already, so to the best of my knowledge, this would not be a problem at many US institutions. – Jack Zega Jun 12 '14 at 14:01
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    @JackZega: It would be helpful if the question actually stated that. – Dave Clarke Jun 12 '14 at 14:34

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