Pretty straight forward. I am starting to apply to grad school and I was discussing possible projects with some (grad student) friends of mine. When I mentioned something in particular one of them said "that might even be too good for a Master's, sounds more like a PhD..." Then he also went on to say that I could use part of a project like that for a Master's and then use the rest to finish it off with a PhD. For some time I thought about this, then I decided to ask it here.
From my reading of the conversation between the two of you, he meant 'too good' in one of two ways:
- "Too Good" as in the topic will yield many high-quality results, potentially many publications, and opportunities for continued/extended research.
- "Too Good" as in requiring too much time to complete in the typical Master's degree time period, and actually should be understood as "Too advanced" or "Too in-depth".
In answer to your second question 'will future advisor know the boiling point?' Yes. That is what they are there for, to help guide the scope of your project to a Master's level.
I don't see a problem here.
If the project is too good, then
(a) you will not be able to finish it in the timeframe of a Masters, in which case you can continue working on it for your PhD, OR
(b) you will finish it for your Masters, in which case you have a great Masters thesis, and then you can tackle something else for your PhD.
You should not kill yourself to achieve case (b). If you find that the problem is too difficult, just do case (a).
Finally, be aware that other graduate students may not be able to gauge the difficulty very well. Only you will know once you have begun working on it.