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I am currently an international senior undergraduate physics student, with a 3.41 GPA and no research experience.

I want to apply for PhD program in USA, and I am confused when it is best to apply; 1) before finishing my bachelors degree. 2) waiting to finish it and get engaged in research during my senior year. 3) finish my bachelors degree, get engaged in research, and do a masters degree.

I need to know: does waiting for option 2 and 3 really increase my chances in getting accepted for a PhD program in physics or biophysics? Or should I apply now and save some time?

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For a physics PhD in the USA, experience after a four year bachelor's degree is not expected. However, if you have a three year bachelor's degree or your degree comes from a country with many applicants like China or India, a master's degree may be very helpful. You should make an application plan no later than the August 1 before you graduate. This allows time to prepare for the September Physics GRE. Applying the year following graduation should be a backup plan.

  • I want to Clarify that, Option 1 Excuses me of the Military services from January 2018 to March 2019. and I can start in Fall 2017. Option 2, My application will have some research experience but i will have to do the Military Service First. and Start in Fall 2019 Option 3, I can do A masters degree during my military service. and also start in Fall 2019 or wait if my masters degree is not yet finished. It's obvious that Option 3 is much better than option 2, So, we can choose between 1 and 3 only. What is your advice? – Mohamed Ayman Oct 1 '16 at 11:40
  • @MohamedAyman - As it is now the beginning of October, you may want to sign up immediately to take the physics GRE ASAP, and then start to prepare some applications. The schedule recommended is ideal but I have seen a shortened version work. I have not looked at the GRE schedule, so, no guarantees, but you can easily look up the schedule. – aparente001 Oct 3 '16 at 0:45
  • @MohamedAyman - Thanks for the update, and best of luck. – aparente001 Dec 4 '16 at 1:14

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