64

First of all, the US has no university system. It has somewhere around 1500 community colleges offering 2 year degrees and 3500 colleges and universities offering 4-year degrees, all of which run with more independence than an ordinary French university. (Keep in mind the federal government has established only a tiny handful of universities; public ...


61

While I was an Indian undergrad in mathematics, I was told similar things by my friends who were doing, or planning to do, their graduation at universities abroad. Specifically, they told me that: The top universities abroad are better than the top universities in India for graduate education. Even if I were to be admitted to a good university abroad whose ...


49

This question doesn't really make sense, the supervisor has relatively little control over how long it takes for a student to produce a thesis. Questions you could ask which do make sense: How long is funding guaranteed, and in practice what happens when students run out of guaranteed funding? Do you have any additional standards or requirements for a ...


39

You've earned the days as paid vacation, you don't have to work during them. The money it costs to pay you for those days is part of your compensation for the work you've already done and the stretches of time that you came to work instead of taking the day off. If you do decide to take the time to work on finishing up some papers, that could be good for ...


35

You are missing an important angle. Where do you want to go after your PhD? In German there is the word "Stallgeruch" which roughly translates to "the smell of the own stable". Don't underestimate this. If you decide that you want to have a job or academic future at place X, doing your PhD at or near X provides you with a network near X (...


21

This is a US centric answer. Over the past 50 years there has been a vast change in what happens in HS. For example, when I was in school it was extremely uncommon for a HS student to take beginning Calculus. Now the better students do that pretty regularly through the Advanced Placement program which is an attempt to teach college courses in HS. So, the ...


19

Can a PhD student be paid simply for doing research? Yes, in the US, this is often called "being on fellowship," when the research is your own, and an "RAship" if you are paid to work on another project at a professor's discretion. Fellowships are often prominent national opportunities, but can be funded locally by the university, ...


18

The other answers here are correct. Colleges and high schools across the US are so different (in my opinion the single biggest problem with US education) that it's almost meaningless to speak of how the average high school education compares to the average college education. However, there is one difference between high school and college in the US that is ...


16

About me: I'm a member of the hiring public. I've worked 35 years in a multination company with a significant presence in India, and a heavy dependence on technology. What is Value? If "value" is measured in terms of what doors it opens, then you may open more doors worldwide with a US degree, provided it is from a more recognized university. ...


15

The advisor is asking you to officially take the days off before the contract finishes, but to work during these days, so you get the work done and he/she does not have to pay these days off, as per the policy of your institution is "to pay departing postdocs for un-used vacation days". So yes, he is asking you to do something unethical. With him/...


14

In the US anyways, you are probably best off consulting the program first, rather than the supervisor. PhD programs will typically advertise some statistics on time to completion, like mean/median completion date, and possibly "% complete by ____ years". I would look for this information first. In most cases PhD durations in the US are indeed open-...


12

In my experience as an American student, the overlap depends heavily on 1. how good your high school is and 2. how good the college is. There is a huge range in the academic rigor of high schools and colleges. Public schools depending on region vary widely in how many advanced courses such as AP courses they offer, some only one or two, others 10+. Top level ...


11

You can ask, of course, but don't expect to be able to hold anyone to a definite answer. You should probably just ask for a "typical" time to completion provided that you pass comprehensives. They can tell you with some accuracy how long it has taken other students of theirs, provided they have some supervising experience already. But if they say ...


11

Your advisor's request is definitely unethical. Don't do it. There can be no benefit to your relationship because he has already burned the metaphorical bridges.


11

You already have very detailed answers on the U.S. system. Let me talk a little bit about how a French perspective creates distorted expectations. In the French system, the curriculum is (essentially) set at the highest level by the Ministry of Education. Much of the nonsense passed as education in some countries (sometimes with sectarian affiliations) is ...


9

To elaborate a bit on Charles Bronson's answer, a typical funded PhD position in the UK includes: tuition fee coverage x3 years (around £4500* for UK students and over £10k* for international students). stipend or bursary (the money the student gets) just above £15k* a year (as this is not a salary, and PhD students in the UK are not employed, you get the ...


9

I'll address the academic, rather than legal aspects of the question. All legitimate scientific journals require ethics review for published human subjects research. Any human subjects research which is has not passed ethics review must not be published. In my opinion, any such research is not part of main-stream science. So the answer is no. It is ...


9

I'm going to preface this answer by noting that I am of Indian heritage myself, before the accusations of racism start. Yes, a PhD from an American university is much more valuable. Even putting aside the issue of university rankings, the fact is that the United States is the world's only superpower and has been largely responsible for most of the world's ...


9

I have an engineering degree from one of the top 20 colleges in India and my observation has been that my Professors were usually those who got Phd from IITs (most elite colleges in India). So when you say "more academic value", it depends on what you mean exactly. If it is teaching job, then what matters is also which college in India grants you ...


7

Yes, depending on the scholarship. When I was getting my PhD in the UK (finished a couple of years ago), everyone had a three-year scholarship (minimum wage), and all the teaching was paid separately. Of course, no one had to teach, but, at least in my own case, it was a sure way to get some additional money.


7

The ways PhD students in the US are funded can almost certainly fall under one of these categories, though occasionally you'll find them under a different name: TA - Teaching assistant. Paid for teaching/helping with a course. PA - Program/project assistant. Like an RA or TA but for something that's not really research or a course, yet there is funding ...


7

They may use the same books, but college is about twice as fast as high-school. A year-long high school "AP computer science A" course tests out as a semester-long college computer programming-I. In practice, it's a little less (the high school version covers as many topics, but they write fewer program so are a bit weaker overall). I think high ...


7

American "college" student here (I know that word has a different meaning in French). In my narrow experience, American college courses and books do indeed differ from high school courses and books, but there is a significant degree of overlap. For example, chapters 1-11 of Calculus: Early Transcendentals by James Stewart cover single-variable ...


6

Like the others, I have an Indian background and hope my answer doesn't come across as being racist towards people with my own ethnicity. In my area of research (quantum chemistry) there is one professor working in India who is a member of the most prestigious academy in our field and that is Debashis Mukherjee. There's over over 300 people that have been ...


6

I can't really make much sense of the question, but I can explain how time off usually works in the US, though of course there are variations. Professors aren't really typical employees. They likely technically have a set number of days they can take off and need to register them in some HR system, but usually no one is watching closely to make sure they are ...


5

Generally speaking, no, a degree requires more than just a certain number of credits. There are usually specific requirements for certain courses, and more requirements for credits and courses within a "major". A minimum GPA is a requirement and there may be a separate GPA-in-major requirement. But, you may have actually accumulated all of the ...


5

Asking about "the US and the UK" is probably not a great idea because the two countries have very different systems. PhD student funding varies strongly between universities and areas of funding. A lot of departments have their own funds that they pay students from. These come from things like grants and donations so you can have one wealthy ...


5

Should I send the places I applied an e-mail saying that the paper which was in review (and mentioned in my SOP/LOR/CV) got accepted? No. Your CV/application is a snapshot in time, institutes likely won't update your CV/application, and they don't need such an additional burden. (Especially after two months, institutes are likely nearing or have made ...


5

Definitely good to ask about typical times and what happens if you run over. Note in North America that some forms of funding run out after a certain duration; for instance the department might only guarantee full funding for the expected time of 4 years. Funding agencies may also not accept to pay students much after the expected time.


5

The reason it is difficult to answer this is that it can depend to a large extent on personalities. A "new" advisor might not want to take you on thinking about their relationship with the "old" advisor. The "old" advisor might feel insulted and cause problems for you. You might, after a year, have responsibilities to the ...


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