PhD or Master’s


  1. 4 – 6 years
  2. Harder to get accepted:
    1. Best to either have publications, or have participated in olympiads. Past research experience is a must! 
  3. Enter job market later.
  4. Almost always includes funding!


  1. 1 – 2 years
  2. Easier to get accepted.
  3. Enter job market sooner, or get a PhD.
  4. Harder to secure funding:
    1. High grades, high GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS scores and publications help! It’s not impossible.

Maximize your chances:

  1. Apply widely! Think about how competitive your application really is. Apply to your dream schools, AND apply to less selective schools.
  2. GRE, TOEFL or IELTS scores count. Try your best! it’s usually not enough just to get the minimum scores that schools accept.
  3. Do well in your classes, and try to do side research projects (even if they don’t lead to publications, they still strengthen your resume!).
  4. Email, email, EMAIL professors! If one accepts, then you’re half way in!!