expelliarmus wrote: lifestooquick wrote: Veyron wrote:
BigJohnso wrote:You guys are missing a key thing though. Law School is three years, and getting a PHD in physics is six. Even just making 50 k per year with that difference of three years, it basically makes up for the cost difference. Not a valid argument in terms of JUST the debt.
Stipends at good schools run almost 30k a year bro. 30 * 6 = 180k.
You'll only be looking at 30K if you get one of the extremely competitive high-end fellowships. The standard stipend at almost all schools for a GRA or GTA position is 20K.
OP, what kind of physics are you interested in doing?
I cannot say about the fellowship question. Up to now, my school is pretty big on experimental physics, given its approximation to Fermi Lab.
I haven't quite decided yet. But I think high energy physics (particle physics) is something I am very interested in at this point. But I might do theoretical later.
As mentioned before I can corroborate the 20k estimate - that's what me and most of my colleagues received during my first year of grad school in physics (I left to due to personal reasons).
OP, have you taken the Physics GRE yet? I'm sending apps out now so I think I have a good idea of both sides of this argument and I think they both have merit. If you do decide to pursue physics just go after the Ph.D route - you most likely will not receive a stipend for enrolling as a masters student. My entering class size was about 20 and everyone was pursuing a Ph.D (either already having earned a masters or fresh from undergrad). If you don't pass the comprehensive exam (usually given at the end of your first year...you're allowed at most schools to take it again next december for a final time if you fail initially) then you'll leave with a masters. At that point you can go after a JD if you like.
The IP specialists around here can speak to the advantage of having a masters in physics/EE or anything else when going after a JD. It will most likely only apply if you're pursuing patent law.
Lastly, it seems reasonable to start grad school in physics and then decide to go after a law degree...but not the other way around. If you take time off or away from physics it will be undoubtedly more difficult to go back to it than taking time off and going to law school. I haven't been to law school, but I have seen the material 1st year grad students in physics cover and it's absolutely no joke. 1L, from what i've heard, doesn't compare to Sakurai's Quantum or Jackson for E&M. Good luck.