Almost exactly four (yikes) years ago, I wrote about some aspects of the issue of advising M.S. vs. Ph.D. students. There has been much blog-ink spilled on this topic, including from the student perspective. A common question that I get from readers is whether they should do an M.S. or go straight to the Ph.D., so this question seems to be a perennial one.
My point of view is, of course, that of an adviser and a professor who has some influence on admissions decisions, so in my earlier post, I wrote about adviser-centric issues such as whether M.S. students are 'cost effective' for advisers like me.
Today in Scientopia I consider this topic again in response to a reader question about whether doing an M.S. is considered a liability (i.e., a "black mark") for those who ultimately want a Ph.D. I certainly don't think it is, but this student was told by a professor that it would/might be, so I am hoping that readers will weigh in with data and advice.
4 days ago