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#1 March 19

Guitaret
Member

Possibility of PHD in computer science without Masters

As the title says: Does any university in Lebanon accept PHD applicants (in CS) without having an MS first?

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#2 March 19

rolf
Member

Re: Possibility of PHD in computer science without Masters

What's wrong with masters?

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#3 March 19

Guitaret
Member

Re: Possibility of PHD in computer science without Masters

If you know you want PHD and you have the option to skip MS, save yourself a couple of years, why not?

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#4 March 19

rolf
Member

Re: Possibility of PHD in computer science without Masters

Guitaret wrote:

If you know you want PHD and you have the option to skip MS, save yourself a couple of years, why not?

So you just want to get it as fast as possible?
Why not cheat? You can get your PHD in a few days!

To answer your question, to save a few years, why not?
Because most probably you will not get a reputable PHD in this way (not without cheating!) and also it is unmotivating.
I personally tried this approach, tried to take the "fast and easy" road and it turned out to be the hardest road because I had to study for things I already knew, or for which I had zero interest for, in a place that I did not like.

Funny, this seems to be the most popular attitude in Lebanon. You will find plenty of universities and plenty of students with the similar attitude, maybe even a university where you can skip Masters altogether.

Last edited by rolf (March 19)

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#5 March 19

Guitaret
Member

Re: Possibility of PHD in computer science without Masters

So your argument is that the long way is always the better one, which is not true.

Let's say you went to get some official papers signed in a government department, as soon as you arrive you find a line of people waiting before you and you realize that this will take a long time. You pay a guy standing in line the amount of 20$ to switch places and now you have your paper signed without having to wait a long time.

Is this cheating? No; Here what is really going on: The 20$ you paid is actually a unit of time (your time) because you have spent some time to make it but having to wait this long starting the end of the queue would have cost you a whole day's work (which is more than 20$).
This applies the same for me, and in this case, the "20$" represents the extra effort I have to make to catch up in case I got accepted for my Doctoral research.

In my case:
I wouldn't want to waste 2 years (or more) of my life taking courses that will probably be irrelevant and useless to my field of research just because the system dictates it that way.
I would prefer to quit my job, end my 10 years career doing technical applications and have my full time dedicated to research.
This way is much more convenient for me.

rolf wrote:

To answer your question, to save a few years, why not?
Because most probably you will not get a reputable PHD in this way (not without cheating!) and also it is unmotivating.
.

I am not sure this is the case and this is why I am asking this community, but if this is true then I will go for MS first.

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#6 March 19

potato
Member

Re: Possibility of PHD in computer science without Masters

rolf wrote:

Why not cheat? You can get your PHD in a few days!

You got it all wrong, reputable abroad universities would give you the green light to skip masters degree which op is asking about (to note there are some rules to be enrolled)

@OP the only thing you can try is contact aub the only university that is reputable in our country for more info however im pretty sure they dont have that option unless there is some cases for certain doctorate degrees.

Last edited by potato (March 19)

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#7 March 19

rolf
Member

Re: Possibility of PHD in computer science without Masters

Guitaret wrote:

So your argument is that the long way is always the better one, which is not true.

I never said that.

Guitaret wrote:

I wouldn't want to waste 2 years (or more) of my life taking courses that will probably be irrelevant and useless to my field of research just because the system dictates it that way.

Then your initial problem is that you would be wasting time. Maybe try to study something that interests you more or that you want to do more or which is more practical so you would not be wasting time.

You have a pretty commercial, very capitalistic approach to this issue. Maybe you better study some business or commercial-related business.

However your analogy for skipping line does not fully apply here.

People go to universities to learn things and to make connections. If 1/2 of the stuff that you learn there is kinda useless, that doesn't mean that one should throw their hands up in the air and give up on all concept of perfecting one's skill through education.

You are supposed to learn things and develop skills which will benefit you during your career.

This is why I believe that a reputable university will not make it easy for anyone to skip any part of the curriculum. This will affect negatively the reputation of the university because:
- It will have a reputation that it is easy and students can skip things
- It will produce students which lack knowledge in particular topics, which will reflect badly on the reputation of the university.

For example computation complexity theory is something that would be taught at college ( O(n) etc.) If it every comes up during a professional meetings and you don't know anything about it, it will make you look bad and by extension the university you went to.

Advances in computing, even mankind going to the moon, these are the product of research, a lot of it is academic research happening in universities.

So it seems like this aspect has no place in your reasoning.

Thank you for answering and sharing your opinion. I went to university and hated it - and when you allowed me to have a bit more insight into the culture and I see that there was a cultural  mismatch in expectations.

I'm not saying your attitude is wrong, nor do I say that the longest road is the best one, I just think that when it comes to studies there is more to it than just getting the piece of paper.

Guitaret wrote:

I would prefer to quit my job, end my 10 years career doing technical applications and have my full time dedicated to research.
This way is much more convenient for me.

Sorry I missed that part - if you want to go into research, go for it, good for you!
However, will the topics covered in a Masters degree be irrelevant in a PhD? In this case I understand.
However I would imagine that they would be relevant and if you are interested in CS and in particular advanced CS and research I imagine you would be interested in some of the topics.

Of course, all hypothetical, up to you to see and decide.

In any case, good luck.

potato wrote:
rolf wrote:

Why not cheat? You can get your PHD in a few days!

You got it all wrong

I don't think so.

Last edited by rolf (March 19)

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#8 March 19

sero
Member

Re: Possibility of PHD in computer science without Masters

rofl wrote:

I don't think so.

Actually yes you did get it all wrong!

Many reputable universities have the option for "PhD direct route", which means you directly enroll in PHD after your bachelor (without doing a masters degree)
Its not cheating, its not laziness, its by no means something bad!

If you already know the research topic that you're interested in, you go for  "PhD direct route"
If you don't have a topic of interest yet, or you're not sure you want to continue for a PHD, you go with a Masters first

@Guitaret I know AUB has PHD direct route for engineering degrees. Not sure if they have one for computer science (actually i don't think they have PHD in CS)

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#9 March 19

rolf
Member

Re: Possibility of PHD in computer science without Masters

sero wrote:
rolf wrote:

I don't think so.

Actually yes you did get it all wrong!

Many reputable universities have the option for "PhD direct route", which means you directly enroll in PHD after your bachelor (without doing a masters degree)
Its not cheating, its not laziness, its by no means something bad!

If you already know the research topic that you're interested in, you go for  "PhD direct route"
If you don't have a topic of interest yet, or you're not sure you want to continue for a PHD, you go with a Masters first

@Guitaret I know AUB has PHD direct route for engineering degrees. Not sure if they have one for computer science (actually i don't think they have PHD in CS)

Thank you, I did not know that.
I was mostly giving my opinion regarding what I perceived to be a particular attitude where basically all that matters is "getting the paper" ASAP, and by the way I used to have this attitude.

I don't really have a strong opinion specifically about prerequisites for a PhD and I think you gave a valid example.

Thank you for hearing me out and letting me give my opinion! In the end what everyone does is none of my business. Hopefully I did not bother or waste anyone's time.

I think there may have been a bit of misunderstanding so sorry for that.

Last edited by rolf (March 19)

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#10 March 19

Elied
Member

Re: Possibility of PHD in computer science without Masters

I don't think any reputable lebanese university even offers a CS PhD program to begin with, or at least I've never heard of one. If you're looking abroad though, most reputable universities have a PhD fast track where you can skip getting a masters but those have very demanding requirements. They usually want an already proven track record of research skills on your resume, so unless you did good research during your undergrad or at a company during your career then it's going to be very hard to get in.
Good luck with your search.

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#11 March 19

AVOlio
Member

Re: Possibility of PHD in computer science without Masters

Me personally,
I wouldn't even bother with a graduate degree or a PhD even if I was offered to do it for free.

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#12 March 19

Jerome
Member

Re: Possibility of PHD in computer science without Masters

For french universities, a Doctorat is given at at least the bac+8 level, so that's 3 years of bachelor, 2 years masters, and at least 3 years of PHD studies. Engineers at USJ (and probably LU) technically spend 2 years of preparatory years, and 3 years of engineering, but somehow end up with M1 level in their domain. You then need to complete an M2 to be able to work on a PHD.

You can probably skip the masters if you had years of experience doing research, I don't see a problem with that. However, if you're a fresh grad, your thesis for the M2 will be the first research document you've ever written. I don't think you can convince a professor to supervise you, and a scholarship program to sponsor your PHD for at least 3 years, without proof that you can do research.

There are always good researchers, and average ones. I'm pretty sure you can pay someone 20$ to do your Masters and your PHD, and you'll have your Dr. title and a nice office at a decent university.

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#13 March 20

Guitaret
Member

Re: Possibility of PHD in computer science without Masters

@potato @sero @Elied I appreciate the info you shared.


AVOlio wrote:

Me personally,
I wouldn't even bother with a graduate degree or a PhD even if I was offered to do it for free.

I can relate to that (career-wise) but this a personal thing for me I have wished to do before I get too old. Even though the money I make doing technical is good but it seems to me that I lost the pleasure of achievement; Taking the research path or maybe ending up in a teaching position at a good UNI appears to be a better choice for me, one that will increase my self-assurance and respond to my challenging needs.
This is totally psychological I know, but this is how much I know.

Jerome wrote:

You can probably skip the masters if you had years of experience doing research, I don't see a problem with that. However, if you're a fresh grad, your thesis for the M2 will be the first research document you've ever written. I don't think you can convince a professor to supervise you, and a scholarship program to sponsor your PHD for at least 3 years, without proof that you can do research.

There are always good researchers, and average ones. I'm pretty sure you can pay someone 20$ to do your Masters and your PHD, and you'll have your Dr. title and a nice office at a decent university.

I can see the challenge better now, I don't have experience with research and so this appears to be a problem and I appreciate the contribution.
About paying someone, this is hardly my desire even if I was a millionaire (unless you know someone who is willing to do it for 20$ ;P)

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#14 March 20

rolf
Member

Re: Possibility of PHD in computer science without Masters

Guitaret wrote:

This is totally psychological I know

Although you skipped mentioning me in your thanks at the beginning of the post - I still want to say, this is exactly what I was talking about, so I'm happy to see that we are on the same wavelength here.

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#15 March 21

Guitaret
Member

Re: Possibility of PHD in computer science without Masters

rolf wrote:

Although you skipped mentioning me in your thanks at the beginning of the post - I still want to say, this is exactly what I was talking about, so I'm happy to see that we are on the same wavelength here.

Yeah sorry, I appreciate the effort and time you spent on this post, it is clear that you care but I would have preferred (only in this case) information over opinions (eventhough and after all, your opinion about MS may be the right choice).
About being on the same wavelength, I am not sure this is true as you think I am only interested in the paper/title.

Last edited by Guitaret (March 21)

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#16 March 21

rolf
Member

Re: Possibility of PHD in computer science without Masters

I understand, and am glad you found information. I just though we did agree somewhere on the need for challenge and achievement.
In any case I wish you success.

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#17 March 25

arithma
Member

Re: Possibility of PHD in computer science without Masters

Accelerated PhD in the US are fully funded. That's why they want people in, for PhD not for the Masters, since funding people just for Masters isn't in their best interest (the grant-funding machine depends on your graduates giving back by working on projects that get new funds.)
Accelerated PhD contains within it the requirements of a MSc (in the US,) but you would be frowned upon if you suggested you wanted to just leave the whole thing and take a MSc after committing.
Source: Founder of Computer Science department in one reputable US university.

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