One of graduates, Tomáš Gonda, shares his personal experience of this interesting and alternative Masters programme. If you want to apply, closing date is coming up fast. Deadline date of February 1, 2017
Perimeter Scholars International (PSI) is a fairly new Masters programme offered by the Perimeter Institute (PI), one of the leading research centres in theoretical physics. It was created with an idea to offer an alternative to other similar programmes by avoiding grade-chasing aspect of these. This would enable students to focus on learning whatever they are most interested in without being forced to compete with the rest of the class.
Despite the fact that there are no official grades, there is an interview after each of the six core courses. It takes form of an informal discussion on the subject which can take many directions. A certain standard is required to pass each of these courses, but it is very rare that someone would fail the programme because of this.
The courses are often being taught by guest lecturers from other institutions apart from PI faculty members. This can be a bit of a hit and miss. Most of them are very good, but from time to time a lecturer who is not familiar with the context and style of courses can have issues adapting. Courses follow slightly different structure, being only 3 weeks long with a lecture every day, which might be one of the reasons for that.
One of the most important aspects of PSI is that it gives students a unique opportunity to interact with world-class researchers and this is very much encouraged. Thanks to the generally very open atmosphere at PI and the fact that the class is quite small, it is easy to get in touch with any of the faculty members or numerous interesting visitors throughout the year. The research aspect of PSI is also reflected in a sort of thesis carried out together with anyone from PI, Institute for Quantum Computing or University of Waterloo.
And last but not least, everything that one needs during the year is provided (meals, accommodation, laptop, etc.)