What is Gap year: Definition and 25 Discussions

A gap year, also known as a sabbatical year, is typically a year-long break before or after college/university during which students engage in various educational and developmental activities, such as travel or some type of regular work. Students who take gap years typically achieve a growth in maturity and are better prepared to benefit from higher education or decide the form of education they wish to pursue. Gap years usually occur between high school and college, or after graduating from college and before entry into graduate school. Persons undertaking a gap year might, for example, take advanced courses in mathematics or language studies, learn a trade, study art, volunteer, travel, take internships, play sports, or participate in cultural exchanges. Studies indicate that students who take a gap year perform better academically than those who do not, however, many parents worry that their children will defer continuation of their education.

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  1. MRB29

    Programs Grad prospects of a current International Senior in HS

    Hello everyone, [I underline portions of the text that are most essential to my enquiry ( 2 questions at the bottom). I immensely appreciate the generous act of reading everything otherwise.] Background Info: North African, female-identifying, 16, below average ECs, no awards, no notable...
  2. BalinesePhysicist

    Studying What to do in a gap year to prepare for a Physics + Math degree

    As the title says, I am now in a Coronavirus induced gap year. I have been accepted at a university, which for some reason requires us to do a double major. Hence I chose math as my second major alongside Physics since it has the most overlap, and I'm also very interested in theory. In school, I...
  3. T

    How to make the most of a gap year during the Covid-19 era?

    How to make the most of a gap year during the Covid-19 era? =========================================================== Hello Everyone, Thanks for reviewing my thread. I am opening this thread to get insights into my future prospects for a career in Physics in the era of Covid-19. I...
  4. Y

    Other Gap Year Physics Research for an International Student?

    Just got rejected by nearly all of my grad schools (one hasn't reply but the chance is pretty small). The funding is super harsh this year in my field and even worse for a student from China. Is there any way for an international student to take a gap year for physics research in the U.S? ( My...
  5. alex1515

    Studying I'm 16 and want to study physics, should i take a gap year?

    I was fascinated with physics since i was 14, when i actually began my learning journey, i got into Newtonian mechanics and eventually learned some electronics and programming. Noticing the math that was involved, i decided to first get started with math before i proceed into learning physics...
  6. M

    Testing Preparing for Physics GRE: Moving Test Date?

    I have been studying for the physics gre for a couple months now and can't seem to do better then getting 40/100; I have taken all but the 2008 physics gre test. I am taking a gap year so would it be a bad idea to move my test date to April instead of doing poorly in October and taking the test...
  7. J

    Other What's the Best Physics Textbook for a Gap Year Review?

    Hi, I've just finished A Level Physics, and after a gap year I'm headed to do Physics at Exeter. I'm looking for a textbook or online course or something that has lots of A Level and (maybe slightly higher) Physics questions that I can work through over the course of this year. Does anyone have...
  8. L

    Astronomy/Astrophysics Gap Year/5th year of Undergrad

    Hello there, I am currently a senior undergraduate Astronomy and Astrophysics major at Villanova University. With the GRE and graduate school applications coming up I have been wondering if it would be beneficial for me to either take a gap year or to possibly take a 5th year of undergraduate...
  9. N

    Schools Should I take a gap year to self study before college?

    I was admitted to a very good undergraduate physics program (Columbia University), but I think I would like to take a gap year (defer my admission) to prepare my self better. I do feel a bit intimidated as I come from Colombia and I would prefer it if I could further my studies before going to...
  10. M

    Admissions Teaching Before Starting A PHD

    I am a junior in college studying physics, math, and computer science who has been heavily involved in research, year round, for the past 2 years and have already started taking graduate classes. I feel like before I start a phd program I would really like a year or two off. How do professors...
  11. KingCrimson

    Studying How to prepare for Theoretical Physics MSci over a gap year?

    So I will be starting an undergraduate MSci degree in Physics/Theoretical Physics in 2017, for the time being I am on a gap year. What's the best way to mentally prepare for a theoretical physics degree? I am not just talking about being familiar with the topics discussed, but also improving my...
  12. majormuss

    Job Skills Suggestions for GAP year employment

    Hi all, I am currently taking a year off after graduating with my bachelors in physics. Hence I have a year to either work (really need to make money) or travel. I have a feeling that if I applied to a full-time job and left after a year, it would be a form of betrayal. Is it wise to...
  13. M

    Admissions Accept Offer from Safety School or Reapply?

    I've been accepted by the PhD program at my safety school (where I am completing my undergrad), and have been declined admission at my reach schools. While my safety school's offer is solid, I would prefer to attend a better school in a different city. I am still completing research for my...
  14. P

    Schools Should I take a gap year to get into UT Dallas?

    I've been admitted to UT Arlington with 100% tuition scholarship. However, even after the scholarship, the living expenses are quite a bit for me (however, with on campus jobs and all, I believe my family will be able to manage so I think that I'll leave the financial issues aside). I'm not...
  15. ujjwal3097

    Mature student vs gap year student

    Hi I am applying to the universities but I think I am bit confused with something. Actually I am applying to the universities after taking a year gap. But some universities are asking me to make my decision between these two option: Mature student or high school student or gap year student...
  16. F

    Will a gap year harm my ability/career?

    Hi guys, So in my current situation it is pretty rare to come across people who are mathsy/physicsy, which is why I'm venting here for the advice of some like-minded people. I took a gap year pre-university to work, travel and generally get my head straight but am starting to worry about the...
  17. majormuss

    Should I Take a Gap Year Before Grad School for Astrophysics Research?

    Hi everyone, I am currently a senior majoring in physics and I am scheduled to graduate in May 2015. I am pretty set on going on to graduate school and getting a PhD in theoretical Astrophysics, however, I missed the deadline for the physics GRE and I was consequently not...
  18. F

    Advice on how to spend my gap year?

    I have just completed my undergraduate degree, and will be taking the GRE and applying to graduate school this fall. I'll be applying to terminal master's programs because of my lackluster GPA, a 3.3. This is in hopes of continuing my recent track of improved grades, and hopefully...
  19. P

    Is Taking a Gap Year a Good Idea for Math-Focused Students?

    Hello, I am currently in my senior year as an undergraduate and plan to apply to physics grad school in a year or two. I feel like taking some time off would help me become more focused and I don't have money to take the physics gre, or to apply for grad school. I also want to explore other...
  20. B

    Programs Will taking a gap year during my degree hurt much?

    Hi, I'm going into my junior year and I was thinking of taking a gap year to do something entirely different than Physics. Do grad schools look down on people who took a gap year during the progress of their degree? Will they require you to explain what happened during that year? Thanks! :smile:
  21. S

    Is Taking a Gap Year During Undergrad Beneficial For Graduate School Admissions?

    Hi, I've completed one year of undergrad. I started in engineering but have now decided that I want to pursue math. Before continuing, I want to take a year off to refocus and take care of other aspects of my life. I feel like I will do better if I take a year off. On the other hand, I enjoy...
  22. P

    Physics Physics undergrad/grad gap year: ideas?

    One of our college's physics seniors scored poorly on the physics subject GRE and is looking for something to do for a year while s/he studies for, and retakes this test. Our student would like to find an appropriate position at a lab (academic, industrial, government...) which provides enough...
  23. E

    Advice for Senior Physics/Math Major Planning a Gap Year

    I am a senior Physics/Math major. I want to go to grad school (99% sure) but I am not ready to start immediately after undergrad, I hope to bike to and live in South America next year. My question is, how harmful will this be to my chances at getting into a top tier physics Pd.D. program the...
  24. magnetic flux

    How to stay in touch with physics in a gap year?

    Hello, I just finished school and I want to study physics, but I have to wait about 1.5 years until I can start with it. What would you recommend to stay in touch with physics during that time? Reading books would be the thing I came up with, would you say that reading in forums like this...
  25. V

    Schools University, Reapplying and Gap Year Options

    I'm a student in the UK, and have already applied, been rejected/accepted by various universities, and accepted a firm and insurance offer. I was accepted at Southampton, after rejections from Oxford and Imperial. I was happy with my decision, but after talking to my head of physics, I'm...