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Applying to Graduate School in Physics Education Research (3ish GPA)

  1. Jun 8, 2012 #1
    Due to switching majors during sophomore year, my Physics curriculum was pushed back and I am forced to have one more semester beyond my senior year to take 2 more Physics classes to finish my degree. Right now, I have a 3.21 overall GPA with a Physics GPA hovering dangerously above a 3.0. The problem is that most of my Physics classes have been solid Bs and recently, due to many reasons (overwhelming myself with other activities and responsibilities, trouble with time management, and other specific reason that are either personal or circumstantial), I have gotten 2 C's from Quantum Mechanics and E&M (Yes, I know it's bad). At this point, I don't have the financial support to retake these classes at my college, and I don't want to ask for a private loan at this point and build up more of my school loans. We are in a tight situation financially.

    There are some positives, for one of my professor who specializes partially in Physics Education Research (the field I want to be in) and I asked her if there is any opportunities for me to do research with her in that category, and she was planning to start one this coming semester, so she is planning to keep in contact with the other professor who is doing this type of research as well, and I may be able to get some research experience this coming semester.

    Note that, as of now, I am aiming for a Masters of Science in Physics Program that focuses in Physics Education Research. I know that I want to go into this direction and that I am passionate at it. Even if I don't go into graduate school immediately after undergrad, I would be looking for teaching jobs in private schools or schools that don't need teaching certificates after college, so I know my passion is towards this direction. At this point, I am more of interested in getting into a graduate program, and less towards whether the program is one of the top programs or not. If I can get in one, and I excel in the Master's program, then I would consider whether I want to move on to a doctorate program or not.

    So here are my questions:
    Is there a way for me to improve my overall application? Other than focusing on my last two classes of the semester, getting good recommendations, and GRE, etc.

    Also, can I retake those two classes in the future? (Maybe when I am in a better financial situation) Is there a possibility to take graduate courses outside of an actual degree program to earn some graduate credit and to show graduate schools that I am capable of taking graduate courses?

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks!
  2. jcsd
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