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Are there any in demand graduate field of physics?

  1. Jun 26, 2012 #1
    So, I am going into my final year of a physics degree in a pretty reputable university, and some of my former marks were not up to the 3.0 standard (EDIT: a lot of my former marks were not nearly up to the 3.0 standard), although I am hoping that my last year marks, if I choose to go into it, would be at or above the standard.

    My question is are there types of graduate programs that would look past the marks, simply because they need graduate spots to fill? This doesn't even have to be in physics, could be a type of graduate program that would accepts physics applicants.

    I know physics isn't like nursing, but I was actually considering switching out of physics (to nuclear engineering), because in my current situation, I am far from guaranteed to any graduate schools, unless they have some spots they need to fill. Maybe not, but perhaps there are a few areas of physics which most people shun from?

    P.S. I am also hoping to get accepted to do a thesis course, not sure that would make a big difference.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 26, 2012 #2
    You can probably be fine or ahead if you go into a graduate engineering program. Engineering is basically applied physics, so I think you would excel. You could also try and get a job as an engineer, I would suspect you would be qualified.

    Just don't go to graduate school for comparative religion and wonder why you can't find a job haha.
  4. Jun 27, 2012 #3


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    No, graduate schools do not have extra spots to fill. I attended two lower ranked physics programs (which still had students go on to top postdocs and get tenure-track faculty positions at good schools) which still turned down about 90% of applicants. Grad schools are not desperate for students. There are more trying to go to grad school than there are spots for them.
  5. Jun 27, 2012 #4
    Nuclear engineering is the route to go. There's a lot of grants and fellowships coming from the federal government. It doesn't help that you have lower marks but if you do alright on the GREs you should be okay. Honestly, I think courses in nuclear engineering are easier than those in physics so I don't think you would have trouble. The more challenging part is doing the research and applying your physics to the nuclear engineering field. I would go down that route though.
  6. Jun 27, 2012 #5


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    Something you may also want to consider is what you're expecting from graduate school itself. If you're struggling and having a hard time getting getting over a 3 in undergrad, you're not likely going to find graduate school any easier. You'll be in an even worse situation if you make a selection based on the ease of getting into the field rather than personal interest because it is tremendously difficult to make progress and maintain motivation on a project you don't care about.
  7. Jun 27, 2012 #6
    Look into Accelerator and Beam physics.
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