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Bad community college transcript, looking for grad school.

  1. Jan 8, 2016 #1
    i studied for three years in a community college, i had a lot of withdraws(withdrew from one year and three withdraws the following year). Got a 2.995 gpa. I have a letter from my counselor explaining the reason behind the withdraws(they`re legitimate believe it or not).
    I just got accepted into suny buffalo in physics. And im looking to get into the top universities for a phd program, like the university of tokyo. So my question is how much impact will my terrible community college transcript have on my chances of getting into a good university if say i can get above 3.5 gpa and do some research?
    Be as honest as possible(im not going to get hurt). Also if you have any suggestions for me please be as detailed as you want.
    Is it realistic to think i have a good chance?
    thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 8, 2016 #2


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    I think if you end up with a GPA above 3.5 (especially a gpa closer to 4.0 in the critical classes - physics) and do some research then you will be looking great towards graduate school.
  4. Jan 8, 2016 #3
    I would not worry to much about the CC transcript. Admissions to Ph.D. programs look at other things besides the transcripts such as letters of recommendations, research and work experience, GRE test scores and your letter of intent (that being a written letter by you on why you want to attend that particular Ph.D. program).
  5. Jan 8, 2016 #4


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    The major question is how do you expect to go from a sub 3.0 GPA to something greater?

    Reference letters, GRE scores and letters of intent are factored in of course, but (i) if you can't get over at 3.0 most schools won't even assess your application and (ii) it's rare that these are all independent factors.

    Assuming that you do get that GPA up, a lot will depend on the specifcs of the schools that you apply to. Some schools will weight your GPA towards the more recent or upper division classes. Other schools will look just at your cumulative GPA across every transcript you have. So you may want to pay attention to this when you begin the application process.
  6. Jan 9, 2016 #5
    Congratulations on being admitted to SUNY Buffalo. If you do well there, I doubt that your community college record will be considered much. While, it is true that admission to graduate programs wants transcripts from all schools attended, I think the graduate committee would consider th e strong program at Buffalo (they probably even know some researchers there) , over your first years in introductory courses in the community college.
    It is most important that you do well at Buffalo. I know a few graduates (many years ago). This is a good opportunity. Best Wishes
  7. Jan 10, 2016 #6
    You should find out if your grades from your CC transfer in to Buffalo as "T" grades, or the actual letter grades you received from the class and count towards your Buffalo GPA. If they're transferred as "T" or some other letter they won't count towards your Buffalo GPA, and your Buffalo transcript is the main one grad schools will look at because it's where the bulk of your physics classes will be (all but the first 3 you took at CC).

    The bigger problem here is that if you continue to get grades like B's and C's none of what I just said matters. I suspect the 2.995 was, like you say, due to personal hardships. I have no reason to think you would lie. I hope those hardships have passed, because you'll have to step it up and actually put in a lot of hours to get A's in your physics classes at a 4 year school. Chances are the classes are going to be a lot harder than your CC classes, and if you're weak in some material you're probably going to want to retake honors versions of the intro classes (it's what I'm doing right now for E&M). If you can put 15 a week into the physics and roughly that into your math courses, you should be fine. I just hope you're ready to make the changes to your life and bust your butt.
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