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C+ in Electromagnetic Theory Grad School Chances?

  1. May 11, 2013 #1

    I got a C+ in my EM theory (3rd year with Griffiths book) course. I have A+'s in everything else this semester, though (including quantum mechanics II). Is this something that would hurt my grad school chances severely?

    My GPA is 3.48 and my physics major GPA is 3.6, for reference.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 11, 2013 #2
    It won't hurt you severely. Obviously it could be better but you didn't fail it. Having good grades in the other upper level Physics courses can offset the bad grade a good bit. Is there an EM theory II?
  4. May 11, 2013 #3
    Thanks for the reply! No, and this course is offered in alternating years. So, I can't retake it even if I wanted to. I've thought about taking a graduate level course next year (my senior UG year) to demonstrate my abilities, though my best course of action may be just stick to UG courses and do well in those. Do you know of anybody who was helped/hindered for taking graduate courses in UG?
  5. May 11, 2013 #4
    I don't know any specific examples but from the point of view of an admissions person, if you did well it would demonstrate that you could do well in other graduate courses. On the other hand if you did badly (less than a B), it would have been better if you hadn't taken it yet.
  6. May 11, 2013 #5


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    Keep in mind that in most graduate programs there is a minimum GPA that students must attain in their core courses. Where I am for instance, students must maintain a B+ average. Getting a C+ in an undergraduate course may send up a red flag. Your GPA is good but not great. You should study very hard for the physics GRE. What is your research experience like?
  7. May 11, 2013 #6
    I don't have much research experience, though I am working in a lab this summer. My senior research project will be done next year, though in the winter semester (so not in time for grad school applications). Also, I'm from Canada, so the GRE is not essential here, though some schools do look at it.
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