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Can I become a physicist?

  1. Feb 25, 2013 #1
    Long story short, I'm in high school now. Last year I got a C in Honors Biology but I have an A- in chemistry and a B+ in Honors algebra II/ trig. Despite my grades, I think I'm very good in math with a little bit of struggling when it comes to science. However, I'm really fascinated with physics and would like to become a physicist (maybe an astrophysicist, theoretical physicist, or a physicist specializing in string theory). However, with a GPA of about a 3.6, would I still have an opportunity to go to a good school? Does it weigh in my favor that I am interested in this career path and am a woman, or is that a disadvantage? Any advice on becoming a physicist? Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 25, 2013 #2
    I'm in sort of the same boat as you except I'm older, male, and my high school grades weren't that good. That being said, I'm going back to school for physics (CU Boulder's atomic physics program is tied for #1 in the States with MIT for 2012), have a shot at honors, and my thesis committee could potentially have three physics Nobel laureates on it.

    Of course it's possible, and if I can pull myself up to do it I'm sure that you can--you just have to know what you want, do it HARD, and never accept less than the best from yourself.


    Also, coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. And become friends with a math major--they can explain the esoteric stuff pretty well, in my experience.


  4. Feb 25, 2013 #3


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    Maybe it's too early to tell. It's still a long way before you become a physicist. Take a few university physics classes and see how you feel about it. You'll have to decide at some point if you really want to go through grad school.
  5. Feb 25, 2013 #4
    I think it's a bit early to ask if you can become a physicist. If you like science, then pursue it. You don't come close enough to knowing enough physics/math to know whether or not you would like to major in it much less go to grad school.

    Just relax. Work on improving your grades and maybe learning more advanced math if you are able to.
  6. Feb 25, 2013 #5
    You could probably get into a school with good science programs pretty easily with those grades. I think I had a 3.0 or something as my cumulative high school GPA and was able to get into a good university. Remember that you don't need to declare a major until Junior year of college, so the admissions people don't really care whether or not you have good grades in your science classes. Unless you want to get into an honors program, of course.
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