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Programs Earning a Phd or masters

  1. Nov 24, 2007 #1
    My new posts may seem similar to my past original topics I've posted in this forum. But in reality , this particular post is just an extension of the many questions I have on my mind about physics, as I transcend from my undergrad studies to hopefully my postgrad studies. Right now, as I probably stated in past posts, I'm not really struggling with physics as I am with some of the math courses I took during the past couple of semesters(only the proof based ones i.e, introduction to proofs, abstract algebra), but my grades are not looking outstanding right now, but I really trying to improve my grades with time. My anxiety level arises a little , when I earn average grades on my tests and some of my quizzes because I picture the professor saying 'she shouldn't be taken these courses' or 'she shouldn't be a physics major' as he/she is grading my assignments. I really love physics and I like math too but not as much as physics because I guess in one context physics seems more practical to mee than math, but on the other hand , I like to attempt to solve puzzles that do not have anything to do with the physical world.

    Again I would like to know if there is anyone who earned there masters and/or pHd who initially struggled and struggled with earning good grades in physics throughout their undergrad studies , but developed better study skills through time? Also are there any professors who have students who earned not so outstanding grades and the professors think internally that the students should not be physics majors, even if the student is seeking help from the professor on homework on a daily basis?
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 24, 2007 #2
    I'm one! I did ok my last semester of undergrad and was fortunate enough to get into a Masters program. My first course there didn't go very well (Goldsteins Classical Mechanics!!) but the rest was good. Completed a thesis in condensed matter theory.

    Most of my problem was laziness. I'd put off doing assignments and then there wasn't enough time to ask questions.
  4. Nov 24, 2007 #3

    Dr Transport

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    I didn't hit my stride until I got my Masters, took a break then went back for a PhD.
  5. Nov 24, 2007 #4
    what do you mean by the phrase 'you didn't hit my stride'. Do you mean your full potential in for physics did not show until you reach your graduate studies.
  6. Nov 25, 2007 #5

    Dr Transport

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    Exactly, I started to get much better when I went back for my PhD. Before that I would have considered myself an average student, but when I was earning my PhD my department chair told me that I was the most well rounded student he had seen in quite a few years based on my qualifying exams grade spread as opposed to some of the others who aced a section but nearly flunked others, I didn't either, but was nearly consistent in all the different sections.
  7. Nov 26, 2007 #6
    My GPA as an undergrad was probably 2.5 in physics classes - maybe worse! I worked for a few years and that really straightened me out. I would say that as a grad student I perform better than most of my peers, but certainly not all of them.
  8. Nov 26, 2007 #7

    u were able to apply to grad school with a 2.5 GPA? Thats excellent. That makes me feel better because I have a 2.5 GPA right now and I been fearing that my GPA will not increase as I add more and more credit hours; I thought grad schools only accept students with a 3.0 GPA or higher? Would you say most of your peers had a GPA of a 3.0 or higher? At the end of your senior year, were you anxious about job prospects since you had a low GPA as an undergrad?
  9. Nov 27, 2007 #8
    You'll be able to get in to some schools with a 2.5 GPA (mine was similar) but your choices will be extremely limited. I applied to a small school with a Masters program. I wouldn't expect to receive funding from the department from being a TA or RA necessarily either. Those are usually reserved for PhD students. Some do offer it for Masters students though.

    Continue to try to raise your GPA and knock out a good GRE score and you should be able to get in somewhere. Good luck!
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