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Getting into physics grad school

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  • Thread starter Vanadium 50
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  • #76
Vanadium 50
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In general, you have to get into grad school to get an MS. (An MS is a graduate degree)
 
  • #77
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In general, you have to get into grad school to get an MS. (An MS is a graduate degree)
Well obviously. I've been admitted to the physics masters program at my current university, however, I intend on getting into a Phd program upon completion.

So, will having completed a Masters program in physics make me a better candidate for admittance into a Phd program?
 
  • #78
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Wait something in this thread bothers me, you said that it is best to have professors who know you well to write you letters. Does that mean people who started out in community colleges have a disadvantage over people who are enrolled in a university?
 
  • #79
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Yes, because that's how it works in life. How well people know you is a linear function going through the origin of when they first came into contact with you, and there are absolutely no exceptions. Hence, if someone has spent four years at a university, all professors will know him twice as good as someone who spent two years at a community college and then, say, two years at the university. It doesn't matter if that first person has only appeared once in class, and that second person has done research for two years straight, all that matters is years spent at the university. So I guess if you went to community college, you're pretty much doomed. Sorry, bro.
 
  • #80
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About GPA:

So if you have B+/Bs in tons of biology classes that drag your GPA to a 3.2, but you have As in your physics classes and you apply to physics grad school (with some minor interest in biophysics), would they care about your overall GPA and bio classes, or would they focus more on the physics classes?

Also, I think lower division classes were addressed somewhere, but if you get B+s in those classes, would that be harmful?
 
  • #81
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So if you have B+/Bs in tons of biology classes that drag your GPA to a 3.2, but you have As in your physics classes and you apply to physics grad school (with some minor interest in biophysics), would they care about your overall GPA and bio classes, or would they focus more on the physics classes?
In general physics graduate courses focus on the physics classes. Also the *type* of class that you took is more important than the grade. If you are getting B's in Advanced Quantum Field Theory that looks better than getting A+ in Consumer Mathematics.

Also, I think lower division classes were addressed somewhere, but if you get B+s in those classes, would that be harmful?
It's a little worse than if you got A's, but it's a moderate strike, and not something that you should obsess over (especially since you can do anything about it).
 
  • #82
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Yes, because that's how it works in life. How well people know you is a linear function going through the origin of when they first came into contact with you, and there are absolutely no exceptions. Hence, if someone has spent four years at a university, all professors will know him twice as good as someone who spent two years at a community college and then, say, two years at the university. It doesn't matter if that first person has only appeared once in class, and that second person has done research for two years straight, all that matters is years spent at the university. So I guess if you went to community college, you're pretty much doomed. Sorry, bro.
How can that be? Some people go to community college because of financial problems. There's gotta be a way around that, that's almost like saying poor people will never succeed.
 
  • #83
jtbell
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I think Ryker was making an attempt at sarcasm. :wink:
 
  • #84
lisab
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Yes, because that's how it works in life. How well people know you is a linear function going through the origin of when they first came into contact with you, and there are absolutely no exceptions. Hence, if someone has spent four years at a university, all professors will know him twice as good as someone who spent two years at a community college and then, say, two years at the university. It doesn't matter if that first person has only appeared once in class, and that second person has done research for two years straight, all that matters is years spent at the university. So I guess if you went to community college, you're pretty much doomed. Sorry, bro.
I'm pretty sure you're being facetious here but just in case: no, that's not so.

Lots of people who attended community college still get into grad school. You don't have to attend a school for four years to get to get a good recommendation from a professor.
 
  • #85
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I'm pretty sure you're being facetious here but just in case: no, that's not so.

Lots of people who attended community college still get into grad school. You don't have to attend a school for four years to get to get a good recommendation from a professor.
No, but I am asking if they will have a disadvantage. Or is there no difference to professors because all first and second year students are just paychecks to them?
 
  • #86
\On the other hand, the difference between a 3.7 and 3.8 is pretty much irrelevant. The reason for this is that schools are different enough so that it's pretty much impossible to compare a 3.7 and 3.8, but if you have a 2.9, then you really did mess up somewhere along the line.
What if I had a 3.64 physics and 3.9 applied math gpa? Is the difference between that and a 3.7-3.8 gpa also irrelevant? I still haven't heard back from a couple grad schools and I really hope that my not-so-great physics gpa is what ultimately denies my admission
 
  • #87
Vanadium 50
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Flyingpig, I need to say this again. You need to stop worrying about things beyond your control and start boning up on your physics.

Your knowledge of physics is nowhere near where it needs to be to consider graduate school. You need to be studying that, not wasting your time asking "what if" questions here. Hit the books, or fess up to not being serious.
 

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