1. PF Contest - Win "Conquering the Physics GRE" book! Click Here to Enter
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Getting into top grad program after

  1. Feb 24, 2015 #1
    Retaking undergrad courses I did not do well in, taking some graduate courses, and possibly doing a Master's or another Bachelor's degree?

    I spent the first three years of my college career without any idea of what I wanted to do, and didn't especially try hard either. I still kept working at a lab though. By the time I was a second semester senior, I found my goal in life: to get into a top graduate program. However, although I had two publications, I also had a 3.3 GPA, and the desire to achieve this goal came too late to improve it. Understanding this, I am planning to do one or more of these things:

    1) retake undergrad courses I did not get an A in
    2) do a Master's degree
    3) get a second bachelor's degree that is different but related to my research interests (because you know how inflated the grad course grades are)

    Would the old 3.3 prevent me from getting into a top 5 program after all this, or would I have a shot then? That's all I need to know; tell me if it's a possible goal or I should give up.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 25, 2015 #2

    Quantum Defect

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    I have known a fair number of people like you who get an M.S. in a field allied with the PhD program that they are interested in, followed by a PhD Program at a very good university.

    You won't know if you can get into a good school, until you try. I think that you would be competitive for many good programs, why not try now?

    I would also not worry so much about getting into a "top 5" institution as much as I would worry about getting into a good research group (assuming you are physics, chemistry, engineering, etc.) at a quality university. At this stage, the reputation of the group (and what you do) matter much more than the fact that you went to a bright & shiny graduate school.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook