Hello all. I am a long time lurker and I have recently run into a snag in my academic career. I was wondering if y'all could be of some help. First the background: I attended a very small university in Georgia and obtained a degree in mathematics last May (2011). I graduated with a 3.8 GPA (entirely due to the fact of adapting to college freshman year. After freshman year, I had a 4.0). Anyway, I feel entirely ripped off by the institution and feel my degree is essentially worth nothing. I mean, my program didn't even have complex analysis or consistently offered any analysis courses past Real 1! I realize I should have transferred but I let a woman influence my decision on staying at the school. We broke up 3 months before graduation so that was obviously a bad decision. I did very little research because it was not required by the university. I wrote a few papers but none were published. I now realize I should have been more assertive and gone out of my way to do some research. This leads me to where I am today. I want to obtain a PhD in either mathematics or physics. With the mathematical courses I have completed, I realize that the mathematics route is becoming less attractive. I did not like Abstract Algebra at all, Analysis was boring and hard to grasp the point of the subject material, and the only interesting courses were ODE/PDE. This is why I am leaning more toward physics and also because I have always been interested in space. While my university didn't require more than two Physics classes, I do have a mathematical background. Obviously it would be impossible to succeed in/be accepted into a graduate program for physics at this point. This is why I have decided to go back and take some undergarduate courses in physics. Most people I have talked to have told me to just apply to graduate programs and see if I get in. I have looked at qualifying exams and I am no where close to being able to pass them. I have already been officially accepted into the University of Texas as an undergrad. Originally I was planning on taking only a few courses to try to apply to a few grad schools but then I thought about just getting a second degree. It would require 60 credit hours at the university and would give me another opportunity to do research. I am only 22. Taking two additional years is really not an issue to me if it's in a field that I love. So here are my questions: 1) Is this the correct path, for someone in my situation, to take to obtaining a PhD in Physics? Is there an alternative/easier path? I realize most will say to just apply right now and see if I get in, but I don't feel like I am prepared for that 2) Does having a second degree from a prestigious university make me a more attractive candidate? It can only help, right? 3) Is there anything over the summer that I should do to more prepare myself? I am having shoulder surgery (torn rotator cuff) and will be out of work for 6 weeks. This is the perfect time to do any preparations. 4) Does anyone have any more comments/suggestions? As mentioned, I feel cheated. I want a quality education so bad and my institution did not provide that for me. This change is not based on making more money. I simply want a better and more in depth education. I understand the difficulties ahead but I am looking forward to the challenge.