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Gpa to be proud of?

  1. Mar 3, 2005 #1
    What's a respectable gpa, 4.0 range, to graduate with as an Undergraduate Mathematical Sciences Major?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 3, 2005 #2
    If you have worked hard and made a lot of progress then you can be proud of that. If you have not had to work hard but got an easy 4.0 then there really is not much to be proud of. The deal is this, not everyone starts at the same level and so some people have to work much harder to do well, while others just breeze on by.

  4. Mar 3, 2005 #3
    I've been wondering the same thing, actually. I'm a Sophomore and I want to go to MIT (or some place as good) for graduate study. I'm working my ass off and I have a 4.0 at the moment, but I've heard horror stories about who gets in and who doesn't. I also know I probably won't keep a 4.0 when classes get much, much harder.

    I'm going to RIT right now, which is a pretty well respected school in its own right, so I'm sure my GPA means something, but I have no idea how MIT, Caltech, Berkeley, and Stanford all look at things for graduate applicants.

    In response to the first question: I would say anything that constitutes graduating with honors at your school (3.5 or better?) is something to be very proud of, but simply staying above your school's average gpa is admirable.
  5. Mar 3, 2005 #4
    How rare is graduating with honors in Math at an average University?

  6. Mar 4, 2005 #5
    Wow...to graduate with a GPA of 4.0 is something that makes other people who work their butts off to TRY to do that well want to cry. As long as you don't go flaunting and bragging in other people's faces, then I would say that having a GPA that high is something to very proud of.

    I'm not sure if this is right, but I don't think that it is a common thing for people at an "Average" university to graduate with a GPA of 4.0. But then again if you mean Yale to be an "average" university, then its more common but its still a small number of people.

    Where do you go to college?
  7. Mar 4, 2005 #6
    You mentioned grad schools and GPAs, so I'll give you some info from my personal experience. Although I'm sure a high GPA is important for schools like MIT, you definately need a lot more to be admitted there. I have a 3.97, 4.0 in technical courses, and got the shaft from MIT, Stanford, Princeton, CalTech, and Harvard, but did get accepted to Berkeley and Santa Barbara. You'll definately need stuff like undergrad research experience, a great GRE score, and great rec. letters (all of which I had, just apparently not up to their standards) to get into schools like MIT.
  8. Mar 4, 2005 #7
    Akarmis, is right. You'll need to show them your a well-rounded person, seriously seeking grad work. Make them want you to come to there school. Show them something that you have that very few of their other applicants have. Hey, you never know, you might even have grant and scholarship offers if you play your cards right.
  9. Mar 4, 2005 #8
    My dream is Berkeley or MIT. They're both top leaders in nanotech and microsystems, which is my current major. My school benchmarks our fab against Berkeley's, and the lab director here is friends with people at Berkeley. I've also been talking to Walter Lewin of MIT via email a bit lately, so I may even be able to ask him for help in the form of a reccomendation down the line. I don't want him to think I'm only talking to him for that though, since it's not the case. He's a really nice guy.

    In terms of other reccomendations, the top researcher in the field of microlithography is actually one of my professors next quarter. I am going to try and become one of his research assistants to learn some more, and get a leg up later on... I plan on applying to MIT, Berkeley, CalTech, Stanford, IIT, and maybe Carnagie Mellon. Of course, I may wind up getting my BS in Microelectronics and a Masters/PhD in another field, like physics or nanotechnology.

    I'm scared, to say the least. I have my heart set on attending a top university for my doctorate...I need to get there, even if it kills me.

    In response to Shockwave:

    I would say it's very difficult to graduate with honors in Math from a good math school (in the top 50 or 100). Within the mathematics degree you get to a point where you start abandoning numbers, and most of your work winds up being theoretical, and some of the higher level concepts are pretty mind blowing. If you try very hard, though, and spend a lot of time working, and make sure you understand what you're doing before you move on to the next topic, you should be ok. I know personally that if I start getting the slightest inkling of not understanding something, I work on it until I do.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2005
  10. Mar 4, 2005 #9
    I'm not going to pretend that I have an extensive knowledge about the mathematics field, because I don't. Part of why I spend time on this forum is so that I can learn more about different fields and expand my own knowledge.

    Scholzie, going on the posts I have read from you, you're very knowledgable. I really don't think you need to be scared about getting into whatever school you want. It seems like any school would want you to be one of their alumni.

    What exactly is in the field of nanotechnology? I know hardly anything about it.
  11. Mar 4, 2005 #10
    Technology on the very, very small scale. Nano-sized machines, fibers, etc. An example would be carbon nano-tubes, which are multi-walled strands of carbon fabric, wrapped up on themselves. Another would be diamond gas sensors that use little peaks of diamond charged with electricity to detect chemicals in the air (this kind of matches with material science, too).

    Recently Berkeley researchers used a two walled nano-tube to act as an axis for a silicon "motor", which was nothing more than a paddle of doped silicon rotating around a carbon nanotube. Really interesting stuff :)

    The hope is that in the (distant) future, we can make machines so small that they can work on a molecular scale. Imagine a nanobot so small, that it could be smaller than a virus cell, injected into the body, make more of itself, and then wipe out a virus. We just hope at that point they don't attack the rest of our cells!
  12. Mar 4, 2005 #11
    Wow, that is pretty cool stuff. Sounds way more complex than people make it out to sound.
  13. Mar 5, 2005 #12
    also i personaly am not a fan of the GPA so much as courseload and standardised testing results, though im sure its differint for highschool, since its much easier to find blowoff classes to boost your GPA, but I'm sure even in college, when going for post graduates degree they lok at courseload also. Also are you transfering into MIT? If so, I'm afraid your chances are small:

    * Total number of transfer students who applied: 319
    * Total number of transfer students who were admitted: 5


    Now that may not directly work, but I couldn't find a direct link to the homepage without having a profileid in it, so I'm unsure as to whether or not you need to register or not, but that has alot of information on colleges if you are capable of accessing the website.
  14. Mar 5, 2005 #13
    For all of us with high GPAs, I direct attention to these important factors, as cited in the link above. Note how they have little or nothing to do with GPA.

    Character/Personal Qualities
    Geographical Residence
    Minority Status
    Volunteer Work
    Work Experience
  15. Mar 5, 2005 #14
    Not sure if this is directed at me or not, but no, I plan on staying here at RIT. I personally love it here.

    RIT's difficulty of admissions changes drastically with the departments. If you apply to Engineering or a science, you will need to have a good record. I know a few dumb-as-bricks people in easy departments like Engineering Technology, though. They take barely any calculus, and only get a cursory glance at the hard physics. In my department, though, I have to take 10 math classes, modern physics, semiconductor device physics, etc. It's much more intense competition to get in.

    Incidentally, like MIT, it's a lot easier to get in than it is to stay here. If you don't put in the work, you'll get terrible grades. I've seen people leave after only the first quarter. The stats for physics undergrads are astonishing. Every year about 60 people start the program, and every year, 6 people graduate from it. Engineering is mostly a lot of work. If you have a good head for the material, it's not "hard," per se, but you will spend a lot of time studying.

    RIT is a great place, and the president is putting $300 Million into making it even better. We're a top-notch institution, but we haven't really been associated with the top echelon because our name isn't as recognizable outside of the scientific community (and until recently, we haven't had the money to do large research). Inside, of course, people know who we are. We haven't been awarding PhDs for very long, so compared to MIT and other schools like it, we don't have lots of doctoral graduates floating around publishing work. But of course that's changing. At the moment, we're building about 4 new buildings (including a $20 Million expansion of the Microsystems department with new clean rooms and office space). They're in the planning stages of a multi-hundred-million dollar addition in the form of "College Town," a housing, night-life, and shopping center for RIT students and staff. Our faculty is great: one of the physics professors was recently a named author on a publication regarding a measurement system for galaxy clustering. Bruce Smith is [one of] the top researchers in the field of microlithography. We're doing pioneering research on immersion microlithography (we're able to make features on silicon as small as 35 nm). Part of the $300 Million mentioned above is $100 Million going into recruiting new faculty.

    Truthfully, I think getting in now is getting your foot in the door, since RIT is on its way up to becoming a recognizable name.

    This sounds like a giant advertisement! It wasn't meant to, though; I simply wanted to show that although RIT doesn't have the name of MIT, it's an excellent school, and you certainly won't "miss out" on anything (except maybe some famous professors like Walter Lewin). One of my mentors here actually went to MIT for his undergrad, and he said that MIT is a better grad school than an undergrad school, mostly because that's where most of the good faculty is. He also mentioned that at MIT you tend to get lost in the crowd as an undergrad. I'm not sure about the truthfulness of his statement, but I tend to believe him. Speaking from personal experience, however, RIT has a low faculty:student ratio, and almost all of my teachers have been very charismatic people who are willing to help you with anything you ask them for.

    Wow, that's a lot of typing...sorry :tongue2: Feel free to ask any questions. I hope I answered (perhaps preemptively) some that you were having.
  16. Mar 5, 2005 #15
    Not to sound stupid...what does RIT stand for?
  17. Mar 5, 2005 #16
    Rochester Institute of Technology
  18. Mar 5, 2005 #17
    Ah, thank you.

    How is that school? I don't know very much about it at all.
  19. Mar 5, 2005 #18
    Read 3 posts up.
  20. Mar 5, 2005 #19
    It does sound like an excellent place to be.
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