Grad school admission

  • #1
Hi all.
I am an international student. I am considering applying for physics grad program in North America.
I had very low GPA in my first two years in university (around 2.00) and later dropped out of school voluntarily. I managed to get into a university few years ago and ended up with around 3.85 technical GPA. I just took PGRE(940) and GRE General(V: 144, AW: no result yet, Q: 169). I don't have much research experience but I have been helping a professor on his project for around a year. I don't have any publication.
I am wondering if my low GPA in my first two years will hurt my application. Also, I don't have a good score on GRE verbal section and I don't expect I can get a good score on analytical writing because English is my second language. Given these situations, is there any chance for me to get accepted into top tier university?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
12,477
6,262
Do you have to take the TOEFL EXAM too?

These kinds of questions are always hard to answer. Its best to try your luck. Make a list of universities you'd like to apply to with a few in the top tier, a few in the mid tier and a few safe schools. When I applied decades ago I sent in to 10 schools. It was fun but in the end I wound up going to a local school and then switching from Physics to Comp Sci and transferring courses into to my new school.

Being a foreign student coming to the US, you may be given a break in admissions as often European and Asian schooling is highly regarded and the fact that you learned English means you're more academically qualified than students here.

Im sure they will look at your GRE first, and then your grades second and finally whatever you've written in your application materials. They will have to adjust it somewhat because of your out of country education and thats the part that is more hidden.

Nowadays, things are different and I'm probably way off and so wait for some other PF folks to chime in here.

Calling @ZapperZ and @DrClaude and @Dr. Courtney for help here.
 
  • #3
Dr. Courtney
Education Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2020 Award
3,294
2,459
Most graduate admissions processes consider all the available information. So, yes, two years of coursework earning "around" a 2.0 GPA is gonna hurt. Meaning your prospects are not as good as if you would have had a 3.0 GPA those two years. The question is "how much?"

A lot will come down to your recommendation letters. I'd say you have a great chance of getting into a couple top 100 universities in the US if you apply to several. But is applying to top 50 or top 20 universities a waste of time and application costs? Without any publications, it might be. But it all comes down to whether those recommendation letters truly rave, or only amount to faint praise.

What do those you plan to ask to write those recommendation letters have to say about your prospects at the middle and upper tier PhD programs in the US? They have the inside information no one else has.
 
  • Like
Likes jedishrfu

Related Threads on Grad school admission

Replies
19
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
823
Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
27
Views
25K
Replies
4
Views
2K
Replies
6
Views
9K
Replies
7
Views
6K
Replies
11
Views
1K
Replies
0
Views
3K
Top