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Grad School and GPA

  1. Nov 24, 2006 #1
    Hi all I have some questions, and I know I am probably repeating previous questions asked in this forum.

    I am taking a rigorous applied physics degree (engineering certified with all of the loverly physics major courses) and I am coming towards the middle of my third year.
    I have a true passion for my field; it keeps me up at night thinking, on walks, during my "relaxing time", etc. BUT, I have a very strong dislike in how we are all graded at university (undergraduate, that is).
    I'm not saying I do very poorly (GPA~3.2), but I know it definately does not represent my knowledge and love for what I study. I always seem to make the most ridiculous mistakes (little tiny tiny little ones e.g. v=a/b, I see, a=v/b). True my answers are incorrect, and I understand precision is an extreme importance in these field...but is it for a 50min midterm>?

    Basically I am asking for advice, I am at my tipping point. I know I would like to undertake further study (which area exactly, I'm not sure), but I am not sure I could pull off the GPA mark. Is your GPA THAT important for grad school, or are your ideas?

    I am little luckier (ironically) for although I am taking a heavy course load, I do have the ability to work as a fully paid engineer on finishing my degree.

    Should I wait it out and pay off my debts, or use a good hunk of energy to find a grad school with something I like?

    I understand this is strange question to ask complete strangers, but I am hoping to appeal to those who have been in a similar situation and they are able to over advice.


    Back into to nothing.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 24, 2006 #2
    From what I've heard and read on various websites, even with a semi-low GPA you can still get into nice grad schools. Although GPA carries some weight, from what I understand, research experience holds a great amount of weight and nice recommendations can tip the balance. Basically, the school is paying for you to do research, so you can see how important previous experience is. Try to do some research during the summer or ask your professors. I'm in a similar situation where my GPA could be better, and I'm hoping that some quality research experience will change the minds of the admissions faculty.

    -Alex W.
  4. Nov 24, 2006 #3
    Very true, research experience does have weight, but you generally need a higher GPA to get research positions. Many edges!
  5. Nov 27, 2006 #4
    See a bit about this thread:

    A VERY High Subject GRE could also counterbalnce a lower GPA in the eye's of committee members... who also look at WHAT caused the lower GPA and might tip an application one way or another...
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