Grad School Woes

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  • Thread starter BrutePhysics
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  • #51
j93
191
2
Did it occur to you that maybe Vanadium and Cyrus are speaking from experience and giving the OP a realistic portrayal of his chances? The OP's chances of getting into grad school are extremely low with a GPA below 3.0. It is also true that competitive GPA's for graduate programs are >=3.5. This is the truth, and that is all Cyrus and Vanadium were pointing out.

Sure it may have been nicer to say, "Sure you'll get in to grad school. No worries." Unfortunately that doesn't make it true, nor does it help the original poster.

This is at least the third grad school thread I have seen follow this pattern:

1. "Can I get into grad school with....?"

2. Someone responds with a realistic portrayal of the situation.

3. Another someone doesn't like that answer and attributes it to the first someones arrogance or elitism.


Just because you don't like the answer doesn't mean that it isn't true. That's life.
Yea thats fine and all but I think the problem is that the shoot for the 4.0 advice is too obvious because you could say that for any question regarding graduate school or career advice. What use is no sh** advice coupled with realistic portrayal. It gives you no hope with no guidance on how to proceed. It makes the thread/forum pointless. I think that if you feel knowledgeable enough for a realistic portrayal assessment you should be knowledgeable enough to give more specific advice.

That is why I suggested he\she do full-time work part-time school to give him a better chance at a 4.0 for those terms and raising UGPA. I also suggested he devote a lot of effort at killing the GRE subject. At least thats specialized advice for his major and his situation and was not rocket science to come up with.
 
  • #52
I think he meant that you never considered the full-time work part-time school case, not the the fact that you used "you".
Nope, I just misunderstood Cyrus (for which I apologize!).
 
  • #53
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I think grad school is still possible, but you can probably say goodbye to a top 25 school if you have a low GPA or a really low GRE subject score also. But, of course, grad school is a possibility. It all depends on how hard you are willing to work to make up for any deficiencies in your application.
 
  • #54
j93
191
2
I was looking over AIP data and
This is at least the third grad school thread I have seen follow this pattern:

1. "Can I get into grad school with....?"

2. Someone responds with a realistic portrayal of the situation.
If your only considering top 100 schools that is a realistic portrayal otherwise it is not. If you look at AIP data the required GPA is push down to 2.8 after about top 100 and as you go lower in name schools the required GPA goes down to 2.5. Most of these schools dont even require PGRE. Why would they lower the required GPA on their AIP profile if they were not accepting students in 2.5-3.0 GPA and why would they even decide to lower the GPA on their profile if they only received 3.5+GPA applications.

3. Another someone doesn't like that answer and attributes it to the first someones arrogance or elitism.


Just because you don't like the answer doesn't mean that it isn't true. That's life.
You could easily make an argument for elitism if you consider that implicitly only top 120 programs are considered when the realistic portrayal you talk about is given.
 
  • #55
1,707
5
Usually a summer internship will pay you about 5k over the summer. But that requires you to have good grades. Also, one can do a co-op for a semester and earn money while working at a company, and making good money, and not have any courses to pay for.

Also, if one is tight for cash, one could start at a community college, then transfer and finish up at state college which costs exactly double per semester.

.......or you could work 40 hours a week, take full time class work, and do poorly.
just for the record: i have never heard of such a thing as a co-op for hard science students.
 
  • #56
2,985
15
just for the record: i have never heard of such a thing as a co-op for hard science students.
Ah, hard science. As opposed to the easy science. :rofl:

If you are studying physics, you could get a internship at a government lab. Mathematics would probably have to be something more finanical, but again doing work at a government lab might be possible. Though these would be internships and not a co-op.
 
  • #57
465
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just for the record: i have never heard of such a thing as a co-op for hard science students.
I'm a physics major, and I co-op at a research contractor. There, now you have. According to my school's statistics, about 10% of our physics majors co-op (and we have 120 something physics majors)
 
  • #58
j93
191
2
If only 10% of physics majors are participating I think you might need great grades to receive a co-op unless the OP knows someone the whole point was that the OP didnt have great grades so he cant get the great internship that pays him enough to live on while working part-time hours. Its a catch 22 situation he needs good grades to make the money to be able to work part-time and live. That is why he has to work full-time.

If he was a high school student having trouble getting into a college and paying for college I wouldnt advise him to apply to a Full-Scholarship program based on him being a National Merit Scholar to get him out of that bind.
 
  • #59
2,985
15
If only 10% of physics majors are participating I think you might need great grades to receive a co-op unless the OP knows someone the whole point was that the OP didnt have great grades so he cant get the great internship that pays him enough to live on while working part-time hours. Its a catch 22 situation he needs good grades to make the money to be able to work part-time and live. That is why he has to work full-time.

If he was a high school student having trouble getting into a college and paying for college I wouldnt advise him to apply to a Full-Scholarship program based on him being a National Merit Scholar to get him out of that bind.
But it's not a catch-22. I'll explain.

[a] finish highschool
work for about a year and save money to pay for school
[c] start off at a community college for the first two years and play exactly half the price of state tutition. Take these classes part time as you work. Graduate with a near 4.0
[d] transfer your last two years at a state university. Again, take classes part time while working part time and maintaining near 4.0 grades.

[inbetween b-d] get a co-op with your high GPA, and experience working.

At this point, it's a little late. You follow the guidelines, you'll do well. You dont follow them, then what happened to the OP will happen. I've seen it happen many, many times to people.

NO, you will not finish in four years. YES you will finish with stellar grades, you won't be in massive debt, and you will have a very good standing for graduate school. (But it's going to take you 5-6 years for a BS - ok, so big deal).
 
  • #60
j93
191
2
At this point, it's a little late. You follow the guidelines, you'll do well. You dont follow them, then what happened to the OP will happen. I've seen it happen many, many times to people.
I was considering only the OP case because of the assumed restrictions of the thread. Since it is too late for OP it is a catch 22 for him and I figured he needed different advice.
 
  • #61
2,985
15
I was considering only the OP case because of the assumed restrictions of the thread. Since it is too late for OP it is a catch 22 for him and I figured he needed different advice.
I'm afraid that this late in the game, there really isnt much advice one can give.
 
  • #62
j93
191
2
He could work full-time school part-time raise his GPA and try to kill the physics GRE.
 
  • #63
2,985
15
He could work full-time school part-time raise his GPA and try to kill the physics GRE.
Given his GPA, that's very, very ambitious. To go from a 2.8 GPA to "Killing the GRE" is a leap. Hopefully he does, but he's really going to have some luck and some hard work.
 
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  • #64
j93
191
2
Doing really well on the PGRE doesnt require much other than work and catering your work towards the exam. 50% of the exam is alot like the AP Physics B multiple choice. The quantum isnt too hard (too many expectation values questions that are braindead easy). I am pretty sure given a few months and a kid in AP Physics C/B I could get him too score in the 700 range. With a college student and more time dont think it is unreasonable to get high 800's and above. A decent amount of ones ability to score high on that exam after the simple concepts is based on being able to do problems quickly (learning tricks like boundary values,limiting cases). It involves a whole lot of catering to the exam what that is what he is going to do to raise his score efficiently. If the peoples republic of China can test prep their way to 990 someone in the US can. If he gets 800+PGRE he should be able to get in somewhere because he just beat out a lot of 3.4+GPA physics major at a standardized exam.
 
  • #65
465
1
If only 10% of physics majors are participating I think you might need great grades to receive a co-op unless the OP knows someone the whole point was that the OP didnt have great grades so he cant get the great internship that pays him enough to live on while working part-time hours. Its a catch 22 situation he needs good grades to make the money to be able to work part-time and live. That is why he has to work full-time.

If he was a high school student having trouble getting into a college and paying for college I wouldnt advise him to apply to a Full-Scholarship program based on him being a National Merit Scholar to get him out of that bind.
It's mostly speculation, but I think 10% of physics majors co-oping is a result of most physics majors not seeking a co-op job than needing a great GPA (since most physics classes are only taught once per year its a rather inconvienient schedule to have). I only think this based off of other physics majors I know not even realizing it was possible to co-op as a physics major.
 
  • #66
225
0
You could easily make an argument for elitism if you consider that implicitly only top 120 programs are considered when the realistic portrayal you talk about is given.
I couldn't have said it better myself....

To G01:

It is true...a lot of these threads have someone who wants to get into grad school...then mostly one of the heavy posters on these forums tell us how if you can't get a high GPA, high GRE score, three perfect recommendations, not to mention 40 hours of volunteer community service a week, etc....then you are a failure in life and can't be a part of graduate school because you are not competitive enough, not dedicated enough, not smart enough, and the list goes on and on...

clearly there are people who oppose this train of thought because either they are an example themselves of someone who can achieve their goals despite the condescending undertones of people who have "been there" and "done that" or maybe they know people who have had 2.9 GPA's and still made it in a top 50 school...

it also stands that based on what small information I could gather about some of the people giving advice about admissions criteria and such...have no foundation in which to draw from being as they are still undergrads or living in the UK and talking about US schools and so forth...so how about before claiming a "realistic portrayel" you post exactly what credential you have in posting such glorious advice...maybe then credibility would be given...

My advice to the OP...learn to filter out the useful advice...keep yourself grounded...do good in school and don't buy in too much to the hype...some of these people sound like the types that would tell an anorexic girl she is too fat for television..
 

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