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Admissions Graduate school advice

  1. May 15, 2016 #1

    I am in a situation and need some guidance and help and would appreciate your input. So I graduated May 2015 from a state school with Astrophysics bachelors and applied for graduate school for Fall 2016.

    Here are all my scores -
    Overall GPA - Less than 3.3
    PGRE - Less than 600
    GRE - 302 (Q161) W 3.5
    Research Experience - Did one semester of research (no publications)

    I had mostly applied for Masters Program to colleges based on my profile and not the top 10 and my plan was to do Masters and gain experience and then apply for pHD but I was rejected from all the 14 universities I applied. So here are some Q if anyone can help me with it - Should I retake PGRE again this october and apply for Fall 2017 ? Is 2 year break ok ? What part of my profile needs more tuning ? Do I need to email professors even for Masters program ? I would appreciate any insightful guidance and help. Keep Purring
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2016 #2
    Do you think you would get a significantly better score? Most students don't.

    Everything really. Your profile is very weak. Your GPA is not very strong, but that's ok if your other stats are good (they're not). You haven't mentioned recommendation letters, but since you got rejected from 14 universities, I assume they're average or even weak. Taking a 2 year break would make it even harder to get good recommendation letters. With the kind of stats you present, only recommendation letters could save you.

    You should consider applying to "weaker" schools.
  4. May 16, 2016 #3
    The (two year) break, and undergraduate GPA you have no control of. The physics GRE is the only matter you do potentially have some control of. A good grade the second time would improve your admissions package. If you can get a job (especially a professional position) in the meantime, that might improve the package too.

    Many years ago, I took time a year off between undergrad and grad study. The intervening year, I had a unprofessional (I hate to say menial, because any honest work is laudable) job, and I took a graduate course, (I paid the tuition, because I was not admitted as a graduate student, and I had no benefits) at the same time. I got a good grade in the graduate course, and also had the professor as another source for a letter of recommendation.

    I do not know for sure if this could be done today. I did this in the late 1970's

    Many years later, a member of the admissions committee, said he liked the fact that I had a unprofessional job for the year. It showed I could handle drudgery, and mind-numbing that occurs at some points in all jobs, and it would give me a better appreciation for the work I was currently doing.
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