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How to move forward with a less than perfect undergrad gpa

  1. Jun 22, 2012 #1
    I recently got by B.S. in physics and political science from Wisconsin. I may have had a little too much fun in the beginning of college. I had a couple of bad semesters. I got my act together during my last three semesters. But anyway, I have B.S. in physics from a pretty good school with a 2.778 cumulative GPA, no real research experience, and no idea how to move forward. I really like physics, but with such a bad GPA, and only trivial physics related experience, I can't imagine any path to graduate school. I would like to go for it. I know I can do it, I did a really good job at the end of college. I thought about perhaps trying to get into a masters program for engineering and then work for a while and then maybe try to get into a physics Ph.D program. Does anyone have any advice for me? Thanks guys.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 22, 2012 #2
    What were your grades in upper division physics classes
  4. Jun 23, 2012 #3
    All physics grades:

    1st Sem: T
    2nd Sem: T
    3rd Sem: B
    Mechanics: AB
    Lab 1: AB
    Electromagnetic Fields: BC
    Quantum 1: BC
    Lab 2: AB
    Quantum 2: C
    Thermal Physics: AB
  5. Jun 23, 2012 #4
    Is AB like a 4.0 in your school.
  6. Jun 23, 2012 #5
    Sometimes you can get in (not top tier) with less than 3.0 on probation. Your scores on the Physics GRE would probably be a primary factor.

    Depending on the school you may even hedge your bet a little and apply for M.S. program, then move on to the Ph.D. after a couple semesters once you've established you can do the work. But some schools don't really distinguish.
  7. Jun 23, 2012 #6


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    I'm not going to lie, with those grades and the fact that you have no physics research experience, it doesn't look promising at all. The most important thing though is that to make sure that you even want to attend graduate school in the first place. Since you've never done any physics research in your life, what makes you so sure that it's what you want to do for the next 5+ years of your life? Getting this experience is invaluable to both figuring out what you want to do and enhancing your viability as a candidate.
  8. Jun 24, 2012 #7

    I would agree with that. Do you have any idea how I might get that type of experience, to both bolster my resume and to help me determine whether or not this is what I want?
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