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Is grad school even possible?

  1. Aug 10, 2015 #1

    B3NR4Y

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    I finished my first year at university, my GPA is a lackluster 3.26 GPA. I'm doing a dual degree in mathematics and physics, but that's not important. My grades in physics/math classes were pretty good, A's and a B, but my gen eds really brought me down. No room for excuses, grad schools won't accept those. We recently changed our grading to include +/- grading. This was a god send for me, in my head. I calculated that if I take 100 more hours achieving a 4.2 (A+) in each class, my gpa will raise to 3.9. If I continue on for 40 more hours, this could go up to 4.0. An A+ in every class wouldn't be that difficult seeing as I understand how college works now, how serious I should take classes, and the classes I am taking are math and physics classes.

    Assuming I achieve this, conduct research as an undergrad, do well on the GRE, and have recommendation letters, is it impossible to get into grad school for math or physics?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 10, 2015 #2
    You think that getting an A+ won't be difficult because you've only just completed your freshman year. But by the time you get to the upper-level physics courses, you'll be chuckling at your former self who thought it wouldn't be hard.

    Seriously though, a 3.9 (or slightly below) is not a bad GPA. You have plenty of time and opportunities to redeem yourself.
     
  4. Aug 10, 2015 #3

    Student100

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    You need to step back and take a breath. Your major GPA is more important, as is your GPA during your junior and senior year. Obviously continue to do better, do research, get good letters, but suggesting it's impossible for you to go to grad in physics/or math is just crazy talk at this point in your academic career.

    Don't kill yourself worrying about this stuff.
     
  5. Aug 10, 2015 #4

    B3NR4Y

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    Thank you, I figured throwing grad school out of the realm of possibility this early wasn't that smart, but I was reading other threads about grad school and someone mention having a 3.2 GPA and nearly everyone in the thread said they have no hope at grad school, so I panicked a bit.

    I'll be taking a junior level physics course (Mechanics II, covers lagrangian mechanics and hamiltonian mechanics and other mathematical tools for physicists) and a junior level math course (advanced calculus, or as it was previously known real analysis) in the fall, so here's to hoping I didn't shoot myself in the foot and can get an A (at least), Dishsoap has scared me..
     
  6. Aug 10, 2015 #5

    Student100

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    Dishsoap is right, the classes get much harder.That said, people get into graduate schools all the time with a low 3.0.

    GPA is one factor, in a multifaceted admissions package. You're obviously passionate, and as long as you continue to try your best there's no sense in giving yourself an ulcer worrying. Do your best, and what happens, happens. I doubt you'll have problems though if you keep up the motivation.
     
  7. Aug 10, 2015 #6
    Sorry, not my intention! :)

    I just meant that classes are going to get harder, so don't beat yourself up too much if you can't get all A+s. Your GPA after your first year is not at all an indicator of long-term success. If you still have a 3.26 going into your senior year, then yes, I'd be very worried, because you clearly aren't grasping material or are very poor at time management. But a 3.26 after your freshman year just means that college courses kicked your butt a little harder than you thought they would, which is typical.

    Also, if your gen eds were the only thing that dragged you down, you probably have most of them out of the way, right? It's important that you do well since it shows you can do things that you don't give a rat's ass about, but it's not the end of the world.
     
  8. Aug 11, 2015 #7
    Grad schools look really favorably on trends and not just flat numbers. If your freshman year was lacking but your senior year was pristine you'd be in good shape regardless of your freshman year as long as it was a steady upward trend in grades.
     
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