Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Job advice and lack of grad school acceptance

  1. Mar 10, 2005 #1
    I am seeking some career advice.

    I just found out that I will not be able to attend physics doctorate grad school next year.
    US Citizen
    Physics/EngineeringGpa:~3.15 <probably did not help
    GRE:V 560(75%) Q 790(89%) AW 4.0(32%) (Bad at essay writing in a time constraint)
    Physics GRE 770(72%)

    Fall semester of my senior year I also received 3.51 GPA

    1 summer REU at the Advanced Materials Laboratory in Albuquerque New Mexico.
    I dealt with self assembled layers of alternating Si02 and hydropolymer. The layers were typically 30-50 nano meters thick. The hydropolymer shrinks in hot water and swells in cold water. The hydropolymer was anchored to the SiO2 so when the hydropolymer shrank or swelled so would the entire structure.
    1 summer hired as a staff member at the Advanced Materials Laboratory. They liked me from the first summer and brought me back.
    This time I work on a different project involving super hydrophobic materials.
    And by the time I graduate I will have 1 year and a half research with a professor at my home university in space plasmas. This deals with the electrostatic dust transportation a phenomenon that is thought to happen on the moon and asteroids such as eros.

    I have not written any papers though I am currently helping write one on the experiments I have preformed with electrostatic dust transportation.

    I have good knowledge of Mathematica, Mathcad, and C++.

    I want to attend grad school, I frankly I will, just not next year most lily. I have not received any final official communication however I know that my application was not accepted. I will be writing an email that will be forwarded to the head of the physics admission committee, but considering that they have never reversed their a decision in the past it is unlikely to happen for me.

    So my question is what job should I be looking for to further my plans to attend grad school. If it helps I plan to be in the Austin Texas. The University of Austin Texas is my preferred choice for grad school.

    Advice on a job to look for as well as what I should be doing with my free time. I already plan on studying Graduate physics in my free time.

    Part of the reason I am writing this is to help write the email that I mentioned above.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated and welcome.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2005 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    How many schools did you apply to? Please don't tell me just one, because I'll fall off my chair.....

    UT-Austin is not an easy school to get into, even with the best of grades. As I have mentioned elsewhere, you should really apply to several schools, and have them grouped separately in terms of likelyhood of acceptance based on your ability and grades. There is very seldom a good excuse for "all or nothing" choice in schools. Just because you dream of going to one and can't get in doesn't mean other schools can't offer similar opportunities.

  4. Mar 11, 2005 #3
    Thanks for the response ZapperZ, you may now fall off your chair. Needless to say I thought I was justified, but doesn’t anyone who ends up in my situation. I do not look at this as the end of the world; however it will make me work harder to achieve what I want. My hard work wont count for much though unless it is applied in the right direction though, hence the asking for advise. I included all the information in my first post so that you would have a good idea where I am coming from and would be able to give better advice.

    This is not the only avenue of obtaining advice, but it is one that I thought would be worth while.

    I really meant any advice was welcome.
  5. Mar 11, 2005 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    OUCH! That hoitz!

    OK, well, all I can say is: WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?!! :) :)

    You should never, ever apply to just one school. As I've said, I can't think of any rational justification to be that sure of yourself. College acceptance sometime is a voodoo, blackmagic science. Someone with a lesser college grades could get in, while another with a better set of grades could not. It can be that unpredictable that even the best of us apply to many schools. I graduated with someone who earned a 3.95 GPA (straight A's in physics classes), had several undergraduate publications, an NSF fellowship to go to graduate school, and no doubt, glowing letter of recommendations, and she still applied to 8 different schools! Especially here in the US where you can find multiple number of schools being good in a particular field of study, there is no good excuse to simply insisting on going to just one specific school.

    Often, things have a way of working out in ways that you don't expect. I've gone through this and you just have to trust me. Start sending out a fresh round of applications and see what happens.

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook