Lets say you have a B- average right now...

  1. so far I've only taken 4 physics classes. I have at least 14 more physics classes to taken. Is it possible to raise my GPA to at least a 3.0 because I really , really want to go to physics grad school and most grad schools require the applicant to have a GPA of around 3.0-3.5 range.
  2. jcsd
  3. Do the math..... it should be trivial to figure out what grades you need to get above a 3.0.
    Also, if you want to do theoretical physics, forget about it with marks that low, and for experimental often good reference letters and research experience is more important than GPA.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2008
  4. do you honestly think that a grad school truely cares about the marks you get your freshman year?

    I actually have a friend who is now in grad school for theoretical physics and he got a 2.7 cumulative in undergrad.

    The reason why is that for his first three years he didn' do muc homeowrk and eventualy became demotivated, after taking a year off he returned and re-took mechanics, quantum mechanics, E&M (grad), stat mech (grad), and quantum mechanics (grad). the 4 subjects that really give you the preparation to go on to grad school, he got A's in them and good recommendations from the professors, this is enough to prove to a grad school that your capable and willing to get it done. Granted he's not into a great grad school, but in the end it matters far more who your advisor is and what you do in grad school than where you go.

    However you don't want to do what he did, with only 4 classes down, you could theoretically pull a 3.7 average or so if you got all A's

    one more thing, a B average is a 3.0 ;)
  5. G01

    G01 2,687
    Homework Helper

    If you get good grades from here on out the B-'s as a freshman will not matter at all. Assuming you work hard and get good grades from now on, you'll have no problem getting your GPA above a 3.0. I know the B-'s look like they affect your GPA alot now, but remember that you probably don't have many credits overall. Once your total credit count gets above 70, the B-'s won't matter, assuming your grades from here on out are better, of course.
  6. What if someone DID get a B in all their physics courses?
  7. then they would be a very mediocre student...
  8. G01

    G01 2,687
    Homework Helper

    They're physics GPA would be a 3.0 exactly....

    Could you explain your question? Are you asking about that someone's grad school chances?
  9. I was just nonchalantly wondering what the conceptions would be of that student. Would grad school chances be severely diminished if that were the case?
  10. just because a student doesn't get straight A's doesn't make him a mediocre student. Everybody learns physics differently and will not absorbed physics material at the same rate .
  11. If you cant absorb undergrad material, you dont stand a chance absorbing grad material in the same amount of time. There really is no reason why anyone would get all B's in their physics class, unless they dont know whats going on.
  12. Actually, not getting straight A's, aka being average or moderate, is the definition of mediocre.
  13. He said B- average, his B- might not be a 3.0 but lower, hence the below 3.0 grade. Some schools assign point value based on +/- next to the letter.
  14. Defennder

    Defennder 2,616
    Homework Helper

    Don't mean to sound naive here, but are we talking about a 5 point GPA scale or a 4 point one? And if it's 5 point, B- corresponds to 3.0 right?
  15. Actually getting only C's would be mediocre. a student who only earns B's and B'+'s and A-'s are what many consider above average student.

    I think a lot of graduate students would not be graduate students if the students only got A's. In addition, earning a high GPA is not the only indicator to determine if a student truly understands what they are learning. Don't you think then graduate committees would solely factor in GPA if a student truly understands if she is learning physics well?
  16. G01

    G01 2,687
    Homework Helper

    The grad school, I'm sure, looks at other factors other than GPA, like research experience, and recommendations, as well as GRE scores.
  17. Andy Resnick

    Andy Resnick 5,751
    Science Advisor

    I look at more than grades for admission. Partly it's because of grade inflation- I can't trust letter grades out of context from institutions I am unfamiliar with. But I'm also looking for maturity and the desire to be independent- those characteristics mean a lot in grad school, when we expect students to learn things on their own.

    To be sure, "mediocre" grades from a random college are not an encouraging sign, but if a student showed improvement during school, or the mediocre grades were confined to a particular semester, or any number of other factors, I'd be more than willing to overlook poor grades.
  18. what letter grades do you consider mediocre? Would any grade between a B and an A- be mediocre to you?
  19. Andy Resnick

    Andy Resnick 5,751
    Science Advisor

    I look for A's and B's, hoping to see mostly A's. Again, I do not have a magic formula.
  20. Same here, man. I've always had an innate interest in physics, so coupled with a bit of perseverance and diligence maybe I'll pull mostly "A"s in my physics courses.
  21. I think an average student would be B's, B+'s and A-s. Thats def. not above average by any measure. Above average would be all A's with one or two B's.

    If you are not getting As in physics, you are spending too much time on other classes. Get As in physics, if that means getting a B- in other courses. Master what you're in college to learn.

    Personally, I think 3.0-3.6 is a mediocre GPA. If you want to stand out, get above a 3.70 GPA, and do an internship.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2008
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