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Admissions Low GPA, EE undergraduate major applying HEP PhD

  1. Jan 5, 2017 #1
    Before closing, I apologize for too long passage calling for the advise. I thought I need to give the potential advisors as precise information as I can.

    I graduated from a university in South Korea with major in Electrical engineering and minor in physics.
    I decided to change my major to physics when I was 4th year in undergraduate, and studied physics for 1 and a half year before I graduate.
    I started taking physics courses in UC berkeley as an exchange student. I took Quantum mechanics, E&M, Abstract algebra but unfortunately I didn't do well and got grade B-,B+,A0 each. I know I deserve these because my understanding as well as attitude - I was lost there, regretfully - were poor.

    I am now in master course in physics especially in particle physics phenominology. I am planning to apply PhD in high energy physics theory after current master cousrse. I haven't fixed the thesis topic but it would be review of SUSY, the dissertation examination will be spring next year(2018).
    I am very worried about my admission try, because I changed from ee major quite lately, and now there is no professor that I impressed much to give me good recommendation letters - I need to beg for it, and I have no paper or experience in hep institute,... and, also my grade is so poor- total 3.79/ physics upper only 3.53.

    Here are profile of GPA: Classical Mech: A+/ E&M: B+, A-/ Stat Mech: B0/ QM: B-,B+/ Condensed matter: A-/ Physics lab3: A+ total 3.53.
    Druing 2 semesters in graduate school: QM: A0,A-/ CM:A+/ Stat Mech: B+/ QFT: A-/ GR: A-. and audited particle physics class.
    I know I failed to upgrade several subjects - I preferred to study QFT alone with favorite textbook but was not good in class maybe.

    As one sees, my GPA never is oustanding and maybe poor when it is considered in phD admission.
    I don't pursue graduate shcool with high ranking. I only want to study high energy theory with nice advisor in the institute where there are more than 2 professors majoring in hep theory or pheno. I just want to explore new world like US, Canada or European countries or just ouside Asia for my youth in academia. Though my gpa maybe sucks, I passed Qualifying exam in graduate school. Also I felt beauty when I study qft from its consistency like guage invariance and its cute children, and from compatibility of some certain conclusions from nature that can be obtained independently within different scopes. I was also fascinated to see 3 seemingly different de Sitter spaces integrate to one after change of space time variables. Many motivates me to proceed studying hep for my lifetime.
    But I wonder whether these motivation only can overcome my weaknesses in applying PhD course without any visual outcomes like papers.
    If you have any idea, hope you tell me about how the admission will go, and I will be very grateful for any advices.
    Thank you all for reading too long passage.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2017 #2
    You need to take the Physics GRE. Your potential will largely be determined by this score.
  4. Jan 6, 2017 #3
    Thanks. I already have taken practice PGRE from ETS website, and got scaled score of 940(90%). Since it was first test, this perhaps was lucky or I can improve further. Do you think it is enough or short?
  5. Jan 6, 2017 #4
    That's a pretty good score. My inclination would be to stand pat. Your GPA will tend to be viewed more favorably in light of a good PGRE score.
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