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Messed up my undergrad, and my chance of?

  1. Mar 9, 2010 #1
    messed up my undergrad, and my chance of??

    i'm about to get my BSEE. my gpa as an undergrad is quite low. i was once lazy and unmotivated, but i became a different student in my 3rd and 4th years, and now i am confident of my ability to be successful in grad school. obviously, there is still a semester left, but i decide not to apply for better schools.

    anyway, i'm admitted to several M.S programs ranked between 60~100, and if i decide to get PHD (something i really want) how would the schools see my undergrad record? how much do you think two years of graduate work would help? and can i still get into a good PHD program even if i go to less reputable school for my M.S?

    if i had a chance to start over, i swear i wouldn't repeat the same mistakes.. so, what should i do to accomplish my goal?(PHD) Btw , i am going to study photonics.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 9, 2010 #2
    Re: messed up my undergrad, and my chance of??

    lol, how did you mess it up?
  4. Mar 9, 2010 #3
    Re: messed up my undergrad, and my chance of??

    I'm in a similar situation as you. The advice I've gotten from advisers, friends, professors and these forums here I shall pass on to you.

    My first question is why do you want to get a PhD? I mean, what do you want to do with it? Are you looking at working in industry? Do you want to teach at a University? The openings at research universities in the United States are extremely competitive. If that's something you want then going to a more prestigious school will definitely work in your favor. However, you don't need a PhD in physics from an ivy league school to do research in industry or to work for the government. Hell, you don't need to get your PhD from an ivy league school period. Does it look good? Sure. But my understanding is employers/universities are more interested in what you've done with your schooling rather than where you got it. So my advice is to get involved in as much undergrad/grad research as you can, get your name out there and don't worry about where you're going to school but rather getting the most out of where you are currently. It'll make all the difference.

    From the sounds of it you've been admitted to some top 100 graduate programs. That's nothing too snuff at. Graduate programs are more interested in trends rather than what you did in the past. Now, that's not to say they don't look into past semesters and weigh those in, but it's not the end of the world if you got a C in your freshman Composition class if you're a physics major. They'll see that you've matured and did better in your more recent classes (and hell, they're probably the more difficult ones).

    In short:
    If you've been admitted to a graduate program you've must have done something right. Two years of graduate work would definitely work in your favor. Depending on what you want to do with your PhD and your career in general the school you went to isn't as important as what you did when you were there.

    Hope this helps!
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