[SOLVED] Nano-Bio-Physics? Phd or Md? warning, very long and complicated... Hey, SO first off I am going to be a little frustrated by the fact that I cannot seem to use the tab button in this forum. Secondly this will be a long post so if you are not up for it then I suggest you flee. IT WILL BE VERY LONG. I am warning you... really really really long...and detailed ... But if you skip to the last three paragraphs you will be able to still help, and you could just jump back and forth among the article to obtain the details and such as needed. ;) On to the issues I have in real life...... I don't know where to start. I am a senior in college. I will graduated next fall with a degree in History (north east asian concentration...random I know). I will have also completed about 2/3s of a physics major and 1/2 of a Chem major. The story goes that I was accepted into my school as a econ and engineering physics major but I changed it to history and PE and then decided I did not want to transfer to UCB (I was in a special and highly selective program) and chose physics/history as a double major (end of junior year). So I never really expected to graduate on time, but apparently at the end of fall quarter in my senior year the school realized that I could graduate "on time" (they include till the fall of the next year as on time) if I did not continue with a physics major (because it would add another year and a quarter and I would have completed all the general eds so I would pretty much be part timing it). I was cut out of the physics program and put into a history only program and am set to finish it in about six months. This was done because i could finish the history most quickly (no preqs for most classes so I can double or triple up on upper divs). Now I have a unique background as well which has influenced my life a lot. First I am an American raised overseas (private/elite american curriculum/IB high school), second my parents still live overseas, third I was diagnosed with ADHD and a math LD in the summer before my senior year and my gf is a pain in the ..... Anyway. Having changed my major about four times, working a part time job (sometimes two) for 4 years to help pay for tuition, being an RA for two years (uh I didn't include that as a job for some reason), being on a college swim team for two years and having a very colorful love life, oh an never receiving any accommodations for what were seen as somewhat serious ailments did not in anyway make my college experience easy. Most people think it is a miracle I am graduating "on time". I don't want to graduate. I want a Physics degree. But I don't really have a choice cause my initial approval for extended time was revoked and I was limited to next fall to finish my senior thesis/research. Onwards... My gpa is not too hot. It is okay but it is very sporadic. I have high scores in everything at some point and then again I have Cs, Ds and Fs in every subject as well. I do well enough in most classes that I have acceptable GPA. Granted history is so much easier than physics and math and chem that those scores tend to be higher. Regardless I am unimpressed overall and rather disappointed with myself because I know if I had cut out all of the jobs and sports and took the advice from my freshman calc teacher to get tested for LD and such I would have done much better overall. I talked to an advisor. I was told that grad school would be no problem for me to get into, that I could easily get in anywhere in history if I had the desire and physics, chem or Bimolecular Engineering would take more work once I got there but were doable. I was given the suggestion of applying in the area (cause there is a lot of cross campus work among all the universities in the Bay Area) and finding a program I was interested in and talking to the profs I wanted to work with before I applied. I was also told that in rare cases it is sometimes permitted to have a person accepted into a grad program in one subject while they finish building experience in another and then after completing the first going into a second. I am a smart kid. I got my high school physics award twice in high school once as a sophomore (I was permitted to skip soph science and go into the IB classes right off cause I was the top frosh science student). I have done reasonably well in everything even though I have constantly been overextended well beyond my capabilities. I sleep maybe 3-5 hours most nights, 8hrs is sleeping in, sometimes I get 10hrs (like on my birthday or holidays) and that is a god sent. I haven't failed out of college and I should have by now. Now I mentioned math earlier. I do have an LD in it and it was not diagnosed till my senior year so when I went through single and then multi var calc, linear algebra and differential equations and then math methods pt.1 I never was given accommodations such as extra time on exams, a separate room for exams and a tutor. A lot of people think such treatment is cheating the system to get unfair advantages but really it is not and its not like I got diagnoses in HS and carried it forward, I was put up against one of the few independent psychiatrists that the university's disability resources department will take advice from, a clean cut no BS professional basically. I was a special case apparently because I have a really high iq (ever questioned on accuracy and reliability, I know, spare me) but I had relatively low scores in some areas as opposed to others giving me a net intellectual advantage over most people but technically still below my capability. Really honestly I did not go into testing thinking I would have anything, I was asked so often to be tested that I just broke under the pressure and took it and then was shocked at the results. I was glad I got accommodations eventually. The lack of accommodations for 3 years +summer school every year did take its toll and I had to repeat many math classes. Usually would fail then come out with a B or C the second time around. Math is important to physics and it is a weakness of mine but not one that I let get to me. I taught myself algebra, geometry, advanced algebra and trig every summer before i took them in high school and was given a test and offered the option to skip each and every one of those classes into the next level. I didn't cause my dad is a math teacher and he demanded I take everything but geo (whatever easy As were nice). Likewise my physics scores suffered in the first 3 years of college, as well, when I needed advanced maths. My basic interests in physics lies in its application to new energy sources and I really want to pursue Bimolecular Engineering with a nano tech focus or Nano-BioPhysics to help explore some possibilities along these lines (looking at both macro and microscopic...well nano technically... applications).I don't know. It is just what I always think about and I have talked to a couple BME professors who told me to go into a BME program (theirs maybe) despite my lack of experience in bio and my multiple poor scores because ambition, dedication, and creative ideas were good starting point as long as I learn the tools and skills along the way. I warned you this was long. What is the best course to go about obtaining this dream? In a grad school application is it appropriate to talk about how your ever hectic life hindered your academic success? I mean I had to pay for multiple quarters on my own from part time jobs, been stressed to hell and back when my parents are put in life threatening situations (such as the recent cyclone in myanmar) and everything else on top of it. Those all cannot fully justify failing grades but they played a bigger part than anything else in my opinion. Do you really think it is possible to go into a masters program in say history (I could go pretty much anywhere) and build up , simultaneously, the remaining experience needed in physics to enter a physics program and then transfer to the physics department after finishing history? (Has anyone done that? I was assured by multiple people (2 Profs and One academic advisor) that it was very possible.) I read on your forums that it is better to shoot for a PhD program over a masters because of the time involved and it being encompassing in a sort of way. Is this harder to do than getting into a master program? Is nano-bio-physics a good place to make a career or is it a dead end? I am also interested in some micro fluid dynamics stuff and wouldn't mind looking into it. I read a lot of science journals, btw. Lastly could really good interview get me into a grad program despite poor scores? I am ever so persuasive in person, I have no idea why, it is uncanny. I tend to interview very well and have gotten so many jobs I had no experience in that it is unbelievable. For ex. last year i was given a small research grant to design and build a prototype next gen-biodiesel reactor and write a large construction grant proposal to have someone build a real one for the university's service fleets basically because I gave a good 5 min spiel as to why we needed one and how one should go about it with about 10 minutes notice that i was even going to present an idea to anyone. So in the end I am a student who is super (duper!) over extended, with average scores, a wild crazy and incredibly diverse life and background and some really specific interests namely north east asian history (1800s on) and what I have been told is nano-biophysics and sometimes bimolecular engineering. I don't give up. I work hard. What will it take for me to get into grad school? Should I best just take a year off and study my butt off in physics and bio and then just ace the GRE? It can't be that hard, I usually do well on standardized tests without prep. Should I try to get in on some research as a post grad in that year off to get experience and study and recs? Should I go for a Phd or Master program? Will there be anywhere on this planet where I could get a job when I am done with it all? If I am flat out rejected from everywhere would it be possible to come back in a couple years and try again with extra study experience or something, how many years? Lastly will not having a physics or chem or bio degree make all of my pursuits out of the question or were the profs and advisor actually knowledgeable and honest with me?