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Ph.D. Program Prospects?

  1. Jun 28, 2011 #1
    Need opinions, I'm entering my "Senior" year in physics, and have a had a tumultuous academic past. I changed majors a lot before settling on physics and used to withdraw from classes halfway through the semester because I'd get bored with Gen Ed's etc. Last semester I had a rough go of it because of some personal situations and ended up with a C+,C+ and D+ in some important classes. While I will finish my degree within the next year or so I probably wouldn't apply to a ph.d. program until the year after and do some research work/ take graduate classes in the meantime.

    I have a lot of physics credits left to take this coming year and my overall GPA at my current University is 3.63 for 70 or so credits. My career GPA is somewhat lower, in the 3.0 range, due to my less than stellar history in mostly Gen. Eds. For instance I'm doing 16 credits in Physics next semester, hopefully I can pull my GPA up and so I can do outstanding in advanced physics coursework.

    I'm also doing research at an affiliated university on a major experiment in particle physics. I have been doing it since January and will probably continue until the end of next summer.

    What do my options look like for grad school. How will my older grades and my aberration last semester effect me? What I can do to be more competitive?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 30, 2011 #2
  4. Jun 30, 2011 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    What do you want us to say? Bad grades hurt.

    In the past, you said your school was terrible, and you got poor grades there. Bad grades at a weak school hurt more. Recent bad grades hurt more still.

    Taking a huge load of advanced physics courses all at the same time in hopes to increase your grades is somewhere between "very risky" and "unrealistic".

    For two years now, you've been getting advice like this:

    I'm afraid your chickens are coming home to roost.
  5. Jun 30, 2011 #4
    I'm glad you remember me Vandium. It's not that I have bad grades or am unable to do the work. Most of grades in real classes are A's, besides my bad semester this last one. Pretty sure I can handle the coursework, I don't know I'll just try my best and see what happens when I apply though.
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