PhD Applications with a low GPA (due to depression in my junior year)

In summary, the conversation is about a student who is interested in pursuing a PhD in biological or condensed matter physics. They have a lower GPA due to experiencing depression during their junior year, but have been receiving treatment and are now doing better. They are wondering about their competitiveness for various programs and are considering alternative routes if they are not accepted into a PhD program. The conversation also includes a discussion about the importance of grades, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation in the application process. The student is seeking advice on their competitiveness for specific programs and whether their GPA would disqualify them. They also mention having contacts at some of the universities they are interested in, but not at others.
  • #36
one technique i used for getting into a phd program the second time around was this: first i took a job teaching undergrad, and learned the background material i lacked by teaching it, i.e. essentially self study. i also studied further graduate material over the summer. then when i was ready to apply again to grad school, i just showed up and (with permission) took and passed their phd qualifying exams, thus demonstrating that i was at least as good as their current graduate students. at this point no one cared about my previous gpa. this got me accepted to the math dept at the Univ of Washington, although I decided to go elsewhere for a better offer. The point is that if you are qualified, you should be able to demonstrate that fact. If not, you don't want to get yourself in the program.
 
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  • #37
People saying If you can't handle undergrad school you can't handle post grad school, it has nothing to do with that. Mental illness is not likely caused by his inability to handle the course. Or stress. Keeps fighting ignore them.
 
  • #38
Before anything, controlling your depression is the most important thing. The problem with depression and similar conditions is that they never truly go away. After I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I had to take three full years off from school before I felt ready to handle it again. And I wasn't even going for a graduate degree. I went back for an engineering undergrad degree.
 

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