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Physics Graduate School

  1. Jun 16, 2014 #1
    Hello all, I am entering my senior year. I have a over all gpa of 3.3. My subject gpa currently is 2.83 due to some bad classes my freshman year. I have 6 classes left towards my major so I have a chance to bring up my major gpa. But I study and work hard as it is, and can't get an A in my physics classes just B or B+ which are not bad on their own, just not enough to bring up that gpa. So unless I somehow can get a lot of A's in my remaining physics classes, what are the chances of grad school with a subject gpa of say 3.0?
    I do have a little research experience to add to the application, and haven't taken the gre yet. I'm asking based off gpa.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 16, 2014 #2
    Based on what I've heard in my interviews with professors, I think your chances are probably not great. Ideally you want to be at 3.7 or greater.
  4. Jun 16, 2014 #3
    What kind of grad program are you talking about? Most physics students start out wanting to complete a PhD in physics, but many find their way into other types of programs.
  5. Jun 16, 2014 #4
    It would be a Phd physics. I also have a background that I could apply for a Phd in Astronomy as well. I don't know if it's anymore likely.
    Talking to the physics professors here at UF, they say the average to get into grad school is 3.2.
  6. Jun 16, 2014 #5


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    It's difficult to say anything definitively.

    In most cases you need a 3.0 GPA just to apply because most gradaute schools will use that as a threshold for considering your application. There may be the occasional "exceptional circumstances" case, but those are few and far between and they truely are "exceptional" circumstances.

    The admissions process is usually a competative one. If you meet the thresholds set by the faculty of graduate studies (typically 3.0) and then the specific department you're interested in (which is often higher - that 3.2 could very well be your departmental threshold), you will then be ranked within the pool of applicants. Each department will have so many positions based on available funding and which professors can take on students. If there are three positions available in the astrophysics group, then the top three students interested in astrophysics are picked and the rest get on a waiting list.

    So, you're not out of the running. Spend time looking into the programs that you're interested in and do what you can to get those marks up.
  7. Jun 16, 2014 #6

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    I think you need to think this through. Suppose you get into graduate school. What makes you think you'll complete it? The classes are harder than upper division, and the expectations are higher: a C is considered failing, and a B average is the usual minimum for staying in the program.
  8. Jun 16, 2014 #7
    I will complete it. I'm doing much better in my classes now then I was as a freshman. Getting C's then and now all B's in physics and A'a in astronomy classes. And the work has only gotten harder. So I'm confident I can put in the work to keep up.
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