1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Physics Undergrad to Material Science & Engin. Grad

  1. May 26, 2014 #1
    I'm an upcoming senior at a small, private college that has a good reputation for science. My major is in physics with a minor in mathematics, but I originally was in biochemistry. My freshman year didn't go so well (2.6 GPA), and I ended up switching to physics my sophomore year. I have a low GPA (3.0) overall, but my physics GPA is a 3.4 and my science GPA is a 3.3.

    I plan on applying to PhD graduate programs in Materials Science and Engineering for computational research in biomaterials (though, I'm also considering doing experimental research as well). I did an REU program last summer in this area, and loved it. This summer, I am doing research at my home institution with the chemistry department. This is also computational research with biological applications and it involves a lot of quantum mechanics. I was rejected to all REUs I applied to this year.

    In addition to the physics courses required by my major, I have also taken or will be taking a semester of Organic Chemistry and lab (I dropped Ochem II my second semester freshman year), a semester of Biology and lab, Human Biology, Inorganic Chemistry and lab, Computer Science I (intro to Java), C++, and Biophysical Chemistry. Because I switched majors and because some of our courses are only offered every other year, I am taking Engineering Mechanics: Statics and Dynamics instead of Classical Mechanics next year.

    I also have leadership experience (VP of SPS, President of Women in Physics for two years, President/Captain of Women's Rugby). I've done outreach in local elementary schools, doing mini labs and demos with 4th graders. I have great letters of rec, and I'm taking the GREs this summer, so I don't have those scores. Oh, and I'm also a TA for intro physics labs and tutor calculus I and II.


    Now, here are my questions.

    From what I've heard, applying to Engineering programs is a lot different than applying to Physics programs. Will it be harder for me to get accepted into a MatSE program because I don't have an Engineering degree?

    If I am rejected from a school's PhD program, will they automatically consider me for their Masters program?

    How do I go about emailing professors as potential advisors? Is it acceptable to just email them? What about graduate students? I hear it's good to talk to them to see what working for a certain professor is like, but how do I do that without seeming creepy? Also, do I mention professors in my Personal Statement or do I just talk about the area I want to do research in?

    Is there any benefit in taking the subject GREs? All of the programs I've looked at don't require it, since MatSE is "interdisciplinary".
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. May 27, 2014 #2
    What about Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering programs? I decided to look into those as well.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook