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Questions regarding obtaining a doctorate w/a felony

  1. Feb 15, 2012 #1
    Hey guys,
    I'm new here and after searches I decided to join just for learning more about the subject I love... but I also had a question that I was hoping I could get some answers to. I know I am thinking ahead of the curve but I like to have my ducks in a row for this subject as to not run into any issues when the time comes.
    I really want to go back to school and major in physics. I would love to teach one day as a college professor and continue my education as far as getting my doctorate. I have no formal education in physics as to date but I know this is what I really want to do. With this said, I do have a felony that I "acquired" 5yrs ago for 2nd degree battery. I let someone get the best of my emotions and I paid the price for it... I did my time on H.A. and lost good jobs in the process like the hospital I was working at and I can't really land a job now because of that simple question on the application. So for now and the past few years I have been a self employed Massage Therapist. What I was hoping to gain information on is, When the time comes, will I be able to get my doctorate with a felony? and if so, will I be able to teach when the time comes?
    Like I said, I know this is far away but to work so hard for so long and be shot down to my surprise would really suck to say the least.
    Any help on this subject will greatly be appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 15, 2012 #2
    How's your math? Do you have any idea which college do you want to go to?
  4. Feb 15, 2012 #3
    While having a felony does limit your options, it certainly doesn't make it impossible.

    Without knowing too much of your situation I would suggest enrolling in a community college and taking some physics courses that might transfer to a public university. Getting some introduction and experience of doing physics will help you to see if you at least enjoy physics. I only say this since some people have this idea of their dream job but don't fully realize what it actually entails.

    Assuming you decided it was what you wanted to do and you went on further, obtained your bachelors for example, I would think depending on the state you might want to consider looking into having your felony expunged or lessened or something to that effect. A degree might give you leverage towards this in that you are planning on successfully contributing to society at large and the felony might have been a crime of passion, which happens, or poor judgement during young adulthood, which also happens.
  5. Feb 16, 2012 #4
    thnx for the response,

    I did think of enrolling in our local community college here but I do know that transferring to UNO usually is not the easiest thing as UNO does not except most transfer credits from other schools. I have to check more into that to decide if it would be more beneficial to do like you said or to start at UNO with some remedial courses.

    My grades in most subject were not good back in the day but that was my fault as far as my attention span and not putting forth a caring effort really. I was the one capable but did not apply it and my teachers, parents, sister, etc, couldn't understand. If I ever did find an interest in something I did really well. So, I feel my interest and wanting this enough is my key to success.

    They are asking for my transcripts now from my last college which was mostly Anatomy, Kinesiology etc... all those grades were really good as I grew up a bit and it is something I am interested in. (I might even be eligible for scholarship but I am looking further into that)
    The thought of the Math is intimidating considering I have not had any math besides high school and like I said at that time it wasn't good. I do know I have great memorization and comprehension skills so I know I will catch on but none the less it is a little intimidating and I'm trying to find the courses best to prepare me.

    I think you are right about the trying to get the felony lessened to some degree after making progress so to prove I am becoming a contributing member of society... I hope so too.

    Either way, I am going for my bachelors as soon as my gf is finished her education degree (in about 3 months) so I will know more then, but maybe you could suggest a few courses that would help me to get started or at least to look into at the beginner levels... I do love the Astronomy and Cosmology plus anything to do with the Universe, Consciousness etc... and the concept of quantum physics really interest me (at my level of knowledge of course) these areas are the attraction to physics for me really... but I think that is more the stuff that I will have to work up to once all the requirements are taken care of correct? and if there are any classes in those areas that would be good for my requirements, I'm all ears.

    Well, I appreciate any and all feed back that any of you might be able to give.
    thanks a lot,
  6. Feb 17, 2012 #5
    Standard disclaimer. Don't get your Ph.D. expecting a faculty position.

    As long as your math/physics is good, I don't think that anyone in academia would really care. One thing is that if you manage to get a Ph.D., it will be at least a decade since the conviction and that will be considered past history, even if it does come up.
  7. Feb 17, 2012 #6
    What do you mean by this? I don't expect anything given to me of course... I never expect anything in this world.... but is this something hard to come by? Just a little vague... I would like to be a college professor but I'm doing this because I want too, not for a job.
    Frankly, a lifetime of learning would be fine by me, as long as I could get by doing it.

    Yeah, I was hoping that would be much the case but you'd be surprised the jobs that won't even look at you with a felony, much less in a professional position such as this... I mean, I lost my position at the hospital because of this but then again, it was occurring at the time of employment and so many others that were during the time of application I was going through the process... even now I get passed over as soon as they hear felony. I was just not sure if it was even possible to obtain a doctorate with a felony (kind of like in law school)
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