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Realizing I need Research Post Haste Help!

  1. Oct 25, 2009 #1
    Realizing I need Research Post Haste!!! Help!

    I was looking through the graduate profiles on physicsgre.com (another good site btw) and I realized if I even want a ice cubes chance in hell of getting into graduate school I need research experience ASAP. Briefly here my story again:

    1. Got really bad grades for a time in subjects completely unrelated to science
    2. Dropped out then smartened up and decided to get degree in physics/math/astronomy/computational science/anything in this realm really.
    3. Now that I have almost finished my lower level class I need to "buckle down."
    4. Realized I hate my current school so transferring into another better university close by.
    5. My history probably excludes me from getting into REU's.
    6. Since I am new at my new school might be difficult to get into research, they only have one group that I am even tangentially interested in(unless I decide to go to the Astro program elsewhere).

    What can I do in my next 4 to 5 semesters and 2 summers to get even a chance of getting into a mid-level astrophysics graduate program? It is unlikely any research I actually do get to do will be directly related to astro? How much will this hurt my already paltry chances?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 25, 2009 #2
    Re: Realizing I need Research Post Haste!!! Help!

    Calm down........ You've got plenty of time. If you get decent grades and some good research experience and recommendations, your chances are pretty decent of getting in somewhere. Be flexible. Take what you can get, and don't worry too much about what you can't.

    Start talking to professors, find someone that has a research position open, and work for them. It's a little better if it's astrophysics related, but pretty much anything you do in physics has something to do with astrophysics. Also, I did my undergraduate research in science education with nothing directly to do with astrophysics. It did hurt my ability to get into graduate school, but looking back over twenty years, it was a really, really good thing to do nevertheless.
  4. Oct 25, 2009 #3
    Re: Realizing I need Research Post Haste!!! Help!

    If there are any REUs you want then you should apply for them. Don't just assume you won't get in, you never know until you try. Though it will definitely help if you get some research experience at your own school during the school year. Maybe if you are not that interested in the research at your school you should do it anyways to increase your chances at getting an REU, plus you may discover something you really like.

    Any experience is better than no experience.
  5. Oct 25, 2009 #4
    Re: Realizing I need Research Post Haste!!! Help!

    Look to volunteer for one of your school's physics department's faculty members. It doesn't really matter what sort of project you're working on, since most of the skill sets you acquire will transfer over. I would also suggest learning some programming, consider taking some intro computer science classes.
  6. Oct 25, 2009 #5
    Re: Realizing I need Research Post Haste!!! Help!

    I actually started out as CS major awhile back so I have 3 CS courses under my belt,got A's in all of them, how can I yield this to my advantage?
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