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Should I re-enter the BS or get an MS?

  1. Feb 16, 2016 #1
    Hi, I've graduated about one semester ago, majored in physics-electronics with gpa 2.6 (however physics is included in my major's name, this major focused mainly on electronics and engineering which i didn't interested in, cause i always felt and told myself that you should do theoretical and other physics' activities instead of soldering circuits). When i chose this major, i thought i would graduate with great knowledge in physics and additional electronics abilities , but things turned out different after the first year, I realized that this major was mainly about electronics engineering.
    Addition to my lack of interest in this area, I have ocd and perfectionism which affect me greatly after i got one D in my math class cause i had set of goal that all of my gpa should be perfectly A's because i was always top students from first grad to highschool, i could't handle that one D, I tried to re-take the course again, but in my country, school and college's had strict rules that most of you guys' countries don't have, i think.
    While happening this things, i was learning english at a language center. In that center, there is a program that student who get in usa's college from my country came and taught the process how they get into the usa colleges. After listening their success story, i felt like i too can do it and study in usa by learning english and taking sat to reach my childhood dream of becoming astronomer at nasa or some other well-revered institution, also this seemed perfect opportunity for me to re-start everything again. It was obvious that it would took some time, especially person like me who started learning language from elementary.
    Thinking it would safe, i continued the major, not paying much attention to it especially electronics' subjects. But might be i didn't have talent for learning languages (you can clearly see even now my writing is horrible) or I had self-doubt or other factors, the language learning took lot of time, and I was approaching the end of my junior year of the major, the electronics major which i don't like, and also my dearest father passed away cause of sudden heart attack. so I had to graduate this major and help my mom for running my family business.
    After graduation i asked from my school that can i continue and add extra year to study theoretical physics, they said once you graduate, it is impossible to re-study, even you graduated from related-field ( that is what i am telling that my country's college rules are just stupid), unless you take a test, which is sat like test of my country and the validity of the test is 2 years, that's why they say re-take that test cause mine which i took 4 years ago, so you can apply undergraduate again and transfer your 60 credits or you can enter ms physics program, they said.
    So what i am asking is should i re-take the test to re-study and major in physics at undergraduate level or just study physics at master with good gpa and research experience? can latter option beat my horrible nightmare like undergraduate gpa? with good master, will i have a chance for phd in astronomy and physics in usa? will doing master in a country other than usa hurt my chance of pursuing Phd.
    (Sorry for whining a lot, mentioning many factors and blaming others for my mistake, but i understand i'm the main cause of my failure and because of my arrogance and stupidity, i am in this position. But my fellow physicist and people who have great goals and want to discover the very answer to everything, please guide me)
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 17, 2016 #2


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    why retake bachelor degree when you can enter the desired field directly in master degree? Most consider the lastest or the highest degree first so when you have master... less will look at your bachelor degree CGPA.
    About chances in phD maybe some more experienced member here can help you... i have no idea on that and im not from US =)
  4. Feb 17, 2016 #3
    Will you be able to handle the masters degree? You described that you don't know very much about physics, so this makes me worry that you won't be able to handle the MS. You should look into this. Try to find out which books they use in the physics MS and see whether you are prepared for them or not.
  5. Feb 17, 2016 #4
    I think, i can handle that, i took a few physics courses back when i was in that university, and also now i am studying from university physics books and taking mitopencourse and coursera online courses for guidance and improvements. But my main question is will my undergrad gpa always haunt me? should i fix it with re-entering Bs or entering Ms? Some says undergraduate courses are similar to everywhere, so graduate admission, especially Phd admission, compare ugrade gpa more than master's gpa, and they don't take master's gpa seriously. How does graduate admission, especially Phd, work?
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
  6. Feb 17, 2016 #5


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    I can't help but wonder if you're creating a false dilemma for yourself. Is a master's program going to accept you with a 2.6 GPA? And even if it did, a stellar performance is not going to erase your undergraduate grades. PhD admissions are school specific, but let's say you do amazingly well in the MSc degree. If the admissions process equally weights all previous work, you'd need a 3.8 over two years in the MSc to bring your six year average up to a 3.0. Some schools may give more weight to the more recent and more advanced work, but still, it's a massively uphill battle - even more so if your previous degree didn't give you a solid foundation in physics. And it's rare for students to exhibit a massive improvement in grades like that without some mitigating factors.

    Realistically, I'd look at returning to undergrad if you're serious about eventually getting into a PhD program.
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