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!

Statement of Purpose - Physics

  1. Nov 20, 2013 #1
    I'm having a tough time beginning my statement of purpose for graduate school.

    I'm just not necessarily sure if what I want to put in will hurt my chances.

    I started off as a Mathematics major, and after taking Physics my junior year, I decided to add a Physics major. This would require me to stay 5 years total, graduating in May 14'.

    At the end of my junior year my GPA was a 2.98 overall, and probably 2.8 in Math courses.

    Over the following year (2 semesters), I took 1 math, 1 engineering, and 8 physics courses.
    I earned 9 A's, and one A- (in a graduate level math course).

    This semester, I should produce the same results, bringing my over GPA to 3.39 overall, Physics GPA: 3.8

    So, what I'm asking then, is if it is wise to describe in my PS about how after I added my Physics major, my grade were substantially better? Or is this unnecessary?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2013 #2
    I can't give you great advice, because I've never been on an admissions committee. However, my thoughts are:

    1. It might be worthwhile to mention that you decided to be a physics major during your junior year, thus requiring you to do a fifth year. This can be part of the statement about what interests you physics, etc.

    2. I'm not sure I'd mention the GPA bit. It should be obvious to any one who looks at your transcripts that things got significantly better as you went. Also, you got high grades in your major and the major relevant to graduate school. While some people might miss this, I would also think they'll miss the poorer grades earlier on - they might just see the 3.8 in Physics and 3.4 overall and not look twice.

    Of course I could be wrong. Maybe you should call attention to it. If you do, I would think it would be best to couch in terms of how physics really stimulated you, you decided to change majors, you started working harder and doing better, etc. I don't think I'd present it dryly, i.e. 'Once I changed majors, my GPA went from a 2.8 to a 3.8.'

    Frankly though, a lot depends on what school you currently go to and what programs you are looking at.
  4. Nov 20, 2013 #3


    User Avatar
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    I think you're overthinking this. Your SOP shouldn't involve a detailed synapses of your undergrad, but instead what you plan to do in graduate school, what you like about their grad program, what areas of research that they're conducting that interests you ect.

    They will have your transcripts, so they will know your GPA and what classes you took. They will also be able to infer that you developed an interest in physics and did quite well. Instead of talking about GPA or that you added the major talk about UG research, ect.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook