# Top 15 School with 3.02 GPA?

1. Aug 6, 2015

### N83

Hello, all.

I feel like I'm in a tough spot and wanted some guidance. I've used this forum over the years for kinds of info but this will be my first time seeking help. I'm looking to go to grad school to obtain a Masters in Physics. I graduated from GW in 2012 with a 3.02 GPA in Physics and have been working for the government ever since (not as a scientist, however.)

Recently I've decided that I want to get a Masters degree since there's a great scholarship program at work that will fit the bill for a school with in-state tuition (I'm in Maryland.) I would really love to get a Masters in Physics as it's something I'm still passionate about and would love to further my education. However, the only school I can reasonably attend (location-based) is U of Maryland - College Park. They have a great program (I think I saw that they were #14 currently) so I feel like my chances of getting in are nearly non-existent.

I haven't taken the PGRE yet but I've started going back over my text books to prepare. However, is my GPA so low that there's no way I could possibly get in? I figured my only chance would be to get a great score on the PGRE but I worry that even that wouldn't help me. Any guidance? Thank you in advance!

2. Aug 6, 2015

### gleem

A GPA 3.02 in physics is not strong for graduate study. probably very weak for a top 20 program. However your PGRE will be very important. U of M at least several years ago required an 800+ score on the PGRE but did accept some students with scores as low as 750 probably depending on GPA , research experience, and letter of recommendation.
Good luck.

3. Aug 6, 2015

### axmls

The University of Maryland - College park, according to their website for physics, doesn't accept Master's-only students, so a Ph.D would be the only option. With a ~3.0 GPA, you should probably make sure the other aspects of your application are stellar.

4. Aug 6, 2015

### Delong

My GPA is in the same range as yours just right on 3.00 I'm also very worried about getting into graduate school. I was thinking of biochemistry or microbiology programs though so I'm hoping that would make it easier....I don't know I'm worried.

5. Aug 6, 2015

### N83

I don't mean to nit-pick but I want to make sure we're all on the same page in case someone else with a similar question finds this thread later.

Regardless, thank you for all the guidance so far. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried. I think I'm also frustrated with the fact that I didn't try harder in school (I didn't plan on attending grad school so I was Ok with B's). I know I have the aptitude...

6. Aug 6, 2015

### axmls

Funny, the first entry on their FAQ page says students aren't admitted to a Master's program.

7. Aug 6, 2015

### micromass

Staff Emeritus
What kind of research experience do you have? Can you get very strong letters of recommendation?
Would you entertain the possibility of getting back to undergrad to level up your application?

8. Aug 7, 2015

### N83

My research experience related to physics is very limited. My undergrad research project was theoretical astrophysics, so I didn't have any lab time. "Strong" letters? I would say no. I have kept in touch with two of my physics professors, one of which was my academic adviser, but I can't imagine them writing anything spectacular. The professor that was my academic adviser knew of some struggles I had with Physics 2 (had a D in the class up until the final, in which I got a 98%). Other than little tidbits like that I don't know what else they could say.

As far as going back to undergrad, I would absolutely consider that if I could swing it financially. The wife and I have a rather tight budget, so unless I find a scholarship that's offered to federal or DoD employees I don't think it'd be feasible.

9. Aug 7, 2015

### micromass

Staff Emeritus
That looks very bleak. In this case, I don't think it should come as a huge surprise to get rejected from most grad schools you apply to, especially top 15 schools. Doesn't mean you should try though, but I'm sorry to say that you should prepare for the worst.

10. Aug 7, 2015