Transfering? And I'm Lost!

  • #1
I have a love for building computers...I also have a love for the concepts of physics. I have been thinking about Quantum Computing. I am a strong math student. I am also a Junior in-highschool.

What would be good Career choices, either in quantum physics in general, or in Quantum Computing:(Based on these aspects below)
1. Amount of Money made- (Online I have only heard/seen national averages, but could someone who has actual knowledge from the area of work, or knows someone from that area of work.
2. Should I take classes on the deep structure of computers?
3. Best colleges for this area of study.
4. Would it be good to take other classes to go along that would help me more with this? What would they be?
5. I'm already in my 3rd year of french, which is a good language for science, and I plan on learning Russian and German (Maybe spanish also but spanish ppl become greedy). Does this seem wise?
6. And anything else I'm forgetting.

From the Full question above could you...Name which career choice that you think is appropriate. Why? and all of the questions u should be able to handle it.

I have read many articles online about both. But it would be good to know fresh up-todate info, I am only finding stuff that hasnt changed in a few months. If you can find me, or can tell me where to get the info that would help most often.

Answers and Replies

  • #2
I did my bachelors in computer science and Engineering . i found it very narrow in quenching my curiosity to understand the phenomeon around. I love mathematics deeply. Now that i am working for a big company as a software engineer, i have few chances of ever pursuing my career in mathematics. What i request you people is to provide me some good research Problems in mathematics, so that i can work on them during my night hours!.Also i want to know any resouce ,if any ,by which i talk to professors in mathematics and discuss my doubts.I managed to learn Algebra, Topology , Differntial Geometry,Quantum Mechanics.

Thanks & Regards
Krishna Kishore
  • #3
So. I'm a high school senior going through this whole college application process right now. Despite my good performance this past school year (3.9 GPA with almost all AP/PostAP Classes) , I was deferred from the local state school (University of Maryland: Baltimore County, a relatively easy-to-get-into school with a great CS/Physics department). That was quite a shock because it is the easiest school on my list to get into. Anyway. After spending many hours reading this forum, and getting advice from several relatives in the tech industry, I've realized that unless you are really, really good, a recent CS grad's employment options are slim. I have narrowed what I want to do in life down to a few areas.

The first area is that of software development. I have taken three years of computer science at my high school already (I dropped my foreign language) and I am currently working on a large scale web application with my Post-AP CS class. Outside of school I am working on an application for doctors to keep track of patients with diabetes. Though I'm not finished it yet I did get a contract ($300-500 per doc). The money is certainly nice, but I really dont want to be sitting in a dank basement writing relatively simple backend and SQL for a living, regardless of the money. I have dabbled a little into graphics programming and wrote a relatively simple 3D engine. I decided that graphics is where I really want to go with computer science. I would like to work at some place like Nvidia for example, working on the technology behind their graphics cards. I think that would be a perfect blending of my interests in physics, math, and software design. However, what are the chances of getting a job there? Slim I'm sure. The chances of computer game companies going under is very, very real, so I don't think that is an option either.

My second idea for a career is that of a scientist. I imagined it being like working in a nice bubble of job security without all the vagaries of the "real world." I imagined it being like a perpetual, and really fun, physics lab like I have in school (Except not quite as simple). However, the other day one of my friends completely popped my bubble my saying it really involves begging for funding and dealing with disgruntled administrators. Perhaps its somewhere in between... I must say though that I do have an overwhelming desire to know. I mean to be neither pompus nor pretentious with that statement, but I everytime I go to a bookstore I feel an insatiable urge to buy every book in the math section. My desk in front of me is littered with almost 2 dozen Computer Science and math books. I'm like a little rodent with these things: one I found on the floor at school covered with gum (and this was an expensive calculus book) , some my cousin wrote, and others I just sank lots of money into. I'm not as prolific a reader as I hope to be, but I often sit at my desk for hours doing things such as finding ways to project 3d onto 2d or trying to find a way to implement a simple physics engine into my graphics engine. I love working with numbers and the exhilaration of finding a new formula or equation that WORKS (I try to have a Ti-83 in my pocket whenever possible, just incase I have to crunch some serious numbers for a random reason). My dream would be to make a career out of consitantly knowing more and more each day. Perhaps then I can find the meaning of life. And by find meaning of life I mean find some interesting purpose to my life.

My third idea for a future career is that of some sort of engineer. I'd like to think that EE or CE are cool majors. But when I see just the NAMES of certain topics in EE, I think to myself "what the HELL is that?!" and become quickly discouraged. In conclusion, I think things like circuts and currents and all that business are cool, but I'm put off by the work necessary to get that degree. From what I've heard and saw in the required class list, EE/CE seem like the hardest majors possible. I enjoy studying and working, but I do value my free time, at least to a certain extent. Not to mention that I have heard many stories of engineers just not being able to get jobs at all. Smart people too. My mom knows a fellow who get a masters or PhD in CE and now sells insurance. One of my uncles who graduated from Yale with an engineering degree has been unable to find a job for years. He has essentially given up and now gives all his attention to politics. These are some major turn-offs for me in this field.

My fourth, final, and perhaps most financially lucrative plan is to pursue a dual major in both CS and Business. One of my uncles owns an extremely successful business in New York based around a piece of software that graphs the projected future prices of stock options using Monte Carlo simulations. That, I have to admit, seems like an incredibly interesting field to go into. Most people tell me that the CS market is oversaturated but people with a business background are sought after. I don't know how much truth is behind that but I find it at least somewhat believeable. The only thing I'm not too excited about in this career path is that I won't get as much science as I would hope, as I would be taking business classes and such.

This turned out to be a lot longer than I had expected. My number one fear for all but the 4th thing I mentioned is that I'm simply not smart enough to be a physicist or an engineer. I have come a long way in the past 4 years. I was placed in a remedial math class freshman year, and ended up skipping a year of math later and I am now getting As in calculus. I'm taking three math classes this year and enjoy them tremendously, but these are all either high school or early college level math classes. I forsee myself later in my educational career finally just keeling over braindead from too many years of intense, perhaps even fruitless study. So in conclusion I don't know what to think and this is a lot to read. (Woo! Took me a lonnggg time to write too). If you made it down this far, thank you!

If any of you have any comments I would truly appreciate it. Thanks!
- Bill VB
  • #4
Hello, I have been asking questions here for some time. And I need somewhat of an advice.

Right now I am working on a graduate degree in structural linguistics, When I got to this university for, I felt like I was lacking something since my undergrad school was small and circumstances were such that I could not transfer. So at this university, out of interest, I took couple of advanced programming classes from computer engineering department and enjoyed it (I have undergrad minor in InfoSystems).
On top of my ling. coursework, I took all remaining Calculus, statistics, linear algebra and got even more confidence when I got "A" in proverbial "weed-out" Linear circuits course, although so far my cumulative GPA in engineering/math is not perfect (3.7), the university is ABET-accredited, ranks high in the enigeering in US and is known predominantly for engineering.

After frowning, my adviser allowed me (at my own risk) getting an equivalent of BSCmpE in addition to the "normal" course of events for a graduate student in my program, so I planned out the rest of the required BSCmpE coursework so that it would end at the time my current funding will end. I can't go AWOL from my linguistics program, since that's where my funding comes from, and tuition is quite high here, but engineering has become a real interest of mine.

I also would love to go for a graduate degree in CmpE or software engineering later on. Do I have chance with this kind of background, in your opinion? How will I be looked upon? Is experience (like internships or projects) taken into account? I have hard time getting those in the industry (low-level positions) since I am an international student. I imagine engineering projects within university bounds is a good thing (something like natural language processing would be perfect), but how would professors look at me, graduate student and now in undergraduate engineering: "freak who does not know what he is doing"?

Am I out of my mind with all of this? :confused:
Any advice/opinion is very much appreciated.
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  • #5
im thinking of taking 4 courses+1 course on a p/f basis(so i could really slack off in that course).
here are descriptions of various courses i might like to take, with my comments:

analysis1-A rigorous presentation of sequences and of real numbers and basic properties of continuous and differentiable functions on the real line. *terrible teacher.
probability-Basic combinatorial probability. Introductory distribution theory of univariate and multivariate distributions with special reference to the Binomial, Poisson, Gamma and Normal distributions. Characteristic functions. Weak law of large numbers. Central limit theorem. *prereq is analysis2 but i'll most definitely take it.
pde-First order partial differential equations, geometric theory, classification of second order linear equations, Sturm-Liouville problems, orthogonal functions and Fourier series, eigenfunction expansions, separation of variables for heat, wave and Laplace equations, Green's function methods, uniqueness theorems.
algebra3-Introduction to monoids, groups, permutation groups; the isomorphism theorems for groups; the theorems of Cayley, Lagrange and Sylow; structure of groups of low order. Introduction to ring theory; integral domains, fields, quotient field of an integral domain; polynomial rings; unique factorization domains. *great teacher, but afraid the class is too hard for me.
advanced materials-The physicochemical properties of advanced materials. Topics discussed include photonics, information storage, 'smart' materials, biomaterials, clean energy materials, porous materials, and polymers.
qm1-Experimental basis for quantum mechanics; wave-packets; uncertainty principle. Hilbert space formalism. Schrodinger equation: eigenvalues and eigenvectors: applications to 1-d problems including the infinite and finite potential wells and the harmonic oscillator. Tunneling. Time independent perturbation theory.
neurosciences1-An overview of cellular and molecular neuroscience at the graduate level. Topics include: synthesis, processing and intracellular transport of macromolecules; development of the nervous system including neurogenesis, axonal pathfinding, synaptogenesis and myelination; neuronal survival and response to injury; generation and propagation of action potentials; neurotransmitters and synaptic transmission. *this course has a term paper, and i would only take it if i decided against both pde and qm, and therefore planned to do research in pure biological sciences. but then the other math courses would also seem to be out of place.
interm physiology1-In-depth presentation of experimental results and hypotheses on cellular communication in the nervous system and the endocrine system.

analysis2-Series of functions including power series. Riemann integration in one variable. Elementary functions. *same terrible teacher
statistics-Data analysis. Estimation and hypothesis testing. Power of tests. Likelihood ratio criterion. The chi-squared goodness of fit test. Introduction to regression analysis and analysis of variance.
algebra4-Introduction to modules and algebras; finitely generated modules over a principal ideal domain. Field extensions; finite fields; Galois groups; the fundamental theorem of Galois theory; application to the classical problem of solvability by radicals. *same good teacher, but the course is only harder.
graph theory-Graph models. Graph connectivity, planarity and colouring.Extremal graph theory. Matroids. Enumerative combinatorics and listing.
pde2-continuation of topics introduced in pde.
optics-Geometrical optics, wave optics, lasers, Fourier transform spectroscopy, holography, optical data processing, stellar interferometry.
qm2-Angular momentum and spin operators. Operator methods in quantum mechanics. Coupling of spin and angular momenta. Variational principles and elements of time dependent perturbation theory (the Golden Rule). Solution of the Schrodinger equation in three dimensions. Applications to the hydrogen and helium atoms and to simple problems in atomic and molecular physics.
neuroscience2-An overview of the structure, function and interaction of neuronal systems of vertebrates. Topics include basic neuroanatomy, coding and processing of sensory information (somatic sensory, visual and auditory systems), control of posture and voluntary movement, learning and memory, processing of language and speech, cerebral blood flow, the neuroendocrine system and neuroimmunology.
  • #6
What do I do ?

Hi everyone, I am about rounding up my Ph.D in Theoretical Chemistry in a school outside the U.S. where coursework was not particularly emphasized and time-constraint more than readiness, dictated the time when I had to round up my program. The research area in which I worked is not generally applicable to industry and I have found it difficult finding a position afterwards. However, in the course of my Ph.D studies, I learnt some adv. maths and physics on-the-fly and I have come to consider Physics to be a very exciting field. Since I will soon be moving to the US, I am considering enrolling in another graduate program in a field which should be more relevant to industrial research like exptal solid state physics/condensed matter physics. My problem is that, I am having a tough time deciding between 2 choices where I have been offered admission; the first, a lowly-placed school where I can do a Masters, get a structured education, do well in the Physics GRE (HOPEFULLY !), which would do my self-confidence a whole world of good, and go on to a very top-placed program for another Ph.D or accept a place in a medium-placed school for a Ph.D. Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from anyone on this forum.
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  • #7
I've been at Uni for three years now, studying Civil Engineering / Environmental Science. Since I started by grades have been steadily slipping, especially in Eng, not because it is hard but just because it is soooo boring I stop going to lectures. Anyways, Physics has always been my passion but I decided not to study it because I felt there were better career opportunities with civil engineering, and environmental science.

So I've decided now to forget about career opportunites, go with what I love and major in Physics. I'll be finishing one advanced first year subject this year, which was a breeze because I had already studied everything previously in my own time, and next year 3/4 of my subjects will be physics. So I am just really excited to get to be studying physics next year and I thought I would share that with everyone. Yay!
  • #8
..I was wanting to do astronomy, but now I'm not so sure at all. I have no real problems with my other physics and maths classes, but the astronomy classes that my uni run are so bad. The only information you have to go on is the lecturers badly written and ambiguous powerpoint presentations. He doesn't make an effort to try and teach the students if they want to learn, and he also doesn't give any recommendations for texts that explain astronomy concepts well. I mean the whole class struggles and I've got a good mark in comparison to some of the others, but that doesn't really mean much. The uni library doesn't stock any decent textbooks either. I still find it really interesting, but the units have been really demoralising. I really have no frickin clue anymore and also the lecturers generally tell us that when we choose our final year project it should be something that involves our desired field of study. I guess I will take one last stab at it, but I just can't believe how depressing it has been taking this class. It's kind of made me feel unworthy of wanting to study astronomy...if that makes any sense? Have any of you just stuck with what you wanted to do even though you might have had doubts as to whether or not you could do it?
  • #9
I went to a four year univeristy didnt like my major and now I'm currnetly going to a community college lookin to transfer back to some other four year university. I'm lost in quest to find a good physics school that I can get into. My grades from my freshman year are questionable but I'm currently getting all A's right now. I dont know if I can get my gpa up real high by the time to apply so i cant get into the greatest schools or anything. I want to go to a descent sized school maybe like 5,000 students but the size isnt really that important as long as the Dept. gives good attention to the students. I want major in Astrophysics.
It just seems like most schools that have this major are out of my reach and its rather disappointing. I have found some schools but I dont know how to sift through them I was hoping someone could make some good suggestions on good astrophysics schools. I'm hoping there are some people out there that had great experiences at there schools and can tell me about them.
  • #10
hello evbody..
im studying the chapter on oscillations and harmonic oscillations..including phase spaces etc.etc...our curriculum goes by the book"analytical mechanics" by fowles and cassiday.However iv seen that most of the things that we did in class are not given in the book for which we got some handouts..(ven der pol oscillator, predator prey relationships..etc..etc)
i was just wondering if u cud guide me as to whether there is a source (anoter text book or web source) where i can study the entire topic of osciallations that includes all these topics...I tell ya that its really a mess to have 10 sources,,with litle bits of information?!
  • #11
I used the search funcution but I did not find any helpful threads about writing a resume. Please point me to one if this topic already exists, otherwise perhaps this should be made a sticky(?).

I just want some tips on writing a good resume. That is, what should I talk about? I was planning on listing my high school, saying that I am a second year at a university, mentioning my time in boyscouts and membership in the local student American Nuclear Society chapter.

Should I list my grades or specific classes? Perhaps my volunteer work (I haven't been able to do any in the past year though)?

If it important to know, this is a job with the Office of Radation Safety on my campus.
  • #12
I was looking for opinions from others currently attending any of these schools. I am going to be a Material Science major, however, some schools place that into Mechanical Engineering, and all schools place that into their school of engineering, so help me out if you can, please.

Schools accepted into so far:

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
University of Colorado - Boulder
University of Connecticut- Storrs

Schools waiting to here from but still want to know your feelings:

UC Berkeley
UC Davis
UC Santa Barbara
University of Maryland.

I have visited most of these schools and plan on seing the rest before I made a decision, but if anyone here can give me some ideas and personal reflections I would appreciate it. Thank you!
  • #13
Because of mixups and unwittingly bad decisions made about my subjects it means i'm coming out of three years of sixth form with 3 and a half A levels, which im predicted high As in though.

I desperately need some advice on physics related experience i could get which would put me in a better position for getting into an AAB/AAA university. I'm appliying to Oxford, Durham, Lancaster, Bath and live near Hull university.

I'm trying to get work experience at Hull uni but other than that there's nothing i can find in the area that's remotely physics related where i could get any other experience. I just really need some advice because it's churning me up.

  • #14
I'm going into my second year of my master's program, and I'd like to know if I should pursue another research project (in addition).

1) I'll have to take the graduate Quantum sequence (from Shankar)
2) Fall quarter I will have to take the gre (both subject and general) as I'm planning on pursuing a doctoral
3) I'll have teaching duties next year (advertised as 20 hours/week)
4) I'll also have to write my master's thesis (biocomputational modeling)

I'd like to apply for an internship at the base (Wright-Patterson) doing research in quantum dots. This would require an extra 12-15 hours of work a week, but the pay is about $20/hour.

The QD is more in line with what I want to do. However, I enjoy working with my thesis advisor and there is almost no literature published on what I'm doing (sensitivity analysis of discrete stochastic systems) - so there is room to publish.

I figure that having research in an area relevant to what I want to do would be beneficial on my applications. Of course, I could say I want to do the biocomputational side and then switch it up once I'm in somewhere.

The deciding factor, however, is time. On paper it looks like at least a 60 - 70 hour commitment if I try to get the internship. Too much, perhaps?

any advise and insight would be greatly appreciated.
  • #15
im a software engineer with 3yrs exprience, but im passionate about natural sciences and physics :smile: . i believe that its best to work in the fields in which one is really interested but for me its rather late, im already 25 :frown:. please suggest me.. shall i go for grad school with majors in physics or shall i look for some distance learning program ? since i did my bachelors in comp sci, im not very sure if grad schools accept me in a different field (phy in this case) and me very apprehensive about getting a decent job later on :confused:
  • #16

I was looking for advice on the best possible job to take while going for my degree. This semester I am going back to school, working for my associates degree at a county college and then plan to continue on for a degree in Physics a a four year college.

I have been working full time for over two years at a video store and will soon have the opportunity to seek other employment if I want it. My question is this: is it more beneficial to show a long track record at one job (even though it does not relate to my field at all) or is the better idea to look for a job in a field that is at least loosely related to Physics or science?

Also as a side note does anyone know how Rowan University ranks as far as Physics or science goes? I only ask because it is practically right outside my door. Is there a resource online which might rank the colleges as far as science or Physics goes?

  • #17
Just Applied to.....How are my chances??

Hello All. I just sent my application to Clemson University School of Engineering as a Transfer Student. I am transferring from a Tech school here in SC with an Associated in Electronic Engineering Technology. I do not have that degree yet but have 3 classes left. My GPA is a 2.76 and will rise assuming I keep the grades up this semester. I know this GPA is less than stellar. I was only going for an Associates at first and my mindset was "to do just enough to get through". I explained this on my application. I have at least a 3.0 in my previous 3 semesters. According to Clemson, to be accepted as a transfer into Engineering, you need a 2.5 (3.0 preferred) and at least 30 transferrable semester hours. I will have just over 30 hours after this semester. I applied for the Fall of 2007. What do you all think my chances are at being accepted??
  • #18
Hey everyone,

I am an incoming high school senior who wants to attend a research college (undergraduate) with a top physics program (particularly in string theory and quantum physics). Can anyone suggest one for me?

Also, I am interested in attending possibly Caltech but my gpa is only a 3.65 unweighted--not sure if I have a chance. Let me give you guys my full cv:

sophmore year, I took ap calc bc and bio and got 5's but my english and biology grades were only B's (which pulled my gpa down)

junior year, I took 4 ap math and science (physics c, stats, chem, and ap comp sci a) and got all 5's and I got straight A's that year.

I qualified for the usamo and uspho competitions and did independent research. I also self-studied and finished undergraduate theoretical math and physics (for no college credit).

Do i have a chance at Caltech?

Lastly, given that i have mastered undergrad material in math and physics, how could i demonstrate this skill and would colleges appreciate it if i just state that i had self0studied the material?

  • #19
I'm looking for help of my best course of action. First a little background, I am 30 (almost 31), married, 3 kids (7,4, and 1), and I am in the military. I work in a radar building, tracking satelittes and ICBM warning. I have a TS clearance which I hope will help me land a good job after I get out of the Air Force in 3.5 years. My job gives me a lot of time to sit on the computer to take online classes, but my schedule does not allow me to take any classes at the local college or even the colleges who hold classes on base. I have my CCAF which is a Associates of Arts that covers my GE credits for the most part. I have about 3.5 years to get school done, but it has to be online.

I want to earn a Computer Engineering degree, but all I could find was a few Computer Engineering Technology programs, mainly DeVry and Grantham. I am currently signed up with DeVry but after reading on here, I am having my doubts. Is there any online program out there that can get me that Computer Engineering degree or am I stuck with a CET? I can use my GI Bill after I am out, but that is still too long away.

Any advice would be appreciated.
  • #20
Hi I have the opportunity to take these courses. I want to look into a astronomy/astrophysics career I find those very interesting.

ASTR205 Universe-The Ultimate Frontier
ASTR210 Intro Astronomy & Astrophysics
ASTR495 Astron & Astrophysics Projects
ASTR496 Astron & Astrophysics Projects

They are undergraduate courses from athabasca university distance. (under astronomy/astrophysics)

Would you recommend me taking these? Will they be credits in university?
  • #21
Hi everybody, I am new to these forums. It is nice to meet you all. I am currently in my Junior year at Wayne State University. I have changed my major about three times now. I started out as a Pharmacist (that did not last long once I found out how many years the program was), Accountant (too boring for my taste), and now finally Civil Engineer.

I have an extreme interest in the way people get around in todays world. Bridges, buildings, and round-a-bouts are very interesting to me. However the problem is that I have been in school for so long and I have yet to take a Civil Engineering class. I understand that Civil Engineering has a strong basis with Calculus and Physics.

I barely managed to get a B in my engineering physics 1 class at the university, I got an A in Calculus II. I am now currently taking Calculus II and physics 2 and I must say these are very difficult classes; expecially physics 2.

Is it just me or did some of you find these classes somewhat difficult? How much of these generalized topics covered in physics are actually used in my civil engineering classes?

Thank You.
  • #22
Hello all,

I am in an interesting situation. I am currently a pre-junior mechanical engineering major at Drexel University, but I attend their satellite campus at Burlington County Community College Campus. Thus far I am doing very well with a 3.88 GPA. Doing so has led me to investigate their BSMS program. The BSMS allows you to earn you BA and MS simultaneously. The beauty of the program is some of the Master's credits count towards the BA requirements, enabling you to finish in only 6 extra months of class time. Of course you have to be accepted into it, and I just got the Graduate Director's signature of approval.

To take advantage of this great opportunity I would need to transfer from Burlington County Campus to Drexel's main campus in Philadelphia.

Here are some of the obvious benefits.
For an extra 6 months of school and 6 months of co-op(which I will be paid) I will recieve a MS in stead of a BS.
More elective options on main campus versus satelite
The college Charges you only the BS(Main campus rate) while you are in school. The BCC rate is $8,000 a year less.

My concerns.
My program at BCC is very small, it is like a cohort and everybody works together. Main campus is a much different atmosphere.
Because the BCC program is so small it only runs the classes you need once a year, so if you miss it you have to wait until next year.
This would mean if I left I pretty much can't come back.
The big concern is will I get in over my head taking Grad classes this early in my education?

Also I should note that this is my second degree(first one no relevance Political Science, long story) and once I am done I don't plan to go back later, which is a big push in the direction of the BSMS.

If anyone has done a BSMS or has been in a similar situation please give me some feedback


  • #23
Hi everyone. I have never taken a physics course in my life, however since I was younger I always wished to study it. My future goal is to become a physician, and for premedicine I need a year of physics. To my understanding the only "real" physics there is is calculus based.

I am planning on attending the university of washington next year. So far I have taken 3 college math courses in the duration of my high school career. Precal 1 with a 1.5 (first class in college), calculus 1 with a 3.0, and calculus 2 with a 2.4. I had a good understanding of calculus 1, but I honestly didn't understand some of the things in calculus 2 (area rotation, work problems, and I couldn't understand centroids to well. I tutored in math at the college and mastered my difficulties in pre Cal and calculus 1 however. Should I retake calculus 2 at uw when I'm taking general chemistry and physics?
  • #24
Another "should I retake" thread

I know this has been gone over a few times, but like everyone I somehow feel my particular case isn't addressed by previous threads on the topic. I'd really like to hear from those with actual insight; perhaps those who have been on admissions committees or have been in similar situations and can relay outcomes.

I'm starting my senior year of my BS in physics, with the intention of moving on to a PhD program in astronomy. Prior to last semester I had around a 3.7 GPA and nothing worse than a B on my transcript. Last semester I bit off far more than I could chew (19 credit hours plus research and working part time). As a result, I ended up with a C in Mechanics II and a C in PDE. My grades in my other courses were enough to keep the semester GPA to a 3.0, and my overall barely above a 3.5.

With only this fall semester between me and grad school applications, I'm feeling a little doomed. Even more frustrating, the two C's were very circumstantial (I'll save the sob story, but suffice it to say I barely missed B's in both classes as a result of a horrible midterm catastrophe). I know the C in mechanics is far more damaging than the C in PDE, but PDE is the only course I can retake before grad school applications go out.

Now, retaking the course wouldn't be so much for GPA inflation as it would be to show that I'm actually capable with the material. The problem lies in the added stress of taking a course that doesn't count toward my credit requirement, that would take time from other coursework, and that might not actually measurably benefit my application profile. Also, retaking the course would put me again at 19 credit hours plus research (though now without part time employment).

I feel like I already know the answer, and I'm inclined to simply focus on doing well this semester and on the physics GRE, and perhaps explain the grade disparity in my applications. As of right now, however, I can't seem to swallow having two glaring C's on my transcript. As such, I'm registered for the course and have only two weeks to drop it without a penalty.

Any advice would be tremendously helpful. Thanks.
  • #25
I am Vineeth Shankar. Currently, I live in India and I am in the final year of undergraduate programme in Mechanical Engineering. I have deep interest in physics and so, with my present background of Mechanical Engineering, I initially thought doing Nuclear Engineering would be the ideal thing for me. But now I am stuck with this dilemma of whether to choose between Nuclear Physics or Nuclear Engg.

How different are these courses from each other?
Is it possible to do PhD in Nuclear Physics after Masters in NE?

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