Transitioning to Physics after 10+ years in software, low gpa

In summary: Depending on the university, the Physics GRE may not be a valid method for demonstrating your aptitude. Come up with a list of universities that you are interested in (you didn't say: are you limiting yourself to India?). Contact the graduate physics admissions office at each; ask them whether they would even consider someone with your background (i.e., do you meet minimum entry criteria?); and, if they would, how they would evaluate your...background.
  • #1
vinaysimhams
9
0
Hello everyone,

I am from India.I completed my Bachelors in Engineering, ECE to specific from a very average Indian college in year 2006 with many backlogs and year gaps.
Since then I have been working in the IT industry.I have a undergraduate percentage of 56%, using WES(https://www.wes.org/)calculator it come to a GPA of 3.07/4.00.
I regret my undergrad years very much...I want to do a Masters in physics and then do a PhD.I am very much interested in Quantum computing.
I will be 40 years old next year.What should i do to improve my chances of getting into a good Masters degree? Do i even have a Chance.?Please help.

Thanks !
 
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  • #2
One thing you haven't really mentioned here is if you actually know any physics already. A good masters degree requires you to have the equivalent of a good undergraduate level physics education both to get in, and also to be able to succeed at the program (they don't pick these requirements just for fun). Do you already know physics, and do you have some way of demonstrating it to the admissions department at a university?
 
  • #3
Office_Shredder said:
One thing you haven't really mentioned here is if you actually know any physics already. A good masters degree requires you to have the equivalent of a good undergraduate level physics education both to get in, and also to be able to succeed at the program (they don't pick these requirements just for fun). Do you already know physics, and do you have some way of demonstrating it to the admissions department at a university?
Thanks for your reply.I am quite rusty at physics right now.I plan to take up Physics GRE as a way to demonstrate my aptitude in physics. What else can I do to improve my chances?
 
  • #4
vinaysimhams said:
Thanks for your reply.I am quite rusty at physics right now.I plan to take up Physics GRE as a way to demonstrate my aptitude in physics. What else can I do to improve my chances?
That is a little vague.
Are freshman physics problems trivial for you to solve?
Do you know quantum mechanics at the level of Griffiths?
Do you know classical mechanics at the level of Marion?
Do you know electricity and magnetism at the level of Griffiths?
”Know” does not mean “have read”. “Know” means being able to solve most problems at this level.
 
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  • #5
caz said:
That is a little vague.
Are freshman physics problems trivial for you to solve?
Do you know quantum mechanics at the level of Griffiths?
Do you know classical mechanics at the level of Marion?
Do you know electricity and magnetism at the level of Griffiths?
”Know” does not mean “have read”. “Know” means being able to solve most problems at this level.
Thanks for your reply. No, right now I can't solve problems at this level.
 
  • #6
vinaysimhams said:
Thanks for your reply. No, right now I can't solve problems at this level.
Regretfully, I do not think that you have the background needed for the classes associated with a graduate degree at this time.
 
  • #7
Thanks for your honest assessment.I am willing to work towards it, I need direction to know what to do to get there
 
  • #8
First, you need to tell us where you plan to do this. (And if it's "In the US, and by the way, I need them to pay for all this" that will be difficult)

Next, since you don't know any physics, you need to learn some. That means taking classes. Probably for years before you are ready, and years of grad school after that. Do you have enough money to spend a decade in school?
 
  • #9
Thanks for your reply. I am not totally clueless, I believe I am rusty and can come to a decent shape within a year or so. I don't plan to do the MS in US for financial reasons as you mentioned.
 
  • #10
vinaysimhams said:
Thanks for your reply.I am quite rusty at physics right now.I plan to take up Physics GRE as a way to demonstrate my aptitude in physics. What else can I do to improve my chances?
vinaysimhams said:
Thanks for your reply. I am not totally clueless, I believe I am rusty and can come to a decent shape within a year or so. I don't plan to do the MS in US for financial reasons as you mentioned.
Depending on the university, the Physics GRE may not be a valid method for demonstrating your aptitude.

Come up with a list of universities that you are interested in (you didn't say: are you limiting yourself to India?). Contact the graduate physics admissions office at each; ask them whether they would even consider someone with your background (i.e., do you meet minimum entry criteria?); and, if they would, how they would evaluate your qualifications.
 
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  • #11
vinaysimhams said:
I regret my undergrad years very much...I want to do a Masters in physics and then do a PhD.I am very much interested in Quantum computing.
Would it make more sense for you to pursue Quantum computing by continuing your EE education instead of Physics? Is your EE knowledge less rusty than your Physics knowledge? And presumably you took a lot more EE classes in undergrad than Physics classes. Would it be more practical to pursue an MSEE degree with a specialization in Quantum computing?
 
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  • #12
Thanks for your reply. I had in fact applied for MS in computer science which is a lot closer to my undergrad degree and work experience than physics, in the US in 2013 but did not get any admits, I think due to my low GPA. The way I am thinking is with Physics GRE at least I have a chance prove my skills, also I love physics and would like to look at Quantum computation from that end as well
 
  • #13
CrysPhys said:
Depending on the university, the Physics GRE may not be a valid method for demonstrating your aptitude.

Come up with a list of universities that you are interested in (you didn't say: are you limiting yourself to India?). Contact the graduate physics admissions office at each; ask them whether they would even consider someone with your background (i.e., do you meet minimum entry criteria?); and, if they would, how they would evaluate your qualifications.
Thanks for your reply. I am not limiting myself to India but will be trying in Canada, Australia and Europe as well. Yes, I have emailed the departments I am interested in.Thanks for your suggestion.
 
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  • #14
vinaysimhams said:
The way I am thinking is with Physics GRE at least I have a chance prove my skills
What skills? Your post #5 says you cannot solve most problems at the level of the GRE. Why would the outcome of the GRE show anything different?

Until you have taken some upper division physics classes, how do you know you even will like physics? It may be totally different from what you expect.
 
  • #15
Thanks for your reply. I am planning to take GRE next october. I will spend the next year preparing for physics and the physics GRE.
 
  • #16
vinaysimhams said:
Thanks for your reply. I had in fact applied for MS in computer science which is a lot closer to my undergrad degree and work experience than physics, in the US in 2013 but did not get any admits, I think due to my low GPA. The way I am thinking is with Physics GRE at least I have a chance prove my skills, also I love physics and would like to look at Quantum computation from that end as well
So did you take the Computer Science GRE? If so, how did you do?

You really need to step back ... way back... and take an objective look at your situation. You applied for an MS in Computer Science, a field in which you have both undergrad preparation and work experience, and did not get admitted. Yet, you think you have a better chance at being admitted for an MS in Physics, a field in which you have no (or minimal) undergrad preparation and no (or minimal) work experience. As Mr. Spock would ask, "Is this logical?"
 
  • #17
CrysPhys said:
So did you take the Computer Science GRE? If so, how did you do?

You really need to step back ... way back... and take an objective look at your situation. You applied for an MS in Computer Science, a field in which you have both undergrad preparation and work experience, and did not get admitted. Yet, you think you have a better chance at being admitted for an MS in Physics, a field in which you have no (or minimal) undergrad preparation and no (or minimal) work experience. As Mr. Spock would ask, "Is this logical?"
Thanks for your reply.No, Computer Science GRE was not available when I applied.You are right it's certainly not logical.It's more a matter of passion.I have given myself 1 year to get some research experience, prepare in physics as well as physics gre.I plan to take Physics GRE next year in October.
 
  • #18
So, you're going to learn what the average college student learns in four years in one. Are you four times smarter than the average college student?
Next, you're going to do this without benefit of a teacher?
Next, at the same time you're going to join a research group?

This gets less realistic with every post.
 

1. What challenges may I face when transitioning from software to physics after 10+ years?

Transitioning from software to physics after a long time can present a few challenges. One of the main challenges may be catching up on the fundamental concepts and theories that you may have forgotten over the years. Additionally, you may also face challenges in adapting to the different problem-solving methods and mathematical techniques used in physics.

2. Will my low GPA in software affect my chances of being accepted into a physics program?

While a low GPA may raise some concerns, it is not the only factor that admission committees consider. They also take into account your work experience, letters of recommendation, and statement of purpose. If you can demonstrate a strong passion for physics and a willingness to work hard, your low GPA may not be a major hindrance.

3. Can I still pursue a career in research or academia with a background in software and a low GPA?

Yes, it is possible to pursue a career in research or academia with a background in software and a low GPA. However, you may need to take additional courses or obtain a graduate degree in physics to strengthen your knowledge and skills in the field. Networking and gaining research experience can also help in building a strong profile.

4. Will my previous work experience in software be beneficial in my transition to physics?

Yes, your previous work experience in software can be beneficial in your transition to physics. Skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and programming are transferrable and can be applied in physics research. Your experience in working with data and algorithms may also be useful in certain areas of physics, such as computational physics.

5. What resources and support are available for individuals transitioning from software to physics?

There are various resources and support available for individuals transitioning from software to physics. Some universities offer bridge programs or courses specifically designed for non-traditional students, while others provide mentorship programs. Online resources, such as open courseware and tutorial videos, can also be helpful. It is also advisable to reach out to fellow physicists and professionals for guidance and advice.

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