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What if the worst should happen?

  1. Jan 4, 2010 #1
    So imagine you're about to enter your final semester as an undergraduate physics and comp sci student. So youve been applying to graduate school for engineering (lets say you want to be an engineer). Then imagine you have a less than stellar grade point average due to two majors and athletics. However you have still managed to get some undergrad research in. And finally suppose that your GRE score is about average.

    Does this person (me) have any chance at mech engineering grad school?

    Second. Say I dont get in anywhere or get in but without funding (what I think is going to happen). Is that the one shot I had? Do I just start job hunting? OR is there an option C?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 4, 2010 #2
    You'll get in somewhere, especially if you branch out to lower ranked schools. You can also always reapply whenever. If you want to work, go for it; you may even get your company to subsidize a masters if they've got programs for it. Option C is getting out there and applying for research, internships, and co-ops, and then reapplying after you've done some of that. Basically, take advantage of the time off to boost your resume.
  4. Jan 4, 2010 #3


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    Engineering grad school is pretty tough to get into. Lets say the acceptance rate is between 15%-21% You have many students competing for a very limited number of seats. Although the undergrad in physics may be impressive, GPA does carry a lot of weight, especially in the final year. Some grad schools require an overall B average with minimum of B+ in the final year in all major courses. The undergrad research is a plus as it shows you may have the ability to attempt research.

    But you really do have a lot of things working against you at the moment. I'm not sure how much weight letters of recommendations and admission essays carry over GPA, GRE, and work experience.

    Have you checked the minimum requirements for admission? Have you met them?
  5. Jan 5, 2010 #4
    I do in fact meet the minimum requirements of the institutions I applied for. In fact it is the grades I recieved in my younger years that are killing me. My junior/Senior level courses have in fact added up to a 3.5 average. The problem is the applications (save for 1) ask for general undergrad GPA. I hope the letters written for me were strong but even if they are Im not sure it will be enough. Im guessing there really arn't any jobsfor those with a BS in Physics. lol Good thing I double majored. Time to go job hunting.
  6. Jan 5, 2010 #5


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    3.5 is not bad considering the dual major. Hey I say, now, that if you can prove to them why you deserve a seat in grad school, whether through CV, undergrad research, essay, etc, then you have a shot.
    Since you've indicated that you wanna go job hunting, its worth it to know that work experience in the field looks great on your CV as it does affect the admissions process.
  7. Jan 5, 2010 #6
    What about the school where you are dong your undergrad? Is there an *in* by applying there?
  8. Jan 6, 2010 #7
    I'm not an expert here, but from what I read so far, there ARE jobs for those with a BS in Physics, as not many are unemployed with such qualifications. Please someone correct me if I'm wrong.
  9. Jan 6, 2010 #8
    I am sure someone with more knowledge will jump in here, but I tend to agree. A BS in Physics does not mean there are no job opportunities for you; it means that you might be hard pressed to find a job in Physics. But you also have to define what a job in Physics means to you.

    If you want to do Physics research/academia you will probably need higher credentials, but it's not outside the realm of possibilities. However, if you want a physics 'related' job or a job that uses your problem-solving abilities that acquired through your degree program then you are probably in luck.

    I would definitely not go so far as to say "there really aren't any jobs for those with a BS in Physics."

    And surely your CS background will help.
  10. Jan 6, 2010 #9
    lol. This is funny because I go to an impossibly small private school. There is no post graduate program here for physics. However this supposed to be one of the better undergrad programs in the country. How do I make sure that grad schools know that without seeming snobish? Do they already know this?

    Interesting. I definitely dont want to go into academia. I thought about it, but its just too much more school. Does anyone know what kind of jobs would be available for a person with just a bachelors? I know all the possibilities in CS, but im very curious about the physics possibilities because I consider that to be more rewarding.
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