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What to do when not accepted into graduate school?

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Hi everyone. I've heard back from 2 programs I applied to and both have rejected me for the program. My GPA is low so I understand that is one thing that kicked me out of the running. If I don't get accepted into any program I'm not sure what to do. I know I could always apply next year but that's a whole year I'm waiting to start a program.

I go to an out of state college and after I graduate this summer I won't be able to afford to continue going there due to exhausting the allowed credit hours of financial aid. I'm going to have to go to the university in my home town. Anyway I had the idea of applying as a non-degree seeking student then trying to transfer my credits into a program within that university. The fall back on this is that I can only transfer 9 credit hours, so that's one semester, then I assume I'll have to go through the same application process as everyone else. That means the spring semester won't be able to transfer due to the transfer credit limit.

I really did not want to spend another year trying to bring up my GPA with undergraduate courses. Does anyone else have advice on what to do if you're not accepted into a graduate program?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
phyzguy
Science Advisor
4,549
1,484
Find a job? After you finished graduate school, presumably you were going to look for a job, right? Why not start now?
 
  • #3
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Why do you want to go to graduate school? What are you even majoring in? Physics?
 
  • #4
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Why do you want to go to graduate school? What are you even majoring in? Physics?
I've reached the end of my undergraduate career. I am majoring in physics and applied math. I've been looking for jobs that will take a BS in physics but everything I find wants at least a master's degree.
 
  • #5
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Since you're in the US, look into internships for physicists at the DOE and different national labs. That should help you on top of acing the GRE's and/or taking graduate courses as a degree seeking student, if not more. Also try befriending faculty and getting some volunteer research experience at a local department if you can, it's what I am trying to do.

I'm in a similar situation though I am waitlisted at one place. I've also had similar disheartening experience looking for STEM jobs with a physics degree, a bachelors just isn't enough apparently. Unless you were of the rare few that got lots of demonstrable hands on experience with very specific lab techniques, electronics, optics and such or managed to procure good connections.
 
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  • #6
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Since you're in the US, look into internships for physicists at the DOE and different national labs. That should help you on top of acing the GRE's and/or taking graduate courses as a degree seeking student, if not more. Also try befriending faculty and getting some volunteer research experience at a local department if you can, it's what I am trying to do.

I'm in a similar situation though I am waitlisted at one place. I've also had similar disheartening experience looking for STEM jobs with a physics degree, a bachelors just isn't enough apparently. Unless you were of the rare few that got lots of demonstrable hands on experience with very specific lab techniques, electronics, optics and such or managed to procure good connections.
The internship is a very good idea I did not think of. Thank you for that input.
 
  • #7
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It should be mentioned that internships at national labs are tougher to get into than graduate school (grad students apply to them and it isnt a guarantee).
 

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