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When people say don't apply to top programs unless your gpa is 3.7+

  1. Aug 8, 2010 #1
    Is that based on a 4.0gpa scale?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 8, 2010 #2
    Who says that?

    If you are applying to grad schools, you should apply to about five. One of them should be one that you are absolutely sure you will get in, and one of them should be a dream school.

    Also grades are sort of important, but raw GPA is not that important.
  4. Aug 8, 2010 #3
    Yup. It shows ur are a A/A- student, which is what you usually need to get into top programs . A B/B- here and there shouldn't kill you if you do well in the relevant classes (ie not electives).

    Edit: As twofish brought up, its usually the GPA in your major thats important along with other factors, like research and GREs. Be reasonable when you apply. I know for college I'm going to my safety school due to scholarships.
  5. Aug 8, 2010 #4
    Oh yeah yeah yeah, I know apply to 5 that you know that will definitely take you in, 5 to 7 that you think you might have a shot, but not 100% sure, and other top programs that you know won't get into
  6. Aug 8, 2010 #5
  7. Aug 8, 2010 #6
    True, although less true if you're talking of a theoretical field, where it's exceedingly hard to do meaningful projects or publications of the flavor that one will encounter in grad school.

    A 3.7+ is very desirable for top schools in heavily theory-based fields (like math), but other things are much more important for other fields. GPA as a number isn't what's important, it's depth of coursework and having a consistently good record in them, since the kind of reasoning in the higher level courses starts to more closely mirror the reasoning of a theoretical mathematician.
  8. Aug 8, 2010 #7
    So based on 4.0gpa scale?
  9. Aug 8, 2010 #8


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    Gold Member

    yes, 4.0
  10. Aug 8, 2010 #9
  11. Aug 8, 2010 #10
    Does the conversion factor have a special formula or is it just 3.7/4 = x/4.3?
  12. Aug 9, 2010 #11
    You are obsessed. Seriously, you have got to calm yourself and stop thinking about all of this, it won't help you.
  13. Aug 9, 2010 #12
    I just saw that site drumming gave me andI am more freaked out with what I have to compete.
  14. Aug 9, 2010 #13
    No. 3.7 GPA is just 3.7 GPA. It's simple as that.

    A lot of schools give 4.3 for an A+, but we still say our GPA is out of 4; think of getting 4.3 as getting 120/100 on your exam or something.
  15. Aug 9, 2010 #14
    It will help you a lot if you aim for getting into a decent graduate school rather than an absolute top graduate school. There is a lot of demand for graduate research and teaching assistants, and if you have decent grades, you'll get in somewhere. If you have a passion for physics then that's enough. If you don't, then you shouldn't go into graduate school anywhere.

    The problem is that if you are totally obsessed with being number #1 all the time, the odds are that you will totally burn out before you get anywhere near finishing your Ph.D. And then you have to deal with life *after* Ph.D. where the competition gets even more brutal.

    One thing that you just have to deal with is that there are people out there that are just smarter and more accomplished than you are, and that a lot of the time you are just not going to be #1 or get anything that requires being #1. If you worry too much about being #1, then you are going to have problems being #30.
  16. Aug 9, 2010 #15


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    What a strange education system...
  17. Aug 9, 2010 #16
    I know, right? (Or maybe it's just my school?)
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