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Programs Will my past keep me from getting into a top PhD program?

  1. Apr 29, 2010 #1
    I've already received a bachelor's degree in Political Science. I wanted to do something science related but nearly failed out freshman year for slacking off and getting awful grades. Thus I was forced to choose a different path and although my grades picked up after that, I ended up graduating with a 2.9 GPA and a BA in Poly Sci.

    However, now I am going to go back to receive a B.s. in Physics and I'd like to end up at a top PhD program. Assuming I get great grades in my physics courses, do well on the gre, and have good research, etc... will my earlier record of a 2.9 GPA hold me back from being admitted to a top program (mit, harvard, stanford... the usuals)??? Or will these programs view it as irrelevant?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 29, 2010 #2
    I suppose that they'll be more concerned with what you can show for yourself with respect to PHYSICS. If you do well, I personally wouldn't worry about it..
    Here some inspiration though: If you don't know who Edward Witten is supposed to be :
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Witten
    "He received his bachelor's degree in history (with a minor in linguistics) from Brandeis University. "
    Not to say that this really means very much, it's a psychological thing.. seeing how the past of others (no matter how superficial) provided no hindrance to their goals
     
  4. Apr 29, 2010 #3
    Yes this is true, unfortunately I think Edward Witten just possibly, maybe, perhaps may be a tiny tiny tiny bit smarter then me haha.
     
  5. Apr 29, 2010 #4
    I also tend to doubt that Edward Witten graduated with a 2.9 GPA.

    But anyway, as long as you are doing much better in your physics program, the low GPA from your earlier degree shouldn't affect your chances. Admission committies are well-aware that people can change for the better.
     
  6. Apr 30, 2010 #5
    If you apply to graduate school for Physics they will look at your coursework in Physics and your potential to do research in Physics. So PoliSci does not matter.
     
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