Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

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 :
    "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.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook