I'm almost mid-way through a "licenciatura" degree in Argentina which is 5 years long. My current GPA would exclude me from any grad school (5.83/10), I believe. I plan on to get it up as much as I can, maybe I'll reach a 7/10 but sincerely I'm not that optimistic and I guess I'll end with a 6'ish GPA. I checked out applications at McGill University (see http://www.mcgill.ca/files/gradapplicants/ARGENTINA.pdf [Broken]) and they say that an Argentinian 6/10 is worth a "Grade point" of 3.0 out of 4. I guess they mean the GPA? Anyway, the biggest worry I have is that it's clearly written that to get accepted into a doctorate program, I must first earn a doctorate degree here in Argentina. And that with my "licenciatura", I can only seek for a Masters program at best. The reality of my degree is that I've about 4 years of undergrad courses and the last year and a half is dedicated to take 3 graduate courses+ some research experience with a final thesis. Hence my desperation when I read that all this work would be equivalent to a 3 years undergrad program at a Canadian university. So I'm wondering if I have to apply for a Master at any university in Canada/US/France before applying for a doctorate. I've checked out some curriculum vitae of researchers at my university and it seems that some have applied directly for a Ph.D. and others have done a Masters first, in the US. Maybe it depends on the GPA they had? I'm guessing I should ask at my university, but to whom? Maybe a professor? I know one who is very nice with his students but I feel somehow shy to ask him what can I hope for after earning my degree. To answer a few questions/comments I see coming: I know I should be more optimistic about my final GPA, but I've already taken half the courses of my whole degree and assuming I'll earn only 8's, I'll end up just under a 7/10 GPA. Of course I could aim for better grades and that's what I'll do before taking the exams, but my intuition tells me that I'll end with a just under 7 final GPA. Why do I want to go to grad school? Because I love to learn physics and I love having the time for it. Of course I could still study it as a pastime you'd say, because I'm not good enough or whatsoever. But then I'd answer that if I don't study physics at university, I'd have to work or at least do something else unrelated to it. I wouldn't have time to discover and play with physics as I'd love to. Plus, I want to be a student all my life. My dream is to be a researcher for all my life. Why do I have such a low GPA? I don't have a lot of excuses. I failed 2 courses (that I retook and did well) due to a real problem (death of the mother of my girlfriend with whom I live since 2006 and I had 1 week to prepare for both finals), but I must admit I'm addicted to the Internet (playing chess, Go and just being here, instead of studying hard) and I'm considering to eradicate this addiction if it can harm my chances to get accepted somewhere. I'd use Internet just for physics and math help and read what's going on with the latest discoveries, but no more games. Lastly, as you can imagine, I won't be applying to MIT/Stanford/Harvard, etc. I just hope to be accepted into a doctorate program in either Canada/France or the US. I hope to have some comments from you... I'm really worried. Ah, I forgot to say: I've still no idea in what area of physics I'd like to specialize or in other words, in what kind of program I'd apply for. Also, I'm Canadian and French, if it matters. Thanks for any input.