Am I a hopeless case?

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astropisces
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:49 pm

Am I a hopeless case?

Postby astropisces » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:01 pm

Hello whoever you are reading this! I hope you're having a nice day!!
I am not having one since I am sadly fearing for my life applying to grad programs :cry:


SO, I'm a white US female who wants to get a Masters in Observational Astrophysics, but I've also been contemplating Aerospace Engineering (though I don't have enough background credit since my degree's in physics). My lifes dream has been to work at NASA, and getting a Masters seems to be the best way in (minus just going straight in but... I really like learning :P so I wanna go to grad school)

My GPA at my small Liberal Arts University was a 3.0 with my Physics-courses-only GPA being a 3.17

I totally bombed the PGRE (I suck at taking standardized tests, I studied for 4+ months and still bombed it, lets just not talk about it... :oops: )

I'm currently studying for the GRE and I'm gonna take it in November, but my average practice test scaled scores have been ~156 Verbal and ~155 Quantitative (once again, I suck at standardized tests)

I never did any REU's or anything, but I did do 3 Engineering projects, 2 of which I had to apply and was rewarded grants for. I also gave a public talk for one of them at my University.

Other stuff in my field... I was a Star Guide at our campuses Observatory during our Star Parties, I was a TA for an Astronomy lab, and right now I'm working as an Assistant Physics Lab Technician at a community college.



I'm highkey fearing that my entire package doesn't look too good :? My application choices aren't delusional or anything (I'm not like aiming for Rice or Yale), but I'm just really scared I'm not going to get in anywhere...


Does anyone have any advice? Encouragement? A method for me to magically win a Nobel Prize to make my application look better??

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Nishikata
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:37 am

Re: Am I a hopeless case?

Postby Nishikata » Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:15 am

Hello astropisces!

One surefire way to get around a bad GRE/pGRE score situation is to apply for schools that do not ask for your GRE scores. This usually means schools outside the US. From what i know, oxford and perimeter institute do not require GRE scores. So you can assume other UK or Canadian programs do not either.

If you aim to work at NASA, maybe it is better to apply for Masters in recognized universities overseas than mediocre domestic ones.

I wish I had a method that will certainly win a Nobel Prize, but right now my method only applies for spherical cats in vacuum at absolute zero. :D

muonneutrino
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:41 pm

Re: Am I a hopeless case?

Postby muonneutrino » Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:51 am

I can't guarantee this is up to date, but here's a list of what universities do/don't require the PGRE. There's been a trend in recent years where a few physics programs are starting to move away from requiring it. Astronomy/astrophysics departments are less likely to require it than plain physics programs.

http://sps.wustl.edu/advice/applications/no-gre/

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Nishikata
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:37 am

Re: Am I a hopeless case?

Postby Nishikata » Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:43 am

muonneutrino wrote:I can't guarantee this is up to date, but here's a list of what universities do/don't require the PGRE. There's been a trend in recent years where a few physics programs are starting to move away from requiring it. Astronomy/astrophysics departments are less likely to require it than plain physics programs.

http://sps.wustl.edu/advice/applications/no-gre/


This is a very useful list. Thank you.




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