michaelrain wrote:Thank you guys for your honesty. Do physics admissions committees care at all about school rigor? For example, at my school, the average physics major's major GPA is around a 2.5 *(I don't know if this is lower than most schools)* and the school is notorious about low engineering grades. I have had 3 friends get into PHD programs with below 3.0's for engineering, the lowest being 2.7, though it was at our same school.
Find out if, in recent years, any students from your engineering department got into physics PhD programs. If so, that committee will be familiar with your school, and also have a good impression of it. Applying there will help your chances.
Otherwise, you could have one of your reference letters speak to the quality and rigor of your program, and also your improvement through the years.
A plan-B would be to gather more research credentials by working in lab this fall, this spring, and next summer, and then applying.
--How to Get Into Grad School
, tips from a current Ph.D. student