The do i have a chance post

alemsalem
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:31 pm

The do i have a chance post

Postby alemsalem » Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:56 pm

I do not have a very good GPA (3.26) but it does not reflect my ability, my letters of recommendation back that up.
I have a six months work experience at the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (worked on X-ray fluorescence analysis).
I did the physics GRE today so i don't know my score but it could be anywhere between 850-990.

I'm applying for a PhD in high energy physics/Cosmology in one of these Universities:
MIT, Princeton, Columbia, Ohio State University, Mcgill and I might add to that in the next two months to improve my chances.
so do i have a slight chance of getting into one of these schools?

thanx in advance

geshi
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:01 am

Re: The do i have a chance post

Postby geshi » Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:17 pm

Nope, no chance at all. Go work at McDonald's.

Look at other people's profiles (in this forum). Also wait until you get your PGRE back. That kind of PGRE will help if you actually got that. With regards to the GPA, a portion of it will depend on what classes dragged you down. If you had A+ in all your first and second year courses and straight Cs and Ds in your upper level courses, then you are actually in a lot of trouble. Opposite of that, you're in good shape.

P.S. Useful link:
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmi ... te-school/

User avatar
WhoaNonstop
Posts: 851
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:31 am

Re: The do i have a chance post

Postby WhoaNonstop » Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:23 pm

Unfortunately, at many of the higher end schools, they have to set "bars" to get rid of applicants. At these schools they have such a huge pool, that they have to do this. For example, they might do something like... "Let's cut off everyone below a 3.5 or anyone under a 750 on the GRE", just to limit the numbers. However, I'm sure they are careful about making eliminations. For example they might say "Let's cut off everyone below a 3.5 who didn't score over a 900 on the GRE". Obviously this is why it is important to have an all-around good application, so you make these little cuts. Although, even with this in mind, it definitely doesn't mean you're hopeless with a low GPA. Check the thread that the previous poster mentioned, look at things, and take your best guess. That is all we can tell you really.

-Riley

User avatar
HappyQuark
Posts: 762
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:08 am

Re: The do i have a chance post

Postby HappyQuark » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:01 pm

alemsalem wrote:I do not have a very good GPA (3.26) but it does not reflect my ability, my letters of recommendation back that up.
I have a six months work experience at the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (worked on X-ray fluorescence analysis).
I did the physics GRE today so i don't know my score but it could be anywhere between 850-990.

I'm applying for a PhD in high energy physics/Cosmology in one of these Universities:
MIT, Princeton, Columbia, Ohio State University, Mcgill and I might add to that in the next two months to improve my chances.
so do i have a slight chance of getting into one of these schools?

thanx in advance


Honestly? No, you don't.

With a gpa of 3.26 and only have 6 months of research experience, even the best PGRE score in the world probably won't get you into MIT, Princeton or Columbia. Although you may stand a chance at Ohio State and Mcgill. That isn't to say that you shouldn't try but if you want to be realistic then you should expect any applications you send to these three schools to be a waste of money, time and trees.

pymtab
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:19 am

Re: The do i have a chance post

Postby pymtab » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:17 pm

It's hard to say anything about your GPA without knowing your rank in class. In some universities, a 3.26 GPA could be among the top 10%, in which case you sure have a chance, while in others it is below average and you are unlikely to succeed unless there is a very compelling reason for that GPA.

alemsalem
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:31 pm

Re: The do i have a chance post

Postby alemsalem » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:52 pm

pymtab wrote:It's hard to say anything about your GPA without knowing your rank in class. In some universities, a 3.26 GPA could be among the top 10%, in which case you sure have a chance, while in others it is below average and you are unlikely to succeed unless there is a very compelling reason for that GPA.


It's not below average in my university it could be closer to the top 10% I got an A+ in alot of the advanced major subjects.
I do realize i have a very small chance to get into MIT, Princeton and Columbia but I'm still gonna try it out (screw the trees :P)
I wouldn't mind very much if i got into Ohio or McGill and not the others, it's not the end of the world, they're all in the same Universe and physics is physics which is what i care about.

another question, i studied really hard for the PGRE in order to compensate for my low GPA, What else could i do about that?

thank you for the helpful comments :)

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: The do i have a chance post

Postby grae313 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:41 pm

You're shooting high but I think that's good. Just add in three or four safety schools so you aren't left stuck in case things don't go your way.

User avatar
WhoaNonstop
Posts: 851
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:31 am

Re: The do i have a chance post

Postby WhoaNonstop » Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:40 pm

alemsalem wrote:another question, i studied really hard for the PGRE in order to compensate for my low GPA, What else could i do about that?


Include a picture of me with your application.

-Riley

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: The do i have a chance post

Postby grae313 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:22 pm

alemsalem wrote:another question, i studied really hard for the PGRE in order to compensate for my low GPA, What else could i do about that?


Nothing, and that's the point. Nothing substitutes for 4 years of hard work. Just try and make the rest of your application as strong as possible.

geshi
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:01 am

Re: The do i have a chance post

Postby geshi » Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:35 pm

alemsalem wrote:It's not below average in my university it could be closer to the top 10% I got an A+ in alot of the advanced major subjects.
I do realize i have a very small chance to get into MIT, Princeton and Columbia but I'm still gonna try it out (screw the trees :P)
I wouldn't mind very much if i got into Ohio or McGill and not the others, it's not the end of the world, they're all in the same Universe and physics is physics which is what i care about.


I'm not sure why you're sweating the GPA at all if you're close to top 10%. Plus getting A+ in your advanced UG courses will reflect very well on your application. GPA number doesn't matter as much as how you did in upper level courses and your GPA in relative terms (e.g. if you had a 3.5 but were bottom 5% of the class, that doesn't reflect well on you). Sure, you'll probably need to find a way of getting this across in your application, but that's just a small difficulty.

P.S. I may be a bit biased, but Ohio State is pretty awesome.

alemsalem
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:31 pm

Re: The do i have a chance post

Postby alemsalem » Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:30 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:
alemsalem wrote:another question, i studied really hard for the PGRE in order to compensate for my low GPA, What else could i do about that?


Include a picture of me with your application.

-Riley


I just found out my rank in class: I was the third out of 32 who graduated in the same semester i graduated and the 8th out of 68 who graduated in the same year, does that count as smthing??

maybe if I include Riley's picture with my transcripts

User avatar
WhoaNonstop
Posts: 851
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:31 am

Re: The do i have a chance post

Postby WhoaNonstop » Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:25 pm

alemsalem wrote:I just found out my rank in class: I was the third out of 32 who graduated in the same semester i graduated and the 8th out of 68 who graduated in the same year, does that count as smthing??


In sincerity, the obvious thing to do is not worry about parts of the application you can't change, and make the parts that you still can change as good as possible. After that, it is out of your hands..

-Riley

User avatar
HappyQuark
Posts: 762
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:08 am

Re: The do i have a chance post

Postby HappyQuark » Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:21 pm

alemsalem wrote:
WhoaNonstop wrote:
alemsalem wrote:another question, i studied really hard for the PGRE in order to compensate for my low GPA, What else could i do about that?


Include a picture of me with your application.

-Riley


I just found out my rank in class: I was the third out of 32 who graduated in the same semester i graduated and the 8th out of 68 who graduated in the same year, does that count as smthing??

maybe if I include Riley's picture with my transcripts


It would probably be worth mentioning your position in class in your Resume or SOP and a short sentence explaining that although your GPA was low, it is more indicative of the difficulty of your program than an indicator of a poor performance. Your class rank should help to demonstrate this.

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: The do i have a chance post

Postby grae313 » Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:04 pm

HappyQuark wrote:It would probably be worth mentioning your position in class in your Resume or SOP and a short sentence explaining that although your GPA was low, it is more indicative of the difficulty of your program than an indicator of a poor performance. Your class rank should help to demonstrate this.


Or ask your letter writers to discuss this and save the room in your SOP to talk about your research.

User avatar
HappyQuark
Posts: 762
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:08 am

Re: The do i have a chance post

Postby HappyQuark » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:35 am

grae313 wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:It would probably be worth mentioning your position in class in your Resume or SOP and a short sentence explaining that although your GPA was low, it is more indicative of the difficulty of your program than an indicator of a poor performance. Your class rank should help to demonstrate this.


Or ask your letter writers to discuss this and save the room in your SOP to talk about your research.


What she said!

User avatar
WhoaNonstop
Posts: 851
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:31 am

Re: The do i have a chance post

Postby WhoaNonstop » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:32 am

Or perhaps write a song to put in your statement. If you're real crafty you could even record yourself singing it and send it in as well. =)

-Riley




Return to “GPA and Transcripts”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest