Are my grades up to snuff for top schools?

bishop556
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 02, 2015 6:20 pm

Are my grades up to snuff for top schools?

Postby bishop556 » Thu May 07, 2015 6:25 pm

Hello, I wondering if these grades were good enough to participate in top grad schools. I have a few A-'s that I am worried about. Also, what is the difference between a 3.95 gpa and a 4.0 in the eyes of the graduate school committee?

Math

Calc 1 (Took it in high school. AP)
Calc 2 A
calc 3 A
ODE A-
Linear A- (I had a bad summer which contributed to this. A 94+ was an A which is silly.)
PDE 1 B+ (Same summer. My mother accidentally signed a lease for a second apartment which added a lot of struggle. Affected my grades)
PDE 2 A
Advanced Linear Algebra A
Math Stat/ Probability A
Complex Analysis A
Intro to Abstact Algebra A
Intro to Advanced Math A
Topology A
Real Analysis A

Physics


Gen Physics A - A
Gen Physics B - A
Modern Physics - A
Mathematical Physics- A
Intro to Astrophysics - A-
Astrophysics Lab B+ (One credit course)
Physics of Stars - A
Mechanics 1 - A
Mechanics 2 - A
Quantum 1 - A
Quantum 2 - A-
E&M 1 - A
E&M 2 - A
Thermal Physics - A
General Relativity - A
Cosmology - A
Nuclear and Particle Physics - A
(Grad Course) Theoretical Dynamics - A
(Grad Course) Statistical Mechanics - A

Chemistry

General Chemistry - A
Chem Lab - B+
(One credit course)


These are my grades. Now what I am concerned is how these A- grades will be interpreted by the committee. I don't think my A- in Intro to Astrophysics will matter as that is an intro course (We didn't even use calculus for god sake). However, I am worried how my other A-'s will look like. I will be applying for theoretical cosmology/astrophysics, so I don't think my lab grades will matter. My math gpa is about a 3.92 and my physics gpa is roughly about a 3.95. I know theory is highly competitive, but how does an A- look in the committee's eyes?

kangaroo
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:31 am

Re: Are my grades up to snuff for top schools?

Postby kangaroo » Thu May 07, 2015 6:43 pm

This is such a troll thread.

And if it's not, the most important skill you need to learn right now is to chill. Your grades are not even close to being a problem.

bishop556
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 02, 2015 6:20 pm

Re: Are my grades up to snuff for top schools?

Postby bishop556 » Thu May 07, 2015 7:21 pm

It's not. I just have a perfectionist mentality and I beat myself up for not doing everything perfectly. I just feel I am not doing well enough to be successful for a top 10 school.

Catria
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: Are my grades up to snuff for top schools?

Postby Catria » Thu May 07, 2015 8:24 pm

Now, focus on getting research experience. :D

kangaroo
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:31 am

Re: Are my grades up to snuff for top schools?

Postby kangaroo » Thu May 07, 2015 10:24 pm

bishop556 wrote:It's not. I just have a perfectionist mentality and I beat myself up for not doing everything perfectly. I just feel I am not doing well enough to be successful for a top 10 school.


Then as I said you need to chill. Grad school is not about perfectionism, and no top 10 school will claim it to be so as well. In fact, you sweating over what are perfectly good grades shows a narrow-mindedness which would not serve you well for grad school, especially at the top schools.

TakeruK
Posts: 817
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Are my grades up to snuff for top schools?

Postby TakeruK » Thu May 07, 2015 11:30 pm

I agree with kangaroo here.

Grad school admission is a holistic process, which means there isn't a series of check boxes that you have to meet in order to get into any particular school. It's also not a numbers game where the goal is to have the highest overall number than other candidates.

The ultimate goal of the admissions committee is to pick the candidates they believe have the best potential to succeed and excel in their graduate program. With this framework, there is no advantage that a 4.0GPA will have over a 3.95GPA. If it comes down to you and another applicant for the final spot, a 0.05GPA difference is going to be the tiebreaker.

Fun fact: I am at a top 10 program with a good GPA overall, but several Bs in important physics courses, including the ones that relate to the research I've applied for. However, I have strong research background in this topic.

If you want to know a number anyways, I think the minimum GPA you should have before you consider spending the time and money applying for the top 10 programs is 3.50.




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