What Are My Chances? 3.38 GPA w/ Extraordinary Circumstances

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Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 1:39 am

What Are My Chances? 3.38 GPA w/ Extraordinary Circumstances

Postby LighthillWat » Tue May 31, 2016 1:46 am

Hey Guys!

I am looking for an honest opinion. I'd like to go to Grad School, but my GPA isn't quite up to snuff. I graduated from a well regarded physics program (Top 20) as a double Chemistry/Physics Major. My low GPA is due to a series of unfortunate personal events (uncle got cancer sophomore year and I am the only one in my family who can translate, grandma got hit by a car junior year ditto for translation, sister was hospitalized for a significant a mount of time second term junior year, mother got really sick my senior year), but I decided to tough it out because I thought it was unfair to my peers to take a ton of medical/personal leave. As such, my GPA took a dip from Freshman to Sophmore year, but remained steady more or less over the years.

Other deets: I have a 970 PGRE (and a 99th Percentile Chemistry GRE) and worked with three Pre-Nobel (Wolf prize/Sakurai Prize/etc) professors for research ( a year long stint at each place). My LoR, if I ask for them, seem to be pretty good; one of my referees expressed surprised I didn't have a 4.0 GPA. I have some other interesting and unique details on my resume that are not physics related per se, but round me out (I'd give them out, but I'm afraid I'd out myself more than I already have). I am taking a year or two to work with another researcher on a long term project, hopefully leading to a publication by the time I apply to grad school, if I do so at all. I've taken 5-6 Grad Courses in Maths/Physics.

Any chance or Recs?

Edit: My main choices would be Biophysics or Soft Matter (Theory or Exp is fine with me). All of my research is in those fields.

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Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: What Are My Chances? 3.38 GPA w/ Extraordinary Circumstances

Postby Catria » Tue May 31, 2016 9:26 pm

UPenn, UMD perhaps would be a stretch... I'm not sure about whether Rutgers, UCSD, UMN, or CU-Boulder would be any easier, who are otherwise good on some level for condensed matter. Go ask any of the recommenders about any of these schools.

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Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:28 pm

Re: What Are My Chances? 3.38 GPA w/ Extraordinary Circumstances

Postby ZonalMarking » Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:52 am

I think you'did probably end up being fine, especially if the research is going well. There was a candidate similar to you in one of the previous application cycles who was sick and had to miss a bunch of school who still got in to a lot of places. You'll get weeded out by a few GPA screens, but some places will take the time to look at your app and I'm convinced some will give you the benefit of the doubt. Definitely don't give up!

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