Another "should i mention this" post.

dfeld31
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:04 pm

Another "should i mention this" post.

Postby dfeld31 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:11 pm

So regarding the SOP, my situation is a little unorthodox and I'm wondering what or how much to include. Basically at 18 I entered college but was completley immature and unfocused. I knew I liked science, so I began as a chemical engineering major. But because I never went to class or did anything productive I soon started to fail and was forced to switch majors. I decided to go with political science and my plan was to head to law school. I actually turned things around and graduated cum laude with a BA in political science, and was accpeted to a top 20 US law school. However I was still spending a lot of my free time reading physics articles and such, and knew that was really what I wanted to do. So last minute I decided to go back to undergrad for a 2nd bachelors in physics.

This time around since it is my 2nd bachelors and dont have to take any gen ed classes, it only takes me 2 years to get my degree (im in my 2nd year and thus applying to grad schools). I'm doing well, basically straight a's and a year and a summers worth of research experience (no published papers though). But since I'm doing it at an accelerated pace, basically each semester is equivalent to a years worth of physics courses.

So i guess my questions are:

1. Should I include the part about how i was initially immature and unfocused or is this too much to admit?

2. Since my semesters were so intense because I was taking a years worth of physics and doing research, my PGRE score is not so great. Should I mention this as an "excuse" in my SOP? I was so busy with schoolwork it was really hard to find time to study, plus I was enrolled in but hadn't yet completed intermediate E&M and quantum mech.

3. Also, my transcripts from the most recent semester won't be available till a few weeks after most application deadlines. Should I mention in my SOP for the committe to wait till the transcripts have arrived? I feel that this is important because this semesters classes include Intermeidate E&M, Quantum Mech I, Classical Mechanics II, General relativity, (and some 2 credit physics speech class).

4. My research was in the area of high energy physics, and although I might be intersted in this area for grad school, im not 100% sure. Does it look bad/weird if I mention interests as vastly different as high energy as well as for example biophysics, or does it sound better to mention just one area confidently??


I really really appreciate any advice you guys have. Thanks a lot!!

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

Re: Another "should i mention this" post.

Postby grae313 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:40 pm

dfeld31 wrote:1. Should I include the part about how i was initially immature and unfocused or is this too much to admit?

2. Since my semesters were so intense because I was taking a years worth of physics and doing research, my PGRE score is not so great. Should I mention this as an "excuse" in my SOP? I was so busy with schoolwork it was really hard to find time to study, plus I was enrolled in but hadn't yet completed intermediate E&M and quantum mech.

3. Also, my transcripts from the most recent semester won't be available till a few weeks after most application deadlines. Should I mention in my SOP for the committe to wait till the transcripts have arrived? I feel that this is important because this semesters classes include Intermeidate E&M, Quantum Mech I, Classical Mechanics II, General relativity, (and some 2 credit physics speech class).

4. My research was in the area of high energy physics, and although I might be intersted in this area for grad school, im not 100% sure. Does it look bad/weird if I mention interests as vastly different as high energy as well as for example biophysics, or does it sound better to mention just one area confidently??


I really really appreciate any advice you guys have. Thanks a lot!!


1. It's fine to admit if you use it to show how your maturity, character, and work ethic have grown.
2. No, don't make any excuses. They will see your course load and what courses you have taken.
3. Don't tell them to wait, but mention which courses will be included in the updated transcript that you tell them you will be sending. They can choose to wait or not.
4. You're not expected to know what you want to do and there is nothing wrong with diverse interests. Physicists are curious people.




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