fair gpa from years ago

infrared slavery
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:35 pm

fair gpa from years ago

Postby infrared slavery » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:42 pm

I'm looking for feedback from people who might know. 9 years ago I got my BS in physics from UW with a 3.7/3.8 GPA. Since then I did some other stuff, got an unrelated degree. I'm coming back into the field now and am doing so via an applied master's program. Last quarter was the first and took a quantum mechanics class on par with the one I had taken previously as a junior and I did very well. I'm studying for the physics GRE now potentially thinking about applying to a PhD program. Does anybody have ideas on what my prospects are? Any suggestions? Thanks.

bfollinprm
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Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: fair gpa from years ago

Postby bfollinprm » Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:09 am

infrared slavery wrote:I'm looking for feedback from people who might know. 9 years ago I got my BS in physics from UW with a 3.7/3.8 GPA. Since then I did some other stuff, got an unrelated degree. I'm coming back into the field now and am doing so via an applied master's program. Last quarter was the first and took a quantum mechanics class on par with the one I had taken previously as a junior and I did very well. I'm studying for the physics GRE now potentially thinking about applying to a PhD program. Does anybody have ideas on what my prospects are? Any suggestions? Thanks.


Outside of the very top schools, I feel confident in saying the extended stay away from the discipline will do no harm to your chances, especially since you'll have a master's degree showing your continued aptitude. Of the very top schools I've heard some heresy that there's some age discrimination, though I don't know that personally. The reasoning given is that top programs are looking for the potential future stars of the field, and if you're older you don't have the time to establish yourself as an aforementioned star (if you were a traditional applicant as an undergrad, my guess is you'd be closer to 50 than 40 once you obtained a tenure track position). The upside is that as a more mature applicant, you're less likely to buy into the overblown hype the top schools generate, and so will probably be less concerned with trying to prove yourself to yourself by getting into CalTech.

If you're worried about reacclimatizing, don't. Physics is like an instrument, spend enough time with it again and your fingers will remember what you're supposed to do.

infrared slavery
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:35 pm

Re: fair gpa from years ago

Postby infrared slavery » Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:17 pm

Thanks I appreciate the response. I'm not aiming for the very top in schools, but solid, maybe top 30. I also have no illusions about being a rockstar. Luckily I graduated with my BS when I was 21, so I'm not *that* old yet ;). I've found the upside for me now is that I think I'm actually better at it than I was when I was 20. I have a much longer attention span and am more interested in the topic.

Anyway, I will add an update about how it all goes.




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