graduate grades

  • This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
  • There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.

gradQ
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 11:25 am

graduate grades

Postby gradQ » Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:26 pm

Hello all,

Could I please ask you guys a questions? At this point, I am planning of doing a master's degree. I was wondering if getting good grades in graduate courses would overshadow the undergraduate grades which are bad. That is, do graduate programs look at undergraduate grades when I earn master's degree? If not, would the undergraduate grades follow when I apply for the Ph.D. program later? Thanks for reading and your replies. :)

nowhereguy
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:21 am

Re: graduate grades

Postby nowhereguy » Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:52 pm

Hi. I also applied to PhD programs in the US and Canada while getting a master's degree. I am pretty sure that the admission committees looked more closely to my graduate grades than my undergraduate ones. What makes me think so is simply that the former were better (although not considerably) and I got them for taking theoretical physics courses equivalent to first and second year courses in American PhD programs. However, I think what made the difference for me was that I am getting my MSc from a well-known European university whereas I got my BSc from my home country. So, the bottom line is that your grades from the master's program will be more important (as long as they are from a respected institution).

User avatar
zxcv
Posts: 402
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:08 pm

Re: graduate grades

Postby zxcv » Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:23 pm

@gradQ - In brief, yes, good graduate grades will overshadow your undergrad grades. This is particularly so if your grad institution has a comparable or better reputation than your undergrad, but will probably be true in any case. This is true for upper level vs. lower level courses as well. Everyone understands that sometimes people screw things up academically but later show their true potential and interest. It may be a bit harder for you, but there's no reason you can't succeed.

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

Re: graduate grades

Postby grae313 » Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:13 pm

I agree with what everyone else has said here, but also keep in mind that grading is known to be more lenient when you are a masters or PhD student, because you need a B average. With this in mind I don't think good graduate grades will overcome *anything* but they will certainly help and I would try to get all A's .

christopher3.14
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:19 am

Re: graduate grades

Postby christopher3.14 » Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:44 pm

I agree with the general sentiment already posted that it looks good if you've shown an improvement in your graduate courses from undergrad. From my own experience, I got bad grades in a couple of the "core" courses (EM and QM) early on in my 2nd year before I got serious about school and getting As the rest of the way. Then when I got As in the grad version later, I could show that I had a solid base.

And although I agree with grae313 that graduate grading is more "lenient," it makes up in the fact that Jackson's E&M is much more difficult than Griffiths -- its not even close.

gradQ
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 11:25 am

Re: graduate grades

Postby gradQ » Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:45 pm

Thanks all for the helpful replies. :D In fact, grae313's comment on leniency of graduate course grades was one of my main worries. One of the professors whom I talked to even mentioned that the grades on graduate courses would not matter much due to this leniency. (It seems like getting a B range in a graduate course is similar to being below average and has a bad impact when you apply to top graduate schools; Also, it is true that when doing the master's degree in a respectable graduate school, you are competing against good students from around the world.) Also, since graduate schools are not very familiar with this leniency (Some schools might have more leniency than the other), it is hard for the graduate schools to judge you on the graduate course grades. What are your opinions on this? Thanks again for comments and advices.

User avatar
will
Posts: 399
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 3:26 pm

Re: graduate grades

Postby will » Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:46 am

Taking a graduate class means you have exposure to the material, at the very least. A couple graduate classes as an undergrad isn't a silver bullet, but it's not like it will hurt your application, and even if they want you to retake them, it might be the deciding factor between you and a similarly qualified applicant who didn't take those graduate classes.

User avatar
will
Posts: 399
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 3:26 pm

Re: graduate grades

Postby will » Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:49 am

Oh. I see I misread your question. Yeah, I agree with everybody else.

matonski
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:03 pm

Re: graduate grades

Postby matonski » Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:37 am

I just happened across this old topic and thought I'd comment since I did exactly as the original poster stated. My last two years of undergraduate were not good, and so I did a master's degree to try and overcome that. Even though I got all A's and A+'s in my master's degree classes, I don't think graduate schools overlooked my undergraduate record. I have a good amount of research experience (3 academic papers and 5 years of industry research) and a strong PGRE for a domestic (890), however, I still only got into 3 of the 16 schools that I applied to (UMD, JHU, and Davis). Judging by other profiles, I feel that if I instead got all A's in my undergraduate classes and foregone the master's degree, I would of gotten into more of the places that I applied to. Don't get me wrong, I'm quite happy with my choices. I'm sure my master's degree helped, but it didn't fully overcome anything.




Return to “Prospective Physics Graduate Student Topics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron