What are my chances?

  • 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.
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Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:29 pm

What are my chances?

Postby boltzmann » Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:30 pm

My academic history is sorta in the crap (c average) with family, personal, and addiction problems causing most of the problems but now settled I'm coming back to school to finish my BS in physics. Its at a liberal arts college with a pretty small physics department. I'm very interested in pursuing a career in medical physics at a local state college who has a MS in "radiological science and health physics." With a senior year with good grades make up for my C average and some failed courses (which I'm retaking philosophy,applied mathematics,astrophysics all during the same semester that I had to dropped out of)?

I just took the general GRE and got 1030, V:430 Q:600, I know I can do better with a long layoff without math or physics and with a lot better time management I think I can raise my quantitative a decent amount.

In short,

GPA: 3.0 (after my senior year right now its a 2.6 with failed classes which I'm making up)
GER: 430/600 (hopefully will go up a decent amount on a retake. I had like 15-20 min left over on my quan part, which I think I coulda used to score much better)
Research: none (2 of my professors I talked said they would be interested in writing a paper with me so maybe during my senior year)

So what are my chances? Suggestions? I don't mind taking a verbal beating =D

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Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:33 am

Re: What are my chances?

Postby excel » Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:45 pm

Congrats on your return to school.

I think your best shot may be to establish a connection with the profs of interest at this state college. Maybe, you can do your senior project or some project at this college?

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Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:40 pm

Re: What are my chances?

Postby digital19 » Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:57 pm

The quantitative part of the gre is kinda silly, but it's a small annoying hoop in the grand scheme of things. Get a book like this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Kaplan-GRE-Math-W ... pd_sim_b_6

do every problem in the book... don't take the test again until you're positive you can get a 730 or higher.

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Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:29 pm

Re: What are my chances?

Postby boltzmann » Sat Jul 12, 2008 9:27 pm

Both very good ideas that I will do! Thanks for the advice!!

I take it from 2 replies and 100 views the odds aren't too good? =D

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Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:09 pm

Re: What are my chances?

Postby blueeverest » Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:55 pm

The way you analyzed it "2 replies and 100 views..." proves you are a good thinker. Btw, I was one of those 100 viewers.
Don't give up so easily. If you want it, fight for it. In this case, study hard for the GREs.

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Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:38 pm

Re: What are my chances?

Postby LucasWillis » Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:57 am

Overall GPA (in your case the ~3.0 you quoted) is not as important as the physics GPA, from what I understand. Most applications ask for these separately. This is why you occasionally hear that someone has gotten into a top school with a 2.0 GPA or some such, but chances are that they have near 4.0 physics GPAs. The admissions boards probably won't care that you have a D in psychology or anthropology if you did well in upper-level physics classes.

However, with medical physics, admissions for masters programs are now getting quite competitive. This is largely due to the fact that medical physicists are very well paid coming out with only a masters. If you want to increase your chances of being admitted, take some Biology classes your last semesters. Most programs that I know of will require you to take at least a few Bio classes, such as Cellular Biology and all those things that would come in handy for a medical physicist.

Your stats don't look too bad, but if you really want to do this you should hinge your bets. Apply to more than one program, and if the school is local it would not hurt to go down and talk to some faculty in that department. You might luck out and make a good impression with someone on the admissions board.

Good luck.

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Re: What are my chances?

Postby will » Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:55 pm

Actually, you do have to be careful with your GPA. All of the schools I looked at list a 3.0 as a minimum requirement. Now, I'm sure plenty of people get into good schools with low GPAs, but they have to have a lot in their favor to offset that.

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