My chances of acceptance

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caruso23
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:34 pm

My chances of acceptance

Postby caruso23 » Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:02 pm

Here is my deal. I went to college once and graduated with a BS in chemistry. I worked for a couple of years and decided to finish a physics BS. I want to go to grad school for physics. I would like to study AMO physics. BEC in particular. However, I am open to many areas of research in condensed matter also. I have some odd stats. Here they are:

My overall GPA at the culmination of my chemistry undergrad was 2.7.

My overall GPA when I finish the physics degree will likely be around 3.15. My physics major GPA will be ~ 3.5.

I earned an F in a general physics class. I repeated it for a B. I earned a B in the second semester of general physics (those were taken during my first college stint).

Since then, I have received As in every other physics class I have taken - about 40 hours in total. Also, I have received As in 4 math classes after the usual Calc 1-3, Lin. Algebra, and Differential Equations. I have only earned As since the chemistry degree debacle.

I have two 2nd-author publications and I will have good letters of recommendation.

I will be taking the PGRE soon. I have been studying for a long time and I feel that I will do well.

I plan on applying to all of the top ten AMO schools.

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandr ... ic-science

Naturally, I would love to go to Colorado, MIT, etc., but I think they are probably very, very long shots, haha. I will also apply to UIUC and Washington PhD programs, and Cornell's MEng in applied physics.

Let us pressume that I ace the PGRE. What do you think my chances will be? How about if I only get a 700?

I posted this over at the physics forums, but I would like more advice.

Please give me all the guidance that you can give. Thank you very much in advance.

nathan12343
Posts: 249
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:34 am

Re: My chances of acceptance

Postby nathan12343 » Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:18 pm

Despite the raw numbers, your profile seems pretty good. I'm assuing you're a domestic applicant. If you get excellent PGRE scores (> 900) you should have no problem getting into top schools. However, you need to prominently and clearly explain your so-so GPA in your statement of purpose. You seem like you have a lot of life experiences which you should highlight as well.

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

Re: My chances of acceptance

Postby zxcv » Tue Sep 01, 2009 5:01 am

I agree that you have excellent chances since your grades have been on a strong upward trend. A perfect physics GPA after your first year (and in upper-level math courses) should assuage any doubts about your ability to handle graduate coursework.

Your bigger challenge may be university wide requirements and minimum overall GPAs not set by the individual department. I would do careful research to figure out if this will be a problem at the schools you are applying to before you waste any time applying.

caruso23
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:34 pm

Re: My chances of acceptance

Postby caruso23 » Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:56 pm

zxcv wrote:I agree that you have excellent chances since your grades have been on a strong upward trend. A perfect physics GPA after your first year (and in upper-level math courses) should assuage any doubts about your ability to handle graduate coursework.

Your bigger challenge may be university wide requirements and minimum overall GPAs not set by the individual department. I would do careful research to figure out if this will be a problem at the schools you are applying to before you waste any time applying.


By excellent chances, do you mean I have a chance of getting into MIT? That's assuming I meet the minimum GPA requirement.

I will call the graduate admissions department and ask them about the minimum GPA. They are supposed to tell you this, right?

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

Re: My chances of acceptance

Postby grae313 » Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:37 pm

Most list it on their webpages. It is usually a requirement of the graduate school at large, rather than the specific department.

nathan12343
Posts: 249
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:34 am

Re: My chances of acceptance

Postby nathan12343 » Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:27 pm

caruso23 wrote:By excellent chances, do you mean I have a chance of getting into MIT? That's assuming I meet the minimum GPA requirement.

I will call the graduate admissions department and ask them about the minimum GPA. They are supposed to tell you this, right?


Also try contacting the department secretary or department admissions director. I'd hope that some departments have latitude to bend rules like that in special circumstances.




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