Hi there,

My GPA is 3.18 what are my chances at Harvard... er, no. Sorry. Couldn't help. Eh eh.

I'm a French 2-year undergrad in Physics. I'm considering applying to a bunch (about 10) US universities this fall, this idea being mainly motivated by an encouragement to do so from my last internship mentor, a faculty at the Univ. of Pittsburgh.

However, I'm not really sure about this, for a couple of reasons: my GPA ain't that wonderful (something like 75%, which nonetheless got me in the top 5% for the first year), and most importantly I have a great doubt about the path I want to take. There is no field in Physics I'm particularly interested in; however, I feel really attracted by all the mathematical aspect of it, but it doesn't show up in my grades (my maths GPA is around 50%).

The main reason why I want to apply is that I feel tired about French universities, where there's very few people impassionated about what they're studying or teaching, and I'd like to believe that it's different in the US. You'd tell me that a year or two won't change much, but I'm really desperate for leaving that system.

So, the first question would be: should I apply to US universities now? Should I wait?

Another argument for delaying would be that I'd be much interested in applying to places like Stony Brook, for the mathematical physics aspect, and so I would better build some kind of "mathematical profile".

I was considering starting this year a double major degree, that is going on with my third Physics year, plus starting a second Mathematical year*. And then applying to the US universities one year or two from now, that is with 4-5 years of Physics and 3-4 of Maths.

You may say "why do a Maths degree if you got a GPA of 50%?" Well, I can't really explain it, but I got the feeling that I might succeed in this degree. I had a look at my past courses in maths (in my Physics degree) and the courses offered by the Maths degree, and the latter seems more understandable to me.

The question two would be: do you think this could improve my application to some mathematical-physics-oriented PhD? Doesn't it look too laborious in some way (like, I'm undecided or something)?

I guess that makes it... Thank you for any advice.

*why second? In France first Physics and Mathematical year is almost the same, so on a mathematical aspect I don't have to start a mathematical degree from scratch.