Chance Estimations

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Chance Estimations

Post by SyncingTheTron » Fri May 01, 2009 2:59 am

I have been browsing through the 09 profiles and wondered if I can get some feedback.

I will be graduating next year from a fairly well respected large public research uni with degrees in physics and astro. My degree took me 6 years due to early setbacks (transferring in and some academic reasons, namely failing 2 prereqs and q dropping two courses). All of them were in lower division. My GPA is currently 3.2, with a major gpa in physics of ~3.8 and astronomy ~3.4. I have 4 years of research experience with two papers and two poster presentations, all in astro and extragalactic. Assuming my PGRE score is at least >70%, how good of a chance to I have of getting in at least SOMEWHERE and is it even possible to consider top 20 schools realistically? My passion is astro and I have extensive computer background that others may not get thanks to my many years here, but I just don't know if the F's on my transcripts will put me back to far, along with me lower GPA. My LOR should be very good, all well respected members of the field who believed I did a good job. Any help would be appreciated.



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Re: Chance Estimations

Post by Mataka » Fri May 01, 2009 8:49 am

You seem to have very very good research experience. Try to d good on the GRE if you want to get in the top schools, but since you're going in astro the GRE is usually not that crucial in this case.
Last edited by Mataka on Sat May 02, 2009 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Chance Estimations

Post by grae313 » Fri May 01, 2009 11:30 am

Your lower division slips will not be that important if you show solid grades in your upper division classes. Maybe addressing your grades briefly and tactfully in your statement of purpose will also help. Your research experience is good, and the GRE is not as important for astro, so I think you'll do fine. Top 20 are not out of reach with a good PGRE score.

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Re: Chance Estimations

Post by nathan12343 » Fri May 01, 2009 12:28 pm

There really aren't that many astro programs to begin with, so top 20 actually encompasses most of the PhD granting programs in the US. I came from a similar situation (lower div. screw-ups and sraight A's since) and I still managed to get into some pretty good programs. Do what you can to get good letters of recommendation and try to get >60% on the PGRE and you should be fine.

Grae's advice to talk about your lower div problems in your SOP is also good. Make that section short and also make sure to talk about it as a learning experience for you, how it somehow made you a better student/researcher/person/citizen/whatever.

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