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low overall gpa(3.31), okay in major gpa (3.49), definite improvement. Do you think I can get in to my list of programs?

Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:07 pm
by grayjason13
I scored a 159 Verbal, 159 Quantitative Reasoning, and a 3.5 Analytical writing on the GRE, and expect a 60th percentile minimum on the PGRE. I have 2 1/2 years of research experience at my university (Virginia Tech) plus a summer research internship at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. I expect to have all A's this semester bringing my overall gpa to 3.41 and my in major gpa to 3.59. I am taking a graduate solid state physics course this semester to show that I am capable of taking graduate courses. My list of grad schools is:
University of Illinois Urbana Champaigne,
University of Minnesota Twin Cities,
University of California Santa Barbara,
University of California San Diego,
Cornell University,
Columbia University,
Oxford University (England)
University of Edinburgh (Scotland)

Also, will these schools look at this semesters grades when they decide? My final grades for this semester should be out on the same day as a lot of my application deadlines. I haven't added MIT or Stanford to my list, even though I would like to go there because I don't think I could get in. Thanks in advance for any help.

Re: low overall gpa(3.31), okay in major gpa (3.49), definite improvement. Do you think I can get in to my list of progr

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:44 pm
by tman1027
I know that some of those are very good schools so you should definitely expect a good number of rejections, since you will be competing with some of the divine beings that walk these halls. You have to recognize that if you are getting a 60% then there are likely people who are doing better on the PGRE and have more experience and better gpa who will likely be chosen before you. However, your could spin your gpa (since it has been increasing) into your favor. If you are taking mostly hard physics classes this year then you can show how you realized that graduate school was your goal and that you had to start working harder to be accepted and your recommendation letters confirm this and praise your skills as a researcher, then you stand a really good chance of getting at least one acceptance (though you might want to put in a safety school or two just in case).