Physics Major- what counts on the gpa?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by lillies123, May 27, 2008.

  1. lillies123

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    Hi, I'm a physics major, and the thing about that is, well, it's tough. So, freshman year I got A's, and for physics majors, the freshman courses are 200 level courses. I figure that satisfies the premed physics requirement. Likewise, for math, I did very well, but since I'm a physics major, I continued through 400 level math courses and did well there too. I figure that takes more than enough care of the premed math requirement. So, here's my problem: 400 level physics didn't work out as nicely as 400 level math. I got a couple C's in quantum mechanics and I got a D in statistical thermodynamics.
    Will my upper level physics class grades matter on a medschool app if I did well in the basic physics req? Did I shoot myself in the foot? This is especially painful because I double majored in English- and unlike physics, I can honestly say English is a joke major and getting A's in 500 level English classes is ridiculously easy. English saved my gpa. If I had majored only in English, I'd have my good grades in the basic science classes premed requires, plus a high gpa. Instead, by double majoring in physics, I have bad upper physics class grades pulling my gpa down. How would all this generally be viewed? Could my BCPM maybe not include the advanced physics but only the freshman grade?
    Thanks for your advice!
     
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  3. neuro1617

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    Wow a double major in physics and english....I'm not sure how the individual schools will view the upper-level physics and math grades but I believe all physics classes as long as they start with PHYS will be factored into the BCPM?
     
  4. lillies123

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    oh- yikes then. Thx for the reply...do you think that in that case I should retake the upper level physics courses I did badly in? Or is that a waste of time?
     
  5. neuro1617

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    Definitely retake anything that you got less than a C in. C or C+, I wouldn't retake unless you have a lot of them. My only bad grade has been in ochem 2, a C+, and everyone said it would be a waste of time to retake. I actually asked a member of an adcom who asked why I would do that. Although I'm sure you know they don't replace the previous grade on AMCAS-they are all averaged. Maybe retake a couple if your GPA really needs help, you know you can do really well, and if you do have time.
     
  6. lillies123

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    hmmm, ok, thx- I appreciate your advice.
     
  7. Mister Pie

    Mister Pie Senior Member

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    From my own experience, anything that is taken from the physics department will be counted by AMCAS, even the upper division courses.
     
  8. BluePhoenix

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    If it's an upper level physics class, I really wouldn't recommend retaking it. From what I've heard, most med schools aren't too concerned with how you did in physics compared with bio or chemistry. So long as you did fine in the lower level classes, I doubt they're going to care that you got a C or D in stat mech or advanced quantum. Yes, it'd be better if you got an A or B but at the same time, it's not like it's something that you're really going to need in med school and retaking it to show you can handle stat mech isn't really that important. You'd be better off taking an upper level bio or chem class and showing you can handle harder course work in areas that are related to what you'll be seeing in med school.
     
  9. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod
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    I scraped by with roughly a 3.0 in my physics major, and everyone I spoke with seemed to think that was perfectly acceptable if not quite good. The problem comes in how it drags down your GPA and BCPM. Many schools screen and won't see that you got a 3.0 while triple majoring in math, physics, and chemical engineering, working full-time, and caring for your dying parents.* They just see the 3.0 and kick you from the applicant pool.

    In other words, your physics major is going to hurt you considerably in the front end of the process, but if you can get an interview, it's probably a non-issue or even a boon. Be sure to get some info about your school's physics majors, and spout it at the interview when asked. I'm sure glad I was able to tell my interviewers that I was a good half point above the average physics major's GPA.

    *That wasn't my situation, so don't think I'm being bitter. Pure dramatization, here, folks.
     
  10. lillies123

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    thx! I really appreciate your post- it's nice to know I'm not alone in this situation. And that's definitely something I'll try to do, make it a positive if I get an interview- thx a lot for that!

    hmm, thx, that makes a lot of sense. I think I'll take that option and look into an upper level bio class.
     

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