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Transferring Phd programs after being accepted


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So to start off when I applied to physics graduate school programs I had a horrible (truly abysmal) pGRE score, a 3.92 GPA from a small (sorta sub par, not well known) college, and 3 summers of physics research in space physics at that college. I had only (in my infinite foolishness) applied to 2 schools thinking I would get in (university of Minnesota and UCLA), and I got denied from the Univerisity of Minnesota's astrophysics program, and was waitlisted by UCLA's space physics program. Then like 3 weeks later, I got an NSF fellowship, and was emailed by a graduate advisor from the University of Minnesota telling me that he would like to have in interview with me. The interview went well and I was accepted into their program. I was then emailed by UCLA and after a skype interview was accepted there as well.

(Again in my infinite foolishness) I chose to go to UCLA because it was the more prestigious school, however after I thought about it more, I'm kinda regretting it because I am not really that interested in space physics. I only applied to the UCLA space physics program because I thought I had a good chance of getting in, with my space physics background.

This summer I am actually doing an internship at NASA Goddard (in space physics again, a field I can't seem to get away from...) which I think I can get a letter of recommendation from, but I was wondering:

Is is possible for me to take the pGRE again, get a better score, and reapply to physics graduate programs (maybe UCLA and Univeristy of Minnesota are out of the question at this point) or maybe transfer programs?


Edited by Aleph
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If you do a quick search on the topic online, you'll find the same answer: yes. but transferring is like reapplying to graduate school. They will probably also want letters from your original program, and you'll need to give them a good reason why. Also, I'm not sure if the NSF fellowship is transferable if you are not switching degree types. 

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I did a little digging around (i'm sorry that was a bad joke, but with a name like geodude the opportunity was too tantalizing), and NSF fellowships are transferable between "GRFP institutions" - which I think means a higher education accredited university, so I don't think I have trouble there. However, I think I fall into trouble if I want to switch from something like space physics into something like astrophysics, particle physics, or cosmology because these may be deemed as major field of study changes.

So I guess I'm stuck in space physics, which is kind of a shame because space physics is really more like using a little physics here and there but just enough to study the sun-earth environment, and I always thought I was more into physics like solving differential equations, writing code, being in a lab and using cool lasers, looking at blackholes, making superconductors, or researching Bose-Einstein condensates or gravity waves, or accelerating particles to TeVs or something like that.

I'm kind of torn, because on the one hand, how does one say "no" to a prestigeous fellowship like the NSF fellowship, which more than pays for my graduate schooling and then some, but on the other hand I just worry that if my heart's not in it then i'm not gonna have the passion to keep going after a while.

And to top it all off, I feel a little sour about the entire experience. Both schools basically rejected me, and only accepted me after I got this fellowship, so its pretty apparent that I am not attending UCLA on merit (UCLA didn't believe I could make it in their program in the first place), but merely on the fact that I can pay for myself...which is a pretty huge hit on my confidence going in.

In any sense, this next year is definitely going to be interesting.

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