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I am one month away from finishing my first semester of grad school in a physics Ph.D program. I was admitted to start in the spring semester, as my research advisor was in need of a research assistant for her experiment during the summer. This meant that I had to start with courses offered in the spring, namely classical mechanics II (6000 level) and math method I (8000 level). The rest of my credits are in research. While I believe I can finish the year with a B in math methods, I believe that I am going to end the year with a C in classical II. For my program, a GPA below 3.0 during your first semester is grounds for academic dismissal. I've been pushing all semester, but I struggled to achieve the level of understanding and performance that my classical II professor wanted. I might have been able to, if I took classical I, but I understand that My strange start time made that impossible. Would I be able to appeal an academic dismissal on the grounds that I took classes not typically offered to students their first semester, I've also been dealing with anxiety? If I am academically dismissed, I know it would be very difficult to get into another physics doctoral program. Would this also prevent me from getting into something like a master program for electrical engineering? My love is for nuclear and particle physics. In particular, their uses in the medical field. It is my dream to work on linear accelerators or synchrotrons for radiation therapy. I had figured that a degree in nuclear physics would give me that opportunity. Is there another way I can approach my dream job with this academic dismissal. I apologize for the lengthy question. I don't know what to do and I want to get as much information as possible. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

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None of us can really help you with this question (i) because you haven't actually been dismissed yet, and (ii) because every program is different, having their own rules and procedures. There is for sure no point in thinking about appealing a situation that hasn't happened yet.

The right approach is to talk to your academic adviser and to the graduate director of your program. They are ultimately the ones who make these decisions, and they are the ones who can advise you about the situation and its consequences. Nobody else on the internet can do better than what they can tell you.

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