Hi all, as you can tell from the title, I failed a graduate level course this year (my final year) as an undergraduate. I had been gearing up for the grad application season, with many of my apps already finished, before this had happened. Now, I am totally disheartened and feel like I shouldn't apply at all.
However, I honestly think it would benefit me if I opened this question up to others. Here is the deal...
Other than this F, my GPA is somewhat competitive (3.53). I am a math major currently looking at pure math programs, but I had been applying to schools on the lower end of the spectrum (above the top 50). I felt as though I had a pretty good chance prior to this considering that my GPA was above 3.5, I will have had several grad courses under my belt prior to next year (other than the one I failed, doesn't count!), I have done two research projects (only one very minor publication), and my two of my letters are very personal and come from well-respected mathematicians. Also, I go to a top 10 public U.S. university.
Yet, part of me is telling me that I just blew my chances at a doctorate program with that F. Granted, this was a hard graduate level course, I still believe this will look terrible on my application. The one thing I have going for me is that my mentor was the one who taught that class (and incidentally is one of my letter writers). We had a pretty heart felt conversation about my results. I let him know that I worked hard but that I merely had a panic attack on the test which caused me to do way more poorly than I should have (totally true). He also was unaware that I have been working a lot while going to school. This being said, he let me know that he would highlight the F in his letter and let the committees know that this was a result of external circumstances and is not very representative of my skill set.
Do you think I should bother? I'm not trying to get into MIT or Harvard (or even UW!)... The schools I'm applying to are mostly lower tier Ph.D. programs in mathematics.
Any help would be appreciated. My other option is to do a Master's first but at 26, I really don't want to add another 2 years to my schooling.