Stony Brook University (MS/PhD - Physics)

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NY
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:46 pm

Stony Brook University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby NY » Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:27 am

Stony Brook University (MS/PhD - Physics)
http://www.physics.sunysb.edu
Stony Brook, NY


balsam2
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat May 10, 2008 9:12 am

Re: Stony Brook University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby balsam2 » Sat May 10, 2008 11:32 am

The Stony Brook Physics department is quite good for a variety of subjects and is unique in a way. The program has about 40 graduate students/year, probably 70% international, so it is quite a large and diverse program. Way back when, in the early 70's I believe, a young mathematician (James Simons) and the renowned C.N. Yang began dialogues between the math and physics department. These dialogues related to modern gauge theories and were mutually beneficial for both parties; much of what physicists were trying to develop had already been done. Conversely, mathematicians were thrilled to learn that the notion of fibre bundles had such a natural place in the physical world. What started as informal discussions led to the development of the (now called) C.N Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics (YITP), which is one of the world's premier research centers in string theory and mathematical physics. So Stony Brook is a fantastic option for students interested in these areas. It is also ranked as one of the best physics phd programs (usually in the top 20) with particularly active research in Nuclear Physics, Mathematical Physics, Statistical Mechanics and Lasers/Optics among others.

Admissions: Like most departments, much of this is a mystery, but here is some hard data (taken from the department's website):

Average GPA: ~3.5 (Minimum GPA 3.0)
Average GRE: Verbal: Mean = Median = 560
Quantitative: Mean~760; Median~ 785
Physics Subject Test: 800 (72nd Percentile)

Obviously, these represent but a small part of what it takes to get in. Recommendations here are by far the most important aspect of almost any graduate applications, but the numbers about give a rough estimate of necessary (not sufficient) conditions to be admitted.

Students admitted to the PhD program are all offered funding by the department for the first year, usually via a Teacher's Assistanship, which typically involved grading labs. After this, funding is typically through the advisor the student picks. For fall 2007, the average 9-month salary for incoming student was $15,700, which is a bit meager, but will suffice with summer support which is usually also available

One important thing to keep in mind through is it is not wise to come here (or any school) intending to work with one particular advisor. There is no guarantee that you will be able to, and sometimes, it's impossible to for reasons completely beyond the students' control (e.g. the professor has too many students already). So it's important to be flexible.

I would be happy to answer any questions that people have.

helivora
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 10:57 am

Re: Stony Brook University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby helivora » Sun May 11, 2008 12:48 am

hey,
I ve got an admit from stony brook university and turned down brown for it.
Ur post makes it seems like i made a good choice. but i have a problem here. I got accepted into stony brook without any physics gre score. and i also have an admit from columbia university for ms in ee. i really want to study physics but i cant make up my mind whether to do ms in ee and then do a phd in physics in the hope that i will get into a better uni or just take what i have now?
I am not sure which field of physics i would prefer the most. right now it seems like HEP but it might change. I am an engineering student and haven't had that much of exposure with research in physics. so if my research interests change, is it possible to get a transfer from stony brook?

balsam2
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat May 10, 2008 9:12 am

Re: Stony Brook University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby balsam2 » Sun May 11, 2008 10:26 am

Transferring graduate programs can be difficult, but is almost always possible. I strongly recommend that you come to Stony Brook unless you have funding at Columbia (It is definitely not worth it to pay ~100K just for tuition there).

helivora
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 10:57 am

Re: Stony Brook University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby helivora » Sun May 11, 2008 11:33 pm

so it seems. and i dont think my phd stipend would make up for that 60k i am supposed to pay at columbia. i ve decided on stony brook. and if hep is not what i like, i ll take physics gre and try for transfer for a good school in my research area. does that seem feasible? do u think the top grad school take transfer students? or do they prefer fresh graduate applicants over transfer students?

balsam2
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat May 10, 2008 9:12 am

Re: Stony Brook University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby balsam2 » Sun May 11, 2008 11:41 pm

I don't think top graduate schools prefer applicants from undergraduate. I think they prefer whoever is best qualified to handle their programs, which means with one or two years of graduate school, you would (on average) know more than someone straight out of undergrad. On the other hand, it is quite possible, that the admission is much higher for undergrads, simply because transfers often have applied to the top schools once and been rejected already (so the quality of the applicant pool may be different). Either way, if you go to a graduate school you should plan on being happy staying their, but feel free to try transferring (often one's opinion on these matters changes once in school).


helivora wrote:
so it seems. and i dont think my phd stipend would make up for that 60k i am supposed to pay at columbia. i ve decided on stony brook. and if hep is not what i like, i ll take physics gre and try for transfer for a good school in my research area. does that seem feasible? do u think the top grad school take transfer students? or do they prefer fresh graduate applicants over transfer students?

helivora
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 10:57 am

Re: Stony Brook University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby helivora » Mon May 12, 2008 9:24 am

alright. thanks. this was a great help.

sammystrings
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:47 am

Re: Stony Brook University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby sammystrings » Mon May 19, 2008 7:40 am

Hi guys,

I am presently doing my final semester Msc in physics in an Indian university expecting to pass out this July,2008 with specialization in High Energy Physics/ Particle physics. As a part of my Msc program, I have worked for nearly six months on theoritical solar neutrino problem and attended couple of workshops and school on HEP as well as Cosmology. Though I thought of writing GRE exams and TOEFL this november, I may not be able to do it, rather expecting to sit this April. I am very much interested in Phd either in experimental or theory in HEP in US. As I know from your conversation, you told that you have been selected for a program in Stony Brook without even having a GRE physics score. Could you tell me how you actually went about it, I mean about the process you applied.

If I wait for April exam, I have to extend two more year to begin my graduate study from fall 2010 which is too long. I can't afford to loose my academic year. Please suggest me how I should approach for application in stony Brook. Is your program for Phd or for Ms ? I don't mind to start with Ms if I can't take up phd without GRE physics score.

Regards,
Sam

helivora
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 10:57 am

Re: Stony Brook University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby helivora » Mon May 19, 2008 10:22 am

hi sam,
I could not take the physics GRE as it was not offered in india two times out of three and the one time that it was offered, the dates clashed with my university exams. stony brook says that they dont judge students based on their physics gre score but their background and research potential. u seem to have done a good deal of work in HEP, so it shouldnt be much problem. i got an admit for phd.
but i would strongly suggest that u take physics gre and get a good score as it will open many good university options to you. and i dont think you will be exempted from general gre and toefl. but they both are available round the year, so u ll have no problem in taking them.

sammystrings
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:47 am

Re: Stony Brook University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby sammystrings » Mon May 19, 2008 11:29 am

Hi,

Thanks friend.I will definitely try to take the subject test and at the same time try to apply in Stony Brook. The institute is not that bad you know.Its is from this institute that a famous indian string theorist Ashoke Sen is and Prof. Yang, the nobel prized winning physicist in Lee-Yang theory is occupying the head of the theoretical physics chair.Good luck and enjoy the life.Take care.

Sam

phyziks
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:02 pm

Re: Stony Brook University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby phyziks » Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:09 pm

Hi,
I had applied for the PhD program at SBU, but received an invitation for a 1 year master's program (physics). However there is no funding, although I am eligible for a TA as conveyed by the program director. Depending on performance they would take you in for a PhD subsequently. I would appreciate any vauable suggestions for the same.




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