Being over-optimistic this cycle?

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Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:03 am

Being over-optimistic this cycle?

Postby Cal333 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:18 pm

So deadlines are drawing nearer and I'm worried that I'm applying to too many reaches and I might end up facing rejections across the board come April. Someone give me an honest critique of my chances?

Undergrad Institution: Large Midwestern state school, okay (?) reputation in physics (We have an REU).
Major(s): Physics, German
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.77
Overall GPA: 3.83
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near top? We don't publish rankings
Type of Student: Domestic White Male (Gay if that helps, but I doubt I'll mention it. It doesn't seem like many schools are asking for a diversity statement)

GRE Scores :
Q: 161 - 79%
V: 167 - 98%
W: 4.5 - 83%
P: 740 - 58% (September; took October test but probably only marginally increased score. All the atomic questions killed me)

Research Experience: 3 years in AMO group doing a little bit of everything: building lasers, designing parts in CAD, writing analysis programs.
REU at home institution, internship abroad at lab in Germany.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: National Merit Scholar, Departmental scholarships from both German and Physics every year. Applied for a Fulbright, so we'll see what comes of that.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Outreach chair for SPS chapter

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Interned at a pretty famous physics lab in Germany, led to a poster at APS-DPP this year.
Taken grad class in Machine Learning, and my summer internship was on machine learning too.

Special Bonus Points: (LGBT diversity angle? Again, not sure if that'll be a factor since I'm definitely not mentioning it in my research statement and it seems like most schools don't ask for a diversity statement)

Applying to Where: Focus on Computational/Plasma


Wisconsin Madison


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