Is this list of applications stupid?

slr004
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:32 am

Is this list of applications stupid?

Postby slr004 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:44 am

Majors: Physics and Mathematics
Minors: Computer Science
School: State University, not particularly well known.
Demographic: US white male
GPA 4.0/4.0
GRE:
Q:165
V:160
A:4.5
pGRE: 910

Research:
I have been working on several projects in numerical and theoretical Relativity, with one 3rd author paper submitted to PRD. I also got an REU in computational condensed matter at another state institution. I additionally did a poster presentation at an APS meeting, and a poster at a smaller poster session.

Jobs:
TA, grader, and peer mentor. Also, treasurer of SPS.

Accolades:
dean's and chancellor's list (GPA)
three merit-based scholarships

So far, these are schools to which I am applying.

MIT - CMT/QI
Caltech - CMT/QI
UChicago - CMT/QI
UMD - CMT/QI
UIUC - CMT
CU Boulder - CMT/QI
Cornell - CMT
State School where I did my REU - CMT/QI
Rutgers - CMT

Is this a recipe for disaster? What are the odds that I wind up getting rejected everywhere but my obvious fallback? I feel like my personal statements and rec letters are solid/above average. At this stage, I am sick of studying/applying/Proposal_Writing. Would it be wise of me to add an additional four or five medium state schools (Ohio State, UT Austin, Northwestern,...)?

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Nishikata
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:37 am

Re: Is this list of applications stupid?

Postby Nishikata » Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:41 am

Sounds like a reasonable list for me. You have reach schools and safety schools. Perfect GPA and good GRE. pGRE not very high but still above 900. publications, recommendation letters, and statements secured.

Plus a domestic white male identity. (If you were International Asian male like me, maybe a little worry on the high-but-not-perfect pGRE...)

No point adding many other schools that you are not interested in. Maybe add Austin if you want to, but I think you have fair chance for the schools already in your list.

slr004
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:32 am

Re: Is this list of applications stupid?

Postby slr004 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:16 pm

Nishikata,

Thank you for your reply! Just out of curiosity, what would be considered a good score in your location? (International Asian, that is)

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Nishikata
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:37 am

Re: Is this list of applications stupid?

Postby Nishikata » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:34 pm

slr004 wrote:Nishikata,

Thank you for your reply! Just out of curiosity, what would be considered a good score in your location? (International Asian, that is)


990, of course. :wink:

Nah, I consider scores above 960 to be the same.

Consider that internationals do have a smaller, fixed quota compared to locals in any rational university in the world, plus the fact that Asian American locals are already dominating graduate school population, plus we are competing with the massive number of applicants from China and India (2 countries with most population in the world), we have everything to worry about (affirmative action, stiff competition, etc) so we want to ensure we send our best effort to the mix.




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