HEP Exp Schools, where should I apply?

dsperka
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HEP Exp Schools, where should I apply?

Postby dsperka » Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:49 pm

Hi Everyone,

I am wondering what schools I have a shot at getting into for HEP Exp. I have three majors (physics math and astronomy), 3.65 overall GPA 3.33 in Majors (a little higher in math) at UW-Madison, ranked top 20 for physics. I have done research with one professor on plasma theory, and am doing my senior thesis with another on CDF at Fermilab. My thesis adviser has some name recognition in his field. I'm taking the physics GRE in two weeks, and expect about 700-750. I can't find any applicant profiles similar to this, with good research average GPA and GRE. So, where should I apply? Heres what I have so far, please let me know if any are super unreasonable or any others that I am missing.

Northwestern, UCLA, UC Davis, Johns Hopkins, McGill, U. Toronto, Simon Fraser, Columbia, U. Maryland, U. Washington, Yale, NYU

Thank you for any feedback.

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Helio
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Re: HEP Exp Schools, where should I apply?

Postby Helio » Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:24 pm

Thought about OSU there are LHC people there or maybe riverside one of the distinguished profs does LHC. Then again there is UIUC or UChicago with Fermilab. Stony Brook with RHIC?

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zxcv
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Re: HEP Exp Schools, where should I apply?

Postby zxcv » Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:07 am

Good research counts for a lot. All those schools sound reasonable to me (standard disclaimer: IANAACM: I Am Not An Admissions Committee Member). If you know exactly what you want to do (or can fake it well) I would also consider tossing in a well targeted reach school or two where personal contacts could make a difference.

dsperka
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Re: HEP Exp Schools, where should I apply?

Postby dsperka » Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:23 am

OSU might be a good choice, Stony Brook and Riverside seem like kind of miserable places (don't know though, have never been there). I really want to work on LHC, so all the schools I listed have either ATLAS or CMS. Johns Hopkins is one of those reach schools that might pan out, two of my letter writers did post-docs there.

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Helio
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Re: HEP Exp Schools, where should I apply?

Postby Helio » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:44 am

Stony Brook is not too far away from NYC... Riverside.... hope you have a car. i should know have spend the last three years in LA. anyway, there are a ton of schools working other the LHC stuff... abroad an option too?

dsperka
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Re: HEP Exp Schools, where should I apply?

Postby dsperka » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:18 pm

Well I always thought that American students don't have a chance applying to European schools. I think Canada is similar to the U.S., so thats why I am applying to three schools there (especially if McCain wins the election I need to get out of here as fast as I can). It is a bummer that there isn't a safety type school in a vibrant city, go figure. If anyone knows of one please let me know.

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Helio
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Re: HEP Exp Schools, where should I apply?

Postby Helio » Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:19 pm

well here is the deal with european schools and why US students have no chance.... you need masters to get into a PHD program. so you need to start with a masters at a school. it is not impossible... there are people here who have gotten into cambridge. i am planning to go back home if things don't work out as planned in the us. I will do my masters and then see where life takes me really.

i personally know a guy who was a HS teacher then went to germany to work at a research institute and then did his masters there and is now a phd student.

megatron
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Re: HEP Exp Schools, where should I apply?

Postby megatron » Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:05 pm

A comment and a suggestion:

Your major GPA is less than optimal, and if you get a 700 on the PGRE, I think it's unlikely but not super unreasonable that you will get into U. Washington. They put more emphasis on the PGRE than many other schools do. I can't speak to the other schools because I don't know them well.

However, you might want to look into UC Santa Cruz. They were trying to recruit me for ATLAS, so I know they do it there, and I think their requirements are right in your ball park. Their particle group, SCIPP, is pretty good, too. Plus Santa Cruz is a beautiful place and it's nearby San Francisco. I say check it out, and contact Abe Seiden, Hartmut Sadrozinski, and Jason Nielsen.

dsperka
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Re: HEP Exp Schools, where should I apply?

Postby dsperka » Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:41 am

I actually visited both Santa Cruz and Davis this summer. At Davis I even made contact with two of the professors there and sat down and had conversations with them for about an hour. They showed me around the department, and even knew my adviser really well. I think we sort of hit it off and I think that I have a really good shot there now that they know who I am. For that reason, UCSC is sort of off my radar.

I know my major GPA is less than optimal, but with the large pool of schools I've chosen, can I be pretty confident come next February that I will see at least one acceptance letter? I'm not trying to be super picky but I think by picking a large number of schools in that second tier I am maximizing my odds for a spot in that category. I mean I know I'm not getting into Harvard, MIT, CalTech, Berkeley, Cornell, etc. Aren't the next tier schools a little less competitive?

secander
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Re: HEP Exp Schools, where should I apply?

Postby secander » Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:26 am

Have you considered Michigan? It might be a bit of a stretch with a low PGRE and GPA, but your research might make up for it (I got accepted with a 780, so they do take people in the 700s for sure). Anyways, I was very impressed with their program when I visited Ann Arbor and when I participated in their REU at CERN: they seem to have one of the strongest presences for an American university at CERN. Another school to consider might be Rochester, I liked the atmosphere there very much when I visited. I don't know how strong they are academically, but I know they're working with CMS.

dsperka
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Re: HEP Exp Schools, where should I apply?

Postby dsperka » Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:59 pm

So I took the PGRE and feel like I did pretty well, like I think I got at least 800. How do you think that would change my chances? Do I still need to find a safety school?

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secander2!
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Re: HEP Exp Schools, where should I apply?

Postby secander2! » Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:08 am

I don't know for sure, but I'd think that an 800 would be very competitive for the schools you mentioned. A while ago I did some research on average PGRE scores using past APS grad school shoppers: Maryland averages tend to run in the high 700s. Washington tends to have mid to low 800s. NYU reported a 760 for the past two years, and a 960 for four years before before that, so they're probably smoking crack when they report their averages. I don't really know about the other schools, however, I would guess that Columbia and Yale might run a bit higher than the others due to the fact that they Ivy's. So yea, when you factor out all the international student's scores and factor in your research, you seem to be really competitive to me,.

dsperka
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Re: HEP Exp Schools, where should I apply?

Postby dsperka » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:24 pm

Ha, NYU is definitely a little loopy. Yale says that accepted students scores ranged from 590-990. Thanks for nothing. I guess this is just a waiting game now until I get my scores back, and even then more of a waiting game to see who wants me. I just want this to be over with! Plus with these averages and everything, I feel like the variance from year to year is so great that it is hard to get any really solid information. Especially with the acceptance rate at schools, I mean Cornell admitted 24%, and Texas A&M admitted 10%. How are you really supposed to interperet that?




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