Help selecting schools

nfeldberg
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:14 pm

Help selecting schools

Postby nfeldberg » Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:26 pm

I am a senior at University of Buffalo and am getting ready to start applying for graduate school. I was hoping that I could get some advice on where I should be looking, because I am having difficulty in finding a good list of schools with information on there areas of research. My interests are first in quantum information and computation but I might also be interested in bio physics or something I am not yet well acquainted with. My stats are:
gpa: 3.35
GRE math: 780
GRE verbal: 620
GRE writen: 4.0
pGRE: taking in November
(Have some research experience in solid state but no publications)
If someone could give me a good starting point on places to look I would be very great-full.

nathan12343
Posts: 249
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:34 am

Re: Help selecting schools

Postby nathan12343 » Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:56 pm

It's really hard for someone to give you good advice on this since so much relies on personal preference. My suggestion: take a look at gradschoolshopper.com, keeping in mind that not every school has information in that list. Next, take a look at the AIP's (quite long) list of PhD granting schools found at http://www.aip.org/statistics/trends/reports/physrost.pdf and make another list of schools that you want to look into. After that, you should have a relatively long list of schools that you can use to find the websites of their physics departments and read up on what kind of research they do. Unfortunately, there really isn't a shortcut around looking at dozens of department websites and agonizingly deciding which 4-8 schools you want to eventually apply to.

Good luck!

blackcat007
Posts: 378
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:14 am

Re: Help selecting schools

Postby blackcat007 » Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:41 pm

nathan12343 wrote:It's really hard for someone to give you good advice on this since so much relies on personal preference. My suggestion: take a look at gradschoolshopper.com, keeping in mind that not every school has information in that list. Next, take a look at the AIP's (quite long) list of PhD granting schools found at http://www.aip.org/statistics/trends/reports/physrost.pdf and make another list of schools that you want to look into. After that, you should have a relatively long list of schools that you can use to find the websites of their physics departments and read up on what kind of research they do. Unfortunately, there really isn't a shortcut around looking at dozens of department websites and agonizingly deciding which 4-8 schools you want to eventually apply to.

Good luck!


Thanks for the AIP link.. but under the list Fall 2008 Graduate students , it shows the total graduate students enrolling for fall 2008.. right? and the foreign column shows the no of intl students, but what is the significance of the "year" column?

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grae313
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Re: Help selecting schools

Postby grae313 » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:17 pm

I spent an entire summer and half a semester making this decision. I started with the us news rankings, I crossed off everywhere I didn't want to live. I cross-referenced the remaining list with specialized rankings in my field of interest (condensed matter, nanotechnology). Then I scoured every. single. website. and read the research summaries of all the groups that looked promising. I kept notes of promising candidates--favorite research groups, schools particularly active in my areas of interest, etc. There's really no getting around this work.

There are other threads asking about quantum information schools here, seek them out to get some names then settle in and start reading.

nathan12343
Posts: 249
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:34 am

Re: Help selecting schools

Postby nathan12343 » Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:34 pm

blackcat007 wrote:
Thanks for the AIP link.. but under the list Fall 2008 Graduate students , it shows the total graduate students enrolling for fall 2008.. right? and the foreign column shows the no of intl students, but what is the significance of the "year" column?


Not sure what you mean, all of the PhD granting schools in that list state how many foreign students they have enrolled.

blackcat007
Posts: 378
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:14 am

Re: Help selecting schools

Postby blackcat007 » Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:02 am

nathan12343 wrote:
blackcat007 wrote:
Thanks for the AIP link.. but under the list Fall 2008 Graduate students , it shows the total graduate students enrolling for fall 2008.. right? and the foreign column shows the no of intl students, but what is the significance of the "year" column?


Not sure what you mean, all of the PhD granting schools in that list state how many foreign students they have enrolled.

on page 3 there is this 7th column (leaving the names of the schools) where it shows 4,8,12...

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WhoaNonstop
Posts: 851
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:31 am

Re: Help selecting schools

Postby WhoaNonstop » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:57 pm

grae313 wrote:I spent an entire summer and half a semester making this decision. I started with the us news rankings, I crossed off everywhere I didn't want to live. I cross-referenced the remaining list with specialized rankings in my field of interest (condensed matter, nanotechnology). Then I scoured every. single. website. and read the research summaries of all the groups that looked promising. I kept notes of promising candidates--favorite research groups, schools particularly active in my areas of interest, etc. There's really no getting around this work.

There are other threads asking about quantum information schools here, seek them out to get some names then settle in and start reading.


I spent this previous summer doing the same. It is something you really must do for yourself.

I printed off the list that was mentioned above, crossed off all the schools without Doctorate Degrees and continued from there. Some ways to knock off some choices are:

-Where would I absolutely detest living? Since you have to live in this place for the next six years or so, make sure it will be a place you enjoy.
-How large do I want the program to be? Many schools out there have massive programs, with nearly 300 students and many schools barely have a program at all (say 0-30 graduate students). Depending on preference, this can take off a lot of options.
-Does the program offer at least a few options that you are interested in? Even though you may be interested in one field of study now, you will quickly find that things can change. When you're looking at schools it is a good idea that the schools have at least a few options just in case your original plan does not go as well as intended.

One thing that is always good to keep in mind is that the final schools you choose should contain a variety. A few schools that you know you can definately get into, some you have a fairly good chance of getting into, but you aren't sure, and a couple of long shots. This seems to be the "safest" bet. =)
-Riley




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