Need help choosing astronomy schools

vttd
Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:23 pm

Need help choosing astronomy schools

Postby vttd » Mon May 24, 2010 5:55 pm

Hi,

This year I applied to 9 schools and was rejected by all. I think the main problem was my physics GRE which was an embarrassing 25%.

I retook it this April and bumped my score up to a 54%. Now because of my unsuccessful applicant year I'm really fearful of where I should apply. I found some schools that were better suited for my specialty, astronomical instrumentation and observation. As for my background I put my stats in the 2010 applicant sticky, but I can summarized them quickly here. I went to Berkeley and graduated in 2009, had a 3.5 GPA, 3.2 GPA in physics (I didn't do so well in lower div). I've done research in several subfields since my sophomore year at major labs. My recommenders are all from my research. This summer I'll be doing research at another research facility and am learning a few more programming languages.

Do you think I have a shot at getting into any of the schools below? If not, do you have any recommendations? I really don't think I can go another year out of school after this application season

Cornell Applied Physics (Masters?)
University of Virginia
University of Arizona (Optical?)
Harvard (SEAS?)
University of Colorado at Boulder
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of California, Los Angeles
Ohio State University
University of Texas, Austin
Johns Hopkins University
University of Florida
Pennsylvania State University
University of Maryland

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grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Need help choosing astronomy schools

Postby grae313 » Tue May 25, 2010 2:47 pm

vttd wrote:Hi,

This year I applied to 9 schools and was rejected by all. I think the main problem was my physics GRE which was an embarrassing 25%.

I retook it this April and bumped my score up to a 54%. Now because of my unsuccessful applicant year I'm really fearful of where I should apply. I found some schools that were better suited for my specialty, astronomical instrumentation and observation. As for my background I put my stats in the 2010 applicant sticky, but I can summarized them quickly here. I went to Berkeley and graduated in 2009, had a 3.5 GPA, 3.2 GPA in physics (I didn't do so well in lower div). I've done research in several subfields since my sophomore year at major labs. My recommenders are all from my research. This summer I'll be doing research at another research facility and am learning a few more programming languages.

Do you think I have a shot at getting into any of the schools below? If not, do you have any recommendations? I really don't think I can go another year out of school after this application season

Cornell Applied Physics (Masters?)
University of Virginia
University of Arizona (Optical?)
Harvard (SEAS?)
University of Colorado at Boulder
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of California, Los Angeles
Ohio State University
University of Texas, Austin
Johns Hopkins University
University of Florida
Pennsylvania State University
University of Maryland


I think you have at least a shot at all of those schools except perhaps Harvard. I think the list could use one or two super-safeties, though.

vttd
Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:23 pm

Re: Need help choosing astronomy schools

Postby vttd » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:04 am

Thanks, I really appreciate the response!




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