Chance at Harvard?

dzpopstar
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Chance at Harvard?

Postby dzpopstar » Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:50 pm

does Harvard accept students with average CGPA and good scores in entrances paper.
i have'nt done any research, ya but i have done few projects.
so is there a minimum requirement for Harvard.

Peter
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Re: Harvard University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby Peter » Mon May 04, 2009 11:02 pm

I think at Harvard the maximum is the minimum for admission :mrgreen: . Honestly, I think 'H' is by far the hardest school to get into, parly because of its relatively small class size. (MIT probably admits twice as many students)

yayo
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Re: Harvard University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby yayo » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:22 pm

I would like to apply to Harvard (with a Fulbright Grant which I've just won) but my case is in the contrary. My undergraduate GPA is not outstanding 3.9/5.0 (although I published 2 international papers as an undergraduate -without coauthors- and was outstanding in courses such as Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Physics, Thermodynamics, Solid State Physics) and my GRE is bad (q:740,v:440,w:waiting). During my MSc in Physics thesis I published 6 international research papers as first author and I have worked in several research projects of a condensed matter theory group as research assistant. Could I be considered for admission for a PhD in condensed matter theory??

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HappyQuark
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Re: Harvard University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby HappyQuark » Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:43 pm

yayo wrote:I would like to apply to Harvard (with a Fulbright Grant which I've just won) but my case is in the contrary. My undergraduate GPA is not outstanding 3.9/5.0 (although I published 2 international papers as an undergraduate -without coauthors- and was outstanding in courses such as Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Physics, Thermodynamics, Solid State Physics) and my GRE is bad (q:740,v:440,w:waiting). During my MSc in Physics thesis I published 6 international research papers as first author and I have worked in several research projects of a condensed matter theory group as research assistant. Could I be considered for admission for a PhD in condensed matter theory??


No

pqortic
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Re: Harvard University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby pqortic » Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:54 am

yayo wrote:I would like to apply to Harvard (with a Fulbright Grant which I've just won) but my case is in the contrary. My undergraduate GPA is not outstanding 3.9/5.0 (although I published 2 international papers as an undergraduate -without coauthors- and was outstanding in courses such as Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Physics, Thermodynamics, Solid State Physics) and my GRE is bad (q:740,v:440,w:waiting). During my MSc in Physics thesis I published 6 international research papers as first author and I have worked in several research projects of a condensed matter theory group as research assistant. Could I be considered for admission for a PhD in condensed matter theory??

Maybe

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HappyQuark
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Re: Harvard University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby HappyQuark » Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:03 am

pqortic wrote:
yayo wrote:I would like to apply to Harvard (with a Fulbright Grant which I've just won) but my case is in the contrary. My undergraduate GPA is not outstanding 3.9/5.0 (although I published 2 international papers as an undergraduate -without coauthors- and was outstanding in courses such as Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Physics, Thermodynamics, Solid State Physics) and my GRE is bad (q:740,v:440,w:waiting). During my MSc in Physics thesis I published 6 international research papers as first author and I have worked in several research projects of a condensed matter theory group as research assistant. Could I be considered for admission for a PhD in condensed matter theory??

Maybe


Most certainly probably not, in no uncertain terms.

michael
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Re: Harvard University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby michael » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:11 am

Hey, I know that you are just kidding around when you say stuff like "Most certainly probably not, in no uncertain terms.", but I doubt it would be so obvious if my first language wern't english. Sarcasm is really hard to pick up in a foreign language (I know from experience!).

I am all for having a laugh on this forum, but maybe we should look out for cases when:
1) a poster appears to be seeking guidance about something that could be pretty important for their career
2) they do not appear to have english as a first language
and then try to give guidance taking care not to confuse because of a language barrier.

In this case the poster may well have good enough english where he picks up on the intended meaning, but I have seen a few cases on here where I am pretty sure that people have been misinterpreted.

I feel this case is important because this particular applicant can only apply to 4 universities (a restriction imposed by fulbright), really wants to work with someone at harvard, but has NOT selected harvard as one of his choices for fear of wasting one valuable university choice.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Harvard University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby WhoaNonstop » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:19 am

I would respond with a "no" as well on this situation. Obviously if the applicant is questioning their chances, they shouldn't apply. This is Harvard and although there are a few chances to "randomly" get chosen, it decreases vastly with any little blemish in a application. Why do you not see me asking for advice about Harvard? Because I have realistically gauged that it is not a good financial investment. With a little bit of research, everyone asking these questions should be able to find their own answer. Honestly, I don't mind giving my opinion, but it does get rather annoying when all I am referring to in order to answer their question is stuff available to them.

-Riley

kroner
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Re: Harvard University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby kroner » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:50 am

WhoaNonstop wrote:Obviously if the applicant is questioning their chances, they shouldn't apply.

I don't agree with this at all. There's not really any built in mechanism for someone new to the process to gauge what the level of competitiveness is for various schools. That's what makes the profile threads on this site so valuable. But even with that there are still going to be cases that aren't obviously comparable to the situations that people who have posted here have been in, or perhaps not a large enough sample size to draw much of a conclusion. It's reasonable to ask for an outside opinion. Granted it's also reasonable for you to give your opinion, since that's the whole point.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Harvard University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby HappyQuark » Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:57 am

michael wrote:Hey, I know that you are just kidding around when you say stuff like "Most certainly probably not, in no uncertain terms.", but I doubt it would be so obvious if my first language wern't english. Sarcasm is really hard to pick up in a foreign language (I know from experience!).

I am all for having a laugh on this forum, but maybe we should look out for cases when:
1) a poster appears to be seeking guidance about something that could be pretty important for their career
2) they do not appear to have english as a first language
and then try to give guidance taking care not to confuse because of a language barrier.

In this case the poster may well have good enough english where he picks up on the intended meaning, but I have seen a few cases on here where I am pretty sure that people have been misinterpreted.

I feel this case is important because this particular applicant can only apply to 4 universities (a restriction imposed by fulbright), really wants to work with someone at harvard, but has NOT selected harvard as one of his choices for fear of wasting one valuable university choice.


On some level I agree with you but ultimately I stand by my response. While my response was sarcastic I wasn't horribly concerned that my comments be understood as such. The simple fact of the matter is that nobody on this forum could possibly answer the original question. The entire admissions process is a complete crap shoot and this is especially true of the most prestigious schools. Even a cursory glance through the acceptances will demonstrate that people with a perfect and shining application may not get into Harvard, MIT or any of the other top schools. The OP might as well have asked about the potential number of microstates of n dancing angels on the head of a pin.

Whether or not a person should apply to a school like Harvard should be the result of a risk/benefit analysis. In fact, you should ask yourself whether the risk of losing the time and money of applying to a school is worth the potential benefit of getting in. If it isn't then don't apply, if it is then apply. That is the only heuristic that matters and none of us can answer that question for the OP. As has been pointed out numerous times by multiple forum members, everyone should know better than to ask these type of question and shouldn't need to be told "It depends" and "look at the admissions results".

Since english speaking students haven't cornered the market on critical thinking and the ability to use a search function, I find it hard to feel bad about being sarcastic and dismissive with, for lack of a better term, a dumb question.

michael
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Re: Harvard University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby michael » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:17 am

This case is tricky though, don't you think? I agree on the risk/benefit analysis, and although he is probably well aware of the benefits, I feel the risk (particularly the probability of rejection) is hard to estimate in this case because his application is fairly unique:

This guy is international, which hurts applications normally because the university has to pay more in order to fund them, but Fulbright covers most (but usually not all) of the funding, so he may be treated pretty much as a domestic applicant. His GRE scores aren't perfect, nor is is undergrad GPA, but his most recent GPA from his Masters is. And he has VERY solid research experience.

In his position I don't know what I would do to be honest. I would probably want to get a better idea of my chances before making a decision. I would probably try to talk to the professor at Harvard with whom I hoped to work to get guidance.

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HappyQuark
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Re: Harvard University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby HappyQuark » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:48 am

michael wrote:This case is tricky though, don't you think? I agree on the risk/benefit analysis, and although he is probably well aware of the benefits, I feel the risk (particularly the probability of rejection) is hard to estimate in this case because his application is fairly unique:

This guy is international, which hurts applications normally because the university has to pay more in order to fund them, but Fulbright covers most (but usually not all) of the funding, so he may be treated pretty much as a domestic applicant. His GRE scores aren't perfect, nor is is undergrad GPA, but his most recent GPA from his Masters is. And he has VERY solid research experience.


I agree with you but I would argue that because his application is more unique, asking what we think is even less reasonable than if he had a more typical scenario. If he was a domestic student with a perfect GPA, publications and strong letters of rec, we might be able to give him some rough estimate as to his chances at a given school but with nothing to compare his profile to, the best we can do is blindly speculate about how Harvard admissions will think about it.

Like you said, his Masters GPA is great but then again Masters classes are notoriously easier to get good grades in and, like you said, he has funding but at the same time is an international student. I personally don't know how an admissions committee will view his profile and I would reckon that nobody else on the forum will either.

michael wrote:In his position I don't know what I would do to be honest. I would probably want to get a better idea of my chances before making a decision. I would probably try to talk to the professor at Harvard with whom I hoped to work to get guidance.


Indeed

michael
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Re: Harvard University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby michael » Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:37 pm

Haha, then how about:

Most certainly probably not, in no uncertain terms. ----> I would probably try to talk to the professor at Harvard with whom I hoped to work to get guidance.

;P

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grae313
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Re: Harvard University (MS/PhD - Physics)

Postby grae313 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:48 pm

kroner wrote:
WhoaNonstop wrote:Obviously if the applicant is questioning their chances, they shouldn't apply.

I don't agree with this at all.


Neither do I.

He has external funding and an excellent track record for publishing research. I think he has a great shot at Harvard, and I bet the majority of the students who are in the physics graduate program there questioned their chances as an applicant.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Chance at Harvard?

Postby WhoaNonstop » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:04 pm

kroner wrote:
WhoaNonstop wrote:Obviously if the applicant is questioning their chances, they shouldn't apply.

That's what makes the profile threads on this site so valuable.


grae313 wrote:Neither do I.


Do you think the original poster has went through the profile threads to gauge his chances? I would put my money on the answer of no. If he really cares about his chances of getting into Harvard I'm sure he would have looked through this, but it appears that he has not done so. This is an international student attempting to get into Harvard. His undergraduate GPA is not outstanding. He doesn't even mention his graduate GPA or his Physics GRE. There is a lot missing here and obviously the original poster is searching for reasons to apply to lofty schools.

My opinion is he shouldn't apply to Harvard. You can agree with me or not, but the original poster will see this and in the end, decide for himself.

-Riley

yayo
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Re: Chance at Harvard?

Postby yayo » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:49 am

Hey friends, thank you for your opinions. I would like to clarify some things. My grant is a FULL PhD funding from Fulbright and COLCIENCIAS (goverment institution which manages science and technology) for 5 years. I suggested 4 universities to Fulbright for the application process: Stanford,Yale,Columbia,Maryland. I did not suggest Harvard because (making an exhaustive search about profiles getting in) I know they are very demanding: accepted students have excellent qualifications, but being honest I realized that what is most common is: top undergraduate GPA, top GRE scores, but a wide research experience is least common. Then, being in the opposite site I wanted to look for opinions like yours. I'm still waiting for PGRE scores (I think I will score above 900), my MSc in Physics (condensed matter theory) is 4.7/5.0, I was awarded a very rare honor in my university (summa cum laude) for academic performance and research. My letters of recommendations are from professors which co-authored some of my papers and know me very much so I expect very good LoR. Two days ago I e-mailed the professor at Harvard and he answered yesterday saying that my achivemnets sound impressive, that they'd had a very possitive experience with a young scientist from my country. He asked me if I have applied, and told me that he was going to take new PhD students in the next few years and started to tell me the typical process to get into the research stage after taking some courses with him. How to interpret this?? Today, I sent him another e-mail explaining the flaws in a possible application to Harvard and asking his opinion.

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grae313
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Re: Chance at Harvard?

Postby grae313 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:13 pm

You've got a good profile but there are no guarantees. Apply and see what happens.




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