UC Berkeley

AriAstronomer
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 4:53 pm

UC Berkeley

Postby AriAstronomer » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:58 am

What kind of school are these guys acceptance wise? Do they have Princeton standards (i.e. perfect GPA, perfect GRE scores, perfect recommendation letters), or are they a bit easier to get into? I definitely realize they are a top school, but if I've decided that I don't want to apply to Princeton cause my chances are slim of getting in, should I also scratch Berkeley? Mainly it's my GRE score I'm most concerned about. 800 isn't terrible, but doesn't seem like anyone gets into Princeton with an 850 let alone 800....

Thanks,
Ari

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

Re: UC Berkeley

Postby grae313 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:20 pm

This is what the profiles threads are for. Do a cntrl+f for Berkeley and scan through all five years. No one here can give you a better answer than that.

ol
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:07 pm

Re: UC Berkeley

Postby ol » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:33 pm

http://www.aip.org/gpb/pdf_files/f270.pdf
Berkeley accepts 14% of its applicants, the mean PGRE is 900, and the minimum acceptable score is 730 (60%)

http://www.aip.org/gpb/pdf_files/f137.pdf
Princeton accepts 10.5% of its applicants. It does not list a PGRE score.

AriAstronomer
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 4:53 pm

Re: UC Berkeley

Postby AriAstronomer » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:24 pm

Thanks for the very useful links ol.

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

Re: UC Berkeley

Postby grae313 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:54 pm

FWIW, you can get those pdfs for any school from http://www.gradschoolshopper.com...

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: UC Berkeley

Postby bfollinprm » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:17 am

I think, in general, giving up on schools because of the PGRE is a bad idea. You probably won't get in (because most applicants don't), but that doesn't mean don't try; you could be surprised, or you could catch a prof's eye as the perfect addition to their group. Having said that, even if you get into Berkeley it might not be the fit for you, but it's still worth a shot.

negru
Posts: 308
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:49 pm

Re: UC Berkeley

Postby negru » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:51 am

i've never really understood why you wouldn't apply to ALL the top schools (assuming you're at all interested in attending one). what's the point of applying to just a few of them? given how random things are, it seems really stupid to not spend say a few extra days for some extra apps. i mean yeah top 10 vs top 30 might not always be a life changer, but actually applying to a school is the easiest and most crucial part in getting into a top 10 vs top 30. why shoot yourself in the foot with this? i know plenty of people who applied to all top 10 schools and got into only one of them (sometimes it was one of the top 2-3). how completely retarded would it have been to leave exactly that school out with the "what are the chances anyway...spending 50$ for a chance to go to princeton is so not worth it".

grad school applications should be your number 1 priority in your senior year anyway (and by number 1 priority i mean that your next priority should be somewhere around number 200)

User avatar
quizivex
Posts: 1029
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:13 am

Re: UC Berkeley

Postby quizivex » Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:00 am

negru wrote:i've never really understood why you wouldn't apply to ALL the top schools (assuming you're at all interested in attending one). what's the point of applying to just a few of them? given how random things are, it seems really stupid to not spend say a few extra days for some extra apps.
Your strategy makes sense for imperfect students who dream of attending a top school and want to maximize their chances. But if everyone did this, then overall nobody would benefit. There are probably good reasons why a student may only apply to one or two reach schools. They may feel like they only have a realistic shot at the ones where their advisor "knows people," or their research accomplishments are closely related to what a particular prof does there etc.

IMO what's more confusing is when the people with utterly perfect profiles apply to all top 5-7 schools and get into all of them... they clearly know they're getting in everywhere, and they could afford to narrow down their choices a bit. I doubt they could be equally interested in that many programs, and even if they thought they were, they probably can't attend that many open houses, so why not weed some out before applying. It makes it harder for the non-perfectionists to get in if the top programs are collectively handing out 5-7 offers to the same students.

AriAstronomer
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 4:53 pm

Re: UC Berkeley

Postby AriAstronomer » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:27 am

negru wrote:i've never really understood why you wouldn't apply to ALL the top schools (assuming you're at all interested in attending one). what's the point of applying to just a few of them? given how random things are, it seems really stupid to not spend say a few extra days for some extra apps. i mean yeah top 10 vs top 30 might not always be a life changer, but actually applying to a school is the easiest and most crucial part in getting into a top 10 vs top 30. why shoot yourself in the foot with this? i know plenty of people who applied to all top 10 schools and got into only one of them (sometimes it was one of the top 2-3). how completely retarded would it have been to leave exactly that school out with the "what are the chances anyway...spending 50$ for a chance to go to princeton is so not worth it".

grad school applications should be your number 1 priority in your senior year anyway (and by number 1 priority i mean that your next priority should be somewhere around number 200)


I guess my opinion lies in between you and quizivex. I mean, I definitely agree with you about not applying somewhere and shooting yourself in the foot, but it becomes a waste of money and time if you're applying to 50 schools, not to mention, it would make it so indecisive to choose if you got into even 50% of them. I do agree with you though about those cases where someone applied to all the top schools and got into one of them or something, which is why I've applied to a few pipe dream schools (e.g. I'm sure MIT rarely accepts people with 800 PGRE...). I've also immediately rejected schools where I think I wouldn't enjoy the lifestyle there. I've done my homework, talked to grad students, talked to people who live there, and if I've decided it wouldn't be a good fit for me why waste the money? I mean it's only 50$, but at the same time if you say that 20 times in a row it adds up.

Bottom line, you guys have def convinced me to apply to Berkeley so thanks haha.

ol
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:07 pm

Re: UC Berkeley

Postby ol » Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:10 am

You are applying to astronomy schools, and not physics schools. You have an 800 on your PGRE. I know several people who were admitted to Caltech astro for example: one got an 800, one got a 790, one got a 730, another got a 650. These same people were admitted to Harvard, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and Arizona. You are fine. Stop worrying and apply to the top programs. Princeton astro is the only one that cares about PGRE. If you don't get accepted to Princeton, screw them. There are obviously plenty of other schools you can go to and still have a great career.
Last edited by ol on Fri May 10, 2013 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

bfollinprm
Posts: 1197
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: UC Berkeley

Postby bfollinprm » Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:00 pm

quizivex wrote:IMO what's more confusing is when the people with utterly perfect profiles apply to all top 5-7 schools and get into all of them... they clearly know they're getting in everywhere, and they could afford to narrow down their choices a bit. I doubt they could be equally interested in that many programs, and even if they thought they were, they probably can't attend that many open houses, so why not weed some out before applying. It makes it harder for the non-perfectionists to get in if the top programs are collectively handing out 5-7 offers to the same students.


I don't think anyone is ever guaranteed a spot. It's totally worth applying to every school in the top 10 you'd have an interest in going to, as long as you have a non-vanishing shot (for domestic students, I'd define that as somewhere around a 750+PGRE, 3.6+GPA, and quality letters from people who can attest to your research ability).

For people who have really high chances of getting in, you don't want to be that one guy who only applies to MIT and doesn't quite make the cut; since you don't know the competition perfectly (maybe there's 100 people better than you applying as well, it's possible) it makes sense to hedge your bets and apply to as many top schools as you think necessary. As for that hurting other applicant's chances, I don't buy it; MIT et al. matriculate a certain number of students a year, and that number doesn't change depending on how many people accept their offer--if enough "perfect applicants" don't choose MIT, they just accept another student until they reach their quota.

AriAstronomer
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 4:53 pm

Re: UC Berkeley

Postby AriAstronomer » Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:49 pm

ol wrote:You are applying to astronomy schools, and not physics schools. You have an 800 on your PGRE. I know several people who were admitted to Caltech astro for example: one got an 800, one got a 790, one got a 730, another got a 650. These same people were admitted to Harvard, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and Arizona. The 790 was also admitted to MIT. You are fine. Stop worrying and apply to the top programs. Princeton astro is the only one that cares about PGRE. If you don't get accepted to Princeton, screw them. There are obviously plenty of other schools you can go to and still have a great career.


This gives me hope! Thanks for the advice. I've heard that actually from a few different sources that typically the admission for astro/cosmology is a bit lower than for physics....wonder why? Less competition? Less people interested in pursuing astronomy? Easier discipline (hehe)?

I guess the last kicker is that I'm from Canada, so technically international, but USA seems a bit gentler in treating Canada almost like their own. Definitely ahead of India/China/very foreign places...

Thanks for the advice, I know how annoying it is to get the 10000th thread saying *oMg i hAvE tHiS, wHeRE cAN i gET iN????* Hopefully it didn't come off that way...




Return to “School Selection”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest