Help determining schools to apply to: Cosmology/Astronomy

LibertyFigter
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:04 pm

Help determining schools to apply to: Cosmology/Astronomy

Postby LibertyFigter » Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:27 pm

Hey there, I would love some input on my application process. Namely, where do I apply?

Koalafications:
Undergrad at small state school, not much research reputation.
Major: Physics (B.S.)
Minors: Math, Astronomy, Music, Philosophy
GPA: 3.58 Cum, 3.5 Major, 3.9 Astronomy
GRE: 164/165/5 [Q/V/W]
PGRE: 740 (60%)
Honors Program, Distinguished Scholar of the College of Science and Technology, 4 Quarters of TA work (teaching labs)
Scholarships: Departmental tuition waiver, NASA Space Grant for summer research, President's Scholarship
Observed at the FAST Spectrograph for ~5 days with research professor
Research: 3 years of research working on galaxy clusters and star formation at institution, including one summer of full-time research funded by the NASA Space Grant.

I'm primarily interested in theoretical cosmology (early universe, etc.) as well as, if that fails, observational astronomy relating to large-scale structure and galaxy clusters. I'm also getting married the summer before Fall 2015, and where I go will be influenced heavily by my fiance, which means I'm restricted to the PNW in general. Colorado is about as far as I can swing, so take that as kind of a radius of where I can apply.

List for now:
UC Berkeley (Astro)
UW (Phys and Astro)
CU Boulder (Astro)
OU (Phys)
UCSC (Astro)
WSU (Phys)
UC Davis (Phys)
UBC (Astro)
OSU (Phys)
Stanford (Phys)
UC Riverside (Phys)

LibertyFigter
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:04 pm

Re: Help determining schools to apply to: Cosmology/Astronomy

Postby LibertyFigter » Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:17 pm

Anyone have opinions on my list? I did my best to apply to basically the whole spectrum. What are my chances, etc? I realize my GPA is my weak point, but I'm hoping the rest of my application is fairly strong, at least for the less prestigious UC schools and Oregon. Thoughts?

DivineHorseCloud
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 10:07 pm

Re: Help determining schools to apply to: Cosmology/Astronomy

Postby DivineHorseCloud » Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:31 pm

UCSB and University of Victoria maybe

Catria
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: Help determining schools to apply to: Cosmology/Astronomy

Postby Catria » Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:46 pm

UBC is going to be a stretch... UBC has historically been a school where the GPA barrier is higher for internationals.

But, if you want the astro depts rather than the physics depts a 740 is about average for, say, University of Washington or UCSC astro.

LibertyFigter
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:04 pm

Re: Help determining schools to apply to: Cosmology/Astronomy

Postby LibertyFigter » Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:10 pm

Thanks for the replies!
@DivineHorseCloud: I hadn't looked at UVic really, so I'm researching it right now, and UCSB is another one I had overlooked but I don't remember why.

@Catria: I am aware that UBC is a fair bit of a stretch- it happens to be near the area of the country I want to be in and is an excellent school with a dedicated astro program. I am hoping that their astro program ends up being more forgiving than their physics in terms of GPA, but we will see. I'm applying to astro rather than physics because that's mainly where my interests lie, and also because of the forgiveness in PGRE. That average is great to hear, thanks for the help!




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