Help!: Narrowing down a list of schools for HEP-ex.

metaphyx
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:32 am

Help!: Narrowing down a list of schools for HEP-ex.

Postby metaphyx » Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:47 am

This is not another profile evaluation post. I made a list of schools I wanted to apply for and wanted to check with the forum members that if it is varied enough. I am specifically concerned about the safety schools because its kinda important for me to get in somewhere. I am interested in experimental HEP especially neutrino physics. I could summarise my profile as follows:

Major(s): Physics and Computer Science
GPA: 9.05/10 physics, 8.61/10 overall :?
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 163
V: 160
W: 4.5
P: 980 :D

TOEFL Total: 113

Research Experience: A summer at UWash and CERN, with a thesis at Queen's. All relevant to the field I am applying for. Some miscellaneous projects. ( No pubs. :cry: )

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Some fellowships and scholarships.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: PA for a course on Non-Linear Dynamics.

Special Bonus Points: I have contacts with professors at UWash and Queen's who will be giving me their recommendations too. A third recommendation comes from the head of my department.

The list which I made is:

Ambitious:
- Yale
- Columbia
- Stanford

Reachable:
- UWash
- UT Austin
- Duke
- Maryland

Safety:
- Queen's
- University of North Carolina
- NYU
- Boston University

I went through the various applicant profiles and I believe there is not much data available for international students. I just wanted to hear your comments about any possible exclusions and inclusions from the list. I hope you guys will help me out.
Last edited by metaphyx on Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

PathIntegrals92
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Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:42 pm

Re: Help!: Narrowing down a list of schools for HEP-ex.

Postby PathIntegrals92 » Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:17 am

I think you have a good list! I guess it wouldn't hurt to be a little more ambitious? Also since you're international, the UC schools might be difficult to get admitted to because of funding. However, I guess it can't hurt to apply to Davis, but that's the one I would remove.

Maybe include more private schools rather than public?
Last edited by PathIntegrals92 on Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: Help!: Narrowing down a list of schools for HEP-ex.

Postby bfollinprm » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:43 am

I'm still not sure I believe this, but I was recently (~2 days ago) assured here at Davis that we no longer have to make an international/domestic distinction when considering funding. Something about the way the dean of graduate sciences changed the way the fake tuition money is moved around, or something. Not sure if this is UC-wide or not.

TakeruK
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Re: Help!: Narrowing down a list of schools for HEP-ex.

Postby TakeruK » Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:27 pm

I am guessing you are Canadian? You can see my profile in 2012 -- we have some similarities.

I agree with the advice to add more private schools. Also, I think you have far too many Safety schools. The idea with Safety schools is that you will probably get into all of them, so right now, if you had to choose between those 4, which would be your top 2? Pick those two as your safety schools.

Finally, if you are Canadian, I would encourage you to have a stronger Canadian safety school than Queen's. Unless you have some other reason/goal to be in the United States, I would say you should not apply to any American school that cannot provide as much opportunity for you as the best Canadian school you can get into. Your profile is definitely competitive for almost all Canadian programs, so I would say you should put one of UBC/Toronto/McGill on your list and do not apply to any US schools that aren't as good (for you) as one of these schools. (**Caveat: perhaps you have some specific interest that is best fit at Queen's).

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

Re: Help!: Narrowing down a list of schools for HEP-ex.

Postby Catria » Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:18 pm

TakeruK wrote:I am guessing you are Canadian? You can see my profile in 2012 -- we have some similarities.

I agree with the advice to add more private schools. Also, I think you have far too many Safety schools. The idea with Safety schools is that you will probably get into all of them, so right now, if you had to choose between those 4, which would be your top 2? Pick those two as your safety schools.

Finally, if you are Canadian, I would encourage you to have a stronger Canadian safety school than Queen's. Unless you have some other reason/goal to be in the United States, I would say you should not apply to any American school that cannot provide as much opportunity for you as the best Canadian school you can get into. Your profile is definitely competitive for almost all Canadian programs, so I would say you should put one of UBC/Toronto/McGill on your list and do not apply to any US schools that aren't as good (for you) as one of these schools. (**Caveat: perhaps you have some specific interest that is best fit at Queen's).


Queen's, in HEP-EX, is best known for neutrino physics... so one has to consider neutrino physics.

TakeruK
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Re: Help!: Narrowing down a list of schools for HEP-ex.

Postby TakeruK » Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:26 pm

Catria wrote:
Queen's, in HEP-EX, is best known for neutrino physics... so one has to consider neutrino physics.


Indeed, I added my caveat at the end because of the OP's expressed interest in neutrino physics and because of Queen's work on such topics! However, from this post I was not sure if the OP only wants to work on neutrino physics (then Queen's is likely the best fit in Canada) or if the OP is interested in much of HEP-EX and neutrino physics was just what the OP had past experience in. Thus, I tried to give more general advice/answer. HEP-EX is strong at other Canadian schools too, and many other schools work on experiments at CERN or other particle accelerators. Queen's does have special access to sites like the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory and other neutrino physics collaborations around the world. In my opinion, although you do want the best research fit possible, you also want to consider other aspects of each physics program too.

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

Re: Help!: Narrowing down a list of schools for HEP-ex.

Postby Catria » Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:14 pm

May want to replace UNC by UPenn... not only do they have access to SNO data, they are also part of Long Base Neutrino Experiment.

metaphyx
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:32 am

Re: Help!: Narrowing down a list of schools for HEP-ex.

Postby metaphyx » Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:52 pm

I am not Canadian. I am from India. One of the reasons for applying to Queen's as a safe school is that I have a recommender from there. So, I think it makes sense to apply there.

Yes. I have heard about the case of UCs not considering funding for international students but I probably UC Davis isn't so competitive. Maybe, I can remove it.

Can some suggest me some more schools just as to scale up my list towards the more ambitious side? Maybe, some private universities. I tended to include more safety schools as admissions are really competitive for international students. I am interested in neutrino physics but would also like to consider schools with a reputation in hep-ex. I would like to know about the Canadian schools too.

PathIntegrals92
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:42 pm

Re: Help!: Narrowing down a list of schools for HEP-ex.

Postby PathIntegrals92 » Tue Nov 11, 2014 4:42 pm

metaphyx wrote:Can some suggest me some more schools just as to scale up my list towards the more ambitious side? Maybe, some private universities. I tended to include more safety schools as admissions are really competitive for international students. I am interested in neutrino physics but would also like to consider schools with a reputation in hep-ex. I would like to know about the Canadian schools too.


As Catria mentioned UPenn. Also UChicago ( Fermilab is only 45mins-1 hourish away).

TakeruK
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Help!: Narrowing down a list of schools for HEP-ex.

Postby TakeruK » Tue Nov 11, 2014 5:19 pm

metaphyx wrote:I am not Canadian. I am from India. One of the reasons for applying to Queen's as a safe school is that I have a recommender from there. So, I think it makes sense to apply there.

Yes. I have heard about the case of UCs not considering funding for international students but I probably UC Davis isn't so competitive. Maybe, I can remove it.

Can some suggest me some more schools just as to scale up my list towards the more ambitious side? Maybe, some private universities. I tended to include more safety schools as admissions are really competitive for international students. I am interested in neutrino physics but would also like to consider schools with a reputation in hep-ex. I would like to know about the Canadian schools too.


Ah, sorry, I thought there was a good chance that you were Canadian since you said you are doing your thesis work at Queen's. I don't know much about HEP-EX in the US, but in Canada, UBC is a strong school with a particle accelerator / national lab (TRIUMF) on campus. There are also many groups at UBC that collaborate directly on CERN experiments. Other schools I think you can consider, in addition to Queen's, are Toronto, McGill, and University of Alberta.

If you (or others reading this) are unfamiliar with Canadian schools in general, here is a useful page: http://www.macleans.ca/education/uniand ... y-results/ It is the 2014 edition of the Maclean magazine's annual ranking (Canadian equivalent to the US News rankings). Note that the category title "Medical/Doctoral" is the term they use for "research focussed" schools. Of course, broad rankings don't capture expertise in specific subfields, but Canada is small enough (only 15 schools in this category) that it would not work well to make rankings divided by category. In addition, this list also captures the general reputation and resources available of Canadian schools. If you are indeed looking for more Canadian schools, I would use this page as a guide to look deeper into each listed school's physics departments and see if their high energy research is a good fit for you. The list is short enough that I would say nevermind the rankings and just look at all of them!

metaphyx
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:32 am

Re: Help!: Narrowing down a list of schools for HEP-ex.

Postby metaphyx » Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:42 am

I am refraining from considering UPenn as one of my options as I am already applying there for a Masters in Medical Physics. Having 2 applications into the same university would make me appear less focussed and may lead to rejection on both.

Can someone suggest me some good private mid-range schools as I haven't found many? It just scales up to univs like Harvard, MIT, Stanford, etc. The ones which lie around the mid-range could be NYU, Northwestern, Brown(?), John Hopkins. Am I right on this?

metaphyx
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:32 am

Re: Help!: Narrowing down a list of schools for HEP-ex.

Postby metaphyx » Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:53 am

So, I updated my list with my PGRE score as well as my GPA (Damn! I calculated it wrong before :x ). I also revised my list of schools at replaced UC Davis by NYU (as its a private university) and included Stanford as well. Does this look good enough? I don't even know if Stanford is reachable for me.




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