Schools that let you apply Undecided?

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

Schools that let you apply Undecided?

Postby PathIntegrals92 » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:41 pm

I know of a couple of schools that do not require you picking an intended sub field from a drop menu on the application, but I seem to encounter many that do.

The list of schools I had are good in HEP-th (some are good in lots of other things), but I don't think I want to do Hep-th.
I really do not know what I want to do anymore, but I am pretty sure it's not hep-th.

Does anyone know of any not so highly selective schools that are good in a wide variety of subjects? The ones that seem to be strong in a whole bunch of fields seem to be all top-10/20.

I was super excited to apply before and had everything prepared, but now I am having huge doubts. I am going to take general gres again so that I will have a better chance of getting into engineering programs. EE has a lot of interesting research and this makes me curious about Condensed Matter too.

Should I just not apply this year?

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

Re: Schools that let you apply Undecided?

Postby bfollinprm » Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:53 pm

You could apply, but if you have an exciting opportunity that doesn't involve grad school for the next year, I'd pursue that. There's no real rush--one more year on the long walk to tenure isn't gonna change much, and if you think you'll understand what you like better next year, then wait a year to apply.

It is very important, however, that you have a plan on what to do for the next year if you aren't going to grad school. Dont waste the year, that'll just make the decision harder and your applications less successful. Explore some area of physics you think you might be interested in, whether that be finding a research group somewhere to join, getting a job at an engineering firm or instrumentation company, or just doing data analysis/machine learning competitions like Kaggle.

EDIT: If you're doubts come from insecurities, you shouldn't be insecure. You're definitely on track for a successful career in physics--as much as success in a field as cutthroat as this can be guaranteed, anyway.

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

Re: Schools that let you apply Undecided?

Postby PathIntegrals92 » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:10 pm

bfollinprm wrote:EDIT: If you're doubts come from insecurities, you shouldn't be insecure. You're definitely on track for a successful career in physics--as much as success in a field as cutthroat as this can be guaranteed, anyway.


You pretty much nailed it. This is my year off actually. I ended up getting deeper into hep-th, and now I just do not want to do it anymore. :/ It's all of a sudden and I can't help it. Isn't this a good thing though? There are enough people who want to do hep-th anyways... I am sure there is a different sub field I will enjoy. I just have to figure it out.

I love physics and that's why I think i want subfield that will give me the option to consider physics related industry options too.




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