tsymmetry wrote:Chicago does not put very much weight on the PGRE which is why you will see a lot of 990s being rejected and people with lower scores getting in. What they care about the most by far are letters, research, and coursework.
I was accepted to UChicago last year with a PGRE slightly lower than yours for condensed matter theory and I was also offered a fancy fellowship. My research experience (includes a first author PRL) and letters helped make up for the poor PGRE. I am domestic though. I also have a friend who was also accepted to HET at Chicago who had what he described as a low PGRE (we are both at a different institution now). He's wicked smart so they obviously saw hat despite the PGRE.
Another interesting thing I heard from a professor when I went to the open house at Chicago was that they actually said they plotted the grades professors gave to applicants versus their PGRE and saw pretty much no correlation.
jigsaw wrote:"Since we will have an entirely new Admissions Committee for 2014-15, you may fare better on your next try." -- UChicago (2013)
tsymmetry wrote:Well for people applying this year the old admissions committee is irrelevant. It seems like a lot of schools are moving away from quals and not considering the PGRE as strongly as they used to. People here often say that you need to have near perfect scores for schools like Stanford and Chicago especially as a theorist, but I was admitted to both of them with my PGRE. It have a suspicion that it may have kept me out of MIT and Princeton but I got my top choice and places that were better fits.
In summary, you can get admitted to top 10 or even top 5 schools with a not as good PGRE (when I say this I still mean above 700), but you need to have something that makes you really stand out. Not just good letters and research, they need to be really outstanding. Most of the students who get into these schools have very impressivr undergrad research.
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