Choosing schools for string theory

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ellipse23
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:34 am

Choosing schools for string theory

Postby ellipse23 » Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:57 am

Hi, I am an international student applying to PhD programs. My profile's below:

Undergrad Institution: School in Asia - good repute for engineering in the country, no repute for physics
Major(s): Engineering
Overall GPA: ~3.2 - 3.4 (for privacy)
Position in Class: Above average

Grad Institution: Ivy school
Major(s): Engineering
Overall GPA: ~3.85 - 3.95 (for privacy)
Position in Class: Top 2-3

GRE Scores: not taken yet
Q:
V:
W:
P: 760 -770 (for privacy)



Research Experience: A couple of research projects in engineering (one summer, one 9 months) - not related to physics. Quite a few class projects. No publications

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: None

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: little tutoring

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Did well on some entrance exams - does that even count?

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Haven't taken any physics courses apart from the intro to physics one. BUnch of math courses. Did some programming gig. Recommendations coming out of profs with whom I took classes - and did well on the class projects.

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I am interested in applying for HEP-th (string theory in particular). However, reading about the acceptance rate in the field, I think I'll want to apply to experimental fields and hope I can change later.

I was wondering if I could get some insight into choosing schools with strong string theory faculty but which are easier to get into an experimental field (may be they're not that good for some of their experimental fields?).

Any help is much appreciated.
Last edited by ellipse23 on Sun Dec 20, 2015 11:12 am, edited 3 times in total.

godwin
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 6:38 am

Re: Choosing schools for string theory

Postby godwin » Fri Dec 11, 2015 10:12 am

Theory is tough because the collaborations are small: Lots of theorists looking to publish alone or in duos means a far bigger influx of papers than is demand for. Acceptance rates of theoretical papers to journals are tiny and that's why there's so much competition for theorists. You can't dodge that reality by masking as an experimentalist to sneak into a good school. I doubt it'd even work... you'll fall through in your SoP.

muke
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 1:26 am

Re: Choosing schools for string theory

Postby muke » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:15 am

I was in a similar situation. I want to do gravity in grad school but my research experience were all in CMT. I was thinking of applying to CMT to get in a better school, but then I realized even if I get into those schools successfully, I may end up not be able to find a professor to work with.

User avatar
ellipse23
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:34 am

Re: Choosing schools for string theory

Postby ellipse23 » Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:07 am

muke wrote:I was in a similar situation. I want to do gravity in grad school but my research experience were all in CMT. I was thinking of applying to CMT to get in a better school, but then I realized even if I get into those schools successfully, I may end up not be able to find a professor to work with.


Hey thanks for replying. So, what did you end up doing?

muke
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 1:26 am

Re: Choosing schools for string theory

Postby muke » Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:21 am

I didn't apply to CMT. But I wrote in my SoP all the CMT researches I did and what I learnt from them that will help me become a successful grad student.




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