PSI vs CMU vs WUSTL vs UFL for CMT + Questions about deferring application

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PSI vs CMU vs WUSTL vs UFL for CMT + Questions about deferring application

Postby aewais13 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:11 pm


I was offered admission at Perimeter Scholars Internationals ( One year MSc Program ), Carnegie Mellon University, Washington University in St Louis, University of Florida, University of Virginia and North Carolina State University. Pretty much my choice is between the first four. My area of interest is CMT especially anything that relates topology with physics.

Honestly, I am thinking now of attending PSI and reapplying next year or deferring my offers. But I don't know if a degree from PSI could improve my profile. I have read everywhere that PSI is a " one time life experience " and I don't want to miss it. They had given me 12 days to make a decision which makes me a little nervous so I have some inquires about PSI :

1) I am asking how reputable PSI is ? I know it has a great reputation in physics but to what extent can it support my application ? I mean how impressive is in the eyes of admission committees a degree from PSI ? Would it boost my chances at top universities ? I am thinking now that attending PSI could improve my chances of admissions if I decided to apply again in the next year.

2) Do I need to accept an offer in order to defer it ? I am thinking that I could ask for a deferral for one year in order to attend PSI ? Do you think it's a good move to do so ? and also If I deferred an offer, Am I obligated to attend after the deferral period or I could reject the offer If I am offered admission at another place ( in case I decided to reapply )

3) Would attending the 10 month PSI program be a reasonable excuse for requesting a deferral or not ?

I'd appreciate any help


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Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:27 am

Re: PSI vs CMU vs WUSTL vs UFL for CMT + Questions about deferring application

Postby Ptolemy » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:36 pm

Hello there.

First of all, congratulations for being accepted in all those schools. I think that if I were you, I would probably prefer a Ph.D. over a master program. Going through the whole application process all over again in just a few months would be a quite undesirable scenario for me. I was applying for masters in Europe this year and I excluded all master programs in the UK simply because they are 1-year programs and I can't stand all the pressure of having to cope with the demands of a highly ranked master along with the stressful (as we all know) application process. On the other hand, a master with a good thesis will sure give you a boost and will increase your chances of being admitted in a good Ph.D. but noone guarantees that this will be the case.

As for the rest of your options, I think I would go for CMU which has a pretty good reputation.
Good luck with anything you decide.

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Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:47 pm

Re: PSI vs CMU vs WUSTL vs UFL for CMT + Questions about deferring application

Postby dankmemes » Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:46 pm

Congrats on all of your offers!

1) PSI is a reputable program, especially withing Canada and the US. Completing the program will be a boost to your application, although I cannot not say how much of a boost. Perhaps someone with more experience can answer this question better.

2) Usually when you defer an offer you are accepting it. In most cases if you defer an offer you are not allowed to apply to any other programs the following year. If you defer the offer, apply somewhere else, and then they find out then they will rescind your offer.

3) Yes, PSI is great training for future physics work, especially theoretical work, and is a good reason to defer an offer. It is not unusual that students at PSI will have offers that they have deferred.

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