Dream School UBC

classicalexplosive
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:55 pm

Dream School UBC

Postby classicalexplosive » Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:58 pm

Hello everyone

I am a Hispanic female applying to graduate school in the coming fall. I am currently attending a top 50 American school and I am looking into applying to Canadian schools specifically UBC. I see a trend on GPA, pgre, and research experience for many American school but not so many posts have Canadian schools. I visited UBC a few weeks ago and fell in love with it. The problem is my grades during my first and second year aren't stellar and were around a 3.2 average due to clinical depression. I took some time off to really think about my decision to continue physics and school in general. I figured out that I really loved physics. I returned and made an upward trend to about an average of 3.9 with consecutive 4.0's in the last year and a half. I have co-authored two papers in Hep-Th. I have also done a summer research position at JPL and banged out a paper for that. I also got accepted to a sweet hep-ex gig for this summer. My overall GPA is around a 3.5 now, my physics is a 3.8 and my pure math GPA is like a 3.7. Maybe overall can be a 3.6 by the end of spring but I don't know if it makes a difference. I have been getting like 800-900 points on the PGRE so hopefully I will get a 800+ on the real. I will be applying for Computational astrophysics, Hep-Th, and hep-ex programs. I saw that they only count third and fourth year courses if that is true do I stand a chance for being admitted? My advisors don't have any connections to UBC, and I'm worried that my first two years will still keep me out of the program. I also have Maryland and UC Irvine on my list because of strong connections however I feel dead set on UBC and I feel like it's a really good match for me. What do you guys think? Does anyone have a good general idea of what kind of students get admitted?

bfollinprm
Posts: 1200
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: Dream School UBC

Postby bfollinprm » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:43 pm

I think you're over-worrying (though because of the sometimes-weird nature of grad school admissions, I'd have more than 3 schools to your list). If you are really interested in a particular school though, you should work on building bridges with faculty there now. This isn't an impossible thing for an undergrad with research experience to do--read papers from faculty at that school (preferably in a journal club setting), and ask the author questions. Ask the faculty at your REU this summer (not just your research pointperson) if they have connections to UBC, and leverage them.

UBC isn't a school that automatically accepts anyone, but we aren't talking CalTech/Princeton/MIT level of selectivity.

demetkirmizi
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:53 am

Re: Dream School UBC

Postby demetkirmizi » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:11 pm

I don't think it is a necessity to have connections right now. I had no connections but I talked to a prof. that I really wanted to work with at UBC around september this year, and I got accepted afterwards. I think they care about the research experience a lot so make sure to include information on specifics of what you did when you email a professor. My first two year grades were not so good either, similar to yours (I have an undergrad CGPA of 3.54) I was however halfway through my master's with really good grades and solid relevant research experience. (FYI I applied for theoretical/computational astrophysics) Overall, I think you stand a good chance if you click with a professor since securing the advisor's commitment is a must at UBC for a PhD. By the way, are you applying for a master's program or a PhD because as far as I know it is not possible to get into PhD at UBC without a master's degree?

classicalexplosive
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:55 pm

Re: Dream School UBC

Postby classicalexplosive » Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:50 pm

demetkirmizi wrote:I don't think it is a necessity to have connections right now. I had no connections but I talked to a prof. that I really wanted to work with at UBC around september this year, and I got accepted afterwards. I think they care about the research experience a lot so make sure to include information on specifics of what you did when you email a professor. My first two year grades were not so good either, similar to yours (I have an undergrad CGPA of 3.54) I was however halfway through my master's with really good grades and solid relevant research experience. (FYI I applied for theoretical/computational astrophysics) Overall, I think you stand a good chance if you click with a professor since securing the advisor's commitment is a must at UBC for a PhD. By the way, are you applying for a master's program or a PhD because as far as I know it is not possible to get into PhD at UBC without a master's degree?


I am applying for the Master's program which is why I am a little worried. In the American school system you can email a professor of interest for PhD but I don't know if the same applies for a Master's application. The way it seems to be set up is the applicant chooses a research advisor at the end of the spring semester of their first year of Master's. Would it be ok to email someone about potentially working for them even if I'm applying for a Master's?

demetkirmizi
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:53 am

Re: Dream School UBC

Postby demetkirmizi » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:30 am

I applied for a PhD at UBC after a master's from a different school so I don't know as much about the Master's application process. However, I assume it would be perfectly fine and probably helpful to email professors to ask questions and let them know of your interest. It shows that you are really interested and they work in research with master's students too.

Also, keep in mind that (in the worst-case scenario) even if you have your master's at a different school it is possible to go to UBC for a PhD if you click with an advisor through email/Skype.




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