what field and schools are you applying to

hchemist
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Postby hchemist » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:35 pm

How did your interview at UT-Houston and UCLA go? Do you know if they are still considering applications? Do I still have any hope for those two schools???


@victory:
UT is this weekend and I will tell you if I learn anything that might interest you.

I was interviewed by 2 different professors at different location for about 30 minutes each. Everything else was tour of labs, campus, LA, and lots of drinking.

There were about 20 students and I can tell you that many of us applied to same schools and some of them are planning on visiting other schools such as UTH and UWM. I think this should helps. Cuz they will have to turn down all the schools they got into.

At the end of interviewed, I was somewhat relaxed thinking that most of us here (including those at the interview) will go somewhere eventually. Some will chose UCLA which will re-open slots at UWM,UTH, and etc.

Although I knew it all along, I learned again, how small this medical physics community is really. A lot of us will meet again and again. (interview, conference, residency ....)

So in my personal opinion, you still have good chance but might have to wait longer until those schools hear back from the first rounder. I seriously hope that all of us who wants to pursue career in medical physics will go somewhere.

hchemist
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Postby hchemist » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:43 pm

At least that's less insulting


@twistor: I personally don't find it insulting at all. Being able to have an extra option is good if not bad.

randn(1)
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Postby randn(1) » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:50 pm

Is there anyone who received this ridiculous Duke email that didn't apply in medical physics? I am still waiting to here from them, other than the email from last weekend which said they are going to start making offers this week.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:39 pm

Although I knew it all along, I learned again, how small this medical physics community is really. A lot of us will meet again and again.


I didn't realize it was so small.

There were about 20 students and I can tell you that many of us applied to same schools and some of them are planning on visiting other schools such as UTH and UWM. I think this should helps. Cuz they will have to turn down all the schools they got into.


What do you mean they'll have to turn down ALL the schools they got into?

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will
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Postby will » Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:05 pm

That's kind of funny. I have a friend who applied to Duke for a Ph.D. in a humanities field, and was also rejected for the Ph.D., but told he'd be considered for acceptance to the Master's program. Sounds like a bunch of horse *** to me.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:32 pm

Smells fishy to me.

GTPHYS91
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Postby GTPHYS91 » Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:35 pm

*** you, Duke.

***.

You.

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fermiboy
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Postby fermiboy » Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:44 pm

Maybe this is some sort of university and/or graduate school policy. I read a book on writing SOPs and the author (Donald Asher) specifically mentioned Duke as a school where the graduate school dominated the admissions and funding processes.

hchemist
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Postby hchemist » Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:17 am

@fermiboy:
Duke as a school where the graduate school dominated the admissions and funding processes


What is it mean? I simply don't understand what that implies. But I guess Duke is infamous about the admission policy.

What do you mean they'll have to turn down ALL the schools they got into?


I mean, for example, If I decide to go to UCLA, I will tell UWM, UT that I will not enroll to their program then they will consider other applicants for admission. I think this is one of reason they are not willing to send out any rejection letter. I never heard of anybody being rejected to any medical physics program yet (except with Duke's master offering).

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fermiboy
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Postby fermiboy » Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:21 am

I think it means that the graduate school can veto any decision by an individual department concerning admits or funding. I don't have the book anymore or I would look it up.

hchemist
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Postby hchemist » Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:29 am

yeah, I can see that.

I guess graduate school don't mind having lot of master students as long as they can fit them all into a classroom.

more master students -> more money to support ph.d -> better research -> ?

I guess it all works out for Duke and Purdue

GTPHYS91
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Postby GTPHYS91 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:49 am

Does anyone here actually like learning physics for its own sake? I mean, I feel like I'm choosing medical physics because society tells me I have to get a job in something, and it might as well be something that pays well and sounds cool. But I don't give a *** about physics itself. I could could care less about the de Broglie wavelength of a baseball or the electric field of a uniformly charged disk. I could always stand physics because the problems were like little intellectual puzzles that I wanted to see if I could do. I also really hated the reading associated with liberal arts classes. I hope I'm not making a mistake going to graduate school.

tnoviell
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Postby tnoviell » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:03 am

GTPHYS, although I don't know you, but I'm going to say, if you don't love physics, I would highly recommend you take some time off before graduate school. Graduate school will suck the life out of you, especially when you have a combo of research and classes (I did research and classes right off the bat). If you don't love it, it's going to drain your soul.

Sometimes it depends entirely on the nature of your program, but in most cases, be prepared for an intense amount of work.

tnoviell
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Postby tnoviell » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:05 am

I used an intense amount of commas in that last post. Lack of sleep is also a thing in graduate school - you may find yourself overdosing on commas.

GTPHYS91
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Postby GTPHYS91 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:09 am

What graduate school are you in? My undergrad experience was pretty intense. I went to Georgia Tech, which is known for giving a lot of work. It's engineering programs are all pretty much top ten. Considering the amount of time I put into my physics and engineering classes, I can't imagine graduate school being any worse. I must like it in some capacity if I can make myself do it so much.

hchemist
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Postby hchemist » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:11 am

@GT: I can appreciate your comment since I sometimes wonder myself why I'm doing this. I always thought I would get my ph.d in physics and was most certain that it would be theoretical physics. I certainly enjoyed all of my physics classes but as the class advances I definitely felt the limit of how far I can go. I could probably still get ph.d in physics from somewhere but I realize I won't be the guy publishing something very fundamental.

So I decided to go for medical physics. But I will not stop studying or reading about physics. I will just take it like a hobby and go real slow on it.

tnoviell
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Postby tnoviell » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:25 am

GT, I go to Hopkins. I think a lot of schools requires hard work and research, but graduate school is a different sort of beast. You don't have to take it from me, you can Google search other opinions if you wish. I think a common denominator is that people who really love it find it an enriching experience, and people who don't really love it will feel it to be torture. Right now, I'm not the torture boat ;)

GTPHYS91
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Postby GTPHYS91 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:35 am

I'm not going to graduate school. You talked me out of it. I don't love it enough. I'm going to take a year off, maybe more.

hchemist
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Postby hchemist » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:40 am

:lol:

tnoviell
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Postby tnoviell » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:49 am

GT, like a good scientist, you must repeat your experiment. I am a big source of error ;)

Ask around and do more "soul searching."

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:35 am

I mean, I feel like I'm choosing medical physics because society tells me I have to get a job in something, and it might as well be something that pays well and sounds cool. But I don't give a *** about physics itself. I could could care less about the de Broglie wavelength of a baseball or the electric field of a uniformly charged disk


I chose medical physics because I knew I needed a job and because the medical industry is a pretty stable field. We certainly don't skimp on health care issues. I do enjoy learning physics but I also enjoy applying my knowledge to real world problems. I originally wanted to be a theorist, but despite the loads of shitty advice from people on this forum and elsewhere choosing a field becuase you love it is not a good enough reason. There are practical things you have to consider. Let's face it, there aren't many things you can do with a degree in pure physics (besides physics) that you can't do with some other degree (like mathematics, computer science, econmics or management)

Also, GTPHYS, don't give up just yet. Only your first two years are going to be classwork. Graduate school is less school and more occupation. I think of it like learning on the job.

The pure physics students have to deal with a lot of academic snobbery coming from academia. I don't really think that's a big problem in the medical physics community.

And besides, in medical physics we don't really give a *** about the de Broglie wavelength either unless it's useful for imaging or treatment. You're not just going to study abstract things for pedagogical purposes. You're going to learn things that will be useful to you to know in your field, such as how ionizing radiation interacts with the body, how quantum spin is used to produce MRI images, and other fun stuff too.

If you think you're set to get a job now that you can be happy with and can move up in, by all means go for it. I don't see that happening for me, but ymmv.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:37 am

<removed>
Last edited by twistor on Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

tnoviell
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Postby tnoviell » Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:23 pm

I think the message to take home is to do what you want and do what feels right. Don't "take" anyone's advice, listen to the people around you and draw your own conclusions. I think one of the most important things is reading a lot about the field and what's involved in that field. As Twistor pointed out, medical physics is a potentially lucrative field - medical physicists are in high demand, but you need to make sure you actually enjoy your work, otherwise it's a bust.

That's just my two cents.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:01 pm

If that's what it sounded like I was saying I'm sorry. It's not really what I wanted to get out. What I'm saying is you shouldn't go into a field because you like it but for other reasons as well. I like playing my guitar, but I'm not going to live the life I want as a musician no matter what I do. It's a compromise.

cancelled20080417
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Postby cancelled20080417 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:11 pm

twistor, I am offended by the discussion on this thread which is about medical physics only!
:lol:

I give a good *** to deBroglie's wavelength. haha

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will
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Postby will » Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:52 pm

"Man, I just took a dump that felt like it had a DeBroglie wavelength on the order of 10^-38 m"

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grae313
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Postby grae313 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:54 pm

that averaged-sized *** must have shot out of his ass ridiculously fast!

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will
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Postby will » Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:35 pm

It was actually a superluminal electron.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:14 am

What have you been eating?

cancelled20080417
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Postby cancelled20080417 » Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:02 pm

twistor, you are NOT allowed to break the code of honor, Do not step any further than that :evil: :twisted: :)

victory118
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Postby victory118 » Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:10 pm

What are your guys' thoughts on stopping at a masters in medical physics? Some things I can think of are you won't have the title of Dr./ Professor and you may not have as many research opportunities as a PhD. On the other hand, a masters only takes 2 years to complete while a PhD can take 4-8 years. The salary for PhDs are slightly higher, but masters' salaries easily surpass six figures.

I was browsing through faculty profiles and it seemed like the average was about 6-7 years for a PhD. Why do you think it takes most people that long to complete a PhD? What do you think of this as an alternative: 2yr master -> 2yr residency program -> then PhD if still desired. I feel like during the 2 yrs of residency, you would be able to find a good (and focused) thesis topic and get it done faster rather than doing a PhD first followed by residency.

cancelled20080417
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Postby cancelled20080417 » Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:13 pm

:twisted: twistor, I am telling you, not to answer this question with a new post, use your old post right abouve it. :o

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:52 pm

Sorry, RG, I feel like I'm obligated to answer :?

What are your guys' thoughts on stopping at a masters in medical physics?............The salary for PhDs are slightly higher, but masters' salaries easily surpass six figures.


A master's degree usually represents the best overall ROI but my concern is that it might be limiting in a society where more and more researchers are expected to have the Ph.d. I've looked through some job listings for medical physics and found that most of them say, "at least a MS required." On the other hand, you might be limiting yourself to a certain set of jobs. If you're okay with this then I don't see any reason not to pursue the masters degree if you don't want to spend the time working on a Ph.d. There are some practical reasons to go for the Ph.d., such as more funding and having an easier time getting into a program.


I was browsing through faculty profiles and it seemed like the average was about 6-7 years for a PhD. Why do you think it takes most people that long to complete a PhD?


I think a lot of people don't take graduate school as seriously as they should. I see a lot of the graduate students I work with on a daily basis not showing up or not doing anything at all! I think if you compressed all the time they spent working on their Ph.d.'s you'd probably only find that they put in about 3 years of actual work while the rest was spent goofing off and doing other things.

What do you think of this as an alternative: 2yr master -> 2yr residency program -> then PhD if still desired. I feel like during the 2 yrs of residency, you would be able to find a good (and focused) thesis topic and get it done faster rather than doing a PhD first followed by residency.


I think it sounds reasonable to me but I don't know how plausible it really is. Can you get a residency with just a masters? If you go back to school for a Ph.d. after you get your masters are you going to have to spend time retaking classes you already took?

victory118
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Postby victory118 » Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:12 pm

I was thinking of a scenario where you would do your residency at the same place you got your masters degree. A few of schools I looked up offer their graduates a residency position upon completion of a masters or PhD (I could be wrong about this though.). But it is definitely true that a PhD opens up many more doors than a masters does.

Anyway, the reason I brought this up is that I may not be a strong enough applicant to go directly into a PhD program (as everyone on this forum has already heard back from the schools I applied to), so I'm thinking of alternatives, ones that will get my foot in the door first even though I may have to pay a bit more initially.

I don't know anymore...this wait is making me feel like I should just get a mechanical engineering job instead of studying medical physics.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:20 pm

Anyway, the reason I brought this up is that I may not be a strong enough applicant to go directly into a PhD program (as everyone on this forum has already heard back from the schools I applied to)


It's still early. Schools are in the process of waitlisting people and still waiting back to hear from 1st and 2nd round applicants.

this wait is making me feel like I should just get a mechanical engineering job instead of studying medical physics.


Is your background in ME? If so that's probably why schools didn't pick you in the first round. At lot of schools list physics as the preferred background. That doesn't mean you won't be selected it just means they're worried about your background.

There is still time!

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Postby cancelled20080417 » Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:22 pm

:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

:P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:25 pm

:oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:

victory118
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Postby victory118 » Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:03 pm

Yeah, my background is in ME. I originally wanted to do controls, but last summer while I was in Germany doing research (in controls), I had a lot of time to surf the web and discovered the exciting medical physics profession. I even made appointments to talk to some medical physicists at UCSF when I got back to school last semester.

So you may be right. I originally thought that admissions could look at it in two ways: either I had an edge because I was different or I was just ill-prepared for studying medical physics. Considering that I haven't heard back from UWM, UTH, and UCLA, most likely they are thinking the latter.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:33 pm

Like I said, it's still too early for anyone to give up.

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quizivex
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Postby quizivex » Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:14 pm

GTPHYS91 wrote:But I don't give a *** about physics itself. I could could care less about the de Broglie wavelength of a baseball or the electric field of a uniformly charged disk. I could always stand physics because the problems were like little intellectual puzzles that I wanted to see if I could do. I also really hated the reading associated with liberal arts classes. I hope I'm not making a mistake going to graduate school.


While I'm naturally fascinated by things like outer space, galaxies, black holes, atoms, etc... I definitely can empathize with a loss of interest. However, it seems you may not have been interested in physics in the first place. I was, but after a while, things seem to have gotten less and less interesting... just a quick read of the first few chapters of Thornton-Marion's mechanics would show yuz what I mean. So yea I sortof wonder if I could make it in grad school. As things get ridiculously more difficult and possibly even less interesting, and we'll be responsible for actually doing our own research and TAing on top of it, it's a bit scary.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:13 pm

I'm getting sick of waiting for Chicago. I think I'm going to send them an email. It's going to say:

Dear Admissions Committee,

WTF

multigoal
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howz my profile for these schools

Postby multigoal » Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:02 pm

Could you please tell me howz my profile:

GRE-verbal : 590/800 (82%)
GRE-quant : 800/800 (92%)
GRE-Physics : 620 (40%) It sucks !!!!

Undergrad degree : BE (major: Electronics & Communication Engg) from a famous school in India
Graduate Degree: MS in Applied Physics (GPA ~ 3.7; for physics courses ~ 3.9) from a good university in US.
I have taken almost all the required graduate courses for theoretical physics

Applying for : PhD in Theoretical particle physics/Theoretical high energy physics for fall 2008 in
Upenn
UVA
UGA
NYU
Syracuse
UCDavis.

2 conference proceedings and 1 journal papers.
2 years research experiences

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fermiboy
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Postby fermiboy » Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:13 pm

multigoal, from my experience you're screwed with that GRE score, especially since you have a masters so committees will expect a higher score. Just being honest.

GTPHYS91
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Postby GTPHYS91 » Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:17 pm

multigoal,

I have to agree with fermiboy. Getting into the graduate schools you want depends so much on your physics GRE score and GPA. Getting a competitive score on the physics GRE is so important that I would recommend devoting all your time to preparing for it. Your general GRE math score will likely be fine from years of studying physics and preparing for the physics GRE, and even if it wasn't all that great, a high score on the physics GRE will show that you are competent enough at math to do physics, which is all that really matters. Someone on one of these threads said before that no self-respecting grad school would deny an applicant with strong physics and math scores on the basis of weak verbal and writing scores. I would have to agree with this. While a high score on the verbal and writing sections may help to distinguish you from other applicants with high physics and math scores, outside of this instance those numbers are essentially meaningless. No physics program will want to see strong verbal scores and weak physics scores.

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grae313
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Postby grae313 » Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:34 pm

multigoal, these people are trying to tell you nicely, but here is the bottom line:

you won't get into a good program with that GRE score as an international applicant, UNLESS, some prof reeeeally happens to like your past research experience and thinks it would be good in his research group, or one of your letter writers has connections and is swearing his life on your research skills.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:48 pm

To everyone applying to medical physics at UChicago:

I checked on thegradcafe and saw that somone was accepted into their program on March 17th, 2006. So if they're going to wait until March we've still got a long time to go.

victory118
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Postby victory118 » Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:41 am

hchemist: Let me know how your interview went at UT-Houston!

Also, did you receive a financial aid offer from Purdue?

hchemist
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Postby hchemist » Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:40 am

@victory,

No aid from Purdue. I've met couple people who also heard nothing of funding from Purdue. So, I'm still waiting to hear more detail from them. Also, it seems like they're inviting everyone for invitation with no aid in travel costs.

Anyway, UT-Houston was something. MD Anderson is indeed the best hospital I've seen. Most of grad students has office at the MD Anderson. They had good funding and research labs all over the area in medical physics including therapy and all the ph.d studetns were getting 25k or more stipend.

So, I don't know what else to tell you. Have been invited to UT yet? I heard they will have another invitation weeks for later comer (next month or so).

victory118
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Postby victory118 » Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:48 am

hchemist: Purdue is offering tuition+fees remission plus $17k/yr TAship (total ~$47k), so I think I am going to pay them a visit during spring break.

I still haven't heard from UT-Houston, but based on your description I really want to!

hchemist
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Postby hchemist » Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:51 am

Purdue is offering tuition+fees remission plus $17k/yr TAship (total ~$47k), so I think I am going to pay them a visit during spring break.


that's great! when did you hear about that? did they send you an e-mail after the official letter of acceptance?




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