admitted without transcripts

slugger
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admitted without transcripts

Postby slugger » Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:44 pm

I just got an email asking me to submit my transcripts--from a school that already admitted me! Apparently in all the excitement of applying I forgot to actually send my transcripts to UIUC. I just sent them but now I am sweating bullets about wether or not this could jeapordize my acceptance. Its already too late to go anywhere else and I already declined everyone else anyway. :oops: :shock:

cato88
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby cato88 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:54 pm

Did you self-report your courses and grades or your GPA or both in application?

slugger
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby slugger » Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:11 pm

I self reported my gpa but not my courses. Fingers-crossed nothing bad happens.

excel
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby excel » Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:57 pm

Nah, the department probably needs your official transcript to give it to the graduate school, nothing much to worry about. Besides, the department cannot replace you with any other student at this late date, just like you cannot go elsewhere at this late date.

It is funny that you were admitted without anyone in the committee looking at your transcript. It says something about the admission process.

cato88
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby cato88 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:15 pm

I figured it would be only the self-reported GPA it supports what ive been saying all along about the admissions process and why if its going to mess with your GPA its better to take the easier class ie. stay away from honors courses in college if you can or do self-study on algebra for graduate school .

slugger
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby slugger » Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:17 pm

I hear that. Its sorta flattering that the rest of my application *apparently* looked good enough to admit without it even being complete. I am amazed it was not just tossed in the dust bin. I wonder how important the other parts would have been? If missing transcripts can be overlooked, Is reporting gre scores really necessary? Anyways, it looks like they want me, i just got an email from one of the professors i met with offering me a summer position in his group. All the same, i am prone to worrying so i still have a small pit in the bottom of my stomache about the whole thing.

astrofan
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby astrofan » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:04 am

Okay, I think you should mention here, slugger, that you have a masters degree in Computational Biology from a good institution. That is the reason they don't need to see your courses, as they know (or can look them up) what type of courses you had to take to get the degree. So, yes, they can accept you without seeing courses.

I seriously doubt they would do the same for undergrads as completeness of degree is a concern for every department (in fact, I can say for certain that UIUC does not do that since they did not recieve my transcript and they e-mailed me to let me know that I needed to send it to them). I do agree with cato88 to an extent, but if you don't take any QM or E&M during college, I can't imagine any school accepting you. On the otherhand, no one needs grad level physics courses to get in anywhere.

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dustdevil
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby dustdevil » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:42 am

UMass accepted me to their astronomy program (no masters in hand) without a transcript... and my GPA is only like 3.58.

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xudis149
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby xudis149 » Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:38 am

astrofan wrote: I do agree with cato88 to an extent, but if you don't take any QM or E&M during college, I can't imagine any school accepting you.


I got into few places [not in top 30 though] without any undergrad course in QM or Statistical Physics in my transcripts. The sole course in E&M was more inclined towards Antenna and other applications of Electromagnetic Field Theory.
I however did mention about doing self study in QM, SM etc in my SOP.

slugger
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby slugger » Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:48 pm

astrofan wrote:you have a masters degree in Computational Biology from a good institution.
HA! Shows what you know! Good institution my butt, NJIT is a rotting pit of commuter students and morons. The guy to girl ratio here is 4:1 for christ sakes! We were ranked #2 by USNews for least happy students, second only to the merchant marine academy!!!

cato88
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby cato88 » Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:22 pm

astrofan wrote:Okay, I think you should mention here, slugger, that you have a masters degree in Computational Biology from a good institution. That is the reason they don't need to see your courses, as they know (or can look them up) what type of courses you had to take to get the degree. So, yes, they can accept you without seeing courses.

I seriously doubt they would do the same for undergrads as completeness of degree is a concern for every department (in fact, I can say for certain that UIUC does not do that since they did not recieve my transcript and they e-mailed me to let me know that I needed to send it to them). I do agree with cato88 to an extent, but if you don't take any QM or E&M during college, I can't imagine any school accepting you. On the otherhand, no one needs grad level physics courses to get in anywhere.

Thats like implying that if you went to Caltech/MIT for undergrad they dont need your transcripts just your self-reported GPA because they know you would have taken quantum and all the reqs. In which case that would mean that those students in Masters and good undergraduate programs should not worry about course selection just their GPA. There are so many cases of people getting into grad programs without quantum and stat mech.

astrofan
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby astrofan » Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:04 am

slugger wrote: HA! Shows what you know! Good institution my butt, NJIT is a rotting pit of commuter students and morons. The guy to girl ratio here is 4:1 for christ sakes! We were ranked #2 by USNews for least happy students, second only to the merchant marine academy!!!


Well, by good I meant a school that is at least known. They probably know what courses you have to take.

sidharthsp wrote:I got into few places [not in top 30 though] without any undergrad course in QM or Statistical Physics in my transcripts. The sole course in E&M was more inclined towards Antenna and other applications of Electromagnetic Field Theory.
I however did mention about doing self study in QM, SM etc in my SOP.


I did mean an "and" statement; if you have some holes in your education that is one thing, but if you did not take any upper level courses that is another. Plus, I am pretty sure that UIUC is a top 10 school for physics. That is the reason I was shocked. On the otherhand, I don't know how good their biophysics program is so I guess it might be different.

dustdevil wrote:UMass accepted me to their astronomy program (no masters in hand) without a transcript... and my GPA is only like 3.58.


Wow! I guess I stand corrected. UMASS astronomy is a good program for astronomy.

Are schools really using the PGRE to see if you have any knoweldge of upper level physics courses? I have heard the defense for the exam, but I have never heard an arguement that PGRE is a good indicator of more advanced physics. Or your research was so incredibly impressive that it did not matter what your courses were.

cato88
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby cato88 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:27 pm

I dont think it is so much that the PGRE is so important but I get the feeling that as far as most admissions committees they only care about the simple major GPA and cumulative GPA as a number not really what courses those are composed of. This would explain why they only appear to care about the self-reported GPA. I thought about it and thought they were being lazy. However I think it is more along the lines of they dont care because in the end of the day their job is not to be admissions and im pretty sure picking out of the top 50% of their applications randomly no one would tell the difference.

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dlenmn
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby dlenmn » Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:13 pm

I'd like more than one data point before making a conclusion, but this certainly doesn't support the common hypothesis that committees at least look at the classes on your transcript.

That said, I remember one or two schools asked what physics classes I had taken (at least one also asked what books were used) elsewhere on the application. If they never looked at this info, I doubt that they would have asked. Perhaps different admissions committees work differently. UIUC is enormous (~300 grad students), so if any school didn't have time to look at transcripts (or thought they'd looked at them but one slipped through the cracks), I'd expect it to be them.

cato88
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby cato88 » Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:01 am

Those schools seem to be in the minority. Most just ask for a copy of transcript which I really do think they skim at then remember your major GPA and cumulative GPA for some reason I find it hard to believe that they actually sit there and think "allright he has an a in Quantum I, I will try to remember that in the context of his whole application".

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dlenmn
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby dlenmn » Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:51 am

Why do you find it hard to believe that they do that? Looking over a transcript to see what classes the applicant has taken and how he or she did shouldn't take much time, so I don't see that as a reasonable argument against doing it. It'll certainly take much less than reading three letters of recommendation. Or do you believe they don't bother with those either and they only consider your PGRE and GPA?

It seems at the least, by skimming the transcript, it would be easy to spot people who do the minimum possible (as you suggest people do), and rank them lower then the people who went all out. I agree that it would be a waste of memory for an admissions committee member to memorize an applicant's grade in Quantum I, but that's not the only thing a transcript can be used for.

A quick look over a transcript could give useful information about the applicant: Is the applicant consistent? (Low variability in grades). Is the applicant's GPA representative of recent performance? (Sometimes people "figure it out" in Junior year and start getting better grades). How does the applicant respond to a heavy workload? (See what happens in semesters where there's lots of upper level science/math). The list goes on. These are by no means perfect measures of people, but I can't believe that they're useless either. Remembering these things in the context of a whole application could be useful and wouldn't be difficult.

excel
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby excel » Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:34 am

I think the practical lesson from this example is that students should mention in their personal statement how some of their courses fit into their interests and future plans, especially if they have taken graduate courses in a particular area or have taken several courses focused on one particular area.

cato88
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby cato88 » Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:29 pm

dlenmn wrote:It seems at the least, by skimming the transcript, it would be easy to spot people who do the minimum possible (as you suggest people do), and rank them lower then the people who went all out.

If they did do this then it would be common knowledge that going all out is for your benefit therefore you should try to challenge yourself and take hard interesting classes which in most cases would include graduate courses. However it seems like it is pretty unclear that graduate courses help which is most likely because they do not. People notice when things matter like AP courses or pushing your course selection in Undergrad admissions.

Im pretty sure they skim and look for huge variations in grades like that C/D/F in course blah but then again due to the nature of statistics and the small amount of samples/courses in your GPA that grade/trend is reflected in your GPA which I think is the justification for a quick skim. In regards to letter of recommendations I think they probably skim those too looking to be wowed. However what do you expect just like I said a few posts ago in the end of the day their job is not admissions and as everyone knows most schools start reviewing applications late (early Feb), spend a day every week or two on it as a group and come up with most decisions by Mid March. This usually means that have about 8-12 meetings to go over 300 applications or more. Its not like they shut down their research operations for all of February.

admissionprof
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby admissionprof » Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:09 pm

As an admissions committee person for many years, let me respond. It is absolutely unthinkable that we would admit someone without a transcript (although a photocopy, or even e-mailed copy, is ok for us to decide). We explicitly look at advanced physics courses, look to see if they took a full range of math courses (i.e. multivar, linalg, ODE at least), and we look at grades--without worrying too much if one grade or two happens to be a little low. We do NOT care about grades in human sexuality lab, Plato, French or macroeconomics, so total GPA means little.

In practice, a first look at an application takes about 10 minutes (second looks take longer), so 200-300 applications takes about 10-15 hours/week for a few weeks. Fortunately, this can be done at home, waiting to pick up a kid at school, attending to bodily functions :-) , etc.

Every school is different. Those with 500 or more applications don't have the entire committee look at everything. It's hard to imagine not wanting to see a transcript though, unless someone on the committee knows the student well.

cato88
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby cato88 » Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:15 pm

Still doesnt explain post 1 and 3 unless slugger is lying.

As an aside did class sizes decrease for this year?

admissionprof
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby admissionprof » Sat Apr 25, 2009 6:24 am

cato88 wrote:Still doesnt explain post 1 and 3 unless slugger is lying.

As an aside did class sizes decrease for this year?


Slugger probably isn't lying. My comments were general (no, I am not at UIUC), and I suppose some schools might, on occasion, go without a transcript.

Class sizes decreased at some places (California schools, I believe) and were the same at most places. I don't know of any place that intentionally increased (although I've heard that Wisconsin had more acceptances than expected).

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dustdevil
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby dustdevil » Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:12 am

Doesn't the degree often speak for the classes one is required to take? A physics (or astrophysics as I am) major (B.S.) is required to take all of the typical upper-level physics courses and then some. Is there that much diversity in the programs that this wouldn't be the case?

astrofan
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby astrofan » Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:32 am

dustdevil wrote:Doesn't the degree often speak for the classes one is required to take? A physics (or astrophysics as I am) major (B.S.) is required to take all of the typical upper-level physics courses and then some. Is there that much diversity in the programs that this wouldn't be the case?


YES! I went to a top 30 overall undergrad school, and the min requirements for a physics major were a joke. The university did not even offer the second semester of undergrad QM.

To get the degree, you only needed to take 8 physics classes past the intro ones, and specialty physics courses (biophysics, cosmology, etc...) count to complete the major. There are *multiple* ways of completing the major without taking any E&M, QM, and Thermo (that is, you can skip all classes involving these subjects and still get a degree in physics). One of my friends did this, and was awarded summa at graduation because he had a perfect physics GPA (he wasn't continuing in physics, so it didn't matter to him).

slugger
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby slugger » Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:51 pm

I really am not lying. As important as transcripts i am sure are--the most amazing thing to me is that an incomplete application would be reviewed in the first place. If i were on an admissions committee sifting through apps in a year where i already knew slots would be limited i would not have even bothered with incomplete applications. But hey, I really feel incredibly lucky and i think i owe someone in urbana a fruit basket for taking a chance on some unknown kid from jersey with no transcripts. Its like a horacio alger novel.

shetanak13
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby shetanak13 » Thu Apr 30, 2009 2:49 am

This could very well be a formality that this particular school is conducting. For example, if you're on a quarter system, that means you have two quarters worth of grades (potentially) that they have not seen, which they might like to, even if they have accepted you. Or just for kicks they are asking everyone to submit a final transcript. They've offered you admission and you have accepted. Nothing else can be done (unless you've done something horribly wrong... I doubt that).

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grae313
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby grae313 » Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:16 am

The university graduate school bureaucracy needs a copy of your final transcript that shows you received your degree. I was asked for a transcript after I was admitted as well. I don't think this is what you think it is.

slugger
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby slugger » Thu Apr 30, 2009 2:43 pm

I am pretty sure it is what i think it is. Every time i requested a transcript be sent to a school i was applying to a confirmation email was auto-generated and arrived in my inbox. After the the grad dept asked that i send them my transcripts i went back and checked my inbox (its searchable because my university uses a google-developed webmail system that looks exactly like gmail) and i had confirmations for transcripts sent to every school except illinois. What i think happened was that I wasnt sure if i wanted to even submit the UI application untill the very end because i didnt think i could get in and i didnt want to pay the fee. I think when i finally did decide to submit it i had thought that i had already sent the transcripts (because i had requested them to be sent to all the other schools all in one day weeks before) and that all i had left to do to complete the app was the fee, so i just inputted my credit card info and forgot about it. I guess I actually had decided to wait on requesting the transcripts those weeks before. Anyway it dosnt matter cause i got an email saying the ones i sent a week ago were recieved and everything is all good.

excel
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby excel » Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:02 pm

slugger wrote:Anyway it dosnt matter cause i got an email saying the ones i sent a week ago were recieved and everything is all good.


That e-mail is probably a good excuse for you to celebrate acceptance to Illinois one more time! :D

slugger
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Re: admitted without transcripts

Postby slugger » Sat May 02, 2009 3:27 pm

Celebrate ONE more time? I've been partying like its 1999 since my acceptance feb 18th!




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