2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

  • This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
  • There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.

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

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby demetkirmizi » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:13 am

Undergrad Institution: International, one of the top institutions in my country
Major(s): Physics double major with Industrial Engineering
Minor(s):
Overall GPA: 3.54
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: top 3rd
Type of Student: International Female

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 157 (75%)
W: 3.5 (42%)
P: 830 (75%)

TOEFL: 119

Research Experience: over 2 years in high energy astrophysics (observational but some theoretical and lots of computational work involved, also MSc thesis project), accepted for conference presentation (but conference was cancelled, I don't know if it still counts), 2 papers in preparation one as 1st author, 1 semester in observational astrophysics during exchange semester in US. Also 1 semester at undergrad institution and 1 summer at an institute in France in computational physics/ biophysics.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Scholarships for Bachelor's and Master's, project support for master's thesis project from scientific council, Special award from undergrad institution for high academic success, Dean's Honor List, graduation thesis project selected as best in graduating class

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for 1.5 years

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: 2+ years of volunteer work at school, international student mentor for 4 years, both in leadership positions

Special Bonus Points:

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I have a lot of experience with computation/simulations. I have been working on compact objects for 1.5 years now and I expressed interest in working on compact objects.

Applying to Where: Theoretical / Computational Astrophysics

University of British Columbia - accepted by phone call (1/13) min $22.5k /year TA+ RA
UC Irvine - accepted by e-mail (1/27) TAship (~6.5k./quarter) + Regents' Fellowship (5k/yr for 2 years) - will attend!
University of Florida -Physics - accepted by e-mail (3/06) from department, 23 k/yr TA + Grinter Fellowship(4/09) (3k/yr for 3 years)(4/03)

University of Florida -Astronomy - Waitlisted (3/16), withdrew application
George Washington University -Physics - Application withdrawn

Harvard -Astronomy, Rejected 2/10 e-mail to check website
University of Washington - Astronomy Rejected 3/07 by e-mail
UT Austin - Astronomy (around 3/01, e-mail came way after decision was posted on website)
UC Berkeley -Astrophysics Rejected 02/16 by e-mail
UC Santa Cruz -Physics , Rejected 2/14 by e-mail
UC Santa Barbara -Physics - rejected by e-mail to check website 02/24
Johns Hopkins -Physics & Astronomy- rejected by e-mail 3/09
NYU - rejected by email 3/15
Columbia - rejected on website (I didn't get an e-mail for some reason) 3/16


Notes on the process that I wish I had read 2-years-ago: I had applied for a PhD to a similar list of schools two years ago, when I finished my undergrad and got straight rejections (13 of them, to be exact). I wanted to write about my experience, because I know how tough and discouraging it is to have rejections. Luckily, I did not give up, got into an MSc in Physics in my home country, and got accepted to some pretty decent programs (Irvine had rejected me the first time around and I turned that into an acceptance now! :) Yay! :) ) Thinking back, I think the most important two things that I had done was increase my PGRE score from 660 to 830 (not amazing, I know, but it took a lot of work for me to get there and I'm proud of it :)), and improve my research experience significantly. In fact, I applied with exactly the same GRE General Score as before and other than my age the only things that changed in my applications were the PGRE, research, and grad courses I took in my master's. I can't speak for all admissions committees, but it seems that to meta-secure chances of admission in an above 50-70 ranked school, a good PGRE score (above 70%) is really important. Research experience in the relevant field is most crucial as well. I had plenty of research experience in good institutions in biophysics (as well as some in astrophysics) on my first round of applications, and that got me nowhere. In my master's, I focused on my area of choice in astrophysics (compact objects) and made a poster presentation and had two papers in preparation (one as first author) when I applied, I think those really helped too. If you have the chance, I'd suggest taking graduate courses also. When I had asked a UC school why I wasn't admitted 2 years ago, they told me it was because the classes I have taken weren't enough (I was doing a double major in my bachelor's so I had not taken any additional grad courses.). Oh, and try to apply to as many places as you can, if you can afford it, and make sure to have some *safety* choices that suits you, you never know what's going to happen with this process, even people with perfect scores and perfect research get rejected sometimes.

This is not to say that a lower PGRE score or no publications will not get you anywhere. Unfortunately, there is no perfect recipe to get into a specific school. If you have the time before applications when you are reading this, I'd make the time to study for the PGRE seriously, I really regret underestimating the exam 2 years ago. And if you did not get accepted to your dream school, a master's is a great step between your dreams and you current self, so give that a chance. I was really sad to start my master's here, but I'm very appreciative of the opportunities it has given me and how much it helped me improve. Overall, this is a tough process, and it takes serious work. There will be bumps on the road (I almost could not take the PGRE this year because they decided not to offer it in my country and I had trouble paying for a visa and to travel abroad to take the exam, for example.) This is only to say that if you really want it, don't let it go, it will happen if you try hard enough! :)

Good luck!
Last edited by demetkirmizi on Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:39 am, edited 26 times in total.

peadydog
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:57 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby peadydog » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:08 am

Undergrad Institution: Top 25 in Physics and Astronomy
Majors: Physics and Astrophysics Double
Minor: Economics
GPA in Major: 3.3 ish
Overall GPA: 3.1 ish
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: Average
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 166 (91%)
V: 161 (88%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 820 (74%)


Research Experience: One semester doing astronomy research at an institution out of my university, team discovered nova and reported it in Astronomer's Telegram where I am a co-author. Several research-oriented classes, mainly for astronomy.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 2x Dean's List, leadership award given out by honors fraternity I was a part of.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Over a year and a half of professional physics teaching experience through my university and further jobs. Currently work as a scientist.

Applying to Where: All in nuclear physics or nuclear/particle astrophysics

Accepted - Waitlisted - Rejected

University of Arizona - Rejected 04/18/17 via email
Arizona State University - Rejected 04/19/17, saw by checking website
UC Davis - Submitted
University of Colorado Boulder - Rejected 03/03/17 via email
University of Denver - Rejected 05/01/17 via email to check website
Kansas State University - Waitlisted 02/01/17 via email, will possibly hear back in March-April. Emailed on 04/14/17 asking if I would still like to be considered, declined offer. Email sounded like I was going to be accepted, but I had already accepted a different offer.
Michigan State University - Accepted 01/23/17 via email!
New Mexico State University - Accepted 02/21/17 via email!
University of Oregon - Rejected 03/08/17 via email

I like the fact that I received rejections, because it meant that I put myself out there, but the sheer number means I might have been reaching too far considering my low GPA; I was thinking my ok GRE score made up for it. Definitely lucky I was able to find a place at a good school among the (few) acceptances I received, so I don't have to go through this process again.
Last edited by peadydog on Mon May 01, 2017 6:18 pm, edited 23 times in total.

andrewm94
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:22 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby andrewm94 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:25 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big State; Small Physics department (Approx 45 students); Has good track record of successful graduates.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major/Minor: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.89
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic, Male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 158 (70%)
V: 158 (80%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: N/A

Research Experience: Home school: None. Local Rad Onc Dept: Over 1 year working on clinically-focused research with treatment planning software (Primary role in study on planning target volume (PTV) optimization using 4D-CT vs 3D-CT, organ auto-contouring using atlas of CT images). REU in nuclear medicine at highly respected cancer research institution, primarily involved the usage of computations using the Geant4 Monte Carlo code for micro-scale dosimetry of therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals - resulted in poster presentation. No publications yet, but possibly future co-author.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: AAPM Summer Fellowship, Presidents Scholar (3.8 GPA or higher) 6 past consecutive semesters, Full-Tuition Scholarship, Physics Department Scholarship, Pi Mu Epsilon

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA (Lab Instructor) for 2 sections of intro physics lab (All grading, teaching, general course management) for 2 semesters; Physics tutor for 3 semesters, Volunteer in Radiation Oncology (see above) since September 2015 which includes regular shadowing and interaction with medical physicists and dosimetrists.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Upward trend in grades. All A's so far in Junior and Senior year.

Special Bonus Points: One recommender is well-known internationally in medical physics for radiopharmaceutical research. 2 of 3 recommenders are practicing medical physicists (1 clinical, 1 research).

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Have taken Medical Imaging course, and registered for Anatomy and Physiology.

Applying to Where:

Duke - Medical Physics, PhD - Rejected by email 1/13 Note: Offer to be considered for MS program.
Duke - Medical Physics, MS - Invited to Interview 1/20
Vanderbilt - Medical Physics, DMP - Accepted 3/24 via email!
LSU - Medical Physics, MS - Accepted 3/27 via email! Tuition covered + 16k TA stipend! Will Attend!
Kentucky - Medical Physics, MS - Accepted 3/8 via email!
Cincinnati - Medical Physics, DMP - Accepted 2/21 via email!
Last edited by andrewm94 on Mon Apr 24, 2017 2:18 pm, edited 50 times in total.

Kartof123
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:59 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Kartof123 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:09 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school, top 25 in Physics
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.97
Overall GPA: 3.98
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: Domestic Male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 167 (93rd)
V: 166 (97th)
W: 4.0 (59th)
P: 860 (80th)

Research Experience: 1 year of research at my school, 2 years at a National Lab, and 1 REU. 10th author on a paper and working on an undergraduate thesis.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Deans list, other academic awards, Sigma Pi Sigma Member

Applying to Where:

CME unless otherwise stated

Harvard - Rejected on website Feb 16
MIT - Rejected on website Feb 10 - oh well, I gave it a shot!
Columbia - Rejected on website Mar 16
Yale - Rejected on website Mar 06
Berkeley - Rejected by email Mar 8
UCSB - Rejected on website Feb 24
Northwestern - Phone Interview with PI on Jan 16 - Effective Rejection at this point Mar 16
Chicago-Rejected on website Feb 17
Notre Dame - Biophysics - Accepted Feb 27 by email - yay! - Declined
Boston University - Accepted Feb 13 by email - yay!
Maryland - Rejected by email Feb 10
Rutgers - Accepted Feb 15 by email - $29k Fellowship! Wow!
UMass Amherst - Accepted Feb 7 by email - yay my first acceptance! - Declined
Michigan - No Decision made as of yet (Feb 10) by automated email - Rejected by email Mar 8

Can't say I'm not disappointed with many of the outcomes, but I have a good choice to make between Rutgers and BU.
Last edited by Kartof123 on Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:29 pm, edited 23 times in total.

phyz
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:23 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby phyz » Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:41 am

Well, here we go - for all you future applicants second guessing yourself, here's some more confusion to add to the mix :P

Undergrad Institution: Asian university, rising fast but still unknown in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.75
Overall GPA: 3.7
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: NA
Type of Student: International, of an overrepresented demographic

Grad Institution: Master's by research from the same place after a short gap
GPA: 4.0 - but only two graded courses.

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 170
V: 167
W: 4.5
P: 950


TOEFL Total: Nope - Foreign students, note that almost all the universities I was thinking about (except for Cornell) let you declare English as your first language and don't hassle you. Applicable to those whose English is obviously good enough but are forced to pay and waste time taking the stupid TOEFL.

Research Experience: Three projects during undergrad, one at a top 10 school in the US. Worked in a research group after graduating. At the time of application, one first author PRB, and two third author papers in PRL and Nano Letters. One more first author on the way. All pubs from the master's stint.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Scholarship for undergrad, Dean's List etc.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Some TA jobs. Research assistant job for 2.5 years. Currently working outside academia - nearly a year in so far.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Decent recs, I hope!

Applying to Where: CMT in all cases

Duke Accepted
Maryland Rejected
Caltech Rejected
Princeton Rejected
Colorado Accepted
Purdue Accepted
Yale Rejected
UCSB Rejected
UPenn
Michigan Waitlisted
Last edited by phyz on Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:46 am, edited 8 times in total.

physiques
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:46 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby physiques » Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:32 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large Canadian school
Majors: Mathematics, Physics
GPA in Majors: 4.28, 4.3 (4.3 scale)
Overall GPA: 4.28
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: Canadian/American dual citizen

GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 163 (92%)
W: 6.0 (99%)
P: 820 (74%)

Research Experience: One summer at CERN, one summer at particle accelerator in Germany, one semester of research at my own school. All in particle physics. One publication of CERN work in Physical Review Accelerators & Beams, 1st author out of ~10. Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference x2.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: National level fellowship to work at CERN, a number of scholarships/awards from my university.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutor for 3 years, 1st year Physics marker for 1 year.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Varsity athlete.

Applying to Where: (all for biophysics)
Stanford - Applied Physics - Accepted 2/6 Will attend!
Princeton - Quantitative & Computational Biology - Accepted 2/22 (Declined)
Harvard - Applied Physics - Rejected 2/22
MIT - Physics - Rejected 2/10
Last edited by physiques on Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:05 am, edited 4 times in total.

hockeychamp19
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:12 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby hockeychamp19 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:54 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts, no real physics reputation
Major(s):Physics, Mathematics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.96
Overall GPA: 3.96
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near top, no published rank
Type of Student: Domestic white male (classic)

GRE Scores :
Q: 166 (91%)
V: 164 (94%)
W: 5.0 (93%)
P: 820 (74%) :|

Research Experience: One summer after freshman year at UMD conuducting laser matter interactions research (I just machined
stuff for 10 weeks). From Sophomore fall onwards till present (including Sophomore and Junior summers) conducted theoretical AMO research in ion trapping. One first author pub, presented at APS March Meeting 2016, presenting at March 2017 meeting. Writing a senior thesis. Two pubs upcoming - not submitted yet (upcoming is a strong word).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Phi Beta Kappa
Deans list every semester in attendance
Physics Department award for top student

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutor in math workshop for a semester, Tutor in scientific computing for a semester, TAed
for five separate courses including three physics (General Physic I, General Physics II, Quantum Mechanics I)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Varsity athlete, awards for all-academic team (basically meaningless)

Special Bonus Points: I'm a likeable guy, hopefully decent recs

Applying to Where:

Harvard - Physics - CMT/AMOT - Rejected, 2/16
Caltech - Physics - Quantum Information - Rejected, 2/24
Yale - Physics - Quantum Information - Rejected, 3/6
Boulder - Physics - AMOT - Accepted 2/3, Funding 29k/34k for TA/RA, 6k signing bonus, partial health
Stony Brook - Physics - AMOT - Unofficial Acceptance 2/10, formal offer to follow
Michigan - Physics - AMOT - Rejected, 2/10
Boston - Physics - CMT/AMOT
University of Washington - Physics - AMOE - Accepted 1/30, TAship 2,228/month +health insurance
Northwestern - Physics - CMT/AMOT - Accepted 1/25, Funding 30k + health insurance
NYU - Physics - AMOT - Unofficial Acceptance 2/8, 4 years full funding - declined 3/13
UCSD - Physics - AMOE - Accepted 2/2, no word on funding - declined 3/13

Notes: I was talking with a PI from UW before being accepted and he mentioned to me that they go through the applications, at least for this round, alphabetically, and accept as they read. Therefore for future applicants with late in the alphabet last names (my last name begins with W) don't panic if you start seeing UW acceptances and you haven't heard anything.
Update on 2/10: Things have been going pretty well by this point, with 6/6 acceptances. While I haven't heard from the big 3 I applied to, I would say this is a pretty good haul. To future applicants out there with semi-garbage pGRE scores (with respect to theory), know that all is not lost. My statement of purpose also was nothing special, just recounted my past research, and mentioned a professor or two I wanted to work with in the specific department. What must have done it was my recommendations - I had a very strong relationship with my research adviser, working with him for three years and publishing a paper together. And for my other two recommenders, I had had 2 classes with each of them, and TAed a class for both of them. They believed in me and my ability to succeed at the next level, and I truly believe that's what pushed me over the edge at a lot of these places. So the point is, work hard to develop relationships with your professors, and know that if you put work in for them, they will for you.
Update, later on 2/10: I got too cocky! First rejection just hours after my schpiel!
Last edited by hockeychamp19 on Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:44 pm, edited 17 times in total.

its_lit_fam
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2016 11:09 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby its_lit_fam » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:06 pm

This website is a toxic source of anxiety and I love it.

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: Big State, good physics program, small astro program
Major(s): Physics and Astrophysics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.6
Overall GPA: 3.8
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near top? idk man
Type of Student: domestic white male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 76%
V: 72%
W: 82%
P: 650 (40%) lol


Research Experience: 4 years total upon graduation: one semester in high energy physics, one summer in aerospace engineering, two and a half years in cosmology, one year in exoplanets. One internship, one university research grant, one REU.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Pi Sigma, research awards, poster competition awards

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for intro physics, founding president of our astronomy club

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Three co-authored papers, 12 presentations (mostly poster) at different research conferences

Special Bonus Points: Presented at AAS twice and did some schmoozing with grad schools. I'm a real charmer.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where: All for astronomy/astrophysics (specifically exoplanets) unless otherwise denoted

Caltech - Geo/planetary
Berkeley -
UCLA -
Boulder -
Penn State -
Santa Cruz -
Washington -
Michigan -
Hawaii -
UT Austin -

UPDATE: Rejected from all.

Reflections: No matter how competitive faculty/advisors say your application is, always apply to easy safety schools too. I made the mistake of applying to only top schools and got rejected from every single one, even though my application was very competitive. I am fortunate enough to have job offers from three different institutions to do more research in my gap year, so remember connections are important!!! I'll see you all next year for round two 8)

Well, there ya go. I've been a lurker on this site for years and it feels good to finally fuel someone else's anxiety.
Last edited by its_lit_fam on Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

fraguhdt
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:17 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby fraguhdt » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:17 pm

_________________________________
Undergrad Institution: State engineering school
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 4/4
Overall GPA: 3.6/4
Length of Degree: 4 + 3. Three at Uni.
Position in Class: Near top?
Type of Student: Domestic male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 160 (76%)
V: 158 (80%)
W: 4 (59%)
P: 920 (87%)



Research Experience: 1.5 yr on campus in a liquid crystal lab, REU in CME at notable research Uni, 6mo on campus in biophysics numerical/theory.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Two research scholarships from my Uni.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Intro physics tutor.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Poster conference.

Special Bonus Points: +1, self awarded.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Quarter system allowed more physics/math class opportunities.

Applying to Where: All physics theory in order CM/HEP/Quantum Information

Stanford - Rejected by email 2/10.
University of Oregon - 2/2, Unofficial Acceptance! TA with further details to come. :D
Boulder -
Cornell - Rejected by email 2/17.
Santa Cruz -
Utah State - 1/30, Invited to visit.
Santa Barbara - Rejected by email to check website 2/24.
Last edited by fraguhdt on Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:04 am, edited 5 times in total.

lbarmore
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:45 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby lbarmore » Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:59 am

Undergrad Institution: highly ranked medium size private school, Good physics program but not much reputation.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): German
GPA in Major: 3.21
Overall GPA: 3.44
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: average
Type of Student: domestic white female

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 157 (67%)
V: 163 (92%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 580 (24%) ugh

Research Experience: Ongoing astrophysics (exoplanets) research project at my school, no papers published. Summer high energy physics internship with DAAD RISE, summer condensed matter physics internship at a national lab with SULI.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: An "achievement in physics" scholarship at my school, presented a poster at an on-campus research fair.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: SPS historian, president, and public relations chair over the past three years, some miscellaneous "women in STEM" activities, undergrad physics departmental liaison to the student government

Special Bonus Points: I am female if that helps. I feel like my recommendation letters are strong since I've done research projects with all of the writers.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: My school's on the quarter system.

Applying to Where:
Research interest: Exoplanets if the school does that, high energy astrophysics if they don't.
University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign - Astronomy Waitlisted -> Accepted!
University of Washington - Astronomy Rejected
University of Colorado Boulder - Astronomy Rejected
Ohio State University - Astronomy Rejected
Rutgers - Physics and Astronomy
University of Rochester - Physics and Astronomy Rejected
UC Santa Cruz - Astronomy Rejected
University of Michigan - Astronomy Rejected
Washington State University - Physics Accepted! Will attend - 28k/year RA/TA :)
Colorado State University - Physics and Astronomy
Last edited by lbarmore on Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.

MarvinGaye
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:16 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby MarvinGaye » Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:30 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top ranked public school
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.97
Overall GPA: 3.96
Length of Degree: 4 year
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: Domestic male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 157 (75%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 970 (92%)

Research Experience: 2.5 years in accelerator physics lab in school. 6th author of 8 on one paper.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list x 10

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Just undergraduate research

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Volunteer music teacher at schools that have had music programs cut to budget cuts.

Special Bonus Points: Nope

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Fraternity founder / Vice President

Applying to Where:

UC Berkeley - Physics - Quantum Information
Stanford - Physics - Quantum Information - Rejected 2/10 by Email
Caltech - Physics - Quantum Information - Rejected
UCSB - Physics - Quantum Information - Accepted! 1/31 via email to check website Email with financials on 2/1: 30k/year Stipend with being a TA
University of Washington - Physics - Quantum Information - Accepted! 1/18 via email 1.2k stipend/month, 2.2k TA salary/month for 9 months/year
University of Michigan - Physics - Quantum Information - Waitlist maybe? Got an email 2/10 saying: Update on your application: We have not made a decision on your application.
Cornell - Physics - Quantum Information - Rejected 2/17 by Email
University of Arizona - Physics - Quantum Information Accepted! 2/14 by Email, 18k/year TA
Arizona State University - Physics - Cosmology - Accepted! 2/10 by Email
Last edited by MarvinGaye on Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:21 pm, edited 9 times in total.

hubblehubblebutt
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:16 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby hubblehubblebutt » Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:33 pm

Undergrad Institution: top ranked public school
Major(s): Physics BS
GPA in Major: 3.49
Overall GPA: 3.66
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: above average
Type of Student: domestic white female

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 165 (89%)
V: 168 (98%)
W: 5.5 (90 something percent lol)
P: 690 (*cries*) 50%

Research Experience:2 years in a nano-photonics lab, PI is very well known in photonics and imaging science

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List a handful of times, usual bullshit honor societies

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: well I was the president of a sorority for women in stem so that's semi-relevant and probably pretty different from the rest of you

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: went to CUWiP a couple times, won a couple big awards from Panhellenic Council at my school but doubt anyone cares about that

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: well I'm a woman, also was really involved in campus climate issues for women in science at my university, will definitely show up in my LOR, so hopefully schools are into that

Applying to Where:expressed interest in instrumentation everywhere

UC Irvine - Astro - Adaptive Optics and Galaxy Formation Accepted! 1/24, Chancellor's Fellowship 20 k
UC Riverside - Physics - Astro Accepted! 2/21, Chancellors Distinguished Fellowship 24 k Declined 3/6
UCSC - Astro - Adaptive Optics and Galaxy Formation Rejected 1/13
University of Washington - Astro - Galaxy Formation-Rejected 3/7
ASU - Astro - Galaxy Formation
U of A - College of Optical Sciences - Their mirror lab is the coolest Accepted 1/27!!!!! FOTO Fellowship 24k
University of Michigan - Astro - Adaptive Optics and Galaxy Formation- Rejected 3/7
RIT - Astrophysical Sciences and Technology- Waitlist 3/6, application passed to imaging science PhD as well
Last edited by hubblehubblebutt on Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:06 pm, edited 6 times in total.

matheus.schossler
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:07 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby matheus.schossler » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:35 am

Undergrad Institution: Big School in Brazil (USP Sao Carlos), Good Reputation in Physics
Major(s): Theoretical and Experimental Physics
Minor(s): Physics
GPA in Major:
Overall GPA Undergrad:8.3/10
Overall GPA Masters: 3.8 (Physics - same institution of undergrad)
Length of Degree: 4 undergrad + 2 years masters
Position in Class: top five
Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 158 (70%) :(
V: 152 (55%) :(
W: 2.5 (7%) :(
P: 810 (72%) :(


TOEFL Total: first 84 (R 23, L 21, W 18, S 22), second 94 (R 27, L 30, W 19, S 18),

Research Experience: Three years in Condensed Matter Theory.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 4th position Young Physics Award IFT-ICTP 2015, two awards for good research presentations in my institution.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA 6 months, Physics II.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Presentation in an international conference at IIP-Natal.


Applying to Where:

Purdue U - CMT - Accpeted 1/31, two years $17,460/9months, but can increase for $19,646 if passing the English Proficiency Screening - Declined
West Virginia U - CMT Accpeted 2/07, $23,500/year - Declined
Washington U St. Louis - CMT Accpeted 2/10, $23/9months - Will attend
Temple U - CMT Accpeted - Declined
U of Sao Paulo - CMT - Accpeted - Declined
State U of Campinas - CMT - Accpeted - Declined

U of Arizonal - CMT
Indiana University Bloomington - CMT
UC Riverside - CMT
U of Utah - CMT

Ohio State University - CMT - Rejected
Northeastern U - CMT - Rejected
Brown U - CMT - Rejected



Good luck to everyone!
Last edited by matheus.schossler on Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:52 pm, edited 9 times in total.

galacticnate
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:03 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby galacticnate » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:34 am

Undergrad Institution: Liberal Arts College w/ strong STEM reputation and growing astronomy department
Major(s): Physics (w/ concentration in Astronomy)
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.97
Overall GPA: 3.96
Length of Degree: 4 yrs
Position in Class: top 10%
Type of Student: domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 164 (94%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 850 (78%)


Research Experience: 1 Summer at a National Lab; 1 Summer at small prestigious research institution (continuing for my senior thesis); participation in small observing campaign; presented research posters at 2 AAS meetings

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Goldwater Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa, several department honors

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Mentored and TA-ed a variety of physics and astronomy courses; Physics Department liaison

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Spent a summer working as a construction coordinator for a non-profit organization.

Applying to:
(My main research interest is galactic evolution and would love to work with both simulations and observations)

Yale - Astronomy - Accepted 1/24 via email
UC Irvine - Physics and Astronomy - Accepted 1/24 via email, Chancellor's Fellowship
UC Santa Cruz - Astronomy - Contacted for Phone Interview 1/23 - Rejected 1/27 via email
UC Berkeley - Astronomy - Contacted for Phone Interview 1/10 - Unofficial Acceptance 1/31 via email & phone - Official Email 2/7
Rutgers - Physics and Astronomy - Contacted for Phone Interview 1/23 - Other 2/02 via email
(Notified that the faculty I had expressed interest in working with weren't currently interested in taking on new grad students)
Princeton - Astronomy - Rejected 2/03 via email
Harvard - Astronomy - Rejected 2/10 via email
U Washington - Astronomy - Contacted for Phone Interview 2/10 - Waitlisted 02/28 via email
Cal Tech - Astronomy


(When looking through these profiles, remember that there's a huge variety of successful applications that may not all be represented on his forum, so don't be discouraged if you don't see one that looks like yours)
Last edited by galacticnate on Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:30 pm, edited 10 times in total.

physicsf
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:06 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby physicsf » Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:25 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school. Good reputation in physics.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.5
Overall GPA: 3.5
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Don't know.
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 170
V: 160
W: 3.5
P: 990

Research Experience: 2+ years research in a condensed matter group. No publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: None

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: None

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: None

Special Bonus Points: Expecting a good LOR from the PI of the condensed matter group i am working in.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Excellent programming skills.

Applying to Where: Fields are all CME

Stanford - Physics - rejected 02/10
Berkeley - Physics rejected
UCSB - Physics - accepted 01/31
Caltech - Physics rejected
UCLA - Physics rejected
Cornell - Physics rejected
UIUC - Physics rejected
MIT - Physics - rejected 02/10
Princeton - Physics rejected
Harvard - Physics rejected
U of Arizona - Physics - accepted
Last edited by physicsf on Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:34 am, edited 3 times in total.

bedelma
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:21 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby bedelma » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:31 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big Midwest State School, Known for Engineering, Decent Physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.66
Overall GPA: 3.43
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: No idea?
Type of Student: Domestic Male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 161 (79)
V: 153 (60)
W: 3.5 (40)
P: 760 (63)


Research Experience: One summer doing minor lab work in a Nuclear Engineering lab. One full year(not academic year) working in new AMO group at my university. Lots of Practical experimental experience gained. No papers or Conference talks.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 4 Semesters as TA for intro physics lab, 1 year of private tutoring for physics courses

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: No experimental results in my time researching but I have learned almost all facets of setting up an AMO experiment, i.e vacuum design construction, laser system design and electronics, optical setups, computer controls, and some imaging techniques.

Special Bonus Points: I have a few grad classes taken and got good grades. Good recommendations


Applying to Where:

UC Boulder - Physics - AMO - Rejected Mar 3rd by Email
U Chicago - Physics - AMO/CME -Rejected Feb 17th Email to check website
U Maryland College Park - Physics - AMO -Rejected Feb 10th By Email
U Washington - Physics - AMO/CME - -Rejected Mar 28th By Email
U Rochester - Physics - AMO - -Rejected Mar 6th By Email
OSU - Physics - AMO - ACCEPTED!! Feb 20th $2100/ month TA + summer RA - Declined
U Oregon - Physics - AMO - ACCEPTED!! Feb 9th $18000/9 month TA + $6000/3 month RA (summer) - Will Attend!
Purdue University - Physics - AMO - ACCEPTED!! Jan 25th $19,646 TA stipend Aug-May - Declined
Colorado State University - Physics - AMO - ACCEPTED!! Jan 31st $1985/Month 9 month TA stipend - Declined
Washington State University - Physics - AMO - ACCEPTED!! Mar 2 $17000/9month with possibility of $5000/3month summer funding - Declined
U Delaware - Physics - AMO - ACCEPTED!! Mar 1st $27100 first year(12 month) TA - Declined
Colorado School of Mines - Applied Physics - CME - Withdrawn
Last edited by bedelma on Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:45 am, edited 15 times in total.

HydrogenAndTime
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:55 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby HydrogenAndTime » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:41 am

I guess it's my turn... good luck & best of wishes to everyone.
-----
Undergrad Institution: Top 30ish in US Undergrad. Ranking, decent physics reputation?
Major(s): Physics & Astronomy, Mathematics
Minor(s): Philosophy
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 3.97
Length of Degree: 4 yrs
Position in Class: No idea, probably near top, if I had to guess
Type of Student: International Asian Male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 159 (82%)
W: 4.0 (59%) :?
P: 990 (94%)


TOEFL Total: Did not take TOEFL (degree from US)

Research Experience: 6 months at Plasma Experiment Lab (mostly engineering / lab technician work), 1+ years in observational cosmology working on the analysis of SDSS BOSS data (a publication as a second author & a poster at APS Meeting), working on a senior thesis in a theoretical topic in general relativity / cosmology, all at my undergrad institution

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nothing really, just the standard corollaries of good GPA

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Math TA 1 year, Physics/Astronomy TA 2 years, SPS Business Manager, Peer Adviser/Mentor selected by the school

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Started cosmology research from scratch? (my school had no cosmology research at all, my adviser and I are the first ones to start), very international background, tri-lingual

Special Bonus Points: very passionate about teaching & advising, strong recommendation letters (including hep-ex & cosmology professors) overall, an extra 4th recommendation letter from a professor whom I TA'ed for (personally close, lectured instead of him while he was gone, etc.)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I am mostly interested at the interface between particle physics & cosmology and experiment/observation & theory. Though my undergrad research experience is only in (observational & theoretical) cosmology, my SOP focused a lot on why I believe the cosmology & particle interface will be an extremely important field in the near future. Saying "I love them both!" without sounding torn and undecided but rather confident and specialized was very difficult. It probably helped significantly that my adviser for the observational cosmology project was also someone who was transitioning from traditional HEP-ex to cosmology.

Applying to Where:

Mostly experimental particle physics & observational cosmology, with some interest in phenomenology & accelerator physics
(accepted/waitlisted/rejected/declined/waiting, roughly in order of preference)

Stanford - Physics - Accepted! Feb. 10th, unofficial email with the acceptance. Official letter on Feb. 16th. ATTENDING!
Chicago - Physics - Accepted! Feb. 3rd, unofficial email from a potential adviser. Sachs Fellowship + Eckhardt Scholar. Total > $40k
UC Santa Barbara - Physics - Accepted! Jan. 26th, emailed to check the website. 1st year fellowship, total > $32k
UC Berkeley - Physics - Accepted! Feb. 24th, email with the decision.
Penn - Physics & Astronomy - Accepted! Jan. 31st, email with the decision. ~30k/yr via TA/RA.
Johns Hopkins - Physics & Astronomy - Accepted! Feb. 8th, email with the decision, waiting for the official letter
Maryland - Physics - Accepted! Feb. 9th, email with the decision. $5k * 2 years Fellowship + TA/RA. Declined, Feb. 13th.
NYU - Physics - Accepted! Feb. 8th, email with the decision, MacCracken Fellowship. Declined, Feb. 13th.

Harvard - Physics - Rejected! Feb. 16th, email to check the website.
Harvard - Astronomy - Rejected! Feb. 10th, email to check the website.
-----
Done with all the admissions process! Just gotta make the decision now. Good luck & best of wishes to everyone who's not done yet!
Last edited by HydrogenAndTime on Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:23 pm, edited 18 times in total.

magdalenasophie
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:13 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby magdalenasophie » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:26 am

Undergrad Institution: Decent university in the UK
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Astronomy
GPA in Major: 4.0?
Overall GPA: 4.0?
Length of Degree: 5
Position in Class: top few percent
Type of Student: International female

GRE Scores :
Q: 161 (79%)
V: 156 (72%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 810 (72%)


Research Experience: A lot of experience in astronomy research, at various institutions. Currently publishing a paper.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Two awards recognising top of class academic performance

Special Bonus Points: Famous referee, publishing a paper with him

Applying to Where:

MIT - Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science Dept
Oxford - Astronomy
Harvard - Astronomy - Accepted 02/08
NYU - Astronomy - Accepted 01/31
Columbia - Astronomy - Accepted 02/08
Toronto - Astronomy - Skype Interview 01/25 - Accepted 02/05
Max Planck Institute Heidelberg - Invitation for Interview 12/21
Amsterdam - Astronomy - Invitation for Interview 12/19
Swinburne (Australia) - Astronomy - Accepted in early December
Last edited by magdalenasophie on Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:26 am, edited 4 times in total.

kav1777
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:16 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby kav1777 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:29 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top public school, generally ranked in the 12-8 range for physics and math, always top 10 for engineering.
Major(s): Honors Physics and Honors Math
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.85
Overall GPA: 3.85
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic, white, and male.

GRE Scores :
Q:164
V:159
W:4.5
P:900


TOEFL Total: N/A

Research Experience: Worked on a dark matter experiment for a professor at my school since freshman year. Have spent two summers working at Fermilab for the same experiment. Lots of experience with detectors.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: One major STEM scholarship and a variety of small to mid departmental/outside scholarships, fellowships, and awards.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: SPS board member, grader for the department lower physics classes, and tutor.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I built a particle detector at school.

Special Bonus Points: I took grad level QFT 1 and 2 as well as several grad level analysis classes and topology in math.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I have several contributing author publications and one primary author publication.

Applying to Where:
For all schools, I applied Physics - HepEx

1. MIT:
2. Caltech:
3. UChicago: Accepted!!! 1/24/2017 - Professors contacted me + email. Eckhart + Michelson Fellowships >40K
4. Harvard:
5. Princeton: Accepted!!! 2/10/2017 emailed. Some fellowship (amount to be determined).
6. Columbia:
7. Stanford:
8. UC Berkeley:
9. UPenn: Accepted!!! 1/24/2017 via email. They keep emailing that financial info will come soon.
10. Cornell:
11. UC Santa Barbara:
12: UCLA:
13: UC San Diego: Accepted!!! 1/30/2017
14: UMaryland: Wait-listed??? 2/10/2017
Last edited by kav1777 on Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

barkin
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:14 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby barkin » Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:56 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big ten, good reputation
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.97
Overall GPA: 3.98
Length of Degree: 5yrs total, transfer student
Position in Class: top i guess
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170
V: 161
W: 3.5 :roll:
P: 990


TOEFL Total: 113 (30/30/24/29)

Research Experience: 1yr condensed matter/material science research at current institution. 1st author paper submitted to prb. no conference/talk.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: some undergrad research awards and honors related to gpa

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: working independently (w/o help from any grad student) with 2 professors, wrote a data analysis package in Matlab, lots of opportunities to talk with advisors

Special Bonus Points: all recommenders well-known in their fields and they know me pretty well

Applying to Where: all CME

UIUC - Physics Accepted Feb.8 Declined
Stanford - Applied Physics Accepted Feb.5
Berkeley - Physics Rejected Mar.8
Cornell - Physics Accepted Feb.16 Declined
MIT - Physics Rejected Feb.10
UCSB - Physics Accepted Feb.1 Declined
UCSD - Physics Rejected Feb.24
PennState - Physics Accepted Feb.16 Declined
Last edited by barkin on Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:04 pm, edited 18 times in total.

isparavanje
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:05 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby isparavanje » Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:13 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school, very good reputation in physics.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: ~3.7
Overall GPA: ~3.7
Length of Degree: 3
Position in Class: above average
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores :
Q: 165
V: 160
W: 4.5
P: 860


Research Experience: 2 years at school in the same group. 2 publications, 1 in review in Phys. Rev., 1 accepted but in conference proceedings w/o peer review. Both first author.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Deans list, college honors.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Web development gig before college.

Special Bonus Points: 1 grad course.

Applying to Where:

Purdue - Physics - CMT - Accepted, ~19k TA salary after fees. 26 Jan.
Stanford - Physics - CMT Rejected, 10 Feb
Harvard - Physics - CMT Rejected, 16 Feb
UChicago - Physics - CMT Rejected, 17 Feb
Cornell - Physics - CMT
Northwestern - Physics - CMT
Yale - Physics - CMT
Columbia - Physics - CMT
Stony Brook - Physics - CMT
UIUC - Physics - CMT
Rutgers - Physics - CMT
Last edited by isparavanje on Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:50 pm, edited 5 times in total.

CrossedFingersX
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:20 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby CrossedFingersX » Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:47 am

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: UC Berkeley
Major(s): Chemistry
Minor(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 3.5 UC (3.9 Junior College)
Overall GPA: 3.5 UC
Length of Degree: 4 yrs
Position in Class: Average? No clue...
Type of Student: domestic white male, transfer student from California Community College (California Resident)

GRE Scores : (Oct 2016 for both)
Q: 162 82%ile
V: 158 80%ile
W: 3.0 17%ile :x
P: 780 67%ile

Research Experience: I was a full time volunteer researcher for the past 6 months in Nuclear Engineering during a gap year. I am now a paid researcher, working on a first author paper (too bad it will be months after the admission decisions...).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: None

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Researcher

Applying to Where:

Accepted Waitlisted Rejected Withdrawal

University of Washington - Physics - Nuclear - 3/28 Rejected - It took three emails (two that never got a reply) and one phone call that went to voicemail over the span of a week just to get an answer from the department... super mad about the lack of contact
Stony Brook University - Physics - Nuclear 2/22 Admission to Masters Program
University of Michigan - Physics - Nuclear - 2/10 Rejected by email
UC Berkeley- Nuclear Engineering - 3/9 Accepted by email to check site 3/28 Withdrawal
UC Davis - Physics - Nuclear - 2/4 Accepted by email - $26k/yr + tuition for 3 yrs - "50% TA" - WILL ATTEND :D
University of Virginia - Physics - Nuclear - 2/24 Withdrawal
University of Pittsburgh - Physics - Nuclear - 2/24 Withdrawal
University of Connecticut - Physics - Nuclear - 2/10 Accepted by email to check site - 23k (TA/RA ?) + tuition for 1 yr 3/12 Withdrawal
Last edited by CrossedFingersX on Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:37 pm, edited 9 times in total.

krishnakumarkowshik
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:52 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby krishnakumarkowshik » Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:34 am

I guess this has to be one of the lowest profiles in the history of this forum :P
But I thought i'll post anyway..

Undergrad Institution: M.E.S Degree College of Arts, Commerce and Science, Bangalore, India. Probably an average school in the country. Nothing big in physics for sure.
Major(s): Physics
Master's Institution: Jain University, Bangalore India. Good for business, MBA etc. I did Master's in Physics.
GPA in Major (Undergrad): 2.4/4 updated via WES evaluation 3.0/4
Master's GPA: 2.2/4 updated via WES evaluation 3.13/4
Length of Degree: 5 years (Undergrad+Master's)
Position in Class: near the bottom
Type of Student: International, male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 146
V: 153
W: 3.5
P: 560


TOEFL Total: 105/120

Research Experience: At your school or elsewhere? Ans: elsewhere, M.P.Birla Institute of Fundamental Research
What field? Observational Astronomy of open star clusters
How much time? 3 years (2013-2016)
Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...) 3 papers, all second author. 3 national conferences in which i have co-presented 4 posters.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: None

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Research scholar for the last 3 years, as well has teaching exercises in astronomy.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Yeah. 5 certificate courses in astronomy and astrophysics.

Special Bonus Points: None

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Photometric and spectroscopic data reduction using IRAF software, Data plotting and function fitting using ORIGINPRO, Programming using MATLAB and Python.

Applying to Where: Only USA. All observational astronomy.

Clemson University Rejected via email to check website (Jan 28th)
[u]University of Texas, Austin Rejected after checking website (March 3rd) Dreams shattered! :(
[u]University of Virginia Rejected via checking website (Feb 3rd)
[u]University of Utah Rejected via email (March 24th)
[u] Northern Arizona University Rejected upon email inquiry (April 19th)

While i was going through my bachelors and masters, I knew that my GPA is gonna affect me a lot. So I thought I'll make it up with research experience by publishing. Most people told me (they still do) that its gonna count a lot. But I still remember this one prof I met at a conference in 2014 who was from CalTech. I asked him "would you consider published papers to make up for a bad GPA?". He said "if the GPA is too low, we gotta consider how can you do research when you aren't getting good grades"! I was kinda shocked hearing that.

I got my SoP read from friends and experts. I was advised against mentioning reasons for a bad GPA. Instead just talk about research.

Helpful advice came from this forum to apply to schools where I would be a good fit. So i chose universities like that. Although they aren't doing "exactly" the same research, some techniques are similar.

I donno what's gonna happen! But all the best of luck to everybody else!

Afterthoughts: Well. Its 100% rejection in two different continents for two straight years - from Europe in 2015-16 and from North America in 2016-17. I guess my so-called plan of making up for some F's in undergrad and grad studies with some publications went down the drain :( Particularly sad about NAU. A prof whom I know recommended my name and I spent just about 20$ shy of 500$ for the application procedure including a credential evaluation. Its just absolutely WTF!! What I am unable to understand is, just how much more has to be done to be a competitive applicant?? I have an aptitude for research; this kind of thing where a problem has to be formulated, observations have to be planned, rigorous physics and intensive analysis has to be done, and results have to be written up and published, is precisely the kind of game that I've played for the last 3 years and its precisely the kind of game one has to play during Ph.D.. YTF can't it be recognized and opportunities (however small) be given??
Last edited by krishnakumarkowshik on Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:46 am, edited 6 times in total.

HannaGray
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 2:19 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby HannaGray » Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:36 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school, top 20 physics

Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 3.3 ish? Not impressive. Got Bs in all but one of my lower level physics courses but got As in all upper level courses.
Overall GPA: 3.59
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Unsure
Type of Student: Domestic white woman

GRE Scores :
Q: 158 (70%) lmao I have no excuse for this
V: 162 (92%)
W: 4.5 (I can't remember the percentile? 82% maybe?)
P: 810 (72%) Absolutely thrilled at this! I got a 650 (40%) on the first one


Research Experience: Been in a large, well known quantum computing group since beginning of June 2016. This is probably the most important thing on my application. I also did a semester long research project in a condensed matter group when I was a sophomore.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: My sophomore research project won most outstanding research poster at the undergraduate research fair at my school.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Was a learning assistant (basically a TA) for a physics for life sciences class for both semesters of my junior year, I assisted in teaching 7 sections total. I also graded for physics of music last semester.
I planned an assembly for a coalition of schools (the assembly was focused on equity and inclusion in physics, and there were physics education research faculty/graduate students attending. There were also straight up physics faculty, grad students, and undergrads attending too) -- this assembly was probably good for networking since two of the schools involved were Berkeley and Colorado so I was able to meet a lot of people from those two schools.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I took graduate quantum last semester. It's also worth noting that my record has a very strong upward trajectory.

Special Bonus Points: My research adviser is probably one of the most well known people in quantum computing, and he has happened to have worked at two of the schools I am applying to.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I accidentally submitted my UCLA application two weeks late (I completed and paid for it but forgot to press the submit button, lol)

Applying to Where:

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor - AMO - First Acceptance - 1/23 - $2,467/month + $4000 Fellowship- Will Attend!
University of Wisconsin, Madison - AMO Accepted - 1/24 - $21,716/yr + a $10,000 fellowship for women in physics
University of Washington - AMO Accepted - 1/27 - $2,228/month + $1,200 fellowship
University of California, Berkeley -AMO Rejected
University of Colorado, Boulder - AMO Rejected 3/3
UCLA - AMO Accepted - 2/16 - $19,000 a year + $15,000 fellowship for first year, $6,000 fellowship for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year
Last edited by HannaGray on Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:36 am, edited 5 times in total.

burningredmesas
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 6:03 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby burningredmesas » Sun Jan 29, 2017 7:30 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top tier private
Major(s): Physics, Biology
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.30
Overall GPA: 3.35
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: average
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores :
Q: 158 (70%) :oops:
V: 159 (80%)
W: 4.5 (80%)
P: 770(65%)

Research Experience: Extensive research experience in physics (computational) and biology (experimental and computational)
    Virology lab in medical school - 1 year; began freshman Spring as lab assistant and later helped graduate student with protein work
    International Internship Program at large European government lab - 1 summer; structural biology research
    SULI internship - 1 summer; theoretical biology project; lots of modeling; also attended computational biology summer school and conference with advisor
    Senior thesis with physics faculty - 1 year; computational neuroscience; lots of coding

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Award for talk at outreach conference, otherwise none.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
    Physics tutoring - 2 semesters
    TA for intro physics course
    Attended physics outreach conference last three years

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
    Co-founded outreach group - organized many activities like annual talks with important speakers; worked closely with physics department
    Co-founded SPS chapter - established and organized annual conference

Special Bonus Points:
    Took some graduate courses in physics and math junior year onward
    Substituted intermediate course requirements with advanced seminars for bio major
    Improvement in grades in last two years
    4 LOR submitted when possible, 3 strong letters from research advisors, including named professor.
    One LOR writer well known by one PI of interest
    Outreach and being female lended substance to diversity statements

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Trilingual, unique background, non-academic family background

Applying to Where: (Physics - Biological Physics/Complex Systems with exceptions below)

Key: [Accepted Waitlisted Rejected} (Day/Month)

Princeton - Quantitative and Computational Biology - Rejected (24/02) alas
MIT - Brain and Cognitive Sciences - Rejected (03/04)
UChicago - Rejected (17/02)
Brown - Accepted (02/02) at least $27k/yr stipend - Declined
UPenn - Rejected probably since visit day happened
UC San Diego - Rejected (24/02) - top choice but alas life goes on. congrats to those who got in! :D
UC Irvine - Accepted (30/01) $6500/quarter TAing +$5k Regents' fellowship for first two years - Interview 18/01 - Decision released only after official paper transcripts received, which I wasn't told were missing until I asked... :roll: - Declined
UC Davis - Waitlisted (17/03) semi-yay! (Assumed rejected since visit day had happened)
Emory - Accepted (26/01) $25k/yr + $2.5k/yr Laney fellowship - Declined
UW Seattle - Accepted (27/01) TA-ship ~$2250/mo + $1200 signing + $17,500 ARCS fellowship over 3 years + fellowship for 1 quarter to replace TAing. - Declined
UT Austin - Accepted (09/03) - Invited for visit day (02/02) 27k/yr - Attending
Rutgers - Accepted (15/02) - Excellence Fellowship + Torrey Fellowship = $29k first year, TA/RA-ship to fund remaining years - Declined
NCSU - Accepted (18/01) $22k/yr stipend - Declined
Boston University - Rejected (11/04)
CWRU - Accepted (08/03) - Invited for skype interview (21/02) - $24k/yr TAing - Declined

Applied: 15
Accepted: 8
Waitlisted: 1
Rejected: 6

Thoughts so far: very grateful for acceptances since went in expecting none; though, now I wish I stretched myself a bit more by swapping out some schools for higher tier in biophysics/neuro (more UC schools, Columbia). In the end, I'm happy and grateful for the options, and I'm excited to be attending UT Austin! :D
Last edited by burningredmesas on Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:40 pm, edited 35 times in total.

theinvisiblesherpa
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:31 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby theinvisiblesherpa » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:16 am

Undergrad Institution:Top tier public university. Known for large amounts of research
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics
Minor(s): Film Studies
GPA in Major: 3.7
Overall GPA: 3.5
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: Strong graduating class. Probably average
Type of Student: Domestic Non-Binary

GRE Scores :
Q:167 (93%)
V:157 (75%)
W:4.5 (82%)
P:860 (80%)

Research Experience: 1 REU Program after my 2nd year at a lesser known institute in Material Science; resulted in publication. Currently working on Honors Thesis on the study of black holes when examined from a QFT framework (~5 Months). Prior research in linear solutions to Einstein Field Eqns (4 Months).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Department does not give awards before graduation.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutored introductory physics during my first 2 years, Proctored exams for 1 semester

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Completed 4 graduate level course by the time of applications (GR, QFT (2x), and EM). Solid recommendations from professors I have worked closely; all received their PhD from top 10 physics schools.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Positive trend on my transcript?

Applying to Where:

Stanford - HEP-Ex
CalTech - HEP-Ex
Harvard - HEP-Ex
MIT - CME
Princeton - HEP-Ex
UC-Boulder - HEP-Ex
Cornell - HEP-Ex
UChicago - HEP-Ex
Columbia - HEP-Ex
Wisconsin Madison - HEP-Ex Accepted! 1/24 By email waiting for funding details
UIUC - CME
UPenn - CME Accepted! 1/27 By email awaiting further details
UMD-College Park - CME

Flagg
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:21 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Flagg » Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:03 pm

I'm filling one of these out late. I don't have a profile nearly as good as everyone on this site, so hopefully I get some acceptances and give hope to the "average" people reading but not posting on this board.

Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts university, little to no research available, but has alumni working at NASA so any failures in physics in my life can rest with me and not the school I went to
Major(s):Physics
Minor(s):Mathematics
GPA in Major:3.92
Overall GPA:3.90
Length of Degree:3.5 years, graduated a semester early
Position in Class:only 5 of us in class
Type of Student: white domestic male
GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q:160 (76%)
V: 159 (82%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 640 (37%)



Research Experience: None. Huge problem with my profile. None available at my school, and 20+ REUs turned away from, many saying I made it to the final rounds of cuts though. Ugh. If I don't get in somewhere, I will try as hard as possible to get work at a lab somewhere and better this part of my profile (along with retaking GREs - my physics score is so bad because I didn't practice for speed, and answered less than half of the questions...)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: SPS, Dean's list every semester, a scholarship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA in a lab my final semester, founding member of my school's Astronomy Club

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Nope

Special Bonus Points: None

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: None

Applying to Where:

SUNY Stony Brook Accepted to Master's program, no funding, email, 2/22. Would go if I could afford it.
University of Rochester Rejected via email to check website, 2/13.
Carnegie Mellon
Brandeis University Invite to open house, received 2/7Rejected via email, 4/28.

University of Notre Dame Waitlisted by email, 3/10.Rejected via email, 4/14.
University of Pittsburgh High on the waitlist, upon email inquiry, 3/29. Rejected via email to check website, 4/18.
University of Oregon Rejected via email, 3/7.
University of Oklahoma Accepted via email, 2/3. $1600 per month TA. Will attend!
Arizona State University Rejected via email, 4/21.
University of Utah Rejected via email, 4/26.
Colorado State University First Acceptance! 1/31. $1985 per month for 9 months, TA
Florida State University
SUNY Buffalo Accepted via email, 2/22. $18,500 first year, TA
Lehigh University Accepted via email, 4/11. ~$28,000 per year TA
Kansas State University Waitlisted by email, 2/1.

I'm worried that I overshot a little bit with my pGRE score and lack of research. Oh well. I'm also a little worried that it's 1/30 and I haven't heard anything yet. And I gave preferences of field in each application, but was very open and not hard on any of them. This may have hurt me too...

Well, I got into a school I'm happy with. A nice variety of research in my fields of interest. If I were to change anything, it would be going to a public research university for undergrad. Off to complete my dreams!
Last edited by Flagg on Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:19 pm, edited 15 times in total.

geewiz
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:17 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby geewiz » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:36 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 10 Private
Major(s): Physics, Math
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.73
Overall GPA: 3.57
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Average
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q:168
V: 159
W: 4
P: 910

Research Experience: 2 years of computational/theoretical soft condensed matter research in an undergrad lab. One summer spent on a computational chemistry project at IBM Almaden. Another summer abroad at the Chinese University of Hong Kong working on gravitational wave data analysis.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list every year, Metcalf Award funding for summer research, College Research Fellowship last year.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: President of Brass Ensemble

Special Bonus Points:
Took one graduate class (General Relativity) and got an A. Two of my recommenders were physics professors that I had done research with, one of whom is a famous physical chemist.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Upwards grade trend on transcript.

Applying to Where: (all Physics)

Stanford - CME - (2/10) Rejected by email
University of California, Berkeley - CME
University of California, Santa Barbara - CME
CalTech - Gravitational Wave Astronomy
Harvard - CME - (2/16) Rejected, email to check website
MIT - CME - (2/15) Rejected on website
Cornell - CME - (2/14) Rejected by email
University of Texas, Austin - CME
University of Wisconsin, Madison - CME - (1/24) Accepted by email, 21k stipend plus 5k first year fellowship
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign - CME - (1/29) Accepted by email, 22k stipend
Syracuse - Gravitational Wave Astronomy - (2/15) Accepted by email, 24k stipend
Last edited by geewiz on Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:53 pm, edited 9 times in total.

dannyp93
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:25 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby dannyp93 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:02 pm

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: Top Ten School based on size; virtually no reputation in physics.
Major(s): B.S. Physics, B.A. Chemistry
Minor(s): Astronomy
GPA in Major: 3.18
Overall GPA: 3.24
Length of Degree: 4.5 years
Position in Class: Above average
Type of Student: Domestic Hispanic Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 157 (67%)
V: 153 (60%)
W: 3.5 (42%)
P: 540 (16%) :oops:

Research Experience:
Spent 2.5 years in an experimental hadronic physics group at my undergraduate institution. This resulted in three poster and oral conference presentations including APS April 2016. The final result was an arXiv publication based on nuclear phenomenology. Also participated in observational astronomy research, performing photometry on various blazars. Furthermore, I participated in a SROP program at a school with prestigious physics repertoire, performing research with their experimental nuclear physics group. This resulted in three poster presentations.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Scholarships
APS DNP Conference Experience for Undergraduates Travel Award
Southern Cross Astronomical Society Scholarship
Bright Futures Florida Medallion Scholarship (four years)
Academic Excellence Scholarship (four years)
Sigma Alpha Mu Sidney H Guller Scholarship
Greek Leadership Scholarship
Burger King McLamore Scholarship
Alumni Association Panther Pride Scholarship
Honors
Deans List multiple semesters
Conference USA NCAA Division 1 Cross-Country Academic Honor Roll
Eagle Scout
Recognitions
Sigma Alpha Mu Yosemite Sam Award
IFC Man of the Year
Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity Brother of the Year
Cross-Country Sportsmanship Award
Cross-Country Most Valuable Player

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Astronomy Club Officer (CSO Representative)
Tutor in Physical Sciences (from high school to college)
National Undergraduate Advisor, Recorder, Scholarship Chair, and Alumni Relations Chair for Sigma Alpha Mu
Secretary for Order of Omega Greek Leadership Honor Society
Director of Scholarship for the Interfraternity Council (IFC)
Peer Mentor with the Office of First Year Programs
Member of SPS, Sigma Pi Sigma, Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and Toastmasters International

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Gave a speech to hundreds of freshman at Freshman Convocation

Special Bonus Points:
Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program (for first generation and/or minority students)

Applying to Where:
Michigan State University - Experimental Nuclear Accepted! (01/23) + TAship
Texas A&M University - Experimental Nuclear Accepted! (03/04) + TAship
Florida State University - Experimental Nuclear
University of Minnesota - Experimental Nuclear Rejected (02/18)
UC - Boulder - Experimental Nuclear Rejected (03/03)
Indiana University - Bloomington - Experimental Nuclear
Stony Brook University - Experimental Nuclear
UNC - Chapel Hill - Experimental Nuclear
University of Washington - Experimental Nuclear
University of Notre Dame - Experimental Nuclear
UM - Ann Arbor - Experimental Nuclear Rejected (02/10)
Old Dominion University - Experimental Nuclear
University of Illinois - Urbana, Champaign - Experimental Nuclear
Purdue University - Experimental Nuclear
Boston U - Experimental Nuclear Rejected (02/21)
University of Maryland - College Park - Experimental Nuclear Rejected (02/10)
UC - Riverside - Experimental Particle
UC - Irvine - Experimental Particle Accepted! (02/07) + TAship
George Washington University - Experimental Nuclear
William and Mary - Experimental Nuclear Rejected (02/09)
UC - Merced - Solar Energy - Accepted! (02/17) + TAship
Last edited by dannyp93 on Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:36 pm, edited 8 times in total.

Alpha137
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:27 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Alpha137 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:44 pm

Undergrad Institution: University of Toronto
Major(s): Engineering Physics
Minor(s): NA
GPA in Major: 3.94
Overall GPA: 3.94
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: International female
GRE Scores :
Q: 166 (91%)
V: 167 (98%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 980 (93%)

TOEFL Total: 116

Research Experience:
2nd year summer at home institution for hep-ex on ATLAS Higgs dark photon search
3rd year summer at Canadian national particle physics lab for hep-ph on exotic Higgs decays
one year undergraduate thesis on unrelated topic (EM simulations)
No publication or significant presentation.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: usual Dean's list, research award for both summer

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for first year calculus II

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: QFT 1 and GR 1

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:
All for Physics hep-th, interest in BSM physics stated in SOP
Harvard - Accepted Feb. 10 by email. ~30k fellowship (this is unbelievable...)
MIT - Accepted Feb. 9 by email, Feb. 14 official letter. ~36k fellowship (OMG, Yay!! XD XD)
Princeton - Rejected Feb. 16 by email
Cornell - Accepted Feb. 1 by email, ~30k fellowship for 9 months (first offer, so relieved...)
Chicago - Accepted Feb. 2 by email, Feb. 7 official letter. ~32k fellowship with TA for two terms
Stanford - Accepted Feb. 10 by email, Feb. 16 official letter. ~37k fellowship with TA for one term
Caltech - Rejected Feb. 24 by email
UC Berkeley - Accepted Feb. 24 by email, Mar. 1 official letter. ~32k fellowship with TA for two terms

I have never imagined to have such a wonderful result for my grad application, and I hope this will help future hep-th applicants to gain more confidence in their profile; unlike some really amazing profiles in this forum, I didn't do an outstanding amount of research (only two summer in relevant field), I don't have any publications or conference presentations, I don't have a bunch of awards, and I didn't take a crazy lots of grad courses. Of course I worked really hard for both of my research positions and had great relationships with my supervisors, but I'm sure most of you have done that too. Best of luck to everyone! May our hard work pays off.
Last edited by Alpha137 on Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:16 pm, edited 7 times in total.

stateofselfstress
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:49 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby stateofselfstress » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:37 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state engineering
Major(s): Physics, Math
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Tied at #1 with a handful of people
Type of Student: Domestic black male (but first generation American)

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 700 (97%)
V: 640 (94%)
W: 6.0 (99%)
P: 740 (59%) :|


Research Experience:
  • granular statistical physics at home institution (2 years + summer); 1st/3 author publication ready for submission; some local posters and 2 national talks
  • computational granular physics in Germany (summer); 1 colloquium
  • liquid crystal & topology at highly-ranked physics REU; 3rd/5 author publication
  • nanoscale optics at solid physics REU; 3rd/6 author publication; a few coauthored talks

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
  • prestigious full-ride undergraduate scholarship
  • small fellowship for international research + a few travel grants to present research
  • the usual academic awards (Sigma Pi Sigma, Dean's list, etc.)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
  • computational physics project was a granular molecular dynamics routine; compared favorably to experimental results, but won't make the paper
  • wrote algorithms for processing Office of Admissions data

Special Bonus Points:
  • well-known recommenders in granular physics community
  • minority with volunteer experience with immigrant and underprivileged youth
  • basically all offered graduate electives: biophysics, quantum optics, solid state, nuclear, GR, comp. phys., topology, nonequilibrium stat. mech.
  • first author paper has an associated March Meeting talk that I will be marketing pretty heavily to potential advisors

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Early college student, so I have two transcripts and 6 years of college credit

Applying to Where:
All submitted with an interest in soft condensed matter.

Harvard - Applied Physics - faculty interview (1/23) - admitted by email (2/8) + ~30k + summer support + 1k relocation + 3x 6k/year fellowship
Cornell - Physics - faculty interview (1/10) - admitted by email (2/1) + official letter + 2x $29k/year fellowships
Penn - Physics - admitted by email (2/1) + ~29k/year via TA/RA
Chicago - Physics - admitted by phone (2/1) + ~32k 1st year + 8k/year annual fellowship
NYU - Physics - MacCracken fellowship -- DECLINED
Michigan - Physics - admitted by email (2/4) + standard TA/RA -- DECLINED
Last edited by stateofselfstress on Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

lovelovelove93
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:54 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby lovelovelove93 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:09 pm

Undergrad Institution: unknown European university, somewhat known for physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): No such concept
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 4+1 (MSc)
Position in Class: 1st
Type of Student: International male
GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 167 (98%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 990 (94%)


TOEFL Total: 115 (30R, 30L, 27S, 28W)

Research Experience: Two years at my university. One part time and one full time internship. No publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Best student award. IPhO medal.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Private tutor for years.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Recommenders from my university, not well known in US, but I expect good LOR's, especially from my master thesis advisor.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where: All for CMT (topological phases).

UIUC - Rejected by email 4/2
Ohio State - Accepted by email 2/7, 28k/year Fellowship
Ann Arbor - Accepted by email 2/4, 2.5k/month TA+Fellowship
Iowa State - Accepted by email 1/30, 2k/month for 9 months + summer support possible WILL ATTEND!
Penn State - Accepted by email 2/20, 29k/year TA+some fellowships
Harvard - Rejected by email 2/16
Boston University - Accepted by email 2/7, 21.5k/9 months TA + 11k summer RA or TA
Penn - Rejected by email 4/6
Rochester - Accepted by email 2/3, 27k/year TA
Cincinnati - Accepted by email 3/18, 24k/year TA
Toronto - Rejected by email 2/16
Last edited by lovelovelove93 on Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:04 pm, edited 6 times in total.

nagar_v
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:36 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby nagar_v » Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:11 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large public university. Okay for physics undergrad.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics, Computer Science
GPA in Major: 3.95
Overall GPA: 3.90
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Probably near top
Type of Student: Domestic Indian-American Male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 167 (93%)
V: 163 (92%)
W: 5.0 (93%)
P: 980 (93%)

Research Experience: 3.5 years working with a condensed matter lab at my university. We grow, characterize, and perform measurements on high-temperature superconductors, which continues to be a hot topic in condensed matter. Unfortunately I don't have any publications yet, mostly due to materials issues we've had with moving labs (new environment, getting growths under control was difficult). However, I will be on at least one paper by the time I leave. I have several posters of projects I've done submitted to my university's digital conservancy.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Several top departmental scholarships, as well as one external through my mother's company (I'm very lucky). Also Dean's List for all semesters.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Grading honors level courses for a year.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Not really

Special Bonus Points: 1 grad course + lots of physics and math electives. I've also been to several national laboratory experiments as part of my research group, assisting with data analysis and experiment preparation. We have yet to get published from these as for several of them the data are not good enough and the results aren't conclusive. I also feel that I have strong recommendations.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Nothing I can think of.

Applying to Where:

Stanford - Applied Physics- Condensed Matter Experiment - Rejected 2/6 via email
UC Berkeley - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment
MIT - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - Rejected via website
Cornell - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - Accepted 2/13 via email
Princeton - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - Accepted 2/16 via email
Harvard - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - Rejected 2/16 via website
Columbia - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment
Yale - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment
Johns Hopkins - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - Accepted 2/8 via email
Penn State - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - Accepted
UC Santa Barbara - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - Accepted 2/1 via email, $30,000 stipend for first 12 months of teaching assistantship
Chicago - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - Rejected 2/17 via website
Colorado Boulder - Physics - AMO - Accepted
UI Urbana-Champaign - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - Accepted 1/23 via email, 9 month teaching assistantship + 2 months of teaching/research, full tuition waiver + partial fee waiver + stipend of $22,264 for the 11 months
Last edited by nagar_v on Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lcy_1
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:06 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby lcy_1 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:22 pm

I got very little reference for the application from the former students in my home school. Basically, no one works on AMO before. So I apply for a lot of gradschools.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Undergrad Institution: Chinese university (ranking 200-300 globalwide?)
Major: Physics
Minor: N/A
GPA in Major: 3.99/4.0 (~94/100)
Overall GPA: 3.98/4.0 (92.3/100)
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: 1/43
Type of Student: International , male

GRE Scores : 322 (revised)
Q: 170
V: 152 :|
W: 3.0 :(
P: 990

TOEFL Total: 105 (R29,L27,S24,W25)

Research Experience: Two years on AMO theory in home school resulted in one first-authored PRA on quantum metrology (accpeted after the application but some schools did allow me to update my CV), one summer research on trapped ion experiment in UCLA, currently working on superfluidity of cold atoms (theory) for my diploma thesis in MPQ (I listed it in my CV but didn't elaborate too much cuz I just started)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Two National Scholarships, one Second Prize for a domestic competition, an award for outstanding performance in UCLA's summer program

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: President of physics association in home school (similar to SPS in the states)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Recommendations: four recommendations, one from my advisor in home school, he knows me good, I think it should be quite strong; one from advisor in UCLA, I don't think I did very good in the past summer but it should be fine; one from a Polish professor, I did a good job on his lecture; one from a professor who is the advisor of our physics association.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I got both experiences in exp/th

Applying to Where:

CU Boulder - Physics - AMO Accepted via email (Feb. 3rd), coming with 2k signing bonus. Will attending
UMD - Physics - AMO Interview via Skype on Jan. 16th Accepted via email (Feb. 9th), with 10k Dean's fellowship. Declined (Mar. 29th) Tough choice
MIT - Physics - AMO Rejected via Website (Feb. 10th) Expected.....
Harvard - Physics - AMO Rejected via Website (Feb. 16th) Expected.....
Michigan - Physics - AMO Rejected via email (Feb. 10th)
UCLA - Physics - AMO Rejected via email (Mar. 2th) This one hurts the most....
Chicago - Physics - AMO Rejected via website (Feb. 17th)
Wis-Mad - Physics - AMO Interview via phone on Feb. 13th. It's from a Chinese professor, and he told me that the interview is just a test for my oral English. Just a heads up for the international student, they will call you directly without notification. I was currently in Munich and the interview was at 5:00am ! (well... noon time in China) I was woke up by the buzz so my brain wasn't functioning properly, I guess I sound drunk...... Accepted via email (Feb. 16th), official letter to come. Well this one surprise me. Declined (Mar. 12th)
UIUC - Physics - AMO Rejected via email (Apr. 2nd)
UT-Austin - Physics - AMO Accepted via email (Mar. 11th) Declined (Mar. 15th)
Rice - Physics - AMO Rejected via email (Apr. 4th)
PennState - Physics - AMO Rejected via email (Mar. 13th)
UVA - Physics - AMO Accepted via email (Feb. 22th) Declined (Feb. 27th)
Arizona - Optical Science - AMO Rejected via email (Mar. 2th) Offer MS with no funding. Thought this was a safe choice before....
Rochester - Physics - AMO Rejected via email (Mar. 6th)
Last edited by lcy_1 on Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:22 am, edited 26 times in total.

Trieu
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:58 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Trieu » Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:23 pm

I'm (hopefully) a very middle-of-the-road applicant here to give some of you hope!

Undergrad Institution: Small, unknown liberal arts school in the Midwest
Major: Physics
Minor: Math
GPA in Major: 3.51
Overall GPA: 3.49
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: 1 of 3
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 162 (90%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 770 (65%)

Research Experience: 2 years of low-orbit space debris research with computational, observational, experimental and theoretical elements; one poster presentation and two possible (second-author) publications making their way through the pipeline (not directly relevant to grad school research topics, but valuable experience nonetheless)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: GPA awards, outstanding undergraduate research awards

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 3 semesters TA and RA, also a private tutor and substitute teacher to pay the bills

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: None to speak of!

Special Bonus Points: Really strong, personal recommendations since there's only three professors and few physics students at my school are dedicated enough to go to grad school. Also a nice personal statement that I polished over several months with the help of a couple writing professors.

Applying to Where (all physics - observational astrophysics or cosmology where applicable):

UI Urbana-Champaign Rejected 3/3
Boston University Rejected 2/21
UC Davis Accepted 2/10 Attending!
UC Santa Cruz Withdrawn 3/6
Indiana University Accepted 2/16 Declined 3/5
University of Oregon Accepted 2/2 Declined 3/5
University of Arizona Accepted 2/14 Declined 3/5
Arizona State University Accepted 2/10 Declined 3/5
Colorado State University Accepted 2/6 Declined 3/5

Thanks to all the contributors of physicsgre.com for a surprisingly successful application season, and good luck to those who are still waiting to hear back or trying to make a tough decision.
Last edited by Trieu on Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:55 am, edited 10 times in total.

AKNBAfan
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:03 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby AKNBAfan » Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:18 am

Undergrad Institution: Pac-NW Liberal Arts School
Major(s): Physics&Math double
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.39(3.68 in upper division courses)
Overall GPA: 3.07
Length of Degree: 4 years
Type of Student: Domestic male mixed race

GRE Scores : revised version
Q: 168(95%)
V: 165(95%)
W: 3.0(17%)
P: 800(70%)

Research Experience: None

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Physics department award

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 1 semester as lab assistant

Applying to Where:

University of Rochester - Physics - Rejected
UMass Amherst - Physics
University of Oregon - Physics - Rejected
University of Connecticut - Physics
Georgetown - Physics
College of William & Mary - Physics - Rejected
Lehigh - Physics
George Washington University - Physics - Accepted 2/21 by email
Dartmouth - Physics - Accepted 3/21 by email off of the waiting list
Last edited by AKNBAfan on Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.

a_tilde
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:22 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby a_tilde » Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:11 pm

This thread was a stress inducer like nothing else but the web-site in general was beyond useful, so here is my modest contribution.

Undergrad Institution: Small private US uni in top-50, okay reputation in physics, good in engineering
Major(s): Astro & Maths
GPA in Major: 3.93 & 3.94, resp.
Overall GPA: 3.90
Length of Degree: 4 years at home institution + 1 year abroad (top-2 UK uni, 3.81 GPA)
Position in Class: not a clue
Type of Student: European white male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 161 (88%)
W: 3.5 (42%)
P: 740 (59%)

Research Experience (in chronological order; current semester activities excluded hereafter since admission committees can't consider those (duh)):
• An irrelevant research in biology that I started working on while in high school, resulted in a publication which I briefly mentioned in my CV. There was also a poster presentation but that I didn't mention at all
• Research in maths at my school, ~1.5 yrs, the paper (with me as 3rd author) is submitted and will likely be published (too bad graduate schools won't know that until the decision is made)
• Research in QCD at my school (as part of STAR collaboration), ~4 months and ongoing, no papers
So not a ton

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
PMU, Dean's list, President's scholar, some departmental awards, something for study abroad

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
• Private tutor for couple years
• Grader for linear algebra, one semester
• TA for analysis, one semester
• Treasurer of astro club
• Pres of math & stat club
• [Probably irrelevant] voluntary activities

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Graduating with honors in both degrees

Special Bonus Points:
Took grad classes in maths while in the UK. No connections, 2/3 recommenders are not physicists but all can speak for my ability to do research and/or teach. Where I was allowed to, I listed a prof from the UK uni as the fourth recommender. As for minorities, I'm technically jewish but I didn't mention that (not much of a minority). Variety of technical skills (e.g. programming experience, machine shop). Speak a few languages.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
• My GRE AW score is quite abysmal (by the standards of this forum at least), so I asked my recommenders to reflect on my writing skills
• In the math&stat club, we actively promote ug research and hold info sessions to help students get internships and jobs. So ofc I mentioned that in SoP
• With the exception of a few schools, I contacted faculty before applying

Applying to Where: unless specified otherwise, department of astro / physics & astro, expressed interest in exoplanets (especially planet formation)

ColumbiaRejected via website, 2/27
CornellRejected via email, 2/10
Ohio StateWaitlisted, 2/9
Penn StateRejected via email, 2/1
Rutgers (galaxy formation & evolution)
U of Arizona, TucsonRejected via email, 1/25
U of Colorado, Boulder, APS – Accepted via email, 2/3 ('relieved' is not the word, more like 'ecstatic')
UMass Amherst (star formation) – Rejected via website, 3/4
UTorontoRejected via email, 3/13
UWashington, SeattleRejected via email, 3/3
VanderbiltRejected via website, 3/3
Last edited by a_tilde on Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:58 am, edited 8 times in total.

Gradeus
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:07 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Gradeus » Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:03 pm

Figured it's my time to make a contribution here, considering the people who comprise most of the site traffic I think it'll be useful to add a profile that's a bit different than the norm. Lower GPA is mainly attributed to a semester of dealing with depression (recent semesters: ~3.7)

Undergrad Institution: Small-ish public liberal arts (NY) with renowned tough physics program
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics, College Honors Program
GPA in Major: 2.83
Overall GPA: 3.40
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: College doesn't rank, but reasonably decent
Type of Student: Domestic white/Asian male

GRE Scores :
Q:163 (85%)
V: 162 (90%)
W: 3.0 (17%) Reports/papers for coursework have been top quality, no idea what happened here
P: 600 (28%) :wink:


Research Experience: A year and a half spent on stellar photometry with the WIYN Open Cluster Study (WOCS)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Several dean's lists, Honors Program is highly respected

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Private and/or unofficial tutor in intro physics/astronomy, statistics, linear algebra, programming

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Departmental visits at the more local universities (1-on-1 tours!), national leadership conference attendance

Special Bonus Points: One letter writer (my research advisor) is a WOCS collaborator with his alma mater where I'm applying

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Nothing out of the ordinary

Applying to Where: This is where things get interesting, delving into the astro and chemistry paths

RIT - Color Science PhD Accepted 2/15!! Full tuition waived + bonus 20k assistantship
Univ. of Rochester - Chemical Engineering - Alt. Energy Accepted 1/23, half tuition covered
Univ. of Maryland - Chemical Physics PhD
Indiana Univ. - Astronomy PhD
Univ. of Iowa - Physics PhD (Astro Track) Waitlisted 3/6
UWisc Milwaukee - Physics PhD
McGill Univ. - Physics MSc
Last edited by Gradeus on Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:29 am, edited 4 times in total.

laserfloyd80
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:07 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby laserfloyd80 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:40 pm

Undergrad Institution: Indian Institute of Technology
Major(s): Electronics and Communications Engineering
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 8.29/10
Overall GPA: 8.29/10
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Among the top quarter I guess (No official ranking system at college)
Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 163 (92%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 860 (80%)


TOEFL Total: 111

Research Experience:

1. REU working on star clusters. Paper in progress.
2. A project working on asteroids (citizen science website Comethunters.org). Paper in progress.
3. A short project at the national space agency working on a spectrograph pipeline
4. A project on cleaning stellar spectra for RV detection (Did this after graduating from college)
5. Senior thesis on parallel gravitational N-Body simulations. (Convinced a faculty member of home department whose research interest is parallel computing)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nothing significant

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: None

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Nothing special

Special Bonus Points: I got selected for and attended various schools and workshops organised by Astronomy institutes in my country. Some of them were very selective. Due to lack of curriculum courses in astronomy/planetary sciences, I did about 14 MOOCs in these fields.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
1. In my SOP I expressed interest in Astrobiology very specifically, with ideas about the kind of research I would like to pursue.
2. Since I wish to change fields, I had to struggle hard to get opportunities in Astronomy. I did manage to do a decent number of projects and do a lot of self study, including reading scientific papers and articles regularly. The grad chair in an admission interview (LPL) specifically mentioned that he was impressed by my tenacity. So, I guess that mattered a lot for my profile.
3. I took a year off after graduating college. This helped me do some additional projects and decently prepare for GRE Physics.

Applying to Where: Research Interest is uniformly Astrobiology, with topics spanning both exoplanets and solar system objects.

University of Arizona - Lunar and Planetary Laboratory - Planetary Science PhD Accepted 1/30 - 18k TAship + 12k Summer RAship
U-Colorado, Boulder - APS - Astronomy PhD Rejected 2/21
Penn-State - Astronomy - Astronomy PhD Rejected 2/1
Cornell University - Astronomy - Astronomy PhD Accepted 2/6 - 26k/9mo + 10.7k Summer RAship
University of Washington - Astronomy - Dual-Title PhD in Astronomy and Astrobiology
Arizona State University - SESE - Astrophysics PhD
Caltech - GPS - Planetary Sciences PhD Rejected 2/15
MIT - EAPS - Planetary Sciences PhD Rejected 2/27
Chicago - Geophysical Sciences - Planetary Sciences PhD Rejected 2/9
U-Hawaii - Astronomy - Astronomy PhD Accepted 2/18 - 31.5k per annum
Last edited by laserfloyd80 on Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:08 pm, edited 9 times in total.

guy1234567890
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:33 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby guy1234567890 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:40 pm

Undergrad Institution: Moderate Rep.
Major: Physics + Math
GPA in Major: 4
Overall GPA: 4
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 167 93
V: 164 94
W: 4.5 82
P: 900 85

Research Experience: One first author paper, submitted to prominent journal (now accepted). Three years under one PI.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Many internal awards.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutor.

Special Bonus Points: Eleven graduate courses.

Accepted Rejected

University of Michigan Ann Arbor - Physics - Astrophysics Theory 2017/01/21
Ohio State University - Physics - Astrophysics Theory 2017/01/27
New York University - Physics - Astrophysics Theory 2017/01/31
Carnegie Mellon University - Physics - Astrophysics Theory 2017/02/01
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign - Physics - Astrophysics Theory 2017/02/07
Johns Hopkins University - Physics - Astrophysics Theory 2017/02/08
University of Maryland - Physics - Astrophysics Theory 2017/02/09
Stanford University - Physics - Astrophysics Theory 2017/02/10
Princeton University - Physics - Astrophysics Theory 2017/02/16
University of California Los Angeles - Physics - Astrophysics Theory 2017/02/16
University of Chicago - Physics - Astrophysics Theory 2017/02/17
University of Pittsburgh - Physics - Astrophysics Theory 2017/02/17
University of California Berkeley - Physics - Astrophysics Theory 2017/02/24
University of California Santa Cruz - Physics - Astrophysics Theory 2017/02/27

NSFGRFP: Honorable Mention E/G E/VG E/VG

Advice: I have read that many applicants strongly regret not seeking the advice of their advisors or PI. Consulting with many faculty members has two important consequences. Namely, your letter writers will not actively contradict what you write in your statement, and they will point out any mistakes or faux pas you've made that a physicist would notice. Lastly, be sure to have an English PhD read your statement over if you can. Often, the content of your statement will be strong, but not strongly written, and it takes someone with extensive experience to help put it together in a convincing and meaningful way.
Last edited by guy1234567890 on Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:21 am, edited 24 times in total.

badgalriri
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:37 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby badgalriri » Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:03 pm

Undergrad Institution: ivy
Major(s): physics
Minor(s): math
GPA in Major: 4.01
Overall GPA: 3.98
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: above average? but really no clue
Type of Student: domestic female

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 168
V: 170
W: 4.5
P: 890

Research Experience: two summers at home university, one in astrophysics, and another in STM; stayed with the STM lab for ~2 yrs; REU in CME modeling thermal microscopy, no publications (have been working on one since fall senior year but didn't mention it in my applications)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: goldwater honorable mention, dean's list, some school-specific internship grants, blah blah... nothing much

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: one semester as a calc / intro physics tutor (don't think this counted for much)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: fair number of physics electives, grad E&M class, uhhhh i think my PI is fairly well-connected and likes me a lot, i'm pretty okay at writing so i think my personal statement told a coherent story and was specific about what i was interested in doing and why (not sure if this hurt or helped)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: nope

Applying to Where: all for CME

Caltech - Physics - accepted w/ division fellowship, official letter to come
Cornell - Applied and Engineering Physics - accepted w/ $29k fellowship and no TA responsibilities
Columbia - Physics - withdrawn
Harvard - Applied Physics - accepted, official letter to come
MIT - Physics - rejected
Princeton - Physics - accepted, financial info to come
UC Berkeley - Physics - accepted
UIUC - Physics - accepted w/ $22k stipend
Stanford - Applied Physics - accepted, full financial info to come - will attend

edit: to future applicants: every applicant is different, and i think that scrutinizing these profiles too carefully will cause you unnecessary anxiety. feel free to pm me if you have questions!
Last edited by badgalriri on Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:27 pm, edited 9 times in total.

Goldberry
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:38 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Goldberry » Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:19 pm

Things seem to be going shockingly well, so here's a post from someone with an imperfect score and doing theory!

Undergrad Institution: private R1. good overall, good in bio, good in biophysics, but not great physics rep.
Major: Physics + Bio
GPA in Major: 3.9
Overall GPA: 3.8
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: idk?
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 168 94
V: 169 98
W: 6.0 99
P: 900 85

Research Experience: Two first author papers (different topics), one in a fancy journal. Probably two more at least submitted by the time I graduate. Have given a poster presentation, a talk at aps, and a talk at another conference. Have been working with my current PI for nearly 4 years.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Travel awards, a grant funding research, and a scholarship for college.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I tutor and TA a *lot*. Didn't occur to me that it would even help, I just really like doing it :).

Special Bonus Points: My PI is pretty well known in the field, and has friends at most places I've applied. I've met a lot of the potential PIs previously, through summer programs, conferences, or them visiting for talks. I would guess that he and my other recommenders (all of whom have worked with me for research) wrote very strong letters.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Although my gpa looks decent, I've done pretty poorly in a few upper-level physics courses, which is probably related to some family circumstances at the time. I didn't feel comfortable writing about it in the explanations section, though, so I assumed that would hurt my chances (given that I do theory!).
I've also done a lot of work with various non-science organizations that aim to increase diversity in higher ed.

Applying for biophysics theory everywhere.


Harvard - Physics - Accepted!!
Stanford - Applied Physics - Accepted!!
Columbia - Physics - withdrew application
UCSB - Physics - Accepted!!
UCSD - Physics - Accepted!!
MIT - Physics - Accepted!!
Princeton - Physics - Accepted!!
BU - Physics - Accepted!!
Rutgers - Physics - Accepted!!
Berkeley - Physics
Cornell - Physics - Accepted!!
Harvard - Biophysics - Accepted!!
Rockefeller - (they only have 1 program) - invited for interview, not going



A note based on progress so far: apparently it's possible to get in even for theory with an imperfect transcript and a less-than-stellar pgre. I'm pretty sure my recommendation letters were what pushed a lot of places into yes's, but also the fact that I had a real paper (something a lot of the PI's I've been talking to about possible positions actually read and liked) probably helps a lot.
Last edited by Goldberry on Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LordDirac
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:25 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby LordDirac » Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:58 pm

Undergrad Institution: """Good""" uni from Venezuela
Major(s): Physics
Overall GPA: 3.8
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores :
Q: 168 (95%)
V: 165 (95%)
W: 3.5 (42%) :D
P: 960 (92%)

TOEFL iBT Total: 105

Research Experience: lol no

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Awarded twice for academic performance, recognized twice by the Dean for my academic performance in my last year

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA in 2 basic university physics courses, TA for intro HEP course and guide in a science museum for a year

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Not starving

Special Bonus Points: Two grad classes: differential geometry for physicists and QFT, Venezuela is Venezuela

Applying to Where: all for HEP-th

Brown - Physics - email 2/7 / Accepted the offer!!! 2/21
Rutgers - Physics - withdrawn 2/21
UC Davis - Physics - withdrawn 2/21
FSU - Physics - email 2/7 / withdrawn 2/21

Good luck to everyone!!!
Last edited by LordDirac on Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.

bananas
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:45 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby bananas » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:14 am

Undergrad Institution: one of the top physics schools in the US
Major(s):physics
Minor(s):mechanical engineering
GPA in Major:not sure, 3.3-3.4 ish
Overall GPA:3.56
Length of Degree: 4.5 years
Position in Class: probably near average
Type of Student: domestic white female

GRE Scores : revised
Q:170
V:165
W:4.5
P:730



Research Experience:1 year in HEP, 2 years in a NLD theory group

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: full ride scholarship, some other random scholarhsips

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: tutor for 3+ years, several other side jobs (worked a lot, 20 ish hours a week)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: pretty good letters, a lot of outreach work, president of physics club

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: not a lot of people apply nonlinear dynamics

Applying to Where:

School - Duke - nonlinear dynamics
School - UCLA - biophysics
School - UC Berkeley - nonlinear dynamics
School - UT Austin - nonlinear dynamics - invited to open house but no official offer? I emailed them and apparently offers are made after open house
School - University of Maryland College Park - nonlinear dynamics, rejected 2/10, not too upset, wasn't my top choice school
School - Georgia Tech - nonlinear dynamics

also applied to a few non physics programs:
School - USC Mechanical Engineering (nonlinear dynamics/controls theory focus) - accepted with fellowship
School - Princeton Mechanical Engineering (nonlinear dynamics focus/controls theory focus) - accepted with fellowship
School - UCSD Mechanical Engineering
School - Cal Tech Compuing + Mathematical Sciences, Controls and Dynamical Systems PhD - invited to interview, professor who emailed me seemed very enthusiastic
School - UC Santa Barbara Mechanical Engineering (nonlinear dynamics/controls theory focus)
School - UNC Chapel Hill Applied Physical Sciences
Last edited by bananas on Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:40 am, edited 4 times in total.

laltman
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:24 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby laltman » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:34 am

Undergrad Institution: Ivy
Major(s): Mathematical Phyiscs, ScB
Minor(s): Philosophy (Unofficial)
GPA in Major: 3.88
Overall GPA: 3.82
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top within major
Type of Student: domestic white female

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 169
V: 167
W: 3.0 (lol)
P: 840



Research Experience: 2 summers at national labs (one for geophysics, one for HEP-ex), UTRA for HEP-th, published/acknowledged in 3 papers

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Sigma Xi, Award for Excellence in Physics within Ugrad institution (awarded to 2 students per year)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 9 months relevant tutoring

Special Bonus Points: good LORs, connections to multiple schools on my list, female :P

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: graduated 2016, on my gap year doing a tech internship in Malaysia

Applying to Where:

Princeton - PhD Physics - HEP-th Rejected
Harvard - PhD Physics - HEP-th Rejected
Stanford - PhD Physics - HEP-th Rejected 2/10
Stony Brook - PhD Physics - HEP-th
UC Berkeley - PhD Physics - HEP-th
UC Davis - PhD Physics - HEP-th
UCSB - PhD Physics - HEP-th
U Mich Ann Arbor - PhD Physics - HEP-th Rejected 2/10
Johns Hopkins - PhD Physics - HEP-th Accepted 2/9, financial details to follow
NYU - PhD Physics - HEP-th: Accepted with generous stipend 2/1
MIT - PhD Physics - HEP-th Rejected 2/10
Perimeter Scholars International - Masters Physics - HEP-th
Last edited by laltman on Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

ctate7163
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:30 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby ctate7163 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:33 am

Undergraduate Institution: I attended a robust Big-10 university that specializes in engineering.
Major(s): Mechanical Engineering (2012) and Medieval Studies (2016)
Minor(s): Math and English
GPA in Major: 3.8
Overall GPA: 3.9
Length of Degree: 4 years + 2 years of graduate
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: white domestic male

GRE Scores :
Q: 164 (94%) (2016)
V: 168 (95%) (2016)
W: 4.0 (59%) (2016)
P: 910 (86%) (2016)

Research Experience: Here in a small physics program getting my masters and preparing for greater things, I am involved in data mining atmospheric models and satellites data. Last year I also had the good fortune of assisting in a NASA proposal.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Senior of the Year in the College of Liberal Arts (fun times)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: After working as an engineer for two years, I started a master's degree in physics at a local university.

Special Bonus Points: I have been involved in community efforts to educate my city about climate change.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I am 27 and feel that this is a second career (although I’ve always been interested in NASA’s colorful pictures and exciting articles).

Applying to Where:

My interests are split between Earth Sciences (atmospheric and carbon cycle modeling) and exoplanet characterization (astronomy and planetary science). I applied to departments in both areas.

Amsterdam - Astronomy | Submitted 22 Nov- Rejected 12 Jan
Leiden - Astronomy | Submitted 22 Nov - Rejected 25 Jan
Toronto - Physics | Submitted 30 Nov - Accepted 7 Feb - $22,700 (CAN dollar)
Arizona - Lunar and Planetary Lab | Submitted 6 Dec - Accepted 30 Jan - $32,300
Arizona - Astronomy | Submitted 6 Dec - Rejected 1 Feb (after LPL’s acceptance)
UC Boulder - Astrophysical and Space Sciences | Submitted 14 Dec- Rejected 20 Feb
Cornell - Astronomy | Submitted 14 Dec - Accepted 6 Feb - $29,700 +$10,700(summers) - Will Attend!
UC Berkeley - Earth and Planetary Sciences | Submitted 22 Dec - Rejected 15 Mar
Caltech - Geological and Planetary Sciences | Submitted 31 Dec- Rejected 14 Feb
Purdue - Astronautical Engineering | Submitted 31 Dec -
UIUC - Aerospace Engineering | Submitted 31 Dec - Accepted 20 Mar
University of Washington - Earth and Space Sciences | Submitted 4 Jan -
University of Chicago - Astronomy and Astrophysics | Submitted 2 Jan - Waitlisted 30 Jan
University of Chicago - Geophysical Sciences | Submitted 10 Jan- Rejected 9 Feb
UCF - Physics | Submitted 10 Jan - Withdrawn
Last edited by ctate7163 on Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:31 pm, edited 9 times in total.

rtvanharen
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:53 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby rtvanharen » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:28 pm

Undergrad Institution: Arizona State University, big public university with good not great physics program.
Major(s): Physics and Philosophy
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.48
Overall GPA: 3.73
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: average
Type of Student: domestic hispanic-american male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 163
V: 159
W: 5
P: 780



Research Experience: Two presentations at regional conferences, about a year of research experience in materials science.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Presidential Scholar, deans list.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for over a year.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: First generation college student, bilingual speaker.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

University of Washington - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - rejected - was expected, plus I've heard that UW doesn't provide very competitive TA stipends for incoming graduates.
Oregon State University - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - accepted - $18,882 9 month TA stipend
UC Santa Cruz - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - accepted - will attend
UC Irvine - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - rejected - rejected after being waitlisted
CU Boulder - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - rejected - rejected but at least they let me know well in advance,
very courteous.

Colorado State University - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - accepted - $17,865 9 month TA stipend
Last edited by rtvanharen on Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

stars_are_fun
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:27 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby stars_are_fun » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:49 pm

Undergrad Institution: R1 Public school, good engineering/CS/sciences in general, top 5 astro
Major(s): Physics + Astrophysics double
Minor(s): n/a
GPA in Major: 3.7
Overall GPA: 3.8
Length of Degree: 4 yrs
Position in Class: top ~15% by GPA in major
Type of Student: female

GRE Scores : revised?
Q: 167 / 93%
V: 5 / 93%
W: 161 / 88%
P: 760 / 63%

Research Experience: A lot of different projects - 3 at my institute, 1 large collaboration, and 1 completed abroad. All in astronomy, mostly observational high-energy but one computational high-energy. No real publications, just un-refereed ones. 1 AAS poster

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Astronomy department award, regular dean's honors stuff

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: some leadership in SPS, astro-version of UAS, women in physics group; 4 semesters of TAing in astronomy courses

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I think it might have helped to have a lot of observational experience as well as high-level parallel computing experience

Special Bonus Points: 3 letters of faculty at my school in 3 different astronomy subfields, all well-renowned and all know me very well, so probably good letters

Applying to Where: subfield for all: theoretical/computational astro

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor - Astronomy Accepted 1/21 via e-mail
University of Arizona - Astronomy Accepted 1/20 via phone
UC Santa Cruz - Astronomy Interview 1/24, Accepted 1/27 via e-mail
UC Santa Barbara - Physics Accepted 2/2 via website
CalTech - Astronomy Interview 1/18, Accepted 1/23 via phone
Princeton - Astronomy Accepted 2/2 via e-mail
Harvard - Astronomy Accepted 2/8 via website
Columbia - Astronomy Accepted 2/8 via e-mail
University of Washington - Astronomy Interview 2/16, Accepted 2/18 via phone
Last edited by stars_are_fun on Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:56 pm, edited 4 times in total.

CG
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:28 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby CG » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:51 am

Undergrad Institution: Women's liberal art college
Major(s): Physics / Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.95
Overall GPA: 3.97
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: don't know
Type of Student: international female

GRE Scores
Q: 167 (95%)
V: 158 (79%)
W: 3.0 (17%) (LOL, i tried)
P: 810 (72%) (Not too bad given i only spent a month reviewing)

Research Experience: One year in a condensed matter lab, one year doing computational condensed matter, both at home institution. One talk, no publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list (boring one, i know)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: SPS chapter chair

Special Bonus Points: grad classes in general relativity and solid state

Applying to Where: all CMT, all submitted in the last minute (someone plz save me from procrastination!!)

Cornell Univeristy
UC Berkeley
UCSB
University of Chicago
UIUC -Accepted 2/14 via email, 22k TA/RA
University of Washington
University of Maryland -Accepted 2/7 via email, 10k fellowship + 24k TA/RA
University of Michigan Ann Arbor

Getting a 3 in GRE writing isn't the end of the world. Proved.
Last edited by CG on Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

Yiiiiii
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:24 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Yiiiiii » Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:09 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big Canadian university
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 4.0/4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0/4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: International male from the far east

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 170
V: 155
W: 3.0 :roll:
P: 930 (89%)


TOEFL Total: Waived

Research Experience: One year in chemical physics with one publication (second author out of three) and one conference poster (first author out of 3). Four months in astrophysics (numerical) with no publishable outcomes. Both at my undergraduate institute.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Summer research fellowship for 6k CAD. Many awards at home school because of grades.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Teaching assistantship. Research assistantship.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:idk..

Special Bonus Points: Earned credits in the graduate level GR and HEP courses.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

Astronomy dept. :
UC Berkeley - Rejected 2/15 via email.
U Chicago - Rejected 2/10 via website.
Harvard - Rejected 2/10 via website.
UC Santa Cruz - Accepted 1/27 via email. Funding information is coming.
U Toronto - Accepted 2/9 via email. The funding package includes 22,750 CAD with TA duty + waiver of tuition and fees.
Cornell - Accepted 2/6 via email. The support package provides 29,722 USD + no TA duty + tuition + health insurance + 10,700 USD if secure summer research positions.
Princeton - Rejected 2/3 via email.
Yale - Rejected 2/6 via email.

Physics dept. with interests in astrophysics:
U Michigan - Rejected 2/10 via email. Interests do not fit anyway.
Caltech - Rejected 2/24 via email.
MIT - Rejected 2/10 via website.
John Hopkins
U Southern California - Accepted 2/22 via email. Annual stipend of 27,500 USD + fee for the whole five-year period.
U Penn

Wish everyone good luck :D
Last edited by Yiiiiii on Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:05 pm, edited 7 times in total.




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