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.

SpaceFace33
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:16 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby SpaceFace33 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:32 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top tier research school in Canada
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.9
Overall GPA: 3.9
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: Domestic male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 163 (85%)
V: 158 (80%)
W: 6 (99%)
P: 950 (91%)

Research Experience: Finishing up 2 year MSc degree in theoretical/computational astrophysics, simulating giant planet formation. First author ApJ paper. Also did a one year undergrad thesis working with particle accelerator simulation data, as well as a summer research project working with the VERITAS collaboration.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: NSERC USRA, FQRNT scholarship, graduate fellow, miscellaneous entrance awards.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 2 years tutoring at college, 2 years TA-ing

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: A lot of outreach work, visiting elementary schools, organizing public lectures etc.

Special Bonus Points: Undergrad was very intense with physics courses (i.e. 5+ grad courses during undergrad). From what I can tell, much more extensive course background than most US schools.

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

Applying to Where:

MIT - Astronomy/Astrophysics - emailed about skype interview
Harvard - Astronomy/Astrophysics
University of Toronto - Astronomy/Astrophysics
Stony Brook - Astronomy/Astrophysics
Princeton - Astronomy/Astrophysics
Cornell - Astronomy/Astrophysics
Rice - Astronomy/Astrophysics
Caltech - Astronomy/Astrophysics
University of Washington - Astronomy/Astrophysics

carokann
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:12 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby carokann » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:44 pm

Well, It's my turn

Undergrad Institution:China, not well known
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 3.1
Overall GPA: 3.1
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: I think it's average
Type of Student: Domestic, male

GRE Scores :
Q: 162 (82%) :?
V: 147(34%)
W: 3.5(42%)
P: 850(78%)


TOEFL Total: 105 (R:30 L:29 S:22 R:24)

Research Experience:
(1) 1 year research in soft matter physics and fluid simulations
(2) 1 year study on polymer with course-grain simulations
(3) 6 months research on complex networks and Econophysics
(4) 6 months research on Nonlinear Physics and the outcome was a paper in a good journal and I am the first author 8)
(5) and a few minor course projects

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nothing special

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Organizer of a science program in my university

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: two talks in weekly seminars

Special Bonus Points: strong letters(I hope :roll: ) and strong researches in my interests

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I had a terrible start :x and a bad GPA but in the middle of my studies I tried hard to cover my mistakes, my last 60 credits GPA is 3.7, I got A and A+ marks in all courses which are related to my interests (including a PhD level course), good knowledge of programming and simulation, I hope admission committees consider these points and forgive me for my bad grades in the first half of my studies. :cry:

Applying to Where:

Pending-Accepted- Waitlisted - Rejected

in order of my preference:

Michigan - Physics- REJECTED Feb 5 :x
Edinburgh - Physics- Complex Systems-
Neils Bohr - Physics-Bio-Med-
McGill - Physics-
Northeastern - Physics- REJECTED Feb 24
Brown - Physics- REJECTED Feb 23 offered Master degree with no funding
Emory - Physics- Statistical Physics- invited for interview 2/5-ACCEPTED! 2/16- 25K/yr +tuition coverage The interview was a short discussion about my research. I think I could not give a good presentation about my projects. Actually, there were two interviewers who were specialised in the two area that I worked. I wish I had a practice about my presentation. Anyway, I got it!
UMass - Physics-
Calgary - Physics-Complex Systems- invited for interview 2/14 - ACCEPTED! 2/18 + 25K/yr + 5K 40 minutes interview with my proposed supervisor. Asked the details of my projects which he was familiar with. I quite was ready and I think I made a good impression on him.

Update 2/24 : well I really didn't expect a rejection from Northeastern considering my own research background and their research areas. I was ready for Brown, my GPA had its influence on my application (a rejection from UMass can prove this, lets see what will happen!). So even universities like Brown which pay attention to your research can get disappointed by looking at your low GPA. However, everything in process of applying is just so chaotic. At the best situation with the best GPA and research background, your chance is 50/50.
Last edited by carokann on Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:13 pm, edited 23 times in total.

palton
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:21 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby palton » Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:43 pm

I'm so tired of working on applications. :cry: Time to procrastinate one last time! I'll keep it short.

Undergrad Institution: Big state research school
Major(s): Applied Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.98
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top, probably
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q:170 (97%)
V: 158 (80%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 880 (83%)


Research Experience: About a year of research in hep-ex. Mostly electronics and programming for DAQs, nothing too specific to hep-ex. Also a couple other side projects for other professors.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list many times. Will graduate with high honors (hopefully :P).

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I tutor about 5 hours a week, and set up/manage drop-in physics tutoring for lower-division physics students.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Most of my grades are A+'s. Officer in physics club, have gone to many outreach events.

Special Bonus Points: One letter writer is pretty well known and has connections.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Eh, none that I know of.

Applying to Where:

Stanford - Physics- CME Accepted 2/10! This was my top choice. I'm a little excited, to say the least.
Caltech - Physics- CME Rejected 2/24. Nuuuu!
UCSB - Physics- CME Rejected 2/24. My first rejection ;A;
UC Berkeley - Physics- CME
UCSD - Physics- CME Accepted 1/31! No financials yet.
UC Irvine - Physics- CME Accepted 1/24! Chancellor's Fellowship + TAship
USC - Physics- CME Accepted 1/26 (by email at 8:30 at night? lol)! TAship for 4 years
University of Washington - Physics- CME Accepted 1/23! Yay first acceptance! TAship
UC Davis - Physics- CME Accepted 2/4! TAship, tuition aid, summer teaching
Last edited by palton on Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:48 pm, edited 8 times in total.

ChelseaZ
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:17 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby ChelseaZ » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:50 pm

Cannot believe it is already our turn to post this!

Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts college. Good reputation in Physics.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Double major in Philosophy
GPA in Major: 3.95
Overall GPA: 3.97
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: International Asian Female

GRE Scores :
Q:170 (97%)
V: 165 (95%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 960 (92%)


Research Experience: Two years in Nuclear Physics & HEP-exp. Intense computational simulations. Two REU at home institution. Four different projects including developing an open-source data library. Researching at the level of PhD students (aka working with Post-doc on the same project that was previously undertaken by a PhD student). Present research results to the collaboration group on a regular basis. No publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: PBK. A highly competitive research award within the department. Several other named scholarships/fellowships.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs :none.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: At least one of my recommendation letter is superrrr strong (from my research advisor whom I had a really good relationship with)

Special Bonus Points: none.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I phrased my SoP to indicate that I am open to different options other than HEP. And my SoP are basically fun stories of my research project that I hope professors will enjoy reading.

Applying to Where:

Stanford - Physics 2/10 rejected upon email
Caltech - Physics 2/15 admitted via email
Yale - Physics
MIT - Physics 1/4 invited for interview. Astrophysics division 2/9 accepted by email
Harvard - Physics 2/10 accepted by email right after the rejection from Stanford
Princeton - Physics
Cornell - Physics

And yes....I didn't apply for a safety. We will see if that is a good or bad decision.
Last edited by ChelseaZ on Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:44 am, edited 3 times in total.

electronrunaway
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:10 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby electronrunaway » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:25 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large State School Very Good Physics Reputation
Major(s): Engineering Physics (Focused on Plasma Physics)
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.89
Overall GPA: 3.824
Length of Degree: 3 at degree granting university, lots in community college
Position in Class: (No numbers needed, but are you top? near top? average? struggling?)
Type of Student: Domestic White Male
GRE Scores :
Q: 167 (93%)
V: 165 (95%)
W: 5 (93%)
P: 840 (77%) :shock: (That's what I get for taking it before I finished all the classes it tested on)


Research Experience: 2.5 years doing research work in radiation detection and measurement. SULI at PPPL last summer. 2 research papers as contributing author from research work 1 in preparation as first author. Multiple conference presentations.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Deans list and honors every semester. One local scholarship.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: See research work

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Not really

Special Bonus Points: I have taken most of the graduate level plasma physics classes that are offered at my university and was consistently one of the top students in the class (and the only undergrad). Two of my recommenders are quite well known in the field.


Applying to Where:

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Engineering Physics - Plasma Physics - Accepted by Email 1/27
University of Wisconsin - Madison - Physics - Plasma Physics - Accepted by Email 1/24 $21,716 FW TA, Summer RA + $5000 Fellowship
University of Michigan - Applied Physics - Plasma Physics - Accepted by Email 2/9 - Fellowship $29,016
UCLA - Physics - Plasma Physics
Princeton - Astrophysics - Plasma Physics - Rejected by Email 2/16 - Moral of story, study more for Physics GRE
MIT - Nuclear Engineering and Rad Science - Plasma Physics- Accepted by Email 2/15
Columbia - Applied Physics - Plasma Physics

Did not apply for safety let's hope it works out.
Last edited by electronrunaway on Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:42 pm, edited 10 times in total.

muskratsam
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:55 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby muskratsam » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:12 am

Undergrad Institution: Top liberal arts, strong in Physics. Known for grade deflation.
Major(s): Physics with computer science minor
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: Not great :shock: A little under 3.0
Overall GPA: 3.1
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Average
Type of Student: Domestic Caucasian female

GRE Scores :
Q: 167
V: 168
W: 6.0
P: 820 (74%)

Research Experience: All at my school. 2 summers and one semester of CS research on computer storage efficiency, presentation at a storage conference. 2 semesters and 1 summer of physics research in condensed matter, characteristics of alloys with focus on magnetism. Includes projects with Los Alamos Laboratory and poster presentation at a large conference.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: None

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Involved in community outreach project on science to local schools from my college

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Good CS skills, experience in working with large datasets. Some specific lab experience that could be helpful.

Special Bonus Points: Female, primary advisor seems well connected. All 3 rec letters are from research advisors, and all should be strong.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Goal is to work in a government lab or industry.

Applying to Where: All Physics or Applied Physics, interested in condensed matter and magnetism research. List was primarily built around schools with multiple researchers in my area of interest, connections to national labs doing magnetism research where possible, and places I thought I had a shot given my not-so-great GPA.

FSU - Accepted 2/16 with TAship plus $1000 Dean's scholarship plus $3000 fellowship. Whoot! They work with MAGLAB! My first choice, odds are pretty good this is the one I will accept! Oh, and $700 to cover a visit. :D
Rutgers
University of Connecticut - Accepted 2/10 with email saying check the website. TA/funding info came a couple days later.
Iowa State - Accepted via email 2/1 with 9 month TA offer and paid visit. No interview, they asked for 1st semester grades a couple of weeks ago. (And although they will cover $400 of airfare, every ticket from my neck of the woods costs at least $560) :(
Colorado School of Mines - Received email on 1/24 with invitation for phone interview
Colorado State - Accepted via email 1/31, 9 month TA position. No interview prior to acceptance. Visit offered.
UColorado - Colorado Springs - Accepted via email on 2/8, declined when visits started stacking up
Montana State - Received email on 1/21 with invitation to visit 2/23-2/26, then acceptance on 2/9. TA offer details received 2/11, guaranteed summer TA or RA position summer after 1st year.
Oregon State - Received email on 2/7 with invitation to visit 2/24 or cost covered for visit on a different date. Followed by acceptance on 2/8.
Northern Illinois University
Miami University (Masters)
Last edited by muskratsam on Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:41 pm, edited 16 times in total.

tman1027
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:54 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby tman1027 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:03 am

I really hope that I get admitted somewhere so I can give hope to all of the average and unaccomplished Physics students. Perusing this forum just amplifies my admissions anxiety. So many people who are such great applicants and also so very nervous.

Undergrad Institution: Smallish Southern State school with little physics reputation
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Japanese and Math
GPA in Major: 3.7 or something around that (I don't want to redo that calculation)
Overall GPA: 3.58
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: top 35% maybe? My school doesn't have this on my transcript it seems
Type of Student: Domestic White male

GRE Scores :
Q: 160 (76%)
V: 164 (94%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 760 (63%)


Research Experience: I worked on a Senior thesis in acoustics that became a conference talk and the thesis is recorded on the net (though not published)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: I got departmental scholarships each year after Freshman year, Cum Laude?

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I was a TA and I am currently working in Americorps

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I am an Eagle Scout and an Americorps VISTA. My advisor said that my thesis defense was on of the best he had ever seen.

Special Bonus Points: I think my rec letters will be strong. All are from professors and 1 is from my advisor who worked with me on my thesis. Cum Laude?

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I have been out of school for a year and a half now

Applying to Where: I applied to a lot of programs because I am really nervous about my prospects

All for CME
University of Texas at Austin -
University of Michigan - Rejected as of 2/10 :(
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Pennsylvania
Ohio State University
University of Florida
University of Iowa - accepted as of 2/9
Boston University
University of Washington
Last edited by tman1027 on Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:44 pm, edited 4 times in total.

ckitc
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:52 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby ckitc » Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:06 pm

Ahh, why not...

Undergrad Institution: Large public R1 in the Southeast. Mediocre reputation as a commuter school. Not a great physics program. Astro program is very well recognized in the field, however.
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 3.89
Overall GPA: 3.95
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Very near the top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores:
Q: 167 (93%)
V: 166 (97%)
W: 5.0 (93%)
P: 730 (57%)

Research Experience: Three years research experience with recognized research group doing stellar astronomy. One second author publication, one first author publication in prep as of application submissions. Also one summer at high profile REU, first author publication in prep as of application submissions. Two AAS presentations. One of many authors on an astro paper in an unrelated subfield (I did some observing).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Goldwater Scholarship, one notable university-wide academic achievement award, Sigma Pi Sigma inductee, standard "Dean's List" kind of stuff.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Lab instructor for several semesters.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: A good bit of experience in classical observing at a government observatory.

Special Bonus Points: First generation college student. Research advisor at my home institution is incredibly well known and liked around the field, and my other letters should be fairly strong as well (though they're from professors earlier in their careers).

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I'm also a nontraditional student - I'm not super explicit about it in my applications beyond mentioning that I was a few years late starting college for various reasons.

Applying to Where: All in astronomy, expressed interest in stellar and substellar observation.

University of Arizona - accepted by phone 1/20
Ohio State University - accepted by email 1/20
Pennsylvania State University accepted by email 1/24
University of Colorado - Boulder accepted by email 1/27
University of Texas - Austin - Skype interview 1/16 - accepted by email 1/27
Caltech - Skype interview 1/16 - accepted by phone 1/27
Indiana University - Bloomington - accepted by email 2/07 - declined 2/10
Harvard - accepted by email to check website 2/08

University of Washington - Skype interview for week of 2/13

University of California - Santa Cruz - Skype interview 1/25 - rejected by email 1/27

University of Toronto - no word as of 2/11
Last edited by ckitc on Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:46 am, edited 15 times in total.

demetkirmizi
Posts: 3
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 (01/13) $22,428 /year including TAship -nominated for University Doctoral Fellowship (30k/year), will find out in march
UC Irvine - accepted by e-mail (1/27), Regents' Fellowship + TAship.

Harvard -Astronomy, Rejected 2/10 e-mail to check website
UC Santa Cruz -Physics , Rejected 2/14 by e-mail
UC Berkeley -Astrophysics Rejected 02/16 by e-mail
UC Santa Barbara -Physics - rejected by e-mail to check website 02/24

George Washington University -Physics - Application withdrawn

Johns Hopkins -Physics & Astronomy
University of Washington - Astronomy
UT Austin - Astronomy
University of Florida -Physics
University of Florida -Astronomy
NYU
Columbia
Last edited by demetkirmizi on Sat Feb 25, 2017 11:41 am, edited 11 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 - Submitted
Arizona State University - Submitted
UC Davis - Submitted
University of Colorado Boulder - Submitted
University of Denver - Submitted
Kansas State University - Waitlisted 02/01/17 via email, will possibly hear back in March-April
Michigan State University - Accepted 01/23/17 via email!
New Mexico State University - Accepted 02/21/17 via email!
University of Oregon - Submitted
Last edited by peadydog on Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:42 pm, edited 16 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 (I think, my institution does not release this info)
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 treatment volume (PTV) optimization using 4D-CT vs 3D-CT, organ autosegmentation using atlas of CT images). REU in Nuclear Medicine Dosimetry Research at highly respected cancer research institution, primarily involved the usage of Geant4 Monte Carlo calculations 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 List (3.8 GPA or higher) 6 past consecutive semesters, Full Tuition Scholarship, Physics Department Scholarship, Pi Mu Epsilon

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

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 1/13 Note: Offer to be considered for MS program.
Duke - Medical Physics, MS - Interview 1/20
Vanderbilt - Medical Physics, DMP - Interview 1/11
LSU - Medical Physics, MS - Interview 2/2
Kentucky - Medical Physics, MS - Interview 1/31
Cincinnati - Medical Physics, DMP - Accepted! 2/21
Last edited by andrewm94 on Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:41 am, edited 26 times in total.

Kartof123
Posts: 7
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
Yale
Berkeley
UCSB - Rejected on website Feb 24
Northwestern - Phone Interview with PI on 1/16
Chicago-Rejected on website Feb 17
Notre Dame - Biophysics - Accepted Feb 27 by email - yay!
Boston University - Accepted Feb 13 by email - yay!
Maryland - Rejected by email Feb 10
Rutgers - Accepted Feb 15 by email - $29k Fellowship! Wow!
Amherst - Accepted Feb 7 by email - yay my first acceptance!
Michigan - No Decision made as of yet (Feb 10) by automated email

Rejection hurts, but in the end you can only go to one school anyway! Live your best life!
Last edited by Kartof123 on Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:49 pm, edited 18 times in total.

phyz
Posts: 14
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 1/13
Maryland Rejected 2/11
Caltech
Princeton Rejected 2/16
Colorado Accepted 2/9
Purdue Accepted 1/31
Yale
UCSB
UPenn
Michigan Interview 1/26
Last edited by phyz on Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:56 pm, edited 6 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
Princeton - Quantitative & Computational Biology - Accepted 2/22
Harvard - Applied Physics - Rejected 2/22
MIT - Physics - Rejected 2/10
Last edited by physiques on Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:29 pm, edited 3 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
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
UCSD - Physics - AMOE - Accepted 2/2, no word on funding

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 Feb 27, 2017 2:53 pm, edited 16 times in total.

pichou68
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:36 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby pichou68 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:57 pm

this is a PHD application

Undergrad Institution: University in Canada (same school for both Undergrad and Masters degrees)
Major(s): Physics
Overall GPA: Undergrad(2.35) MSc(3.76)
Length of Degree: Undergrad(6 years) MSc(2 years)
Position in Class: Undergrad(low) MSc(top)
Type of Student: Asian

GRE Scores : 1st time
Q: 161 (79%)
V: 146 (30%)
W: 3.5 (42%)
P: 670 (44%)

Research Experience:
1 paper publishing in Feb, 2017 (First author, theoretical)
2 undergrad research experiences (no publications).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
none (simply wasn't aware of these)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
TAing 1st and 2nd year.
Teaching experience in a newly established elementary school as a visiting teacher.
Teaching experience in my high school as an academic assistant.
Private tutoring (~30 people)
One of the Physics representatives for a Graduate Association.

Special Bonus Points:
My undergrad overall GPA was around C+, whereas my grad GPA is a little above A- (took GR, QM, EM, QFT, QST, BH and SN). I am not sure whether this will be seen positively, but in my opinion, this is enough to show how hardworking and determined I am.
My supervisor is famous, and has a wide connection (connections with professors in schools where I am applying). He said he will strongly support me on these applications, so I just hope he wrote me a good letter.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Being completely homeless for 2 months during my undergrad. It was a very painful and lonely period. Along with some other issues that I had (such as a language barrier), I did mention these in details in my personal statement.

Applying to Where:

Theoretical Physics/AstroPhysics (For all schools)
Research Interest : String Theory, Field Theory, Quantum Gravity (For all schools)

Caltech -
MIT -
Princeton -
Columbia -
UC Santa Cruz -

Waterloo -
McGill -
SFU -

Oxford -
Cambridge -
King's College London -
Queen Mary University of London -

My standing is probably nowhere even close to other applicants' epic standings.
So I do expect many rejections.. but we only live once ! :)

its_lit_fam
Posts: 1
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 -

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 Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:06 pm, edited 1 time 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
My low GRE scores, especially physics, are what's worrying me the most....

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, I'm pretty involved in the music program at my school but not actually a music minor, just listed activities on my resume.

Applying to Where:
Research interest: Exoplanets if the school does that, high energy astrophysics if they don't.
University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign - Astronomy
University of Washington - Astronomy
University of Colorado Boulder - Astronomy
Ohio State University - Astronomy
Rutgers - Physics and Astronomy
University of Rochester - Physics and Astronomy
UC Santa Cruz - Astronomy
University of Michigan - Astronomy
Washington State University - Physics
Colorado State University - Physics and Astronomy

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
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 Feb 21, 2017 6:06 pm, edited 8 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 Riversidel - Physics - Astro Accepted! 2/21, Chancellors Distinguished Fellowship 24 k
UCSC - Astro - Adaptive Optics and Galaxy Formation Rejected 1/13
University of Washington - Astro - Galaxy Formation
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
RIT - Astrophysical Sciences and Technology
Last edited by hubblehubblebutt on Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:05 pm, edited 3 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: fist 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
West Virginia U - CMT Accpeted 2/07, $23,500/year
Washington U St. Louis - CMT Accpeted 2/10, $23/9months

U of Arizonal - CMT
Indiana University Bloomington - CMT
Ohio State University - CMT
Northeastern U - CMT
UC Riverside - CMT
Brown U - CMT
U of Utah - CMT
Temple U - CMT

Good luck to everyone!
Last edited by matheus.schossler on Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:16 pm, edited 6 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
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 Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:59 pm, edited 9 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
UCSB - Physics - accepted 01/31
Caltech - Physics
UCLA - Physics
Cornell - Physics
UIUC - Physics
MIT - Physics - rejected 02/10
Princeton - Physics
Harvard - Physics
U of Arizona - Physics
Last edited by physicsf on Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

bedelma
Posts: 2
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
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
U Rochester - Physics - AMO
OSU - Physics - AMO - ACCEPTED!! Feb 20th $2100/ month TA + summer RA
U Oregon - Physics - AMO - ACCEPTED!! Feb 9th $18000/9 month TA + $6000/3 month RA (summer)
Purdue University - Physics - AMO - ACCEPTED!! Jan 25th $19,646 TA stipend Aug-May
Colorado State University - Physics - AMO - ACCEPTED!! Jan 31st $1985/Month 9 month TA stipend
Washington State University - Physics - AMO
U Delaware - Physics - AMO
Colorado School of Mines - Applied Physics - CME
Last edited by bedelma on Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:35 pm, edited 7 times in total.

HydrogenAndTime
Posts: 25
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.
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 Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:20 pm, edited 17 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.

dankmemes
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:47 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby dankmemes » Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:06 pm

h

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
Stanford - Applied Physics Accepted Feb.5
Berkeley - Physics
Cornell - Physics Accepted Feb.16
MIT - Physics Rejected Feb.10
UCSB - Physics Accepted Feb.1
UCSD - Physics Rejected Feb.24
PennState - Physics Accepted Feb.16
Last edited by barkin on Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:03 pm, edited 14 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 -
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
UC Davis - Physics - Nuclear - 2/4 Accepted by email - $26k/yr + tuition for 3 yrs - "50% TA"
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
Last edited by CrossedFingersX on Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:23 pm, edited 7 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
Master's GPA: 2.2/4
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
[u]University of Virginia Rejected via checking website (Feb 3rd)
[u]University of Utah
[u] Northern Arizona University

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!
Last edited by krishnakumarkowshik on Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

HannaGray
Posts: 4
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 - Emailed by a potential PI
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 - Emailed by a potential PI
University of California, Berkeley -AMO
University of Colorado, Boulder - AMO
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 Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:01 pm, edited 2 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)

[Accepted Waitlisted Rejected}

Princeton - Quantitative and Computational Biology - Rejected (24/02) definitely saw this coming
MIT - Brain and Cognitive Sciences -
UChicago - Rejected (17/02)
Brown - Accepted (02/02) at least $27k/yr stipend
UPenn -
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:
UC Davis
Emory - Accepted (26/01) $25k/yr
UW Seattle - Accepted (27/01) TA-ship ~$2250/mo + $1200 in September
UT Austin - Invited for visit day (02/02) ...official letters not sent until after visit...what to expect?
Rutgers - Accepted (15/02) - Excellence Fellowship + Torrey Fellowship = $29k first year, TA/RA-ship to fund remaining years
NCSU - Accepted (18/01) $22k/yr stipend
Boston University
CWRU - Invited for skype interview - 21/02
Last edited by burningredmesas on Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:05 pm, edited 24 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: 18
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 2/7
University of Notre Dame
University of Pittsburgh
University of Oregon
University of Oklahoma Accepted via email, 2/3. $1600 per month TA
Arizona State University
University of Utah
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
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...
Last edited by Flagg on Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:55 pm, edited 9 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
Florida State University - Experimental Nuclear
University of Minnesota - Experimental Nuclear Rejected (02/18)
UC - Boulder - Experimental Nuclear
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
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 Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:28 pm, edited 7 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:
Harvard - Accepted Feb. 10 by email. ~30k fellowship (this is unbelievable...)
MIT - Accepted Feb. 9 by email, official letter to come. (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 duty for two terms
Stanford - Accepted Feb. 10 by email, official letter to come.
Caltech - Rejected Feb. 24 by email
UC Berkeley

I haven't heard back from all my applications yet, but the results so far are absolutely wonderful! 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 Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:07 pm, edited 6 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)
:D Cornell - Physics - faculty interview (1/10) - admitted by email (2/1) + official letter + Cornell Graduate Fellowship (~$29k over any 2 semesters)
:D Penn - Physics - admitted by email (2/1) + awaiting official letter
:D Chicago - Physics - admitted by phone (2/1) + awaiting official letter
NYU - Physics -
:D Michigan - Physics - admitted by email (2/4) + awaiting official letter
Brandeis - Physics -
Last edited by stateofselfstress on Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:24 am, edited 1 time 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: 169
V: 167
W: 4.0
P: 990


TOEFL Total: 115

Research Experience: Two years at my university. No publications.

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

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 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.

UIUC -
Ohio State -
Ann Arbor -
Penn State -
Harvard -
Boston University -
Penn -
Iowa State -
Rochester - Accepted by email 2/3, 26k TA
Cincinnati -
Toronto -
Last edited by lovelovelove93 on Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:12 pm, edited 2 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 bounus.
UMD - Physics - AMO Interview via Skype on Jan. 16th (Just for Chinese students) Accepted via email (Feb. 9th), with 10k Dean's fellowship.
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
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.
UIUC - Physics - AMO
UT-Austin - Physics - AMO
Rice - Physics - AMO
PennState - Physics - AMO
UVA - Physics - AMO Accepted via email (Feb. 22th) Declined (Feb. 27th)
Arizona - Optical Science - AMO
Rochester - Physics - AMO
Last edited by lcy_1 on Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:33 am, edited 14 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
Boston University Rejected 2/21
UC Davis Accepted 2/10
UC Santa Cruz
Indiana University Accepted 2/16
University of Oregon Accepted 2/2
University of Arizona Accepted 2/14
Arizona State University Accepted 2/10
Colorado State University Accepted 2/6
Last edited by Trieu on Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:08 pm, edited 7 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
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
Last edited by AKNBAfan on Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:12 pm, edited 2 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 web-site, 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)
UToronto
UWashington, Seattle
Vanderbilt
Last edited by a_tilde on Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:58 pm, edited 4 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)
UWisc Milwaukee - Physics PhD
McGill Univ. - Physics MSc
Last edited by Gradeus on Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:09 am, edited 3 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

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 Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:32 pm, edited 22 times in total.




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