## 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.

Randolph
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:15 pm

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

The information here has been helped me, and I hope my admission results will be helpful also.
______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: One of the top universities in Asia. Good reputation in Physics.
Major(s): Applied Physics
Minor(s): Liberal arts
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.5
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Not available, but probably near top
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 156 (72%)
W: 3.5 (42%) Hope this will not bite me later
P: 990 (94%) (Past exam questions available on the web were most helpful for me. Just practice for more speed!)

For those who is going to take PGRE at Duksung women's university in South Korea, please be careful. There are two campuses 20km away from each other and it is not clear which one is your test place only from the letter from ETS. (I nearly missed the exam!)

TOEFL Total: 109 (R:30, L:30, W:26, S:23)
Sometimes speaking score of 23 is not enough for the requirements. However usually when I contact the admission offices, they allowed me to compensate for the score with my IELTS speaking score (7.0). Maybe, these borders are not hard fixed.

Research Experience: One year of research about atomic spectroscopy at a well known research institute. In addition, 3 months of research intern about computer science at a well-known IT company, 2 months of research intern at a physics laboratory in Europe.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Received domestic scholarship for 2 years.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: NA (My department does not provide TA positions to undergraduate..)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: I think the recommendation letters are strong. No publications, though.

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

Applying to Where:
Applied for mostly quantum information and some AMO.

Caltech - Applied physics - Accepted 2/13 via email! - 34k TA, RA and fellowship/yr
U Maryland - Physics - Accepted 2/10 via email! - 25k TA or RA stipend/yr
Stanford - Applied physics - Accepted 2/06 via email! - 3.3k RA/month
GeorgiaTech - Physics - Accepted 2/20 on website - 25k TA/yr
MIT - Physics - Rejected 2/28 via email - Ouch Though I was in the waitlist for a while, I could not make it. Well, I did all what I could do.
U Chicago - Physics - Rejected 2/20 on website
Princeton - Electrical engineering (Applied physics) - Rejected 2/14 by email - Bit sad, but I did my best I have to say that my background in electrical engineering might have been weak.
Yale - Physics - Rejected 3/7 on website

Reflection:
Most of the universities which I could get admitted are those with many faculty members doing research about quantum information. (Caltech has IQIM, UMD has JQI and Stanford also has quite a lot of people in the field) Though I had strong recommendation letters, I was not the perfect candidate with great journal publications, perfect GRE scores and so forth, and as can be seen from the admission results, I think I was on the line of acceptance and rejection. Therefore, probably whether the research interest written in SOP matches was the thing which decided the outcome for each school.
Another thing I would like to state is that SOP does not have to be written in perfect English, or at least reasonable amount of grammatical errors do not kill you immediately. My written English is far from perfect (See my TOEFL and GRE writing scores, or you may be able to see that in my writing on this post ), and once my English is reviewed by native English speakers, they find a lot of errors... For my applications, I tried my best to make my writing look as good as possible, but I did not have time to ask for comments from native English speakers. I hope this gives a bit of hope to those who are not very confident with their English as me (Of course it would be much nicer to find somebody to check your English if possible).
Last edited by Randolph on Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:59 am, edited 6 times in total.

diracfield
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:18 am

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Undergrad Institution: small public school unknown for Physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.92/4
Overall GPA: 3.92/4
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 166
V: 157
W: 4.5
P: 990

TOEFL Total: 113

Research Experience: One Publication to be submitted in PRE + a project on QCD (just begun at the time of the application)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Top in my class for three consecutive years

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Translation and Scientific Editing of books in my mother tongue

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Nah...

Special Bonus Points: Took one grad class on QFT + aspire to take one in String Theory. Thesis on renormalization of QED and QCD.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Strong LOR's

Applying to Where:

MIT - Physics PhD - Hep-th Accepted 02/09!!! info to come next week! HOLY @#%*
Harvard - Physics PhD - Hep-th Rejected
Stanford - Physics PhD - Hep-th Accepted 02/10!!! info to come next week! HOLY @#%* as well
Princeton - Physics PhD - Hep-th Rejected
Caltech - Physics PhD - Hep-th
UC Berkeley - Physics PhD - Hep-th
Univ. of Chicago - Physics PhD- Hep-th Rejected, joke's on you, I got into Stanford & MIT

Univ. of Cambridge - MASt in Applied Mathematics & Theoretical Physics
Univ. of Oxford - Master in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics
Last edited by diracfield on Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.

temigo
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:44 pm

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics/Computer Science
GPA in Major: 3.8
Overall GPA:
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class:
Type of Student: International female

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 164
V: 159
W: 4.0
P: 760

TOEFL Total: 111

Research Experience: One year in computer science, six months in hep-th. No publication yet.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nothing special...

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)
Taking grad courses this year (QFT, general relativity, etc). Strong LoRs I think.

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

Applying to Where:
All for Hep-ex :

MIT - Physics Rejected (2/10)
Stanford - Physics Accepted by email (2/10)
Berkeley - Physics Rejected (3/9)
Columbia - Physics Rejected (3/16)

Perimeter Scholarship Institute

Didn't apply to safety schools. It was risky and I worried that a low pGRE might kill my chances... Actually, it might have been a factor for rejections. But there are so many factors in grad schools decisions... And all it takes is one yes, from one school !

I wanted to post this for future applicants. Scores can matter less than what you'd think. Trust yourself and keep hope
Last edited by temigo on Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:07 pm, edited 5 times in total.

TurdBurglar
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:10 pm

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

PGRE Score isn't everything. Giving back to the community. You guys are great!
______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: US State school. Small physics dept, but has some pretty good researchers.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 3.97
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 166 (91st)
V: 161 (88th)
W: 4.0 (59th)
P: 780 (67th)

Research Experience: 3 years CME research. Experiments performed regularly at a close by national lab. SULI internship at a national lab. APS presentation, 3 presentations at my university, one presentation at Rice University, a presentation at a national lab.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Goldwater Honorable Mention, SULI, Several departmental scholarships at my university, 1st place in poster EXPO at my university.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Some tutoring
Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: None

Special Bonus Points: Really strong rec letters. Specialized honors program, also graduated with honors in physics.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: In my SOP I was direct and to the point, no flowery language. I explained my skillset and sold myself as an applicant. I also presented my research throughout my undergraduate career... a lot. Ultimately I think a poor PGRE score can be overcome with the triple whammy: Good Recs + A lot of Research Experience + Quality SOP.

Applying to Where:

Stanford -Physics PhD - CME- Accepted via email 2/10
Berkeley - Physics PhD -CME - Rejected via email 3/8
Cornell - Physics PhD - CME - Accepted via email to check website 2/13
Harvard - Applied Physics PhD -CME - Rejected via website 2/22
Rice - Physics PhD - CME - Accepted via email 1/25
CU Boulder - Physics PhD -CME - Rejected via email to check website 3/16
Chicago - Physics PhD - CME - Rejected via website 2/17
Columbia - Physics PhD -CME - Rejected via email 3/8
UCSD - Physics PhD - CME - Rejected via email to check website 2/24
UCSB - Physics PhD -CME - Accepted via email to check website 2/1
Boston U - Physics PhD - CME - Accepted via email 3/10
UT Austin - Physics PhD - CME - Invited to open House via email 2/4 - Accepted via email to check website 3/9
Georgia Tech - Physics PhD - CME - Accepted via email to check website 3/3
Vanderbilt - Physics PhD - CME - Application withdrawn 3/3 - Accepted via email to check website 3/6
Last edited by TurdBurglar on Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:45 am, edited 12 times in total.

Mustangczap
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2016 11:25 am

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Undergrad Institution: Average size state school, small physics department
Major/Minor: Physics/Math
GPA in Major: 3.45
Overall GPA: 3.35
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: No Clue
Graduate Institution (M.S.): Top state school for Mechanical Engineering
Major: Mechanical Engineering
GPA: 3.9
Length of Degree: 3 years (took longer because my BS was in Physics and I didn't "know" enough of the engineering from undergrad
Position in Class: No Clue but I graduated with distinction
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores
Q: 164 (87%)
V: 153 (60%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 800 (70%)

Undergrad Research Experience: 2-3 years of experimental AMO research. Summer internship at NIF. No papers/publications from undergrad.

Graduate Research Experience: Nothing physics related. I was a graduate researcher, but mechanical engineering. I have 2 conference publications and my masters thesis publication.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I actually worked as a structural analyst for a rocket engine company after my MS. I realized I wanted to get my PhD in Physics so I quit and started working as a Mechanical Engineer for a Physics group hunting dark matter. After submitting my applications I got another job as a structural analyst for a different defense company (pays WAY more than the research job and it's just temporary, hopefully).

Special Bonus Points: I should have 4 really good letters of recommendations, 1 from undergrad, two from grad and 1 from the physics professor I worked for after finishing my MS. My undergrad LOR has connections at UW Madison and Ohio State, and the professor I worked for post MS has a connection at Columbia.

Any Other Information: I'm 26. I really have no idea how my MS in Mechanical Engineering will help/hurt.

Applying to where: Mostly experimental AMO, with a little experimental particle physics sprinkled in (just for UC Berkeley and Columbia)

Caltech - Rejected 2/24 via email
UC Berkeley - Rejected 3/8 via email
Stanford - Rejected 2/10 via email (2/10 was a real bummer)
UW Madison - unofficial rejected 3/7 via email Official rejection 3/14
CU Boulder - Rejected 3/3 via email
Ohio State - Accepted!!! Via email 2/20. TA during the year and RA during summer of first year for $2100/month Columbia - Rejected via email 3/16 well$h!t
MIT - Rejected 2/10 via website (bummer to have the first school be a no)
Harvard - Rejected 2/16 via email to check the website
Last edited by Mustangczap on Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:59 am, edited 7 times in total.

elcaballoblanco
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:39 pm

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Undergrad Institution: Large state school well regarded in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics, Spanish
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 3.98
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: "Highest Distinction" (Top 2% in College of Science)
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 165 (89%)
V: 162 (90%)
W: 3.5 (42%)
P: 800 (70%)

Research Experience: Two REUs, both at my undergrad institution. First one in applied mathematics focusing on stability analysis in toy models of nanostructures. My second one was a bit out of the ordinary, I did work with a climate risk analysis institute at my university and programmed a computer model of human heat stress and used it to make predictions about future habitability of certain zones. This formed the basis of my honors thesis. It wasn't very "physics-y" to be honest.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Honors College, Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Pi Sigma, full tuition scholarship from my phys dept for senior year. Was a finalist in a public speaking contest with over 1000 contestants at my university

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I was the co-chair of my school's Sigma Pi Sigma induction and did some freelance tutoring, but not much else

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I have a few useful computer programs that I've written and maintain on my website related to nonlinear dynamics / applied math.

Special Bonus Points: One of my recommenders is slightly famous, but in exoplanet research, not what I want to go into.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I took a year off after finishing undergrad and did literally nothing. I really needed it to help rebuild my mental and physical health after the hell that was my senior year.

Applying to Where: All for theory, slightly different specifics for each

Princeton - Physics - Rejected 2/16 via email
Chicago - Physics - Rejected 2/17 via email
U Penn - Physics - Rejected 4/6 via email
Maryland - Physics - Accepted 2/9 via email
Johns Hopkins - Physics - Rejected 3/20 via email
Cornell - Physics - Rejected 2/14 via email
Brown - Physics - Rejected 2/22 via email
Boston U - Physics - Rejected 4/7 via email
Carnegie Mellon - Physics - Accepted 2/17 via email - Will Attend
Pittsburgh - Physics - withdrawing app
Drexel - Physics - Received invitation to open house on 2/15, but withdrawing app

Overall, I was extremely happy with the two choices I had, and my visit at CMU really won me over from UMD.
Last edited by elcaballoblanco on Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:52 am, edited 10 times in total.

tacutamon
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:36 am

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Undergrad Institution: Top 20 Private University w/ R1 status. Not known for Physics
Major(s): Applied Physics/Computer Science
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 3.99
Length of Degree: 4 Years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 164 (87%)
V: 159 (82%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 710 (55%)

Research Experience: ~4 years of undergraduate research experience in soft condensed matter and polymer physics. No publications yet, but 2 in the works for the end of the academic year. Presentation at APS March Meeting in 2017. Participated in a REU research fellowship over one summer.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Obtained Scholarship while a student at my school

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: SPS President, TA for introductory physics class, wrote lab manuals for introductory physics class

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: First-Generation College Student

Special Bonus Points: I have taken a graduate Polymer Physics class with a researcher who is well-known in the field. She also wrote my recommendation letter.

Applying to Where:

Harvard - SEAS- Applied Physics
Cornell - AEP - Applied Physics
MIT - DMSE- PPSM Rejected 1/19 via email
UMass Amherst - Polymer Engineering Accepted 1/9 via email

Georgia Tech - Physics - CME
UPenn - Physics - CME
Georgetown - Physics - CME Accepted 2/2 via email
NYU - Physics - CME
UChicago - Physics - CME
UWashington - Physics - CME
Syracuse - Physics - CME
UMass Amherst - Physics - CME

McMaster - Physics - CME

H-Bomb
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:22 pm

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Undergrad Institution: (School or type of school, such as big state, lib arts, ivy, technical, foreign (what country?)... Overall Reputation in Physics?)
Montclair State University - Not particularly big and has tiny physics program.
University of Delaware - Obtained my first degree in art, photography. Not very relevant so I will leave further info about this out
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.1
Overall GPA: 3.21
Length of Degree: (Are you graduating after 3, 4, or 5 years?)
2.5 years (expedited due to having acquired my first degree)
Position in Class: (No numbers needed, but are you top? near top? average? struggling?)
Not sure, but I would say above average
Type of Student: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?) Domestic Male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 160 (78%)
V: 156 (72%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 620 (33%)

Research Experience:
1.5 years, and still ongoing, in Ultrasound Image Processing. No papers or presentations.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutor High School and Intro level physics. Continuing research after graduations.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I failed physics before getting my first degree. My accomplishment is bouncing back to earn a degree in it.

Special Bonus Points: This is probably common but I continued to self-study and participate in relevant courses at a nearby campus. Also, I had one fricken fantastic LOR, probably a 2nd good LOR, but a third mediocre LOR

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Well rounded- play sports, look for new skills such as building electronics, the type of stuff you expect is important for applying to undergrad from high school, but more mature haha

Applying to Where:
First, given my poor academic profile I had no clue how to choose schools. I basically picked across the range of rankings in ideal locations with relevant programs. Also, in general, I am looking to study imaging. Whether this means stuff like spectroscopy and electron microscopy or medical imaging will be dependent on the school i choose and how i feel once there. With that low PGRE score I made a switch over to electrical engineering (EE) since I'll be doing the same stuff anyway, just with a difference in coursework.

I have a large list, but only because a lot of fees were waived. Those UC schools waive fees easy if you qualify.

All applications were for PhD.

EE: (sorry if i forget the specific subfield title)

UCSD - EE - Imaging related Accepted 3/27, but only to Master's program with no guarenteed funding. No PhD
UCSB - EE - Materials and nanodevices
UCSC - EE - Imaging related Rejected via Email on 3/7-- They took someone else form my undergrad with more aligned goals. Cant argue with that.
UC-Riverside - EE - Imaging related
UC-Merced - EE - Imaging related
U. of Southern Florida - EE - Imaging related (big on medical here) Rejected via Email 3/23

Physics: Specifically, AMO. Schools without AMO are CM or simply applied or engineering physics. All experimental

Rutgers-NB - Physics - CME (Update - Called, 4/5, ALL decisions and waitlist have been made. Results should post by end of week. However, If I havent heard from them yet its likely i was not accepted...... Rutgers failed to post results. Typical Rutgers, so poor
Rutgers-Newark - Physics - AMO
Cornell - Accepted 10th Feb, $29k fellowship + TA - Declined Stanford - Rejected 11th Feb Oxford - Interview invitation 14th Feb - Interview 1st March - Accepted 8th March, STFC studentship - WILL ATTEND Princeton - Rejected 16th Feb Harvard - Rejected 16th Feb Chicago - Rejected 17th Feb Caltech - Rejected 24th Feb UC Berkeley - Rejected 9th March NYU - Withdrawn Barcelona - Withdrawn Cambridge - Withdrawn UC Davis UC Irvine Last edited by hpny on Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:02 pm, edited 8 times in total. abqphys Posts: 1 Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:17 pm ### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts university w/ small physics department Major(s): Physics & Math GPA in Major: 4.0 Overall GPA: 4.0 Length of Degree: 3.5 years Position in Class: Top Type of Student: Domestic white male GRE Scores: Q: 164 V: 170 W: 4.0 P: 860 Research Experience: 3 years relevant research experience at undergrad institution, including research at national labs (one publication). REU at an Ivy. Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list every semester, highest honors in Physics, Physics department outstanding undergraduate award. Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Lots of tutoring/outreach, undergrad TA for one year. Special Bonus Points: One grad class, one or two well-known recommenders Applying to: UW Seattle - Physics PhD - CME - Accepted 1/23, TA + department fellowship (declined) CU Boulder - Physics PhD - CME - Accepted 1/27, TA/RA + "signing bonus" UC Davis - Physics PhD - CME - Accepted 2/2, TA + fellowship Stanford - Physics PhD - CME - Accepted 2/10, TA/RA MIT - Physics PhD - CME - Rejected 2/10 (IIRC) Cornell - Physics PhD - CME - Accepted 2/14, TA + fellowship Caltech - Physics PhD - CME - Rejected 2/24 (got in contact with the professor I wanted to work with right after applying--turns out he's retiring soon and not taking on any students, so this comes as no surprise) UC Berkeley - Physics PhD - CME Last edited by abqphys on Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total. bedelma Posts: 3 Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:21 pm ### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results bedelma wrote: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

isanyonthere
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:20 pm

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

I hope that my relatively un-esteemed profile will offer an additional data point/a ray of hope for anyone else who may feel like they're the bottom of the barrel. I avoided forums like these like a hawk before I finished my applications, otherwise I'd have given up altogether.
______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: One of those top tech schools
Major(s): Applied Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: ~2.8
Overall GPA: 3.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Average/likely bottom half. No rankings offered
Type of Student: Domestic female(?) Cauc/Asian

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 162/82%
V: 161/88%
W: 4.0/59%
P: 720/55% (Oct 2016)

Research Experience: 2 summers and 1 school year research at home institution, one summer abroad, one year at current lab: 1 project in biochemistry, 2 projects in applied physics, 1 project in solid state chemistry, current work in materials science. No pubs or conferences, though I'm close to a publication or two.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 1+ year working at a national lab after graduating

Special Bonus Points: Several grad classes that I did all right in, research with a few well-known professors, female/queer (only mentioned when prompted about gender/sexuality or on diversity statements), unrelated part-time job in undergrad, NCAA Division III athlete for 3 years, musician

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Had an interesting financial and family situation. Switched from Chemical Engineering to current major halfway through undergrad. Cumulative GPA hovered around 2.7 until a second wind after switching majors.

Applying to Where:

Physics/CME unless specified

Accepted Waitlisted Rejected

UI Urbana-Champaign
UC Berkeley
UC Santa Barbara
U Michigan, Ann Arbor - Rejected 02/10 by email. The first one always hurts
U Maryland, College Park - Rejected 02/10 by email.
Penn State - MatSE
U Rochester - Accepted 01/30! First an informal email, official offer soon afterwards. $27k TA/RAship. A plea[sant surprise! Stony Brook - Accepted 02/22 for MA by email. No funding Also applied (might as well try): NDSEG NPSC Last edited by isanyonthere on Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:26 pm, edited 4 times in total. hobozero Posts: 1 Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:17 pm ### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results Undergrad Institution: Small/medium state school, not well-known for physics Major(s): Physics Minor(s): Math GPA in Major: 3.8 Overall GPA: 3.6 Length of Degree: Over 10 years (lots of part-time) Position in Class: Don't know Type of Student: Domestic white male GRE Scores : Q: 164 V: 162 W: 4.0 P: 880 Research Experience: Some research in medical physics at my school, part-time during 2 academic years and one summer full-time. A little math/programming research with the math department. Some astronomy instrumentation research somewhere else for a summer. Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 3 student research grants from my university. Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 2 years TA. Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Nuclear science summer school, several research presentations. Special Bonus Points: References from three people I did research with at two schools. Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Former construction worker (appeals to experimentalists). Applying to Where: All physics, nuclear/particle, experiment/theory Colorado Mines - Rejected Hawaii Manoa - Accepted Iowa State - Accepted MIT - Accepted MSU - Accepted PSU - Accepted Tennessee - Accepted UCSD - Accepted William&Mary - Accepted Personal statements and reference letters matter. Last edited by hobozero on Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:12 pm, edited 4 times in total. jermizzey Posts: 1 Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:45 pm ### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results Undergrad Institution: Top 10 Physics public university Major(s): Physics, Astronomy Minor(s): Computer Science GPA in Major: 3.25 Overall GPA: 3.3 Length of Degree: 4 years Position in Class: Average Type of Student: Domestic white male GRE Scores : (revised) Q: 162 (90%) V: 162 (83 %) W: 5.0 (93%) P: 660 (42%) Research Experience: 1 year in a cosmology instrumentation lab, working on submillimeter anti-reflective coatings and readout electronics. Worked at a couple of national labs during the summer doing submm detector testing and cryostat testing. Awards/Honors/Recognitions: None Pertinent Activities or Jobs: None Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Side project where I built a radio telescope and mapped the milky way at 21cm. Special Bonus Points: (Assumedly) fairly strong rec letters. One grad class in astronomy; got an A and the professor wrote one of my letters. Also have a CS minor at a school that's top 4 CS. Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Nothing of note Applying to Where: Focus is on cosmology instrumentation. Caltech - Astronomy (Rejected 3/1 via email) UC Boulder - Physics (Rejected 3/3 via email) Michigan State - Astronomy University of Arizona - Astronomy (Rejected 1/24 via email) University of Minnesota - Astrophysics (Skype interview 2/24)(Admitted 4/14 with tuition waiver and$19,070/yr TA position - Offer accepted)
University of Chicago - Astronomy (Rejected 2/10 via email)
SUNY Stony Brook - Physics (Accepted for MA 2/22 via email)
McGill University - Physics
University of Massachusetts, Amherst - Astronomy (Rejected 3/3 via website)
University of Virginia - Astronomy (Rejected 2/12 via email)

Thought I was totally out of luck since all the rejections in March, until I got an email on 4/13 asking if I was still interested in UMN and that there would be an open spot if one more person declined their offer; received my offer of admission the next morning. I don't want to give people false hope, but the unexpected can happen, even with a mediocre GPA and shitty physics GRE.
Last edited by jermizzey on Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:05 am, edited 3 times in total.

alpv95
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:00 am

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Major(s): Physics (MPhys)
Overall GPA: 80% (top 10% of the year)
Length of Degree: 4 (with masters)
Position in Class: top 10% of the year
Type of Student: International but with US passport, white male

GRE Scores :
Q:162
V:168
W:4.0
P:990

Research Experience: Worked at WHOI for half a summer when I was 16, was very relaxed. Summer Camp doing plasma physics in summer of my 2nd year at USTC in China (only a few weeks). 8 weeks in CERN summer student program doing accelerator research (mainly MATLAB work). My masters project this year (4th year) is jet and population modelling of blazars with a look into axion like particles - sits nicely in between particle and astro fields (using python and C)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Awarded academic scholarship every year at Oxford, awarded International strategy scholarship to fund research at CERN, finished top 50 in UK physics olympiad when I was 18 (gold award). Some school prizes and academic scholarships etc.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Have done a fair bit of private tutoring in maths and physics, brief stint editing student newspaper

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:Speak Spanish (I was born there) and row at a fairly high level, have trialled for the GB team and blue boat at Oxford

Special Bonus Points: No hook ups that ended up mattering, don't think my recommenders are particularly well known in US but I am sure they wrote pretty good references (atleast two of them did). I suppose being spanish may have possibly helped with being minority hispanic, however I highly doubt it. I emailed all the people I perhaps wanted to work with pretty late as well (like november\december)

Applying to Where:

Stanford - Physics - Astroparticle theory (Accepted)
MIT - Physics - Experimental Particle \ astro theory (Accepted)
Harvard - Astronomy - High energy astro theory (Rejected)
Princeton - Astrophysical Sciences - astrophysical plasmas theory (Rejected)
Berkeley - Physics- high energy astro theory (didnt click with many supervisors here so not hopeful)
Columbia - Physics - High energy astro theory (Accepted)
Yale - Astronomy - Galaxies and high energy astro theory/observation (Waitlisted)
UPenn - Physics - gravitational lensing and GR stuff
Cornell - Physics - Accelerators/detectors for g-2 (Accepted)

miber
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:02 pm

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts school, no reputation for physics, only 4 physics faculty members
Major(s): Math and Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 4.0 in physics
Overall GPA: 3.91
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near top? we don't rank...
Type of Student: domestic white female

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 167 (93%)
V: 165 (95%)
W: 5.0 (93%)
P: 610 (31%)

Research Experience: math REU in knot theory summer of 2015, internship at CERN summer 2016, no departmental research.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: math department award for non-graduating students, member of phi mu epsilon, deans list all 7 semesters so far

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: supplemental instruction leader (tutor/TA mix) for calc 3 and linear algebra for 3 years, worked at the national youth science camp, was a math grader a couple semesters.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: It's not super science related, but I was highly involved in my school's orientation and first year experience program. It included teaching an 'intro to college' class and facilitating discussions. I got lots of teaching and leadership experience from it, and that might help me stand out.

Special Bonus Points: I know I got extremely good letters of recommendation, and my personal statement is very strong(it was reviewed by a lot of people since most of it was used to apply for a fulbright grant.) I didn't get a letter of recommendation from my supervisor at CERN (my situation was weird, got bounced around between post docs with very poor english), but I found a good way to talk about it/give an excuse for the lack of letter in my personal statement.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I didn't contact any of the schools before applying. I know that seems like a big no-no, but I wasn't extremely interested in a single professors research at any schools so it felt weird to act like I was in an email. I also only sent my PGRE scores to the schools that required them (ASU, Dartmouth, Amherst, Buffalo, and Boulder).

Applying to Where:

UC Boulder - Physics - Hep-th 3/3 rejected by email
ASU - Physics - Hep-th
Stony Brook - Physics - Hep-th 2/22 accepted to master's program w/ no funding, given possibility to enter PhD program if I do well...
SUNY Buffalo - Physics - Hep-th 2/22 accepted! $18,500 TA stipend for the year Dartmouth - Physics - Hep-th Brown - Physics - Hep-th 3/20 rejected by email to check website Tufts - Physics - Hep-th 3/27 rejected by email to check website Northeastern - Physics - Hep-th 2/23 accepted!$11,595 TA stipend per semester, no info on summer funding
UMass Amherst - Physics - Hep-th 2/23 accepted! tuition waiver and TA position, $20,862 for academic year, up to$7,686 for summer RA position.
Brandeis - Physics - Hep-th

2/23: well, apparently having a shitty PGRE score and indicating you want to do theory research isn't the end of the world!
Last edited by miber on Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

gnisacc
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:25 am

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Undergrad: Big well known state school you are probably applying to
Major: Physics and Astronomy double major
GPA in Major: 3.4
Overall GPA: 3.4
student type: boring domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q - 165, 89%:
V - 165, 95%:
W - 4.5, 82%:
P - 700, 51%:

Research Experience: a bunch of small stuff, stuff done for classes no publications or anything like that

Applying to Where:

All astronomy, where applicable I talked about being interested in planetary, exoplanets, similar stuff

have responses:
University of Maryland - College Park Rejected Feb 16
SUNY Rejected Feb 22
U Mass Amherst Rejected Mar 03
UT Austin Rejected Mar 04

no responses as of march 5th
U Minnesota
Northern Arizona University
Boston University

good luck all, hope I can contribute to the paranoia after doing a lot of lurking.
Last edited by gnisacc on Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.

ItsPhyshi
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:26 am

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Undergrad Institution: Good university in India
Major(s):Physics
Minor(s):Earth and Environmental Science
GPA in Major:8.29/10
Overall GPA:7.28/10
Length of Degree: 5 Years
Position in Class: Average
Type of Student: International Female

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 159
V: 143
W: 3.0
P: 630 (2015), 720 (2016)

TOEFL Total: 106

Research Experience: Have done three summer projects (2 months) in various topics of Physics.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nah!

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I received my degree in May 2016. From Aug 2016 I have been working as online Physics tutor.
Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: I taken few advance courses like Quantum Field Theory maybe it will help.

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

Applying to Where: General Physics with slight inclination towards Astro, Cosmo and Particle Physics
Vanderbilt University
Northeastern University Rejected 24/2
Case Western Reserve University Rejected 21/2
Syracuse University (Soon I will receive rejection from here)
LSU
Tufts University Rejected 8/3
University of Kentucky Withdrawn
University of Oklahoma Withdrawn
University of Utah Rejected 24/3
SUNY Buffalo
University of Delaware Accepted 2/3
Brandeis University Rejected 26/4
U of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Rejected 18/4

If you have better offers please withdraw your applications from other universities, it might help a lot to other applicants.
Last edited by ItsPhyshi on Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

Amory501501
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:25 pm

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Undergrad Institution: Small State University, not known for Physics
Major(s): Physics / Philosophy
GPA in Major: 3.82
Overall GPA: 3.79
Length of Degree: 5 years
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE Scores
Q: 164 (87%-tile)
V: 163 (92%-tile)
W: 4.5 (82%-tile)
P: 620 (33%-tile)

Research Experience: Research assistant to a professor at my University. Computational Molecular Physics, one publication on the way.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Multiple Scholarships and Awards (but for Philosophy not Physics).

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Undergraduate Physics lab T.A. for 3 years, SPS President for 2 years, and officer for 1 year.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Not really

Special Bonus Points: nope

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Well formatted Resume, maybe a good letter? idk.

Applying to Where: Accepted Rejected Waitlisted/Interviewed

University of Washington - Seattle - Physics - Nuclear Astrophysics
University of California - San Diego - Physics - Nuclear Astrophysics
University of Minnesota - Astrophysics - Nuclear Astrophysics
University of Wisconsin - Physics - Nuclear Astrophysics
Creighton University - Physics - Astro-Particle [MS]
University of Notre Dame - Physics - Nuclear Astrophysics
Michigan State University - Physics - Nuclear Astrophysics
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill - Physics - Nuclear Astrophysics
North Carolina State University - Physics - Nuclear Astrophysics

University of California - Los Angeles - Earth, Planetary, and Space Science - Planetary Science - Declined Interview
Arizona State University - Earth and Space Exploration - Astrophysics
University of Colorado - Boulder - Astrophysical and Planetary Science - Planetary Science
MIT - Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science - Planetary Science
Cornell - Astronomy - Planetary Science
Princeton - Astrophysics - Planetary Science
Penn State University - Geoscience and Astrobiology - Planetary Science - Will Attend!
Wesleyan Univeristy - Astronomy - Planetary Science [MS]
University College London - Astronomy - Planetary Science [MS]
Last edited by Amory501501 on Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:31 am, edited 9 times in total.

tktan
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:45 pm

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

The posts from the previous years were very helpful. I hope this will be useful for others.

Undergrad Institution: National University of Singapore
Major(s): Engineering Science
Minor(s): NIL
GPA in Major: 4.89
Overall GPA: 5.00
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 170
V: 168
W: 5.0
P: 990

TOEFL Total: Exempted.

Research Experience:
4 months in my sophomore years at a wet chemistry laboratory. Was a 4th author of a paper. 3 months in my senior years at a research institute writing numerical codes to simulate the propagation of electromagnetic waves. The project did not lead to anything and it was actually a failure. For my final year, I did a thesis on applying machine learning algorithms to detect unusual signals in EEG recordings. After that, I worked at a defense lab on radar signal processing for about a year.

None of the research I did was in my area of interest. I mentioned specifically in my Statement of Purpose that I wished to work on computational condensed matter physics/computational materials science(depending on the schools I applied to).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list every semester. Scholarships every year. Best Final Year Thesis prize.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: One year as a research engineer at a defense laboratory.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: None.

Special Bonus Points: None.

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

Applying to Where:

Berkeley - Physics - CMT
Rutgers - Physics - CMT
UIUC - Physics - CMT
MIT - Materials Science - Computational Materials
Caltech - Materials Science - Computational Materials
Northwestern - Applied Physics - Computational Materials
Michigan - Applied Physics - Computational Materials(likely to be a reject)

I have no idea how I got rejected by UIUC but got into Berkeley. I thought it would have been the other way around.

sachin4594
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:06 am

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Undergrad Institution: Indian Central University with a decent reputation for Physics within India
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 9.43 (10 point scale)
Overall GPA: 9.43 (10 point scale)
Length of Degree: Graduate degree: Integrated Masters in Physics (5 year Bachelors+Masters combined)
Position in Class: First (every semester for 10 semesters)
Type of Student: Indian Male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 167 (93%)
V: 157 (75%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 810 (72%)

TOEFL: Total - 116/120 (R-29, W-29, S-28, L-30)

Research Experience: 2 months in summer 2014 at my university in AMO, 2 months in summer 2015 at a prestigious Indian national laboratory in AMO and 2 months in summer 2016 in Radio Astrophysics. No publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Awarded a summer research fellowship from a prominent academy of sciences in India.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Taught school students and undergraduates elementary Physics and Mathematics. (Mentioned this on my CV and SOP)

Special Bonus Points: I will have finished my graduate studies in Physics before starting PhD. My recommenders were not famous people but I'm sure their recommendations were amazing. I also think that I killed it in my SOP.

Applying to Where:
REJECTED- ACCEPTED

Reach:
Penn State - AMO - ACCEPTED! (2/20) - $21k /9 mo +$2k Fellowship + $4k summer - WILL ATTEND! SUNY Stony Brook - AMO - ACCEPTED! (1/28) -$23k /9mo + $5k summer Cornell - AMO - REJECTED (2/17) UW Madison - AMO - REJECTED (2/17) UC Boulder - AMO - REJECTED (3/4) Rice University - Georgia Tech - Match: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - AMO - ACCEPTED! (2/23) -$22k /12 mo
Emory - BioPhys - Skype Interview - ACCEPTED (1/24) - $25k /12 mo Notre Dame - BioPhys - REJECTED (3/4) University of Rochester - AMO - REJECTED (3/7) University of Southern California - AMO - Safety: University of Maryland - Baltimore County - AMO - ACCEPTED! (2/2) -$24k /12 mo
Worcester Polytechnic Institute - Computational Condensed Matter - ACCEPTED! (1/27) - $22.5k /9 mo ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Tips from experience: • Indians do have a shot at getting into really good (near the top) places without publications and without being from IIT/IISERs etc. • Be true to yourself and show maturity in your SOP. I cannot stress this enough - NO STORIES in the SOP. Keep it formal, simple and to the point but include all details about previous research experience, future goals, teaching experience if any and try and show your motivation without being cheesy. • I think undergraduate (and if applicable, graduate GPA) matters quite a lot. If you have a bad GPA, you must try and explain it in your SOP. • It is okay to not have publications and other deficiencies if you show enough motivation by pursuing other academic activities like attending workshops, doing research in the summers, taking up teaching duties etc. Last edited by sachin4594 on Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:19 am, edited 2 times in total. gravitationalwaves Posts: 1 Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:37 am ### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results Undergrad Institution: Large State School Major(s): Physics Minor(s): GPA in Major: 4.0 Overall GPA: 3.1 Length of Degree: 14 years (6 years of unrelated flailing, 4.5 years out of school, 3.5 years physics) Position in Class: Type of Student: Domestic white male GRE Scores : revised Q: 166 91% V: 167 98% W: 4.5 82% P: 930 89% (Oct 2016) Research Experience: Three years, including summers, at home institution working on numerical relativity (simulations of black hole binaries and black hole neutron star binaries), data analysis, visualizations, and modeling Brownian noise. Experience with programming (Bash, Python, C++), visualization software (Paraview), and extensive experience working on high performance computer clusters (including XSEDE resources). One peer reviewed paper and 3 papers in preparation (of which I am 2nd author on one but made smaller contributions to the others, 5th-9th author). Six talks and six posters at various local, regional, and national conferences and outreach events. Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list and department scholarship Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Assistant system administrator for home school's computer cluster (1.5 years), TA for lower division physics (1 semester), Supplemental Instruction Leader for lower division physics (2 semesters) Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Special Bonus Points: Member of LIGO, with LIGO letter writers, applying mostly to schools with LIGO groups. Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I'm older (32) and own and operate a family business. Applying to Where: Listed in order of application deadline. All applications are for physics, specifically gravity or astrophysics with preference for experiment but open to theory, numerical, or other fields entirely. Stanford - Rejected - Official 2/10 via email MIT - Invited for Skype interview 1/4 - Accepted - Official 2/9 via email -$36,552 first year fellowship, RA other years Will Attend!
Caltech - Accepted - Unofficial 2/1 via email from professor - Official 2/15 via email - $34,000 first year fellowship, RA other years Declined Cornell - Rejected - Official 2/17 via email University of Chicago - Rejected - Official 2/17 via website Northwestern - Never heard back from them Syracuse - Accepted - Official 2/7 via email -$25,290 first and third year fellowship + ~$5000 summer, RA other years Declined Washington State University - Accepted - Official 3/2 via email -$22,128 first year TA + RA summer Declined
Pennsylvania State University - Accepted - Official 2/15 via email - $28,925 first year TA Declined Louisiana State University - Accepted - Official 2/6 via email -$30,000 four year fellowship Declined
University of Mississippi - Accepted - Unofficial 1/15 via email - Official 2/6 via email - $23,000 TA Declined Georgia Tech - Accepted - Official 3/3 via website -$30,560 two years one summer TA, RA other years Declined
University of Michigan - Physics - Accepted by email Feb. 9, Stipend: $2,467.13 per month (quarter-time TA) UC Berkeley - Physics - Rejected by email Mar. 8 UC Santa Cruz - Physics - Rejected by email Mar. 7 UIUC - Physics - Rejected by email Mar. 11 Stony Brook -Physics - CMU -Physics - UNC Chapel Hill -Physics - Thoughts - I would like to point out that I only contacted professors from Berkeley, Boulder, and Michigan, and I never received a response from Boulder. I also realized that (I think) what you put in your SOP matters in terms of research interests lining up with the universities, and that it's okay to talk about interests in other research areas besides what you did as an undergrad. One good piece of advice I received was to play your strengths when writing your SOP; once you're in, you can do whatever research you want. georg Posts: 1 Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:02 pm ### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results I got very little reference for the application from the former students in my home school. But I got my first offer rather early, so I apply for a small number of grad schools. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Undergrad Institution: Chinese university, unknown in physics Major: Physics Minor: N/A GPA in Major: 3.9/4.0 Overall GPA: 3.7/4.0 Length of Degree: 4 years Position in Class: ~25% Type of Student: International , male GRE Scores : 324 (revised) Q: 167 V: 157 W: 3.0 P: 920 (87%) TOEFL Total: 104 (R28,L30,S23,W23) Research Experience: Some in hep-ex and some in hep-th. No publication in both field. Worked for ATLAS for a summer. Two years on CM theory, with one co-first-authored arXiv (gave oral at two conferences for this paper) and another arXiv with my name on it (didn't really work on that ). Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nothing really important Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Recommendations: four recommendations: one from my adviser in home school, which should be quite strong; one from co-adviser in Singapore, which I am not sure but things turned out to be fine; one from a Polish mathematician, I did a good in his lectures; one from a professor from Princeton, whom I discussed quite some problems but I didn't do very well in his lectures. Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Took some grad courses. (Great ranking, not so great scores.) Also I did really bad in my E&M , Stat.Mech. and Solid state phys. Applying to Where: (ALL CMT) [x] OIST Declined March 28 Feb 24 2,400,000 yen/yr + additional support [x] Leiden AD Jan 27 Declined April 11 LExS March 28 || LION March 31 [x] Texas March 13 Will attend TA$27,000

[x] UBC Declined March 16
offer Dec 28 || UBC-MPI fellow offer Feb 9

[ ] CUHK
[x] Maryland Feb 11
[x] Penn Apr 7
[x] Minnesota Feb 8 Declined April 12
TA $25,428 + relocation$1000 + benefits

[x] Yale March 7
[x] UIUC March 4
Last edited by georg on Fri May 26, 2017 4:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

skipper_1308
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:41 pm

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Undergrad Institution: An IIT (Indian Institute of Technology). Very well known for Engineering, not really for Physics
Major(s): Engineering Physics
Minor(s): NA
GPA in Major: 8.8/10
Overall GPA: 8.7/10
Length of Degree: 4 years
Type of Student: Indian Male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 170
V: 161
W: 4.5
P: 990

TOEFL Total: 112

Research Experience: 1 year undergraduate thesis work in CMT; no pubs.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Unfortunately none

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Unrelated internships

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: None that I can think of

Special Bonus Points: I have an unconventional profile, with very little research during undergrad, and totally unrelated internships.

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

Applying to Where: (all are for PhD)

Accepted Waitlisted Rejected

Purdue University - Physics - CMT
Georgia Tech - Physics - Did not mention interest!

UC Davis - Physics - CMT/E - Requested to be removed from waitlist
Cornell University - Physics - CMT
Yale University - Applied Physics - Computational CM/Materials
Penn State - Physics - CMT

McGill University - Physics - CMT (MSc)
Northwestern University -Applied Physics - Computational CM/Materials

maxwellsdemon
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:00 pm

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Undergrad Institution: Big State School; Top 40 in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): None, but extra courses in math and chemistry
GPA in Major:3.87
Overall GPA:3.77
Length of Degree: 4.5 years
Position in Class: ??????
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE Scores : revised
Q:162
V:160
W:4.0
P:820

Research Experience:
2.5 years in exp. Gravity at home university
Summer IREU in exp. Gravity
NASA Goddard in Spring-Summer 2017 exp. Gravity
I developed skills with programming, data analysis, lasers, electronics, communicating physics

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: nothing noteworthy

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: SPS secretary, participated in several outreach events, worked as a math tutor

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: young, scrappy, and hungry

Special Bonus Points: I took grad quantum 1

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I wanted to switch my research area from exp gravity to exp AMO. In my SOP I spoke about how I can use the skills developed from gravity research to aid me in AMO.

Applying to Where: All for Physics, AMO experiment

University of Wisconsin - Madison Accepted 01/24/2017
University of Washington - Seattle Accepted 01/27/2017
University of Maryland – College Park Rejected 02/10/2017
University of Colorado - Boulder Rejected 03/03/2017
University of Virginia - Charlottesville Accepted 03/04/2017
Yale University – New Haven Rejected 03/06/2017
University of California - Berkeley Rejected 03/06/2017
Columbia University – New York Accepted 03/10/2017 WILL ATTEND
University of Illinois - Urbana Rejected 03/11/2017
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor Waitlisted 02/10/2017; Waitlisted again 03/03/2017; Accepted 04/10/2017
Last edited by maxwellsdemon on Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lugburz
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:40 pm

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Putting this up to get closure to an exciting/nerve-wracking time and also provide dates of when I heard back so future applicants know when to expect decisions

Undergrad Institution: Top twenty private research school. OK in AMO but otherwise not known for physics
Major(s): Astrophysics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 4.19 (3.99 if A+ is only a 4)
Overall GPA: 4.17
Length of Degree: (Are you graduating after 3, 4, or 5 years?) 5
Position in Class: (No numbers needed, but are you top? near top? average? struggling?) I know I am in top 5% overall
Type of Student: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?) domestic white dude

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 167
V: 167
W: 5.0
P: 990

Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...) Started doing research only my junior year (year 3 out of 5) which is a bit late. Did an REU down in Chile that ended in a submitted paper (hadn't been accepted by the time of applications). Did about 9 months of research each with two faculty members at my home institution. One in star formation and one in theoretical cosmology. No other publications or serious presentations.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?) A couple best student/best thesis awards.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...) No

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...) I took two classes each with my two recommenders at my home institution getting all A+'s and I think this allowed them to give really strong letters and I think this really helped. Had maybe 6 grad classes in the end, including multiple astrophysics ones.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Was a pretty involved amateur astronomer/astrophotographer growing up and so this might help for the astronomy programs. I mentioned this briefly in my SOP's but I am not sure it helped in any way.

Applying to Where:
I didn't contact faculty anywhere before I applied. Expressed interest in Cosmology/DM everywhere which is a pretty new field to me

Harvard - Astronomy - Cosmology Accepted 2/8/2017.
Princeton - Astrophysics - Cosmology Accepted by email 2/2/2017. Will attend!
Stanford - Physics - Cosmology/Astro Accepted 2/10/2017.
MIT - Physics - Cosmology/HEP-th Accepted 2/9/2017.
Caltech - Astronomy - Cosmology/Dark matter Rejected 3/2/2017
UChicago - Astronomy - Cosmology Rejected 2/10/2017
Rutgers - Physics - Cosmology Accepted 2/7/2017.
UCSB - Physics - Cosmology Accepted 1/26/2017.
CU Boulder - Astro - Cosmology Accepted 1/27/2017.
Cornell - Astronomy - Cosmology Accepted 2/6/2017.
Rice - Physics - Cosmology Accepted 1/25/2017.
Univ Arizona - Astronomy - Cosmology Accepted 1/19/2017.

Overall I am very happy/relieved with how it all turned out and can't wait to start school. wish the best of luck to my fellow applicants in their grad school careers and to future applications as well

seaofpoppies
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:22 pm

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Undergrad Institution: Indian institute well known globally for research
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 7.7/8.0
Overall GPA: 7.7/8.0
Length of Degree: (Are you graduating after 3, 4, or 5 years?) 4
Position in Class: (No numbers needed, but are you top? near top? average? struggling?) top
Type of Student: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?) Indian male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 170
V: 170
W: 5.0
P: 990

Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...) Two years in QI, senior year in CMT. One summer in Germany. One ArXiv preprint, which was sent for peer review just after applications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...) No

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)

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

Applying to Where:
Applied in CMT/QI

Harvard - Rejected
Princeton - Rejected (Waitlisted initially)
Stanford - Rejected
MIT - Rejected
Caltech - Rejected
UChicago - Rejected
UCSB - Rejected
UCB - Rejected
UCSD - Accepted
Maryland - Accepted - Will Attend!

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

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

ctate7163 wrote:Undergraduate Institution: I attended a robust Big-10 university that specializes in engineering.
Major(s): Mechanical Engineering (2012) and Medieval Studies (2016)
Minor(s): Math and English
GPA in Major: 3.8
Overall GPA: 3.9
Length of Degree: 4 years + 2 years of graduate
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: white domestic male

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

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

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

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

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

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

Applying to Where:

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

Amsterdam - Astronomy | Submitted 22 Nov- Rejected 12 Jan
Leiden - Astronomy | Submitted 22 Nov - Rejected 25 Jan
Toronto - Physics | Submitted 30 Nov - Accepted 7 Feb - $22,700 (CAN dollar) Arizona - Lunar and Planetary Lab | Submitted 6 Dec - Accepted 30 Jan -$32,300
Arizona - Astronomy | Submitted 6 Dec - Rejected 1 Feb (after LPL’s acceptance)
UC Boulder - Astrophysical and Space Sciences | Submitted 14 Dec- Rejected 20 Feb
Cornell - Astronomy | Submitted 14 Dec - Accepted 6 Feb - $29,700 +$10,700(summers) - Will Attend!
UC Berkeley - Earth and Planetary Sciences | Submitted 22 Dec - Rejected 15 Mar
Caltech - Geological and Planetary Sciences | Submitted 31 Dec- Rejected 14 Feb
Purdue - Astronautical Engineering | Submitted 31 Dec - No one knows
UIUC - Aerospace Engineering | Submitted 31 Dec - Accepted 20 Mar - No funding
University of Washington - Earth and Space Sciences | Submitted 4 Jan - No one knows
University of Chicago - Astronomy and Astrophysics | Submitted 2 Jan - Waitlisted 30 Jan - Withdrawn
University of Chicago - Geophysical Sciences | Submitted 10 Jan- Rejected 9 Feb
UCF - Physics | Submitted 10 Jan - Withdrawn

sergioyapa
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:00 pm

### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

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$\vec{F}=\dot{\vec{p}} \quad \hat{H}|\Psi\rangle=i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial t}|\Psi\rangle \quad E=m_{0} c^2 \quad \nabla \times \vec{E}=-\frac{\partial \vec{B}}{\partial t} \quad S=k_{B} \log{\Omega} \quad \lambda=\frac{h}{p} \quad (i \eth-m)\psi = 0 \quad G_{\mu\nu} = \frac{8\pi G}{c^4} T_{\mu\nu}$
$\sigma_{x} \sigma_{p} \ge \frac{\hbar}{2} \quad E=\hbar\omega \quad \frac{\partial^2 u}{\partial t^2} = c^2 \nabla^2 u \quad \delta S \ge 0 \quad \frac{d}{dt}\left( \frac{\partial L}{\partial \dot{q}} \right) = \left( \frac{\partial L}{\partial q} \right) \quad \gamma \rightarrow e^\textrm{-} + \, e^\textrm{+} \quad A=\frac{dN}{dt} \quad \vec{j}=\sigma \vec{E} \quad \begin{array} &\{q,H\} \\ \{p,H\} \end{array}$
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I can't believe it's time for me to post this already. Good luck everyone in your future endeavors!

Education and Information:
• Undergrad Institution: Most prestigious University in my country - Unknown at international level
• Major(s): Physics
• Minor(s): Physics
• GPA in Major: 76/100 (3.04/4.0)
• Overall GPA: 70/100 (2.90/4.0) - University with really low GPAs
• Length of Degree: 4 years
• Position in Class: Top - Near Top
• Type of Student: International, Male, Latino, Minority

GRE Scores : Revised
• Q: 158 (70%)
• V: 150 (47%)
• W: 3.5 (42%)
• P: 610 (31%) on September, 720 (%55) on October (great improvement for not studying a lot during that month lol )

TOEFL Total: 94 (R: 23, L: 26, S: 23, W: 22)

Research Experience:
• 2 years as research assistant (RA) during my bachelor's degree.
• 2 published articles in a national level peer-reviewed physics journal (top physics journal in my country).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
• Gold medal (1st place), inter-regional physics olympiad. (High School)
• World Robot Olympiad team captain, 2nd place at regionals, 3rd place at nationals. (High School)
• Dean's List all semesters of junior and senior years. (Undergraduate)
• Several times invited jury, by academic merits, for evaluating and hiring TAs or RAs. (Undergraduate)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
• 1 year as research assistant (RA) for the Laboratory of Mesoscopic Physics, interdisciplinary research project.
• 1 year as research seminarist for the Nonlinear Dynamics Group, nonlinear cosmology research project (graduation project).
• 1 year as teaching assistant (TA) of Physics II at undergraduate level, covering waves, thermodynamics, and hydrodynamics.
• 1 year as research assistant (RA) for the Complex Systems Group, international medical physics research project.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
• Won some championships at the college, city-level, and national-level at 3 different sports.
• I am also a professional chef. It's always good to have someone who cooks around lol.

Special Bonus Points:
• Amazing letters of recommendation, one sent by the best physicist working in my country.
• My graduation project was one of the first researches in cosmology in my country and the first to deal with the inflaton field.
• Applied with minority status. Besides being latino, I come from an underdeveloped country underrepresented in physics.
• Wrote a great Statement of Purpose, one different for each application, a lot of work.
• Contacted with some Professors via email after submitting my applications.
• I have many years of volunteering work in my background.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
• I am 23 years old, quite young for pursuing a Ph.D.
• I come from an underrepresented country in physics, specially in cosmology.
• I have a wide range of knowledge in software and programming that is useful for physics.

Applied to Where:

I applied to 25 universities, all of them were Ph.D. programs.

Updated as of April 17, 2017

WILL ATTEND!

University of Arizona - Physics - Cosmology (Feb. 09: Unofficial acceptance, email sent by Professor Rozo; Feb. 14: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $18k/9 month TA +$3.5k-7.5k/summer + $2k/month Premium Health Insurance) This was my 1st response and 1st acceptance!!! Can you believe that?...no suffering for me. This one was on my top 3, dream came true! I cried from happiness!. I love it because UA has excellent Physics Ph.D. program (specially in astrophysics and cosmology), renowned faculty, good reputation, great campus, nice weather, Tucson is cheap, is ranked #1 in sexiest girls, and even the colors of UA are great!. Professor Rozo, who is an awesome cosmologist, was extremely nice with me after acceptance and hope him to be my advisor. Thanks UA!!! BEAR DOWN!!! ACCEPTED UCONN - Physics – Cosmology (Feb. 14: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website, Feb. 15: Official offer for Ph.D via email +$11.5k Half Predoctoral Fellowship + $11.5k/9 month TA) This was my 2nd response and 2nd acceptance!!! I was very lucky. Very nice research in physics (specially in time), beautiful campus, but doesn't have as good reputation as UA, so I declined the offer. Thanks UCONN!!! Oklahoma - Physics - Cosmology (Mar. 09: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + declined before an official offer was made) I was contacted to know if I was still interested before the official offer was made. I decided to go to UA, so I declined the offer. Thanks OU!!! WAITLISTED Ohio State - Physics – Cosmology (Mar. 15: Waitlisted via email) It is great to be waitlisted by such a great program, this was on my top 3. Told them to keep me out of waitlist because I had already accepted UA offer, but still got a rejection letter on Apr. 11. U Wyoming - Physics - Research Interest (Apr. 01: Waitlisted via email) I was announced that I had been waitlisted along with the rejection email on Apr. 01. This was an ultra top safety University...well at least now I know I won't be eaten by a bear. REJECTED UNC-Chapel Hill - Physics - Cosmology (Feb. 17: Rejected via website) First rejection...didn't hurt, but I can't understand why. Brown - Physics - Cosmology (Feb. 22: Rejected via email; Feb. 22: Rejected via website) Offer to apply MS, no Ivy League for me. Northeastern - Physics – Complex Networks (Feb. 23: Rejected via website) This was my top safety university. Vanderbilt - Astrophysics - Cosmology (Mar. 03: Rejected via website) Well...thought I would make it. Penn State - Physics - Cosmology (Mar. 09: Rejected via email) Great university and my top application, I expected this. NYU - Physics - Cosmology (Mar. 15: Rejected via email) Great cosmology group, I am happy of not having to live at NY though. Notre Dame - Physics - Astrophysics (Mar. 17: Rejected via website) Well...beautiful campus though. NCSU - Physics - Astrophysics (Mar. 28: Rejected via website) Safety university, cosmology is way better than astrophysics. Utah State - Physics - Field Theory (Mar. 28: Rejected via email) Another safety university but very small, that makes it harder. Minnesota - Astrophysics - Cosmology (Mar. 29: Rejected via website) This was a very nice program, but still wasn't in my top. UMass - Amherst - Physics - Fundamental Interactions (Apr. 07: Rejected via website) I thought I would be at least waitlisted. Purdue - Physics - Cosmology (Apr. 10: Rejected via website) This was expected, but I don't care. NO RESPONSE Rensselaer PI - Physics - Research Interest (Apr. 17: No response, neither by email nor website) Applied on Dec. 30. I paid!. UC Riverside - Physics - Research Interest (Apr. 17: No response, neither by email nor website) Applied on Jan. 03. My answer? Pittsburgh - Physics - Cosmology (Apr. 17: No response, neither by email nor website) Applied on Jan. 14. Dammit!. Arizona State - Physics - Cosmology (Apr. 17: No response, neither by email nor website) Applied on Jan. 29. My new rival!. UW-Milwaukee - Physics - Cosmology (Apr. 17: No response, neither by email nor website) Applied on Jan. 30. Answer!. OTHER Michigan State - Physics - Research Interest (Dec. 27: Tried to apply) Lost my TOEFL and GREs scores. They didn't care. SUNY-Buffalo - Physics - Cosmology (Dec. 27: Tried to apply) Lost my General GRE scores and told me to send them again. FSU - Physics - Research Interest (Jan. 15: Tried to apply) Didn't accepted my official transcripts (sent from another continent). I am extremely happy about how things went, I was able to enter to one of my top 3 dream universities. I was very lucky that I was accepted in my first two responses, I didn't had to deal with the stress and anxiety of the first rejection. I am also glad that I didn't had to choose between two of my top 3 universities, I consider myself extremely blessed for this. If I had to do the process over again I would do it with a little more of time, specially being an international student. The truth is that, for international applicants, this is a very hard, exhausting, and quite expensive process, so be aware of that if you are considering to apply to the USA. I would like to thank my sisters, who obtained their Ph.D.s in important universities in the USA (UIUC & UW-Madison), and who helped me a lot for my application process. I hope my experience will help you through this process, wish you success, and my advice for new applicants is: "Apply with all your effort or do not apply, but do not just try." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ $\vec{F}=\dot{\vec{p}} \quad \hat{H}|\Psi\rangle=i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial t}|\Psi\rangle \quad E=m_{0} c^2 \quad \nabla \times \vec{E}=-\frac{\partial \vec{B}}{\partial t} \quad S=k_{B} \log{\Omega} \quad \lambda=\frac{h}{p} \quad (i \eth-m)\psi = 0 \quad G_{\mu\nu} = \frac{8\pi G}{c^4} T_{\mu\nu}$ $\sigma_{x} \sigma_{p} \ge \frac{\hbar}{2} \quad E=\hbar\omega \quad \frac{\partial^2 u}{\partial t^2} = c^2 \nabla^2 u \quad \delta S \ge 0 \quad \frac{d}{dt}\left( \frac{\partial L}{\partial \dot{q}} \right) = \left( \frac{\partial L}{\partial q} \right) \quad \gamma \rightarrow e^\textrm{-} + \, e^\textrm{+} \quad A=\frac{dN}{dt} \quad \vec{j}=\sigma \vec{E} \quad \begin{array} &\{q,H\} \\ \{p,H\} \end{array}$ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 4by4_metric_tensor Posts: 1 Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:51 pm ### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results Education and Information: Undergrad Institution: Public School in NY, with some reputations in Physics locally Major(s): Physics Minor(s): Math GPA in Major: ~3.6 Overall GPA: ~3.5 Length of Degree: 4.5 years Position in Class: between +1 sigma and +2 sigma Type of Student: Domestic asian male GRE Scores (Revised) Q: >160, <165 (okay) V: >140, <150 (trash) W: 3.0 (meh) P: >770, <810 (meh) TOEFL: not applicable Research Experience: 1.5 years of research in CME. No publication at the time the applications were submitted. (meh) Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Some awards in Home institution, Dean's List Other Activities or Jobs: Astro club Eboard member, a non-academic related job long time ago Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: --------to be updated------- Special Bonus Points: -------to be updated-------- Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: No. Applied to Where: All Physics PhD (categorized by interests stated on SOP) (Accepted; Rejected; Waitlist-ed; No response) CME (and very little CMT): Cornell UC Berkeley NYU Columbia CUNY Grad Center -> declined Rice U Rutgers UC Irvine Purdue -> declined Brown Penn State UIUC Hep-ex: UC Santa Barbara Ohio State UC Riverside -> declined Astrophys/Cosmo-ex/Gravitation-ex: Caltech UC San Diego Johns Hopkins U Maryland, College Park U Penn U Michigan UW Milwaukee (0% acceptance rate in astrophys...lol ) Nuclear/Plasma/Accl-phys: UCLA ----> Will attend Michigan State -> declined Stony Brook Comments: Later. genericusername Posts: 1 Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 12:28 pm ### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results Undergrad Institution: Big state school, top 30 in physics Major(s): Physics and Math Minor(s): Optics GPA in Major: 3.6 Physics, 3.7 Math Overall GPA: 3.7 Length of Degree: 4 years Position in Class: Middle of top? Type of Student: Domestic, multiracial male (nothing that helps) GRE Scores : Q: 164 (87%) V: 158 (80%) W: 4.5 (82%) P: 770 (65%) Research Experience: 1 year in AMO at my institution no publications, 1 summer abroad doing particle physics, 1 conference talk Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list every semester but not much else Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 1 semester TA, sigma pi sigma Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I'm principle trombonist in my university's wind ensemble and orchestra Special Bonus Points: 2 advanced physics classes that are about 50/50 graduate/undergrad, 3 strong recommendations, 1 from a very famous physicist in the AMO world Applying to Where: All PhD: Arizona - Optical Sciences - Optical Physics - accepted ~24K fellowship for first year Boulder - Physics - AMO - rejected Michigan - Physics - AMO - rejected Rochester - Optics - deferred to masters program due to late letter of rec. Stanford - Applied Physics - AMO - rejected Texas-Austin - Physics - AMO - accepted ~32K fellowship for first year - will attend Yale - Applied Physics - AMO - rejected Not overly shocked about most of these, Stanford was always a bit of a reach. I am slightly surprised about Boulder since two of my recommenders have strong connections there but I'm happy overall with the outcomes. In retrospect I should have spent more than a week studying for the pgre and should have looked at the regular gre format before taking that. Basilio Posts: 1 Joined: Tue May 09, 2017 4:40 am ### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results Undergrad Institution: Big state school (in top 30 QS Phys) Major(s): Physics / Nonlinear Optics and Laser Phys GPA in Major: 4.0 Overall GPA: 4.0 Length of Degree: 4(BS)+2(MS) Position in Class: Near top Type of Student: International white male (Russian) GRE Scores : revised Q: 165 (89%, never done so bad at pre-tests ) V: 165 (95%, never done so well at pre-tests ) W: 3.5 (42%) P: 990 (94%) TOEFL Total: 108 (30R, 30L, 23S ,25W) Research Experience: Research at school at average lab on protein biophysics and Raman spectroscopy. 2 papers (3d author, alphabetical order, main contribution, mediocre journals), 5 reports (2 poster, 3 talks). Awards/Honors/Recognitions: SPIE Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship State scholarship for good marks and research (for 3 years) Winner of the Bachelor Thesis contest (2d place) and coursework contest Government personal scholarship other minor rewards on scientific shools Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA - 1 year tutor - 2 years Part-time job in data analysis for medical genetics - 2 years Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Participated in 7 scientific schools (2 internationla), good programming skills. Special Bonus Points: Department used to have good connections with Stanford AP proffesors 30 years ago Reccomendations were really good, despite professors are not so well-known Applying to Where: US/Canada Maryland - Physics - JQI, Qunatum Optics - Rejected (email, Feb 11) Harvard - Physics - QO (Lukin) / Superresolution (Zhuang ) - Rejected (email to check website, Feb 17) MIT - Department - Ultrafast Laser / QO and Communications - Rejected (email, Feb 22) CalTech - Physics - Qunatum Optics (Kimble) - Rejected (email, Feb 24) Rochester - Optics - NL/Quant opt (Boyd, Agrawal). Well known - Accepted (email, Jan 20(unofficial ) - Jan 26). Assistanship 30k + 3k fellowfship for 2y - Declined Michigan - ​Ann Arbor - Physics - Nonlinear opt & spec - Interview (Jan 18), Accepted (email, Jan 22). Assistanship 30k - Declined Toronto - Biophysics - Accepted (Feb 8 ). Assistanship 16k? - Declined Colorado Boulder - Physics - NL opt & spec. Well known - Accepted (email, Feb 10). TA29k - RA 34k + 6k signing - Declined Stanford - Applied Physics - Nonlinear optics / Biophysics - Official Transcripts (Jan 20 requested , Feb 9 received) - Accepted (email, Feb 10). RA 39k(no TA!) - EEEAH!! - missed the Open House, but visited later - WILL ATTEND British Columbia - Physics - Molecular Rotors (Milner) - Accpeted (Feb 13). Assistanship 17k? -Declined Berkeley - Biophysics -> offered transfer to Physics (Jan 04) - Biophyshics / Ultrafast - Accepted (Feb 25). TA 32k - EEEAH!! - missed the Open House, but visited later. Breathtaking attosecond labs in chemistry dep, but awfull neighborhood - Declined Europe/Japan Oxford - Atomic and laser physics - Qunatum optics - Rejected (email, March 03) (min toefl S25?) EPFL - Optics and Photonics - Qunatum optics / Biophysics - Accpeted (April 12). 51k TA/RA - Have one year to find advisor Tokyo U - Physics - Biphysics / NL Spec - Agreement w prof - Decided not to apply Ecole Polytechnique - Physics - NL spect - Agreement w prof - Decided not to apply Ecole normale supérieure - Physics - Adaptive optics + spec - Agreement w prof - Decided not to apply KIT - Physics - Biophysics/Raman/Superresolution - Agreement w prof - Decided not to apply Imperial College - Physics - Superresolution imageing / NL spect - Agreement w prof Kozerone Posts: 1 Joined: Fri May 19, 2017 2:13 am ### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results Undergrad Institution: A US Liberal Arts College (ranked in the Top 100 based on US News Report) with an Average Reputation in Physics Major(s): Physics and Math Minor(s): - GPA in Major: 3.95 out of 4 Overall GPA: 3.9 out of 4 Length of Degree: 4 years Position in Class: Top Type of Student: International Male GRE Scores : Just took both tests once Q: 160 V: 160 W: 4 P: 840 (77 percentile) TOEFL Total: 116/120 Research Experience: At my school, nuclear physics investigating the structure properties of an isotope, 1 year and a summer, no publication Awards/Honors/Recognitions: In my school, summa cum laude, best physics student award and the most promising physics student award; outside, phi beta kappa Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Teaching assistant at my college, high school teacher at a less prestigious high school, online physics tutor Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Special Bonus Points: I was very close to all the professors who are my recommenders? Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Applying to Where: Harvard - HEP - Rejected MIT - HEP - Rejected Cornell - HEP - Rejected University of Michigan - HEP - Rejected University of Maryland - HEP - Rejected University of Pennsylvania - HEP - Rejected University of Chicago - HEP - Rejected University of Illinois - HEP - Rejected Ohio State University - HEP - Rejected Georgia Tech - HEP - Rejected University of Pittsburgh - HEP - Rejected University of Rochester - HEP - Accepted It's like a freaking joke to me bailey_95 Posts: 1 Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:59 pm ### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results Undergrad Institution: Small, highly-ranked liberal arts college Major(s): Astrophysics GPA in Major: 3.3 (this is average here; we have a grade deflation policy) Overall GPA: 3.3 Length of Degree: 4 years Position in Class: probably lower to middle third Type of Student: Domestic white female GRE Scores Q: 163 (92%) V: 163 (85%) W: 4.5 (82%) P: 610 (31%) Research Experience: Two REUs in astronomy and two semesters of research in a molecular spectroscopy lab at my home institution Awards/Honors/Recognitions: None academically in college (well... none by the time I applied, I was nominated to Sigma Xi in May) Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Grader for physics department, volunteer at observatory at school (led hands-on meteorite lessons for kids). Treasurer of institution's chapter of Society of Physics Students and student representative to department meetings. Special Bonus Points: Upward trend in GPA. Audited a grad-level cosmology class at MIT. Took plenty of non-required STEM classes but had poor grades in math and computer science. Presented poster at AAS two years in a row, presented at a local astro conference, two conference presentations at my school. Varsity track & xc team member, including two-time all-conference selection. Applying to: Waitlist Rejected Accepted Other Dartmouth – Computational stellar/cosmology: email 2/6, ACCEPTED$29,070 - had emailed a professor beforehand
University of Washington – Computational astro: email 1/31 - no interview, emailed or talked to no one before applying
University of California San Diego – Computational astro: email 2/24 - emailed or talked to no one before applying but thought this would be a safety whoops
Johns Hopkins University – Computational astro (espec cosmology): by email 3/9. talked to a few grad students at a conference but no professors. email said 350 applicants for 20 spots (5.7% acceptance rate)
Carnegie Mellon University – Computational astro: email 3/30 - emailed/talked to no one there before applying
University of Rochester – Computational astro (espec stellar/galactic): email 3/6 - emailed/talked to two professors and got my advisor to recommend me to a professor, so really surprised by this one! According to a professor I talked to there, the program is a bit "archaic" - so perhaps PGRE scores are weighted more strongly?
Rochester Institute of Technology – Computational astro (espec cosmology): Waitlist 3/3 by email -
talked to no one before applying, but program fit my research goals outlined in my statement very well. email said that waitlist spots would be given based on research interest rather than just number of students that accepted spots

University of Michigan – Computational astro: ASU email 3/7 - talked to no one before applying
University of Massachusetts, Amherst – Computational astro: waitlisted by email 3/7 - surprised by this one; talked to a professor before applying that was an alum from my college and also talked to several grad students several times who seemed to like me quite a bit
University of Minnesota - Computational/instrumental astro: email 4/11 - accepted/rejected by inquiry.
Emailed inquiring about my status, said I had another offer but UMN was high on my list. Got a reply saying I was in top 20% of applicant pool "but did not make offers or waitlist". First paragraph was standard rejection letter, but second paragraph said that if people don't accept their waitlist offer they may have a spot and asked if I wanted to do an interview. In the interview, they asked me questions about my research and I answered them very well (I've presented my work a lot, so I've got this down). He told me he thought I was a very strong student and he wanted to accept me but needed other students to not accept their offer; emailed 20 minutes later with an offer for $19k. In a really tough decision, decided$19k was too low to reasonably pay student loans and that the extra $10k and the nicer location at Dartmouth (as well as proximity to my S.O.) was worth a lower in academic quality. Morals here: FOLLOW UP EARLY WITH SCHOOLS YOU ARE INTERESTED IN. Be fluent in your research and your research interests; be passionate. Talk to professors before you apply (but be sure you have something to talk about! Because I didn't...). My statements were a bit risky - I applied to a lot of schools in kinda hippy neighborhoods, so I mentioned in the last paragraph that I was a long-distance runner and a vegetarian so I fit in well in the locations. I had several typos in my resume that I didn't catch until later - PROOF-READ YOUR RESUMES VERY, VERY CAREFULLY! I think this hurt me a lot. That being said, I also found a typo in my statement to Dartmouth and that worked out okay. My GPA is really low because of my college's grade deflation policy and I think that hurt me significantly, especially when not backed up by strong GRE scores and when there were typos in my resume. My research experience and my activities are fairly strong; this was my saving grace. Best of luck in your applications! Chronum Posts: 2 Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 12:42 pm ### Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results Undergrad Institution: University of Massachusetts Amherst. Rank ~70ish USNews. Okay rep in Physics. Nothing particular notable, as far as I'm aware. It does have the whole particle physics center going for it, though. Major(s): Physics, Astronomy. Minor(s): GPA in Major: ~3.73 Overall GPA: ~3.75 Length of Degree: 3 years. Rushed it with 20+ creds a semester. Saved a load of money. Position in Class: I like to think somewhere around ~85th percentile. Type of Student: International. Indian male. GRE Scores : Revised, I think. Q: 164 ~87th percentile. V: 160 ~85th percentile. W: 5 don't remember percentile. P: I'm not sure what this is. Research Experience: 3 years in an inorganic chemistry lab. ~10ish hours a week, all 6 semesters. Internship for the summer of 2016. 2.5 months. One publication in Optics Express, 2nd author out of 3. One conference publication. Same author lineup. Got a publication from the chem lab in the press. 2nd out of 3. Also a patent from the internship. 1st name right after lab PI. Thing is, none of these were ready by the time I applied and were only mentioned as 'Submitted'. That might make a difference. Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Chancellor's Scholarship,$12k/year. Nothing too prestigous. A fair number of people have it.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Nothing relevant to application. TA job in last semester after all apps done.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: None. I'm an uninteresting person.

Special Bonus Points: None that I'm aware of, unless Indian brown kid counts.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I mentioned a fair amount of experience with simulation tools and experiment automation.

Applying to Where:

All departments listed here as 'ECE' are just the school-relevant variants. So EECS, EE, ECE, et al.

MIT - ECE - Integrated silicon photonics. Rejected.
Princeton - -do- - -do- Rejected.
Georgia Tech - -do- - -do- Accepted.
UColorado, Boulder - -do- - -do- Accepted.
UC Berkeley - -do- - -do- Rejected.
Columbia - -do- - -do- Rejected.
UMich A. Arbor - -do- - -do- Rejected.
U Illinois Urbana Champaign - -do- - -do- Don't remember hearing back from them...
UMinn Twin Cities - -do- - -do-Rejected.
Boston University - -do- - -do- Accepted and going. \$32k/year.
Ohio State U - -do- - -do- They asked me for 'proof of funding'. I thought they were my proof of funding...
U of Arizona - -do- - -do-Rejected.