zxcv wrote:For a job, I would be happy with nearly any physics program in a decent location where I can do research and be part of the scientific community. There are probably 20-50 times more such places than grad schools I applied to: I'm not set on a top 50 program.
I feel like a Berkeley PhD would be more helpful for getting a faculty appointment at a first tier university, which is currently my goal.
VT wrote:dlenmn, that is too small sample size. I give you another example, Charles Kittel got his Phd from Wisc and now he is at Berkeley.
VT wrote:If there are two applicants [with equal credentials?], one from Harvard and the other from Wisc, for a faculty position in a top 10 research University, then I do not think Wisc Phd holder will be looked down upon.
dlenmn wrote:@ grae313
Thanks for the comment. Is there anything in particular that they did which might be useful for someone in my position to know?
I'm not sure but if you get some good research experience, get your name on a publication or two, and study a lot for the GRE and do very well, I know that taking a year off to do research does not hurt at all. Everything I've seen says that you are at no disadvantage with taking a year off (as long as you spend it productively). Really, the grad schools care about your research experience, your GRE scores, your grades, and your letters of recommendations. If you improve all of those in one year, they won't care that you took a year off after undergrad. Lots of people do it.
400nm wrote:I'm actually applying after being in another PhD program for a year. I had good test scores and grades my last year in undergrad, and even research experience. But the papers I got for my research had not been published yet (except one as 6th author), my senior thesis was not done, and I've gotten some awards since then. All this has helped, but I was also really busy when I was finishing my degree and I didn't have time (or money) to apply to many schools (only two) or do a good job on my applications. Also, I was trying to be honest in my SOP, but I had no idea what I wanted to do, so it didn't turn out very well.
I didn't end up in the best of places this year, but I'm still glad I had an extra year to think about where I want to go for my PhD. (Even now there are things I would do differently if I was applying again.) It gave me a chance to finish everything up, think about what I wanted to do, and do a better job on my applications. Just make sure you're doing something that will help you meet your goals in the year off.
The idea is that, instead of going to grad school next year, I take a year off (and work in a lab) and then apply again next year (this possibility was brought up by one of my recommenders as something to consider -- I hadn't previously thought of it). I feel that I screwed up the process -- especially the GRE, but also other things (some even before I knew that the process started). I know that if I try again next year, I'll have some more good grades on my transcript, a higher GRE score, a senior thesis in the bag, another year of research, possibly even a publication, and probably stronger recs. In short, I feel that I could do significantly better.
Exactly.400nm wrote:I don't think you have to do much better on the GRE then everyone else, but you still have to get a good score. If you didn't do well the first time, it gives you a chance to bring up your score so you are competitive with all the other applicants.
VT wrote:dlenmn: Did you visit Brown? If so did you like their cond matter program?
VT wrote:I just came back from Wisc. It is pretty cold up there. The Lakes were frozen.
VT wrote:Wisc is a nice city to live.
VT wrote:It is a great place for high energy, plasma, quantum computing(th and exp), but so-so for pure condensed-matter.
VT wrote:I think I will have a great time there, but somewhere in the back of my head, I have an uneasy feeling. I do not know what that is.
VT wrote:I have not visited Brown yet, but I tend to assume that Brown has bigger name than Wisc(although I know this is not the case) in Physics(so called pedgree effect).
Nope, mine said nothing aboutthe summer! WTF Brown
Well, excell, you are not applying to their physics dept, so ur stipend will be different from ours in the physics dept.
So, from the way you phrased it, I take it you have to do much better than those applying out of undergrad on the GRE if you take a year off? Sounds like, even more than applying from undergrad, that you are putting your future on one day of testing. What a messed up system we have!
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