2019 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.

supermario42
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:23 pm

2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby supermario42 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:34 am

This is the most useful resource PhysicsGRE has to offer. If you have used this information in the past or are currently using it to help decide upon schools, I highly suggest you help out and post your own profile once you have applied to schools. Future members of this forum will find it very useful! Don't be shy!

Copy and paste the template below in your reply to keep the formatting.

Note from moderator: Profile threads are best when they only have profiles. Please avoid making other posts on this thread. If you wish to discuss profiles, it is helpful to have a separate "profile discussion thread", as was done in some past years. Thanks.

______________________________________________
[b]Undergrad Institution[/b]: (School or type of school, such as big state, lib arts, ivy, technical, foreign (what country?)... Overall Reputation in Physics?)
[b]Major(s)[/b]:
[b]Minor(s)[/b]:
[b]GPA in Major[/b]:
[b]Overall GPA[/b]:
[b]Length of Degree[/b]: (Are you graduating after 3, 4, or 5 years?)
[b]Position in Class[/b]: (No numbers needed, but are you top? near top? average? struggling?)
[b]Type of Student[/b]: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?)

[b]GRE Scores [/b]: (revised or old version?)
[b]Q[/b]:
[b]V[/b]:
[b]W[/b]:
[b]P[/b]:


[b]TOEFL[/b]: ([b]R[/b]: , [b]L[/b]: , [b]S[/b]: , [b]W[/b]: )


[b]Research Experience[/b]: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...)

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

[b]Pertinent Activities or Jobs[/b]: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...)

[b]Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help[/b]:

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

[b]Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter[/b]:

[b]Applying to Where[/b]:

[u]School[/u] - Department - Research Interest (Feb. 28: WILL ATTEND for Ph.D. Accepted via website/email + $Xk Fellowship + $XXk/X month TA)
[u]School[/u] - Department - Research Interest (Feb. 14: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email + $Xk Fellowship + $XXk/X month TA)
[u]School[/u] - Department - Research Interest (Feb. 23: Rejected via website/email)

supermario42
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:23 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby supermario42 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:49 am

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: Big State School
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: ~ 3.41
Overall GPA: 3.39
Length of Degree: Been in school 6 years, did all my physics work the last 3.
Type of Student: Male Hispanic

GRE Scores :
Q: 158
V: 156
W: 4.0/59
P: 530 (13% percentile) Spring. 660 Fall (41% percentile)

Obviously, tests are not my forte.




Research Experience: 1 REU in heavy ion physics, some research at home with GlueX, but nothing to write home about aside from picking up a few coding skills.


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: NSF S-STEM Scholar,

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Private tutor, 3 semesters of LA for both lower division and upper division physics labs

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Minority student in the field (although not at my school). I believe my rec letters will be quality rec letters, 2 are research-related and the third one is from a lab professor that has known me for about 3 years now and I LA'd for his lab.

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

Applying to Where:


Beyond Reach:
Stanford - High Energy Physics (Feb. 20: Rejected via email.)
Yale - High Energy Physics (Feb. 13: Rejected via email to check portal.)
CU-Boulder - High Energy Physics (Feb. 18: Rejected via email to check portal.)
Cornell - High Energy Physics (Feb. 19: Rejected via email.)
Chicago - High Energy Physics (Feb. 7: Rejected via email to check portal).
UPenn - High Energy Physics


Reach

Duke - Physics - Nuclear physics/High Energy(Feb.25 Wait-listed via email to check portal) (April 12 Rejected via email to check portal).
UNC-Chapel Hill - Nuclear Physics (April 10: Rejected via email to check portal).
New York University - Physics - High Energy Physics (March. 14: Rejected via email to check portal).
University of Virginia - Physics - High Energy Physics (March.14: Wait-listed via email to check portal)
Rice - Physics - High Energy Physics (Feb. 12: Rejected via email to check portal)
Rochester - Physics - High Energy Physics (March.14: Rejected via email to check portal).


Match/Safe
Lehigh University - Physics - Heavy Ion Physics (Feb. 8th, accepted via email with offer letter. $29,340/12 months to TA. First acceptance ) Declined
Syracuse - Physics - High Energy Physics (ACCEPTED. Made inquiry, told via email Feb 21st I was admitted. Official letter on 2/22, 25,500/9 month TA.) WILL ATTEND
Virginia Tech - Physics - Neutrino physics (April 9: Rejected via email to check website).



.
Last edited by supermario42 on Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:38 am, edited 33 times in total.

AHipp
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:54 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby AHipp » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:46 pm

Undergrad Institution: Very small liberal arts school in Midwest, unknown for physics
Major(s): Physics and Mathematics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: Physics: 3.950, Mathematics: 4.00
Overall GPA: 3.928
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Not exactly sure, near the top
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 165 (88%)
V: 155 (69%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: Spring 2018: 620 (32%), Sep. 2018: 680 (45%) (I wish I could've done better, but at the very least I improved a bit!)

Research Experience: One International REU in gravitational wave physics, focus was on computation/data analysis.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Semester Honors/Dean's List every semester. Awarded "Outstanding Mid-Career Physics Student" at home institution junior year.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Summer internship in the IT Department of a large company.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: One of my letters will be written by the professor I worked with during my IREU, who is a professor at a foreign university, which have been told will be weighted heavily. Unsure if actually true though!

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Not sure if it counts for anything, but I have been a resident assistant for two years, and an apartment coordinator for one, which included being the "academic liaison" for campus and holding academic achievement events.

Applying to Where:

University of Wisconsin Madison - Physics - Astrophysics (Jan. 30: Rejected: Randomly checked application, no email yet)
University of Washington - Physics - Astrophysics (Mar. 15: Rejected via email)
University of Texas at Austin - Physics - High Energy Physics
University of Pennsylvania - Physics - High Energy Physics (Mar. 26: Rejected via email to check website)
University of Minnesota - Physics - Astrophysics (Jan. 22: Rejected via email to check application)
University of Oregon - Physics - Astrophysics Mar. 11: Waitlisted via E-mail: Immediately withdrew my application
University of California Santa Cruz - Physics - High Energy Physics (Feb. 28: Rejected via email)
University of Notre Dame - Physics - High Energy Physics (Feb. 28: Rejected via email)
University of Florida - Physics - Astrophysics (Mar. 1: Accepted via email); Update 03/05: Received official acceptance Will attend!! $19,000/ 9 months to TA, with possible $6000/ 3 months in the summer.
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill - Physics - Particle Astrophysics (Apr. 09: Rejected via email to check website)
Colorado School of Mines - Physics - Computational/Theoretical Physics (Feb. 6: Rejected via E-mail)

I'm unsure how competitive I actually am for my chosen schools, so if anyone could provide me feedback on that it would be much appreciated!

Update 02/28: I'm really starting to think I'm going to go 0/11...
Update 03/01: What a relief!!
Last edited by AHipp on Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:20 pm, edited 17 times in total.

mathemagician
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:18 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby mathemagician » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:30 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large state school, known for physics
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: ~3.0 (Physics), ~3.5 (Math)
Overall GPA: 3.44
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Unknown
Type of Student: Domestic White Female

GRE Scores : (Revised)
Q: 166 (91%)
V: 162 (91%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 610 (30%)

Research Experience:
- 3 semesters of math research at my school
- 2.5 years of part-time computational astrophysics research at my school
- SULI internship at Berkeley Lab in observational cosmology
- NASA internship in observational cosmology
- Two nth-author publications

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Research award (honorable mention) in math department

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Mentor for online math courses; physics peer mentor; physics outreach volunteer

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: six poster presentations, two talks

Special Bonus Points:

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

Applying to Where:
Applying for cosmology

Caltech - Physics - Rejected 2/25
Johns Hopkins - Physics and Astronomy - Accepted 2/1 - WILL ATTEND!
MIT - Physics - Rejected 2/12
Princeton - Physics - Rejected 2/12
Stanford - Physics - Rejected 2/20
UC Berkeley - Physics - Rejected 2/15
UC Santa Barbara - Physics - Rejected 2/26
University of Arizona - Astronomy - Rejected 2/5
University of Chicago - Astrophysics - Rejected 2/13
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Astronomy
University of Maryland College Park - Physics - Rejected 2/14

Fellowships:

NSF GRFP -- Physics and Astronomy - Astronomy and Astrophysics -- Not Awarded 4/8
Last edited by mathemagician on Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:06 pm, edited 8 times in total.

sippingjuice
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:39 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby sippingjuice » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:47 pm

Undergrad Institution: Mid-size state university, good in astro. I transferred from a CC.
Major(s): Astrophysics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.8
Overall GPA: 3.3? (weighed down by my first two years of university
Length of Degree: 6 years
Position in Class: Average to Above-Average
Type of Student: Domestic Female

GRE Scores :
Q: 167
V: 163
W: 5.0
P: 640


Research Experience: 1 year of research (summer and school year) with 3 mentors

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: One school award, one national-organization award

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: none

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: I do feel I have great LORs. Moreover, my grades and general performance show a large upward trend

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I did extremely poorly my first two years, so I spent an additional year or so making up for that and working really hard to transfer to where I am today.

Applying to Where:

UC Santa Cruz - Astronomy - Observation (Feb. 13: Rejected)
Harvard - Astronomy - Observation (Feb. 12: Rejected via email to check website)
University of Washington (UW) - Astronomy - Observation (Feb. 6: Rejected via email, no interview)
University of Arizona - Astronomy - Observation (Feb. 5: Rejected via email)
UT Austin - Astronomy (Jan 29: Accepted via phone)
Texas A&M - Astronomy - Observation (Jan 26: Accepted via interview and email)
University of Hawaii - Manoa (UH) - Astronomy - Observation (Jan 23rd: Accepted via email)
UCLA - Astronomy - Observation
Ohio State University - Astronomy - Observation (Jan 4th: Interview) Feb 20: Waitlisted


My thoughts as of 2/14/19:

This has been a very wild ride. I am so so shock, thankful, surprised that I was accepted anywhere, let alone that I have a choice between where I'm going! Application season was tough, but waiting for responses was way tougher! Concentrating on my classes while obsessively checking this forum and the Grad Cafe was not great. If I could do it differently, here are some things I'd do:

1. Apply for NSF/any grant you can get your hands on!
2. Do NOT check Physics GRE or The Grad Cafe once you submit your applications (or at least, limit yourself!). Just let the responses roll in as they come. Don't compare yourself to others on this website. You will never know why some people got in while you didn't!

Things I think I did right:
1. Attend the AAS: I met so many people, reps, students, and professors from the schools to which I applied. I had a great time practicing my poster presenting skills and meeting people with whom I could work with next year! I would suggest encouraging your institution to fund your trip up, as I believe it could have earned me two of the three acceptances I got!
Last edited by sippingjuice on Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:19 pm, edited 7 times in total.

cluelessphysicist
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:16 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby cluelessphysicist » Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:00 pm

Undergrad Institution: a state university in the United States
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Astronomy
GPA in Major: 3.7
Overall GPA: 3.7
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: 12 out of 64
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores :
Q: 167
V: 157
W: 3
P: 880

Research Experience: 1 year exoplanet research at my home university, no significant result.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Learning assistant for 2 years

Special Bonus Points: one grad course. minority.

Applying to Where: Exoplanet research everywhere

Canada
Toronto (rejected Mar 13)
British Columbia (rejected Jan 26)
McGill (will be rejected)
McMaster (will be rejected)
Western (got in contact with a professor in the department, will be rejected)
Victoria (First Interview!, Jan 21, one more interview and ACCEPTED! Mar 9. C$24600-tuition fee+additional fund, ATTENDING April 2)
York (Second Interview!, Feb 27, unofficially ACCEPTED! Mar 7, Declined Mar 12 C$36095-tuition fee+additional fund)

United States

Washington (rejected Feb 6)
Michigan (rejected Feb 8)
Brown (rejected Feb 26)
North Carolina (Do not care anymore)
Wesleyan (rejected Mar 13)
Georgia Tech (rejected Feb 27)
Boston U (rejected Mar 25, took so long :D I don't care at all)
Hawaii (rejected Jan 26)
Virginia (rejected Feb 27)
Wesleyan (rejected Mar 13)
Notre Dame (ACCEPTED! Feb 19. $22838 for 9 months, Bye-bye United States. Time to try another country. Declined April 4)

I got rejected from everywhere 2 years ago. I hope this year is better than that.
Update Feb 19: This year is already better than the past! Notre Dame is a very nice school and the offer is generous. I hope Canadian universities also accept me.
Update Feb 27: I hate my life again.
Update Mar 7: Can you please accept me? Please? UVic, Western, McMaster, Please???
Update Mar 9: Thank you :D
Update April 2: I finally chose an university. I am worried and excited at the same time. Good luck to everybody here in this forum.
Advice to Freshmen/Sophomore/Junior international students in the United States: Be good at English. GRE and TOEFL/IELTS scores matter. It also helps when you write the statements and when you get interviewed. Find any kinds of research experiences. It is far more difficult to get it done as an international student. So try to find it as soon as possible. Professors in the United States are actually pretty nice and would not yell at you (Most of them). Join clubs. Make friends. Find helps from the mental health centers. You would find much more about yourself.
Last edited by cluelessphysicist on Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:27 am, edited 34 times in total.

enidcruz
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:40 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby enidcruz » Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:48 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small, no reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Pure math
GPA in Major: 3.93/4.00
Overall GPA: 3.95/4.00
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic, Hispanic female

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 160 (74%)
V: 159 (83%)
W: 3.5 (41%)
P: 850 (77%)


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: )


Research Experience:

My school: 1 yr of computational AMO, 1 semester of quantum theory
REU (10 weeks): astrophysics/exoplanets
REU (10 weeks): soft condensed matter

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)
Dean's honor list?

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...)
SPS secretary and vice-president

Special Bonus Points:
Minority

Applying to Where: (preliminary list)

All for Exp AMO

CU Boulder - Physics (Jan. 30: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email to check website; standard TA/RA + $3k signing bonus) Update 2/15: Offered Blodgett Fellowship $8k signing bonus + $5k/year for the next 4 years; JILA Research Fellowship guaranteeing a RA position in a JILA/AMO group for the first year + opportunity to begin research in the summer

MIT - Physics (Feb. 12: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email) :D very surprised by this! I will add some comments/recommendations/takeaways on this later

UIUC - Physics (Jan. 15: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + 9 month TA and 2 month summer TA/RA at $23k/11 month + Fellowship TBA; Invited to open house) Update 2/13: Offered Graduate College Fellowship $25k/year for 3 yrs in place of a TA; Sloan Scholarship $40k disbursed in three stages + opportunity to begin research in the summer


U of Arizona - Physics (Jan. 22: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $9k/semester TA) DECLINED

Thrilled!!!! :D :mrgreen:


Fellowship:

NSF GRFP
Last edited by enidcruz on Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:45 pm, edited 9 times in total.

amans14
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:05 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby amans14 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:00 pm

Undergrad Institution: Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
Major(s): Engineering Physics
Overall GPA: 8.3/10
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top 10%
Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores:
Q: 170
V: 159
W: 4.5
P: 990

TOEFL: 113 (R: 28, L: 30, S: 25, W: 30)

Research Experience:
Ongoing thesis project in NMSSM Higgs Phenomenology. Expect one publication out of it.
Semester Internship in Cosmology with quite a famous professor (1 preprint: second author)
Summer Project in Electroweak Theory & Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking (No significant results)
Summer Internship in Cosmology with somewhat famous Professor (No significant results)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
1. Achieved a rank in top 0.2 percentile in the JEE examination taken by 1.3 million aspirants.
2. Awarded merit certi cate by CBSE for achieving 0.1 percentile in Grade 12 (AISSCE) examinations.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
1. Academic Advisor for 1 semester: freshmen undergraduate Physics Course.
2. Teaching Assistant, Undergraduate, and Graduate Quantum Mechanics - I courses.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Positions of Responsibility & Administration
1. Board for Student Publications: Chief Editor, Creative (2017-18) and Journalist (2016-17);
2. Literati: Coordinator of Workshops (2017) and Activity Head (2016);
3. Shivalik Hostel, IIT Delhi: Vice Captain, Lawn Tennis Team (2016-17).
ECA & Social Work
1. Debating: Represented IIT Delhi in the fi nals of IIT Bombay Debate IV, 2017;
2. Debating: Speaker in First Runner Up team in Inter-House Fresher's Parliamentary Debate, 2016;
3. Literature: Coordinator for English Poetry Workshops, 2016 and 2017;
4. SocialWork: Supervision of construction of Toilets for financially underprivileged under RK Mission.

Special Bonus Points: Grad Classes in QFT - 1, General Relativity, Group Theory. Future Grad courses in QFT - II, Supersymmetry. Future Thesis Project: Dark Matter Theory and Cosmology, Recommendation from the aforementioned famous professor, + recommendation from another somewhat famous professor doing Theoretical Physics from home university

Reduce Points: No courses in Cosmology offered at home institution

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Present Extra Knowledge includes Foundational Quantum Mechanics, QFT - II from research projects, Statistical Analysis

Applied To - All for PhD in High Energy Theory/Quantum Cosmology

Beyond Reach:
1. Princeton University - Rejected via e-mail, Feb 12, 2019
2. The University of Chicago - Rejected via e-mail to check website, Feb 07, 2019
3. Stanford University - Rejected via e-mail, Feb 20, 2019
4. Perimeter, ON, Canada - Probably Rejected, will not update unless accepted

Reach:
1. The University of Maryland, College Park - Rejected via e-mail, Feb 14, 2019
2. The University of California, Los Angeles - Probably Rejected, will not update unless accepted
3. The University of Toronto - Rejected via e-mail to check website, Mar 5, 2019, 2019
4. Pennsylvania State University - Rejected via e-mail, Mar 14, 2019, 2019
5. Columbia University - Rejected via e-mail to check website, Mar 11, 2019, 2019
6. Stony Brook University - Rejected via e-mail, Mar 2, 2019, 2019 Accepted for unsupported Masters, cannot afford.

Safe:
1. Texas A&M University - Probably Rejected, will not update unless accepted
2. Brown University - Rejected via e-mail, Mar 5, 2019, 2019

An afterthought:
I have no clue till now what was wrong with my application. Probably just the fact that I applied for HET, but upon further consideration, I don't believe I would have wanted to apply for cosmo despite having a profile tailored for it. Sometimes, all you can do is accept what comes your way, and at those times you may feel like you're getting less than what you deserve. Hope you get some help from my profile and understand everything I did wrong, including my SoP. A copy of the SoP I sent to Maryland can be found here https://1drv.ms/b/s!AgvqaOhYtUSagYUYI-KPh2PL5FVbxA.

After going through the profile of someone else from India who has been accepted into HET at TAMU at this very forum, I have realized that I was perhaps rejected from everywhere on account of either bad recommendations, bad SoP, or a lack of research in HET. The first is highly unlikely as my recommenders could not believe it when I told them about the rejection from Columbia. My SoP is here for you to see, so you can avoid the mistakes that I made, and I cannot cure the lack of research in HET for now, except for the fact that I am currently engaged in it.

I really don't know what I am going to do now.
Accepts defeat.
Last edited by amans14 on Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:28 am, edited 16 times in total.

jtizzle
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:30 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby jtizzle » Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:59 am

Undergrad Institution: Medium sized liberal arts university. Gaining a reputation in physics I believe.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.4
Overall GPA: 3.2
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 160
V: 152
W: 4.5
P: April 2018 - 590 (25%)
October 2018 - 620 (32%) Disappointing...


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: )


Research Experience: Soft matter research at home university for 3 years. Presented poster at 3 different conferences, both national and regional

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: S-stem scholar for 4 years, Dean's list 3 semesters (all over last 4 semesters), multiple honors awarded for our outreach events in SPS.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Private tutor for 1 year on and off, SPS founding and governing member for 3 years. Received funding for research during summer 2017 at home university. Currently working as an engineer, don't know if that'll be helpful or not.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I am in the middle of my gap year right now and have a job as an engineer. I don't know if that will help at all but I think it's noteworthy.

Special Bonus Points: Two of my recommendors are well known in their respective fields. One of which in the same field I wish to apply to.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I have a significant upward trend over my last two years so hopefully that can outweigh some of my shortcomings in my gpa.

Applying to Where:
All for Experimental Astrophysics unless otherwise specified

Reach (Cuz why not)
UCSD - Rejected via email 3/13
UC Davis - Observational Cosmology Rejected via email 3/5

Reasonably Competitive
UC Riverside - Rejected via email to check portal 4/15
Oregon State University - Quantum Cosmology - Rejected via email to check portal 4/15
University of Utah Rejected via email to check portal 3/27
Colorodo School of Mines - Applied Physics Rejected via email to check portal 2/6
Colorado State - Astroparticle - Rejected via email 4/8
University of Nevada Reno - Accepted!!! E-mail to check portal, $1900/month TA-ship. 4/17 WILL ATTEND!!!!!!!!!!
University of Arizona - Rejected via email to check portal 4/15
UC Merced - AMO - Accepted!!! E-mail to check portal, $27k TA-ship. 1/28


Pretty much went exactly as expected. Was waitlisted for a few that I thought I would have a chance at but alas, it did not work out. Can't complain too much though, I am incredibly excited about the outcome nonetheless! Thanks to everyone, this year and past years, who contributed to this forum!
Last edited by jtizzle on Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:58 am, edited 9 times in total.

sensualgraphene
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:23 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby sensualgraphene » Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:32 pm

Undergrad Institution: Ivy League
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: DWM (immigrant, however)

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q:169
V:164
W:6.0
P:980


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: )


Research Experience: 2 experimental condensed matter projects, 2 theoretical research projects, 4 papers in preparation but a couple of my PIs take forever to publish :(

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: A few, but disclosing them would probably not keep me anonymous

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Research ***

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: One of the theorists I work with is a big boy, also have taken a rather high number of graduate courses

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

Applying to Where: Applied for CMT/CME depending on strengths of each school


MIT -Physics - CMT- Accepted on February 12- Will almost certainly attend
Harvard-CME- Invited for interview on January 17- Informally accepted on February 4- Officially Accepted on February 14-
Caltech-CMT- Rejected
Stanford-CMT- Rejected
UPenn-CMT- Accepted on January 29 , pretty pretty pretty good
Cornell-CME- Accepted on February 7
Princeton-CME- made a mistake on app so I think I probably won't get in- Rejected on February 12 (as predicted lol)
UChicago- Physics- Rejected on February 7
UChicago- IME (CME)- Accepted on January 11 (with IME fellowship)
Cambridge-CMT- Invited for interview on January 11- Accepted on January 29 good day today
Oxford-CMT- Invited for interview on February 10- Rejected

NSF GRFP- Awarded!
Last edited by sensualgraphene on Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:49 pm, edited 20 times in total.

dudeguy
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:15 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby dudeguy » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:57 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big top 10 Public School.
Majors: Physics B.S., Mathematics B.S.
Overall GPA: ~3.5
GPA in Physics: ~3.6
GPA in Math: ~3.6
Length of Degree: 4 years
Type of Student: Domestic minority male.

GRE Scores :
Q: 165 (88%)
V: 159 (83%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 690 (47%) (serious ongoing family issues prevented me from studying, I mentioned in SOP)

Research Experience:
- 1.5 years assisting prof doing data analysis on equipment tests for DUNE. Paper with prof in preparation.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
- Deans List Spring 2018.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- Private Math tutor (and a little physics) for 3 years.
- Math tutor at school's Teaching Center senior year.
- Learning assistant for Calc 1-2 at my school.

Special Bonus Points:
- Took 2 grad courses.
- 3.80 GPA in past 3 semesters at time of application.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
- Got second highest midterm grade in recent grad mechanics exam, impressed prof and he offered to write me a "strong letter".

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
- One of my recommender's was over a month late sending letters.

Applying to Where:

Ph.D. All HEP-th
Stony Brook - Physics - HEP-th (1/28: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email with $23k/9 month TA and potential Fellowship)
UCLA - Physics - HEP-th (3/26: REJECTED for Ph.D via email to check website)
UCSB - Physics - HEP-th (2/26: REJECTED for Ph.D via email to check website)
USC - Physics - HEP-th (2/22: REJECTED for Ph.D via email)
UW Madison - Physics - HEP-th (1/30: REJECTED for Ph.D via website) *One of my profs hadn't even sent my letter yet*

Master's
NYU - Physics - (3/28: ACCEPTED for M.S. via email to check website with full tuition scholarship)
Perimeter - (4/9: REJECTED for PSI after inquiry via email)
Rutger's - Physics - (4/13: REJECTED for M.S. via email and website)
UC Davis - Physics - (3/5: REJECTED for M.S. via email) *Found out they only accept ~2 M.S. students per year*
UChicago - Physical Science Division - (4/2: REJECTED for MS-PSD via email to check website)

Post-Baccalaureate
Columbia - Bridge Program in STEM - (6/5 contacted for interview) (7/10: REJECTED after email inquiry)
Princeton - Physics - (3/26: REJECTED for Bridge Program via email)

I thought applying for Master's programs would be a way to more easily get into schools, and then apply to better PhD programs... instead it seems most schools consider their Master's applicants very low priority and don't touch the Master's pile until after hearing back from accepted PhD applicants. Stony Brook for example even offers Master's to many rejected PhD applicants. I actually applied to Stony Brook for a Master's and they emailed me asking if I would like to be considered for the PhD, I told them I would provided they'd still consider me for the Master's, and 2 days later they accepted me for PhD. Lesson: Just apply for PhD's.
Last edited by dudeguy on Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:22 am, edited 51 times in total.

wasdy8
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:49 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby wasdy8 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:13 am

Undergrad Institution: Well-ranked Uni in Asia
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: -
Overall GPA: 4.96/5
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: International Asian Male

GRE Scores : (revised version)
Q: 170 (96%)
V: 166 (97%)
W: 5.0 (92%)
P: 990 (94%)


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: ) Not required.


Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...)
- Research project in ultrafast spectroscopy (4 months)
- Research project in condensed matter (4 months)
- Research project in quantum theory/spin dynamics (8 months) -- 1 submitted publication (1st/co-author)
- Research project (in a reputable US university) in cold atoms/molecules (8 months) -- 1 submitted publication (nth author), 1 publication to be submitted soon (1st/co-author)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
- Dean's list for 3 years
- Awarded top university scholarship + scholars programme that has heavy focus on interdisciplinary science + research

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- Leadership role in a school club

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: -

Special Bonus Points: -

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

Applying to Where (All theory):

Stanford - Physics - QI (Rejected via email 2/18)
MIT - Physics - QI (Rejected via email 2/13)
Caltech - Physics - QI/Cold Atom (Rejected via email 2/26)
Purdue - Physics - QI (Accepted via email 2/27, 18k/9months TA) -- Declined
U Maryland - Physics/QuICS - QI (Rejected via email 3/29)
CU Boulder - Physics - QI (Accepted via website 1/30, Standard TA/RA + 3k fellowship, Update 2/14: Awarded additional 7k fellowship) -- Declined
U Waterloo (Canada) - Physics - QI/QC (Rejected via email 8/18)
NUS (Singapore) - Electrical & Computer Eng - QI/QComm (School Interview: 2/28, Accepted via email 4/4, 2.3k/month scholarship, Scholarship upgrade 5/3, 2.9k/month) -- Will attend
NTU (Singapore) - Physics - QI/QC (School Interview: 12/26, Scholarship Interview: 2/18, Accepted via email 3/18, 2.3k/month scholarship) -- Declined
Last edited by wasdy8 on Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:34 am, edited 16 times in total.

excitedcharmonium
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:08 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby excitedcharmonium » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:23 pm

Undergrad Institution: large private school in New England without much of a physics reputation
Major(s): Physics and Math
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.98
Overall GPA: 3.96
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: near top? don't really know
Type of Student: domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170
V: 170
W: 6
P: 970

Research Experience: 3 months at a government lab doing nonlinear optics simulations
6 months at a small research lab doing biomedical optics - three conference publications, one first author, and one journal publication
6 month at CERN working on detector engineering
5 months at a government lab doing AMO for quantum information - one conference publication and probably another first-author one
3 months at a university doing simulations of ultracold atomic systems

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: dean's list every semester, honors program, full-tuition scholarship, best poster in physics at another university's symposium, multiple conference travel grants, grant for semester of research

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: five semesters as a lab TA, one year as SPS Vice President, five years of writing and editing popular science articles

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: applying to work with people that one of my PI knows well, another recommender is very well known within high energy

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: organized a directed study in quantum information

Applying to Where:

UMD - Physics - AMO/QI (Feb 13: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email)
UC Berkeley - Physics - AMO/QI (Feb 13: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email)
UCLA - Physics - AMO/QI (Feb 7: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email)
Waterloo - Physics - AMO/QI (Jan 31: unofficially ACCEPTED for Masters via email)
Duke - ECE (Feb 21: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email to check website)
Washington - Physics - AMO/QI (Jan 17: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email)
Oregon - Physics - AMO/QI (Feb 1: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email)
Last edited by excitedcharmonium on Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:03 am, edited 8 times in total.

benn8915
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:49 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby benn8915 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:02 pm

Undergrad Institution: Medium sized school, no physics reputation
Major(s):Physics
Minor(s):Astronomy
GPA in Major:3.79
Overall GPA:3.86
Length of Degree: 6
Position in Class: N/A
Type of Student: White Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 161
V: 155
W: 4.0
P: 510 (Ouch)




Research Experience: Senior research project on exoplanets.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list here and there.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: None pertinent


Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Several time transfer student, worked full time, but upper division years have been really solid. Hoping the upward trend lands me somewhere. Bad pgre score. But I'm applying to astronomy programs so it's not as important, and I'm not surprised since I'm currently taking a good chunk of the material right now.

Applying to Where:

All For Astronomy, Exoplanets
University of Colorado- (Feb. 4: Rejected via website/ notice by email to check website)
New Mexico State-(Apr. 15: Rejected via inquiry)
Arizona State-(Apr. 9: Rejected via website)
Northern Arizona University-(Apr. 12: Rejected via email)
Ohio State- (Mar. 8: Rejected via email)
UC Berkeley-(Mar. 8: Rejected via website/ notice by email to check website)
University of Boston- (Mar. 8: Rejected via email)
University of Texas-(Feb. 14: Rejected via email)
Vanderbilt-(Apr. 13: Rejected via email)
Penn State- (Jan. 29: Rejected via email)
Last edited by benn8915 on Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:15 am, edited 11 times in total.

bulldy
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:44 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby bulldy » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:23 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 10 school in South America; Colombian school
Major(s): Physics and Mechanical Engineering
GPA in Major: 3.60
Overall GPA: 3.60
Position in Class: Near top (¿?)
Type of Student: US hispanic citizen, international student

GRE Scores :
Q: 160 (74%)
V: 158 (80%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 830 (73%)

TOEFL: 109 (R: 30, L: 29, S: 23, W: 27)

Research Experience:
- 1 REU at Nuclear Experimental.
- 1.5 year as a research student at HEP lab (home), working with gaseous detectors focused on muon detection.
- 1 year working on theory and computational simulations of Coulomb systems, Mayer diagrams and RMT (Random Matrix Theory). Hopefully, a paper coming out of this soon (home).
- 1 year working on MHD simulations and magnetorheological materials applied to dampers (home).

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for 2.5 years for Physics 1

Applying to Where:
University of Washington- Nuclear Experimental (Mar. 15 REJECTED for Ph.D via website)
Michigan State University- Nuclear Experimental (Jan. 29 ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $2.1k/month) WILL ATTEND!! 8) 8)
Stony Brook- Nuclear Experimental (Mar. 1 REJECTED for Ph.D via website, accepted for masters without funding)
Texas A&M- Nuclear Experimental (Feb. 11 ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $2k/month+ $2k fellowship)
University of Michigan- Applied Physics (Mar. 8 REJECTED for Ph.D via website)
Duke- Nuclear Experimental (Feb. 26 REJECTED via website)
North Carolina at Chapel Hill- Nuclear Experimental (Apr. 17 Haven't heard back, already decided)
Georgia State- Nuclear Experimental (Feb. 25 Application Withdrawn)
Notre Dame- Nuclear Experimental (Feb. 22 ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + 9 month $23k Stipend)
Last edited by bulldy on Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:33 am, edited 11 times in total.

kronotsky
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:29 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby kronotsky » Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:40 am

Undergrad Institution: Caltech
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 3.88
Overall GPA: 3.86
Length of Degree: 5 years (first 3 years as math major)
Position in Class: No ranking. I think I was probably in the top tier, not the best of course.
Type of Student: DWM

GRE Scores (revised):
Q: 170
V: 170
W: 6
P: 990

Research Experience: 10 months full time (approx. 4 REUs worth) at a DOE national lab doing computational soft-matter work, after graduation. Minor author on a submitted crossover vivo/vitro/silico publication, not yet published. I've done other research projects here but they're all still pretty far away from a publication horizon.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: 2 semester classes short of a math major. Took 3 quarters of grad QFT, a few misc. grad applied math classes (and some pure math classes at the advanced UG/grad level, like homotopy, diff geom, measure theory, etc.), grad classes in celestial mechanics and statistical physics. Our year-long QM and Class Mech sequences are "grad classes," since grad students are required to take them (and I guess the textbooks are at the graduate level too), and I got some A+s. Lots of (physics-oriented) CS experience in school and at my job.

Special Bonus Points: All of my letter recommenders are very enthusiastic about me. One of them is very famous, although he isn't quite a physicist - I sort of did research with him, but it was brief (a single problem) and informal.

Possible flaws: A minus is that two of them both come from my sole research job; I don't know how bad this will look, but the alternative is a recommendation from one of several professors who don't remember me at all. My SoPs were (in retrospect) well-written, but I was honest about how little I knew about what exactly I wanted to do. I didn't do any research at Caltech (for various dumb reasons; tbf I was only eligible for our summer fellowship once as a physics major), and I took an extra year to graduate due a change of major. I took my time getting a job after school to recover from undergrad - and to grow up a little - and in retrospect I don't think I would be mentally prepared for grad school had I not done so.

Applying to Where:

I decided to apply pretty late in the season, and I decided to ignore safety schools for the most part since my interests are very non-specific and I was originally going to apply next year anyway. I like complex systems, condensed matter (especially soft condensed matter, but electrons are okay too), and earth sciences, as well as some topics in astrophysics which have similar character (gravity/relativity/tidal mechanisms, solar system physics, plasmas).

I picked fields on a per-school basis, and tried to describe what I put down on the application with the usual categories.

Physics schools:

MIT - Physics (Plasma/LIGO/CM) - [Short Skype "chat" 1/8 with Kavli professors] - Feb. 12 - ACCEPTED (e-mail, $3263/mo fellowship which appears to be standard) - WILL ATTEND
Cornell - Physics (Relativity/CMT) - Feb. 7 - ACCEPTED (RA/TA and $31.5k 9 month fellowship)
Harvard SEAS - Applied Physics (Bio/Matsci/fluids) - [Interview 1/21] - Feb. 6 - ACCEPTED (e-mail with letter, standard package)
Harvard GSAS - Physics (Bio/CMT/astro) - Feb. 25 - REJECTED
Princeton - Astrophysics (Planets/plasma) - Feb. 6 - REJECTED
Stanford - Physics (Bio/CME/Applied) - Feb. 20 - REJECTED (I was dumb; should have gone for applied :( )
Berkeley - Physics (Astro/CM/Bio) - Feb. 13 - ACCEPTED (e-mail)
UCSB - Physics (CMT/CME) - Feb. 5 - ACCEPTED (e-mail from adcom, $32k+ RA/TA)
CU Boulder - Physics (AMO/Quantum/LASP) - Jan. 25 - ACCEPTED (e-mail to check website, standard RA/TA, $3k bonus and extra $7k chair's fellowship)

Here's a tip for future students: the top programs don't seem to care what you do once you get in. It's not worth your while to game their numbers (i.e. apply for something you're not interested in); they will probably see through it anyway. I ended up "accidentally" doing this - I applied to MIT interested in their plasma physics, was nominated by that department, and found myself less interested months later when I accepted. Nobody seems to care very much. I think there is a hurdle between theory and experiment, but even that should be surmountable if you have the guts for theory, the willpower to do it, and some assertiveness.

Earth sciences:

Caltech - Planetary Science - Feb. 22 - REJECTED - (prof in the department said having gone here for UG was the primary reason)
UWash - Atmospheric Science - [Three skypes starting 1/23] - Jan. 28 - ACCEPTED - (via e-mail, first year RA)
Columbia EESC - Mar. 19 - WITHDREW
MIT EAPS - [Discussion with professor 2/21] - Mar. 21 - WAITLISTED - Mar. 30 - ACCEPTED (unofficial e-mail - funding eventually came through)

Despite having basically no exposure in the earth sciences, it seems that departments were still very interested in me. Also, I am fairly sure that Columbia was going to reject me, fwiw.
Last edited by kronotsky on Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:41 pm, edited 48 times in total.

lksyin
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:37 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby lksyin » Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:05 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small State University
Major(s): Physics
Double Major(s): Philosophy
GPA in Major: 3.41
Overall GPA: 3.33
Length of Degree: 4.5
Position in Class: don't know
Type of Student: Domestic Female

GRE Scores :
Q: 163
V: 158
W: 3.5
P: Oct, 620 (32%); Sep, 560; Apr, 570 perfectly shows that I'm not good at exam



Research Experience: three years CMT research with the same advisor, focusing on the computational condensed matter. Have one first-order publication just submitted. (The manuscript was accepted by the journal and ready for publishing. That's the only good news this year.)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Honor Degree in physics

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: one year lab TA for introduction physics

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: one hardcore recommendation letter. Female?? (don't think its a bonus)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Memberships in physics and math honor societies.

Applying to Where:

Cornell - Physics - CMT - (Feb.19: Rejected via email)
Colombia - Applied Physics - CME - (Surprisingly not hearing any works back, thought this one would be the first to reject me)
Stony Brook - Physics - CMT - (Apr.9: Rejected via email)
Pittsburgh University - Physics - CMT- (Waitlist: Emile to check status)
Rutgers University - Physics - CMT - (Apr.16: Rejected via email)
Penn State - Physics - CMT - (Mar.19: Rejected via email)
Temple University - Physics - CMT
Rensselaer polytechnic institute Physics - CMT
New Jersey Inst. of Tech. - Materials Science (Mar. 22: Accepted via email with 12k/semester)

I have to say, I feel pessimistic for my applications due to the poor scores. But I choose physics just because I love research, so I won't give up until the end. And I say to myself, again and again, top20 doesn't decide everything in the future, I can live well and enjoy my work everywhere. For everyone who loves this field and dream to do research, don't give up!!


Update Apr.9th: The results are reasonable, but still feel disappointed more or less. However, I think it's a tough year for physics PhD application since I saw most results in red through the forum. My advisor said that it has been harder and harder to get a physics faculty position these years. But its also been harder and harder to get admitted into a physics PhD program. Therefore, I switch to materials science. While waiting for the results, I really think a lot about my personal interest and my future career path. I don't want to give up physics, but the reality shows that I failed to prove my ability to survive from physics phd studies. If I really got all rejections from physics programs, I will accept that outcome with calmness and then 100% concentrate on the materials science study. I am not competitive now doesn't mean that I will become a loser forever. Good luck to everyone who is struggling for a better future!
Last edited by lksyin on Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:29 am, edited 4 times in total.

hopefulastro
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 9:56 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby hopefulastro » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:42 pm

Undergrad Institution: UCLA (I transferred here in fall 2016 from a Cal State school)
Major: Physics
GPA in Major: 3.6
Overall GPA: 3.63
Length of Degree: 4 years + 1 quarter (graduating fall 2018)
Position in Class: no idea
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores: revised version
Q: 163 (83%)
V: 156 (73%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: Oct. 2018, 570 (21%)

Research Experience:
- Summers 2017 and 2018: Research in the Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences department; research focused on asteroids and mainly involved programming
- Fall 2017 through Fall 2018: Research in theoretical astrophysics focusing on early galaxy formation (programming-heavy)
- Poster on effects of dust on high-redshift galaxies, presented at UCLA Undergrad Research Poster Day + AstroFrontiers National Conference (2018)
- No publications

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
- UCLA Honors College

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...)
- Math tutor for a national company
- Grader for the Physics Department
- SPS officer
- Women in the Physical Sciences officer
- Manager of an undergrad-led research project team (mainly teaching Python skills to underclassmen in physics)
- Involved in the operations and software development of UCLA-run space satellite

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
- Founded a student organization at my first university (and was President)
- Was a member of Phi Sigma Rho at UCLA (sorority for science majors)
- Vice President of another student org at UCLA (unrelated to physics)

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)
- Female
- One of my recommenders is the chair of the Planetary & Space Sciences Department at UCLA (and I think is pretty well known)

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

Applying to Where:

UCLA - Astronomy - Theoretical Astrophysics and Cosmology (Feb. 25: Rejected unofficially: "all offers have been sent" upon asking about status)
UC Berkeley - Astronomy - Theoretical Astrophysics and Cosmology (Mar. 8: Rejected via email to check website)
UC San Diego - Physics - Theoretical Astrophysics and Cosmology (Mar. 13: Rejected via email)
UC Irvine - Physics - Theoretical Astrophysics and Cosmology (Apr. 12: Rejected upon inquiry)
UC Davis - Physics - Theoretical Astrophysics and Cosmology (Mar. 5: Rejected unofficially)
UC Santa Cruz - Physics - Theoretical Astrophysics and Cosmology (Feb. 28: Rejected via email)
UC Santa Barbara - Physics (w/ focus on astrophysics) - Theoretical Astrophysics and Cosmology (Feb. 26: Rejected via email to check website)
UC Riverside - Physics - Theoretical Astrophysics and Cosmology (Mar. 29: Rejected upon inquiry)
UT Austin - Astronomy - Theoretical Astrophysics and Cosmology (Feb. 6: Rejected via email)
U Washington - Astronomy - Theoretical Astrophysics and Cosmology (Feb. 6: Rejected via email)

2/28 Update: It's not looking good... :(

4/13: It's official, I didn't get in anywhere. Sucks, but I'm sure my PGRE score hurt me (especially since I applied to theory). Will re-apply next year, and definitely expand the types of schools I apply to (I don't think I really had any safeties here). I also intend on retaking both GREs, am taking a grad class, and I'm continuing research so that I'll hopefully get a publication!
Last edited by hopefulastro on Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:16 pm, edited 9 times in total.

mrawesome983
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:08 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby mrawesome983 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:43 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state University with little to no reputation in Physics but maybe some recognition in Astronomy
Major(s):Physics
Minor(s):Computer Programming
GPA in Major: 3.65 (~3.8 upper division)
Overall GPA: 3.65
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: top 10%?
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 155 (59%) lol
V: 160 (86%) LOL
W: 4.0 (59%) meh
P: 740 (57%) :P

Apparently I'm just as good in upper division physics as I am in basic math. I didn't care to take the general again though, waste of money in my opinion.

TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: )
-I'm a native english speaker so I'm glad I don't have to worry about this.


Research Experience:
-I've done a solid amount of research in three different projects over a 2 year period. Each professor I worked with had me doing technical coding work mainly. I have contributed with each project in positive and unexpected ways.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
-In school Research grant $2000
-NSF STEM full tuition scholarship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
-I've been a TA before. I'll also be in charge of a physics lab or two before I finish

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
-I've had surprising success in my research projects. Also I've run marathons, which shows determination I guess.

Special Bonus Points:
-I had an REU at a top University over the summer and will obtain an incredibly awesome letter from an award winning Astronomer. Hopefully it will overshadow my GRE scores lol.
-I have 2 really strong letters from faculty at my home University that I've done research with.
-I have a fairly crazy and unique background story, one that shows I'm determined to pursue astronomy.
-I'm crazy good at computational stuff and have evidence to back it up


Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
-I've run marathons
-I can deadlift 400 pounds

Applying to Where:

Cornell University - Astronomy - Computational Astronomy (Feb. 5: waitlisted)
This is like my top choice! If you've been accepted to Cornell but have other awesome offers, maybe you can find it in your heart to decline :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:

University of Toronto - Astronomy - Computational Astronomy
Johns Hopkins University - Astronomy - Computational Astronomy
University of Rochester - Astronomy - Computational Astronomy
Brandeis University - Physics and Astronomy - Computational Astronomy
University of Utah - Physics and Astronomy - Computational Astronomy


Washington University - Astronomy - Computational Astronomy (Feb. 6: Rejected via email)
Harvard University - Astronomy - Computational Astronomy (Feb. 12: Rejected via email)
University of Hawaii at Manoa - Astronomy - Extra Galactic/Cosmology (Jan. 24: Rejected via email)
UT Austin - Astronomy - Computational Astronomy (Feb. 5: Rejected via email)
University of Chicago - Astronomy - Computational Astronomy (Feb 13: Rejected via email) :(
Well there goes most my reach schools haha.
Last edited by mrawesome983 on Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:07 pm, edited 4 times in total.

mlp
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:19 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby mlp » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:20 am

Undergrad Institution: Large Private University, Pretty good overall, nothing special in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Computer Science
GPA in Major: 3.18 (increase after math department classes ended)
Overall GPA: 3.43, 3.46 after fall semester, so some schools got that
Length of Degree: 7 I guess, two year break near the beginning, church service, only 4.5 to 5 actually on campus.
Position in Class: I don't know
Type of Student:Domestic white male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q:161(98%)
V:167(77%)
W:5(92%)
P:820 (71%)


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: )


Research Experience:2 years studying magnetic thin films, I'll have had two trips to beamlines by the time I apply (APS at Argonne and a muSR experiment with another professor at TRIUMF in Canada). I've presented at department conferences and regional APS meetings, no publications.
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: I was rated the best hw lab TA one semester...

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Most of that Research time was paid, I also have done about 3 years of TAing, Including a couple semesters as head TA for some lab classes. I don't know if that will help a lot.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Nope

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

Applying to Where:

Physics PhD (CME):
Pennsylvania State University: Rejected via email Mar. 14, email said they had around 500 applicants

University of British Columbia: I got an email from a professor asking if I'd like to do a skype chat, they aren't a member of the admissions committee, they just want to get to know me I guess, maybe a good sign? Rejected April 17th via email

Ohio State University: updated transcript requested Jan 9. Asked if I wanted to be added to a waitlist. I did - April 2nd Rejected April 17th via email

Georgia Institute of Technology:Rejected via email to check website 2/26, I saw that they listed a gpa limit of 3.5 somewhere, I'm just below that so I had been expecting this

University of Virginia: Mar 11 -Waitlisted via email to check website Rejected, April 18th via email to check website

North Carolina State University:Rejected April 15th.[color=#00BFBF] updated transcript requested Jan 22. Mar 25: I saw that a lot of people on here have heard from them, so I shot them an email and they let me know that they sent out the first round of acceptances and their just waiting till people get back to them to see if they'll have more spots.

University of Tennessee: Accepted!!! via email, Mar 4. 2 year teaching assistantship at $21500 per year. Additional $3500 per year fellowship for 2 years. Mar 11 - invited to department open house for March 29-30-Declined, 4/9

University of Georgia: I got an email 5/20 asking why I had never responded to a previous email, apparently I missed an email 4/17 asking if I was still interested because they wanted to accept me. I still can't find the email they said they sent, so I don't know what, if any financial package they would have offered, but I thought I'd update here that I got in, off the waitlist probably.

Auburn University: ACCEPTED! Mar 18. $24270 GTA and additional $500 to "ease application and moving costs" Invited to visit on April 1st-Will Attend!

Clemson University: Invited to on-campus interviews Feb 14-16, received Jan 25 ACCEPTED!!-via email Mar 2. $23000 TA guaranteed for 5 years with additional $5000 fellowship for first year, and second year assuming satisfactory performance. Additional $5000 for summer 2020 if I do research with a specific biophysics professor. I expressed some interest in Biophysics while visiting there.

Others:
Dartmouth College Health Data Science MS:remote interview requested Dec 14, completed Jan 23.Rejected Via Email Feb. 25

Northern Arizona University Applied Physics MS: I've spoken and emailed with a professor who says I'm officially in but I haven't heard from the department or university yet.Accepted Mar 26th. $17500 for 20hrs/week GTA, health insurance provided.-Declined, 4/9

East Carolina University Biomedical Physics PhD/Medical Physics MS combined:Accepted Apr 9th. $18000 GTA, It also says I'd get an out-of state tuition waiver the first year and and an in state tuition waiver after that. Insurance provided.

Comments: I picked schools primarily based on region, you might notice. I feel like my application is probably weaker than a lot of people on this forum, so I tried to pick a good mix of schools to see where I could have an opportunity to continue my education. Some of them had free applications, like Auburn and that Dartmouth program, and Ohio State was only $5 I think, and NCSU waived their application fee. So I tried to cast a wide net. I've got at least two acceptances so now I've got a choice to make, which is it's own special challenge. I'm thinking that most of the people I haven't heard from yet have me on some kind waitlist and I'm not expecting too much. I'm still waiting to see exactly what choices I'll have, but I'll be sure to keep updating this as I go.

4/9: Today was pretty eventful, I turned down two places and got accepted to ECU. I applied to ECU mostly because I wasn't sure how I would fare with physics PhD programs and because that was a path that I had thought was slightly interesting, though I hadn't really explored it too much. I think that I've really gotten my decision narrowed down between Clemson and Auburn. The pay of medical physics is obviously extremely appealing, but I think that I'm going to stick with a physics PhD program. On another note, when I was applying I read A TON of these profiles and I felt like there aren't a ton of people with similar GPA's and Test scores or experience, so I wasn't super sure if the schools I was applying to were good picks. Now that I've got some results I feel like it was a good spread; there were some that I got into with nice fellowship offers and some that I got rejected from before too long, but OSU, NCSU, and UVA, and presumably UBC and UGA, have me on some form of a waitlist where they feel like I might be alright but I wasn't in their first round of admissions. It feels good to know that there are places that value the work I've put in as an undergrad.

4/15: I decided to attend Auburn! One of the most interesting things about this whole process is that I never anticipated not hearing from so many places by the time I made a decision. I thought about what would happen if I got accepted to all of them or rejected from all of them, but never did I imagine not hearing from so many so near the end. I decided to attend Auburn because I know from my visit and talking to professors there that I will be happy and hopefully I will be able to be successful there. I know that there are more prestigious programs out there, and maybe if I had waited longer I could have gotten into Ohio State or UBC or something, but my wife is from the south and we want to spend at least the next several years, and this will give us a chance to do that. Auburn is also in a more populous area than Clemson and as my wife looks for a job and stuff that should also help. I feel happy with my decision and I think that it will be an awesome place to be for the next few years. I'll continue to update this as I (hopefully) hear back from the remaining schools, and I'll add any insights that I can think of as this process moves further into the past. Best of luck to everyone in their future endeavors!
Last edited by mlp on Mon May 20, 2019 11:30 pm, edited 35 times in total.

chrysaor4
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:29 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby chrysaor4 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:08 am

Undergrad Institution: very well-known for physics
Major(s): Physics, Computer Science
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.3
Overall GPA: 3.4
Length of Degree: 4.5
Position in Class: average
Type of Student: domestic male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 166 (91%)
V: 164 (94%)
W: 4.5 (85%)
P: 910 (85%)

TOEFL: n/a

Research Experience:
REU in computer science, 1 conference pub
~3 years part-time in CME, SURF
1 summer in fabrication lab

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: some talks/posters, departmental scholarships, etc.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: working full-time at a national lab on quantum computing after graduating

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: nope

Special Bonus Points: did well in 2 grad classes, lots of coding experience from double major

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: had to take a lot of time off from research
due to poor health

Applying to Where: (all for QI/CME)

Princeton - EE - Feb 12: Rejected via email
Yale - Applied Physics - Feb 11: Rejected via email to check website
Berkeley - Physics - Feb 19: Rejected via email
Stanford - Applied Physics - Jan 30: Rejected via email
Chicago - Physics - Feb 7: Rejected via email to check website
UMD - Applied Physics - Feb 13: Waitlisted via email
UC San Diego - Physics - Mar 13: Rejected via email
Boulder - Physics - Feb 18: Rejected via email
Duke - Physics - Feb 20: Waitlisted via email to check website
USC - Physics - Feb 22: Rejected via email
U Wash - Physics
U Oregon - Physics - Feb 7: ACCEPTED for PhD via email, details to come
TU Delft QuTech - Applied Physics masters - Mar 14: ACCEPTED for MSc via email, details to come
NSF GRFP -
Last edited by chrysaor4 on Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:59 pm, edited 20 times in total.

sphonino
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:21 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby sphonino » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:58 pm

Undergrad Institution: University in US with good physics program, particularly HEP
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Electrical Engineering
GPA in Major: 3.89
Overall GPA: 3.74
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top 10%
Type of Student: International female

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 159 (72%)
V:161 (88%)
W: 4 (59%)
P: 880 (81%)

Research Experience: 1.5 years on HEP research on detector physics and installation. Spent 2 summers at a well known particle accelerator lab. 1 Rec letter from my supervisor there. No papers.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Presidential scholarship, deans list 3x

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for an electronics course for physicists

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: 2 years working on PCB design, data acquisition, instrumentation for a student designed liquid propellant 2500lbf rocket engine. 2 years working in an electronic development lab that makes systems for HEP experiments like CMS, ATLAs, g-2.

Special Bonus Points: My advisor (writing rec letter) is well known in particle physics. I am also a woman so woot

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Taking graduate cosmology next semester, have credit from a graduate electronics course.

Applying to Where:
UChicago Astro - Feb 13: Rejected, email to check status
UChicago Physics - Feb 7: Rejected, email to check status
Caltech - Feb 1:Acceptance by email!! Fellowship 1st quarter + $35k TA/RA Will attend!!!
MIT - Feb 7: Rejected by email
Yale - Feb 13:Accepted by email to check online $35.5k TA
Princeton - Feb 7: Rejected by email
Berkeley - Feb 15: Rejected, email to check status
UPenn



Notes
I am a bit of a weird applicant in that I heavily focused on hardware electronics during my undergrad and less on research. The schools I'm applying to all have good hardware labs/projects. My goal is to be doing detector design and implementation, ideally CMBR. I haven't found many applicants with a similar goal here, so hopefully this helps someone!

Afterthoughts (Feb 22):
Still waiting on UPenn but figure this won't change much even if I get in. I am frankly extremely happy with how this turned out! I applied to only 7 schools, all very top. There are a few reasons for this - physics in the US is predominantly data analysis/programming based, and while I have done such work before, I much prefer hardware and made that clear in my application. It was hard to gauge if this was a good or bad thing: fewer positions/projects are available for me to work on, but there are fewer people to compete with. Smaller universities also struggle to have the finance to develop detectors, and so that also forced me to apply to top universities with lots of funding and good reputation as they have the most options for me to work on. If I didn't get into a graduate school, I was going to take an internship or job offer and try again next year. I am a little burned out, and would only go to graduate school if it really worked out for me.

I'm very lucky that I heard from Caltech first. It frankly would have sucked to have heard all my rejections for the first half of February.

When applying to a bunch of colleges at the same general ranking, it becomes a bit of a crapshoot in terms of which ones you get into. In talking with professors at my own university, it became clear that there are a ton of other factors that influence admission - how big the previous year was, which professors can take on students, which departments are growing/shrinking, new professor hires, funding... Applicants have no control of this nor information about the current state of a university department and so I would encourage people to not analyze which ones they get into to gauge if they'll get into other ones. It's very difficult to say. Good luck to everyone now and whoever sees this in the future!
Last edited by sphonino on Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:52 pm, edited 13 times in total.

northerner2
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:41 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby northerner2 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:55 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small Canadian University -- high ranking in Canada, as far as small undergraduate schools go
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: not calculated
Overall GPA: 4.28/4.33 (converts to 3.99)
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: very small class sizes, no ranking given. Likely top or 2nd
Type of Student: International white male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 168 (94%)
V: 165 (96%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 960 (91%)

Research Experience: 2 years at my school working toward novel THz continuous wave source applications. 2 papers and conference presentations, Honours from 2017 project, first author of manuscript for publication expected early 2019 from 2018 project.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Honours in physics from 2017 project, 2x NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award recipient, funded by university to attend two conferences

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Crisis line volunteer, volunteer medic, another part-time job that is unrelated to physics

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Logged upward of 350 hours at crisis line

Special Bonus Points: Hopefully the time at the crisis line helps me stand out..?

Applying to Where:

High hopes:
Stanford - Applied Physics - CME - 1/30
UC Berkeley - Physics - CME - 2/15
Cornell - App - CME - $36000 12mo. - 2/11
Caltech - App - CME
MIT - Physics - CME - 2/12
Harvard - App - CME
Yale - App - CME - 2/11

Medium hopes:
CU Boulder - Physics - CME - 2/18
UCLA - Phys - CME
UofTexas Austin - Phys - CME
UofToronto - Phys - CME - $CAD 27000 12mo. - 1/30
UCSB - Phys - CME - $32000 12mo. - 1/31
UC Irvine - Phys - CME

High-end fallback:
University of Washington - Phys - CME - $1500 fellowship + $21492.00 salary Sept-June - heard back 1/17

Fall-back-er
Rennselaer Polytechnic - Phys - CME - heard back 1/23
Last edited by northerner2 on Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:22 pm, edited 16 times in total.

Awesomeology
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:22 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Awesomeology » Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:59 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts, a physics department of 20 people
Major(s): Physics and Math
GPA in Major: 3.97
Overall GPA: 3.89
Length of Degree: 4
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 166 (90%)
V: 158 (80%)
W: 3.5 (41%) :)
P: 910 (85%)


Research Experience:
3 summers of experimental particle physics, 1 publication with >100 authors
My last summer I did a senior honors thesis


Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Dean's list, Magna Cum Laude, completed the honors program, and a physics departmental scholarship awarded to the top senior.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs
Tutor and TA for 3 years

Applying to Where:
I'm applying for theoretical quantum information or theoretical condensed matter

Reach:
MIT - Rejected via an email
Caltech - Rejected via an email 2/25
UCSB - Rejected via an email 2/26

Good:
UCLA - Rejected
UChicago - Rejected via an email to look at the website 2/8
University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign - Rejected

Safety:
Northwestern - Rejected
OSU -Accepted via email 1/25
Last edited by Awesomeology on Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:47 pm, edited 8 times in total.

elkizzan
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:56 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby elkizzan » Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:19 pm

Undergrad Institution: university in Asia, well-known for physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): NA
GPA in Major: 4.39/5.0
Overall GPA: 4.39/5.0
Length of Degree: (Are you graduating after 3, 4, or 5 years?) 5 years with BSc and MSc in Physics
Position in Class: Second class upper
Type of Student: International male, Asian

GRE Scores :
Q: 170, 96%
V: 160, 86%
W: 3.5, 41% :lol:
P: 990 :) 94%


TOEFL: 110 (R: 30, L: 30, S: 22, W: 28)


Research Experience:
1 project on orbital-free density functional theory (started out as senior project and master project, then continued in capacity of research assistant), resulting in 1 first-author publication
1 project on high energy physics during summer internship
1 on-going project on simulating a condensed matter system
1 invited talk in conference, 1 contributed talk in school symposium, posters at international and local conferences


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list 4 semesters, two best presentation/poster awards, full scholarship for undergrad, 1 external scholarship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: part-time tutor for over a year, full-time reasearch assistant for nearly 3 years

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: commands in 4 languages, 1 native, English: full professional working proficiency, French: professional working proficiency, German: elementary proficiency

Special Bonus Points: NA

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

Applying to Where: all Condensed matter (theory)

UIUC rejected
UCLA accepted, will attend!!
Rutgers rejected
Stanford rejected Feb. 20 via email
Princeton rejected Feb. 12 via email
Harvard rejected
CU Boulder rejected Feb. 18 via email
UCSD rejected
UCDavis rejected
Berkeley rejected Feb. 15, email to check website
MIT rejected Feb. 12 via email
Maryland waitlisted, Feb. 14 via email
Caltech rejected
UChicago rejected Feb. 7, email to check website
Columbia rejected
Yale rejected Feb. 13 via email
Last edited by elkizzan on Sun Jun 30, 2019 6:48 am, edited 6 times in total.

PrinceWalnut
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:37 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby PrinceWalnut » Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:54 am

Undergrad Institution: Arizona State University (Barrett, The Honors College)
Major(s): Physics + Computational Mathematical Sciences
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.15/3.39 respectively
Overall GPA: 3.210
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Probably average, maybe above average
Type of Student: Domestic in USA, International elsewhere

GRE Scores : November 2018 for Physics, December 2018 for General
Q: 170 (96th percentile)
V: 170 (99th percentile)
W: 5.5 (98th percentile)
P: 830 (73rd percentile)


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience:
Worked in a lab for roughly two years (began Nov. 2016) doing computational x-ray crystallography. Was paid for a summer by the lab and funded the next summer by the NSF-funded BioXFEL internship. No publications, although I did give a talk as a part of the internship and a technical report. I am currently working on a thesis in the field. The work I am doing for my thesis is likely to lead to two publications, although not before all applications are due.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
National Merit Scholar
National Hispanic Scholar

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Was a maths tutor teaching calculus for a summer camp one year. Also taught violin for a semester, worked as an undergraduate research assistant (see above), and served as a general officer + treasurer in my university's Society of Physics Students chapter.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:
I guess I'm Hispanic, so I get to play the minority card. Two of my recommenders are prominent people in the BioXFEL consortium, and one has contacts at the Australian universities I'll be applying too (as well as Cornell). Have taken a few graduate classes and done well in them -- will take more next semester.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Terrible grades from Fall 2017-Fall 2018 due to chronic psychiatric issues starting in Summer 2017. If anything kills my applications, I expect it to be this. Yay depression + anxiety. At least one of my letter writers is aware and is willing to write about it, but we'll find out what admissions committees think. Also wrote at some length about music and how it fostered both my love of physics/mathematics and teaching. Not very technical, but might be interesting.

Applying to Where:

Arizona State - Physics - Biophysics/AMO
Cornell - Physics - Biophysics/AMO (Feb. 21: Rejected via website/email)
Princeton - Physics - Biophysics (Feb. 12: Rejected via website/email)
Berkeley - Physics - Biophysics/Neuroscience (Feb. 15: Rejected via website/email)
UC San Diego - Physics - Biophysics/Neuroscience
Univ. of Michigan - Physics - Biophysics (Feb. 11: Rejected via website/email)
Monash - Physics - Biophysics/AMO
La Trobe - Physics - Biophysics/AMO
Last edited by PrinceWalnut on Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

onetimeuse
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:55 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby onetimeuse » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:15 am

Undergrad Institution: #1 public university in US
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): math..maybe
GPA in Major: 3.74/4.00
Overall GPA: 3.7
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: prob subpar
Type of Student: domestic

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 72% (Ughhh I swear I can do middle school math)
V: 73%
W: 3.5
P: bad
Took these tests within 2 months w/o much preparation...I guess one can evade the SAT but not the GRE lol

Research Experience: 2.5 years (almost full-time) at home campus, plus a summer away. Ongoing thesis project in same lab at home campus. One publication in prep. About 8 presentations (from school-wide to national, including APS). Some outreach talks.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Few statewide research fellowships, several school-wide awards, poster awards at state and national conferences.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: A lot of STEM outreach

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Patent in progress?
Special Bonus Points:

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

Applying to Where: all AMO.
-Caltech
-CU Boulder (02/04: ACCEPTED )
-UCLA (02/19: ACCEPTED )
-UC Berkeley (02/13: ACCEPTED)
-UCSB (01/24: ACCEPTED
-Stanford
-Harvard (Short Skype 1/11)(02/06: ACCEPTED)
-Yale (02/13: REJECTED)
-MIT (2/12 Waitlisted along with 50 others. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )
-UMD (02/13: ACCEPTED).

NSF, NDSEG
Last edited by onetimeuse on Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:54 pm, edited 16 times in total.

radras
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:01 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby radras » Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:03 pm

Undergrad Institution: In Europe, unknown internationally
Major(s): Physics, CS
Minor(s): NA
GPA in Major: 9.83/10 and 9.14/10 respectively
Overall GPA: NA
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: international white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (96%)
V: 155 (69%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 990 (94%)


TOEFL Total: 108 (R: 29, L: 29, S: 25, W: 25)

Research Experience: 3 months at the local institute doing computational materials science.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: IPhO

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA, private tutor, 2 SE Internships

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: NA

Special Bonus Points: NA

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

Applying to Where:

MIT - Physics PhD - QI Theory (Rejected 2/12)
Berkeley - CS PhD - Theory (Rejected 3/1)
TU Delft - Applied Physics MSc - Quantum Internet and Networked Computing (Accepted 1/8, Scholarship interview request 2/11, Recieved Excellence and Holland scholarships on 3/25) WILL ATTEND
Perimeter Institute - Physics MSc - QI Theory (Rejected 4/12)
Oxford - Mathematical and Theoretical Physics MSc - QI Theory (Accepted 3/19)
University of Amsterdam - Physics MSc - QI Theory (Accepted 1/17, Amsterdam Science Talent Scholarship 4/18)
Weizmann Institute - Physics MSc - QI Experiment (Accepted 3/5)
Last edited by radras on Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:59 pm, edited 12 times in total.

QuantumQuentin
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:53 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby QuantumQuentin » Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:51 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big 10 State School, good reputation in physics
Major(s): Engineering Physics (Computer Science Specialization (basically a double major))
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.638
Overall GPA: 3.73 (~3.9 in upper division)
Length of Degree: 2 years (AP tests, college credit from high school, and department exams help!)
Position in Class: Probably near top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 166 (90%)
V: 164 (94%)
W: 5.0 (92%)
P: April 2018: 640 (36%), Sept. 2018: 640 (36%) (Took it seriously. lol wut)

Research Experience:
- 2 years of quantum information research in the same academic lab (honors senior thesis in quantum networks (publication in the works), 1 APS conference pub, 1 seminar talk)
- 1 year of research in quantum information and machine learning research for government contractor. Publication in the works, but early stages.
- 2 semesters of deep learning research at my school. Publication in the works
- 2 semesters of computational holography research at my school. Publication in the works.
- No publications yet, but 4 are nearing completion. 2 years wasn't enough time to reach publication-level research.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Freshman physics award, Dean's list every semester, 1 research grant, Honors in engineering and honors research distinction in physics (honors thesis), a couple department scholarships, physics senior award.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- TA for computer science dept (1 semester)
- Student research assistant for physics dept (4 semesters)
- Physics/AI Intern for government contractor (1.5 years)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
- Quantitative finance officer for student club (2 semesters)
- Almost all major courses are honors or grad

Special Bonus Points:
- One recommender is well-connected in my field. I know my recommenders really well and I think I'll get strong letters.
- I took the grad quantum core courses, and grad courses in photonics, deep learning, quantum information, and information theory.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
- Financial hardship (worked 30-40 hours/week)
- I'm 19?

Applying to Where:

Quantum Information Experiment:

Reach
Yale - Applied Physics (Feb. 11: Rejected via website/email)
UChicago - Physics - (Feb. 7: Rejected via website/email)
UBoulder (Feb. 18: Rejected via website/email)

Reasonable
UIUC (March 20: Rejected via website/email)
UMD (March 30: Rejected via website/email)
Rochester - Optics (Feb. 8: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email + $30k TA + $3k Fellowship) - Rejected

Safety
OSU (March 19: Rejected via website/email)
Northwestern (March 16: Rejected via website/email)

Machine Learning:

OSU - Computer Science - (Feb. 27: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email + $24k Fellowship) - Will Attend
Purdue - Computer Science - (April. 4: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email + $18k Stipend) - Rejected
UWashington - Computer Science - (Feb. 5: Rejected via website/email)

Reflection: It appears that my physics applications were sub-par. From the feedback I've received, I believe this is due to having a graduate student (not in a supervisor role) send a recommendation letter to most of these schools (except Rochester) hurt my applications. Thankfully, I had different recommenders for my CSE applications!
Last edited by QuantumQuentin on Wed May 01, 2019 1:18 pm, edited 7 times in total.

brucelyu
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:58 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby brucelyu » Sat Dec 22, 2018 3:25 am

Undergrad Institution: Top 10 university and #1 Civil Engineering program in China, not well-known in physics
Major(s): Civil Engineering (my transcripts worry me most)
Minor(s):
GPA in Major:
Overall GPA: 4.52/5.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: about top 15%
Type of Student: International male, transitioning to Physics from a non-physics field

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q:167(91%)
V:154(65%)
W:3.0(17%) :oops:
P:990(94%) :D


TOEFL: 105(R: 30, L: 28, S: 19 :( , W: 28)


Research Experience:
- Quantum Mechanics research, starting from Sept. 2018. We are wrapping up and writing paper now, maybe will submit it soon (1st / 3 authors). This is an unexpected research experience because I never thought I would have a chance to work with a physicist when I'm still in school of civil engineering.
- 3 semesters of research on hysteresis behavior of reinforced concrete columns under strong seismic action. Not physics relevant, it is a research project in civil engineering. 1 paper submitted (2rd / 3 authors), and 1 paper in preparation (1st / 3 authors). I don't know how the admission office would evaluate my research experience in civil engineering.
- 1 normal presentation in Engineering Mechanics Institute, International Conference 2018, Nov. 2-4 (EMI-IC 2018). Still, it's about my civil engineering project

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Scholarship of Excellence in my university every year

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Help prepare and organize two international conferences, including EMI-IC 2018

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
- I studied most physics and math undergraduate-level courses independently relying on materials in MIT/OCW, edX, Coursera, Caltech's class webpages and various other web sites. I think this experience will be considered since my PGRE score looks nice
- I had a physics research experience apart from research projects in school of Civil Engineering.
- I studied Japanese in my fresh year and transferred my major to Civil Engineering in my sophomore year. I finished three years credits in Civil Engineering in two years and started to study physics and math courses independently in my senior year.

Special Bonus Points:
- I have one letter from the physicist I'm now working with, and one letter from a professor famous in Engineering Mechanics
- First-generation college student

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: My motivation to study and do physics is manifest.

Applying to Where:
---Reach---
Caltech - Physics - CMT and Quantum Information(Feb. 26: Rejected via email) Very Sad...
MIT - Physics - CMT and Quantum Information (Feb. 13: Rejected via email)
Harvard - Physics - CMT(Feb. 26: Rejected via website)
UCB - Physics - CMT and AMO(Feb. 16: Rejected via website)
UCSB - Physics - CMT(Feb. 27: Rejected via website) No chance to take A. Zee's lecture this year :cry:
The University of Tokyo - Physics - CMT focusing on computational physics (Mar. 4: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email, GSGC program, thrilled) Will attend!
---Reasonable---
Georgetown University - Physics - CMT (Feb. 1: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website $29k/8 month TA for 5 years) first offer! DECLINED, hard decision!
Maryland - Physics - CMT(Feb. 14: Rejected via email)
Colorado - Physics - CMT(Feb. 19: Rejected via website)
Penn. State - Physics - CMT, I withdrew the application on Mar. 10
University of Washington - Physics - HEP-th(Mar. 16: Rejected via email)

Comments:
Feb. 19: Transitioning to physics from a non-physics field is harder than I had thought. More preparation is needed to convinced the top graduate schools. Still working on it...
Feb. 27: Now the only hope would be UTokyo.
Mar. 4: I'm very lucky that UTokyo gives me offer. I guess the letter from the US professor really makes the difference! Although I haven't heard from UW and Penn. State, I think here are all offers. UTokyo's decision DDL is March 10, I'll start to consider between Georgetown and UTokyo now.
Mar. 11: UTokyo just gives us one week to make the decision, which makes it impossible to visit the school. I asked around for information about my potential supervisor, and all sounded nice. I know much about the Georgetown professor, and working with him is pleasant and rewarding. What's more, the financial support of Georgetown is nicer than that of Utokyo. I would say both options look good. Of course, the reputation of Utokyo is better, but Georgetown is in the US. After about one-week-long consideration, I decide Utokyo will work better for me. I probably will add more comments later.
Last edited by brucelyu on Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:26 pm, edited 19 times in total.

otherpancakes
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:18 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby otherpancakes » Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:02 pm

Undergrad Institution: Medium School, no reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics, Math
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.96/4 (in physics)
Overall GPA: 3.56
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top of the class
Type of Student: Domestic male

GRE Scores : (2nd try)
Q: 168 (94%)
V: 152 (56%)
W: 3.5 (41%)
P: 940 (89%)

(1st try)
Q: 165 (88%)
V: 156 (73%)
W: 3.0 (17%)
a few schools got both because I sent out the scores with the test :/

TOEFL: NA


Research Experience: 2 Semesters experience in Statistics at my school. Gave poster presentation and talk at a conference.
1 semester in CMT at my school before I graduated.
1 year as a paid research affiliate after graduation in CMT at my school. Gave a poster presentation.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List 4x

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutor for 3 years in both math and physics.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: NA

Special Bonus Points: NA

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Taking a year off after graduation last spring and working as a research affiliate for one of my physics professors in CMT

Applying to Where: All either CMT or Quantum Information/Computing if they have the program

UT Austin - Physics - CMT
U Chicago - Physics - CMT (Feb. 7: Rejected via website/email)
CU Boulder - Physics - CMT (Feb. 18: Rejected via website/email)
U Virginia - Physics - CMT (Feb. 22: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email + $25k Fellowship/Research Assistantship)
NYU - Physics - CMT (Feb. 8: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email + $29k Fellowship/Research Assistantship)
Northwestern - Physics - CMT
U Washington - Physics - CMT
Penn State - Physics - CMT
U Oregon - Physics - CMT
Last edited by otherpancakes on Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:46 pm, edited 4 times in total.

quiqui
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:01 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby quiqui » Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:28 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large school in Canada, top in STEM
Major(s): Engineering Physics
Overall GPA: 3.82
Length of Degree: 5 years (4 years classes + 1 year research as part of engineering co-op)
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: International asian female

GRE Scores :
Q: 168
V: 157
W: 4.0
P: 890
Not as great as I was hoping for...

Research Experience:
- internship in large-scale dark matter experiment in US
- independent study project in computational particle physics at my school
- internship in computational nonlinear optics in Montreal
- 1 academic year in experimental AMO (undergraduate thesis work) in the US

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: small fellowships/scholarships for each research experience, 1 NSERC USRA, Dean's List

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for 2 engineering design courses in senior year, 1 internship working on laser R&D in industry

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: my undergrad program is often (a) either unheard of, or (b) known to be extremely difficult

Special Bonus Points: 2 grad classes, 1 in electromagnetism and 1 in quantum optics. Recommenders come from top US schools, so I'm definitely expecting my recommendation letters to be the strongest part of my application.

Applying to Where: (all experiment)

US:

MIT - Physics - AMO
Harvard - Physics - AMO (Interview 1/19)
Berkeley - Physics - AMO
UC Boulder - Physics - AMO/CMP
Stanford - Applied Physics - AMO/CMP ACCEPTED (1/25)
UChicago - Physics - AMO/CMP ACCEPTED (2/7)
Yale - Applied Physics - CMP ACCEPTED (2/11)
UCSB - Physics - CMP ACCEPTED (1/24)
Princeton - EE - CMP ACCEPTED (2/8)
Columbia - Physics - Photonics

Non-US:

Waterloo - EE - Quantum Information
ENS - Physics (Masters) - Solid state
ETH Zurich - Physics - AMO
Last edited by quiqui on Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Cosmicomic
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:52 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Cosmicomic » Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:58 am

Undergrad Institution: West Coast Big State, moderate physics reputation
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 2.98 - 3.65
Overall GPA:
Length of Degree: 4 years undergrad, 1.5 years of grad with a decade in between (no MS, just classes, and its been 4+ years since then)
Position in Class:
Type of Student: White American Man
GRE Scores :

Q: 161
V: 160
W: 4.5
P: 790 (2017)


Research Experience: I worked with several groups for about a term each. I was all over the map; biophysics, astronomy, amorphous solids, x-ray diffraction, entanglement,and Morse theory, all 10+ years ago. Returning to a small school many years later there was really only time to take evening grad-level physics classes, although I did briefly try working with someone analyzing star formation data, and working with someone else on a high T superconductor problem, although that was more me trying to learn about the field and learning how to code more than anything. If I had more time I'd have liked to continue, the work itself was interesting. I did a class in Quantum Optics that was more like a research lab than a traditional class. I've been doing independent research for the past year or so, and have about a half-dozen projects (and 500 more ideas) that hopefully will turn in to something publishable, but pretty sure that doesn't count. Reading papers on arxiv leads to so many new ideas to work on.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: I'm honorless.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Math tutoring as an UG and working as a TA for physics for 1.5 years.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: I've studied Norwegian for a long time, a very important language for physics, clearly.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I took classes at the master's level for about two years (3.65), then I changed jobs to something far less flexible. For the next year I enrolled in classes with the OK from work, but then they'd change things around and I never got to attend, despite them always saying "next week you can go to class, but we really need you here this week for project x, y, z..." Well I never got to campus once. Nearly a year of that. Shame on me for believing it term after term. 3.65 to 2.98, though I don't think those should count in the slightest. Uni won't remove them either, even with Prof. support acknowledging it. 99% sure this is what's stopping me, and if so, its a really stupid thing. I changed careers completely since then in order to have more time for my physics. I hope its not all for naught.

I've taken RQM as my highest official class, but I've worked through approaching 20 advanced textbooks (ie solving most problems) and have a comfortable working knowledge of QFT, GR, Stat Mech, Topology/homotopy, functional analysis, MBp, renormalization, various condensed matter topics. On my recent plate I'm learning AdS/CFT, CFT, Effective Field Theory, and a few others. I know many people have worked through lots of advanced books, but I'm still proud of that, it took a lot of time to do, and the result is I have a comfortable working knowledge in a number of advanced areas.

I'm not sure I'll get in anywhere, as my record indicates risk, but I think I have a few significant advantages over students fresh out of school, and my range of knowledge and problem solving abilities generally exceed most students at the same stage, but the GPA and dearth of any research experience more than a term or so is going to be a major obstacle that I won't have anymore opportunities to rectify, so I have to hope for the best at this point.

I chose schools that are doing several things I'm interested in and that covered a range of easier to harder to be admitted to. Even if I don't get in anywhere, I'm going to keep doing research no matter what I do for a living.

Applying to Where:

University of New Mexico: Jan 30: Rejected via email--received letter (2/4) dated 1/22 that I was missing a transcript
University of California-Santa Cruz: Feb. 28: Rejected via email
University of California-Davis: Mar. 5: Rejected via email
University of Rochester: Mar 6: Rejected via email
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign: Mar. 8: Rejected via email
Montana State: Mar 13: Rejected via email I applied late and was told I'd be at the bottom of the pile because of it, but I took the chance anyway.
Pennsylvania State: Mar 15: Rejected via email
Boston University Mar 29: Rejected via email
University of California-Riverside Apr 10: Accepted via email inquiry. 22,650 stipend for first Fall,Winter,Summer, then TA starts in Spring and continues on the next years. Totals 29k first year, 28k subsequent years.
University of Florida Apr 15 Rejected via email
Dartmouth Apr 22: Rejected via email
University of Pittsburgh: 3/20-Waitlisted by email to check website, Apr 22: Rejected via email
University of Massachusetts-Amherst Apr 22: Rejected via email. Asked to consider Master's program instead.
Louisiana State Apr 24: Rejected via email
University of Delaware Apr 24: Rejected via email
Texas A&M Apr 24: Rejected via website
Case Western 3/28-Invited to interview by email. Apr 2-interview. Apr 26: Rejected via email by grad school, not physics dept nor interviewers
Florida State Apr 29: Rejected by email

Two of these universities listed after UCR had unofficially told me I was basically in (via POI contact on Apr 12 and Apr 15), but then I got rejections from them in the next two weeks. I'm glad I accepted UCR instead of waiting for those. A bird in the hand...

UCR looks like they are doing pretty good work and seem quite underrated, so I'm happy they gave me a chance. Their PhDs are competitive for tenure at higher ranked research universities, and the UC system as a whole is well regarded, so its probably a better career move than at least several of the universities I applied to that are higher in rank. I don't like the area in the slightest, but I'm always armed and I have AC and air cleaners so I'll be safe, cool, healthy, and provided I survive the savages that are standard on the roads there, I'll have my PhD in no time! :)

For future applicants who have been out of school a while and had a GPA mishap, here is hope. Good luck.
Last edited by Cosmicomic on Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:30 am, edited 51 times in total.

yapanuwan
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2018 12:28 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby yapanuwan » Tue Dec 25, 2018 1:45 am

Undergrad Institution: Top tier university in Sri Lanka (some reputation for material science)
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Computer Science, Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.87
Overall GPA: 3.89
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: 2nd
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores : revised (one attempt for all tests)
Q: 170 (96%) :D
V: 159 (83%)
W: 3.5 (41%)
P: 990 (94%) :D

IELTS: 8.0 (R: 9.0, L: 8.5, S: 7.5, W: 6.5)

Research Experience: Embarrassingly unrelated to the fields I'm applying for. Due in part to the lack of theoretical physicists in my institution.
  • Electronics / Geophysics project during final year
  • Mathematics (Linear Programming) study for few months (1 conference presentation)
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 2 medals for Physics & 1 award for overall GPA (awarded upon graduation)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA in my undergrad department for 12 months

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: None

Special Bonus Points: None

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I was honest in my SOP and explained that I couldn't find research opportunities in theoretical physics and was determined to come up with an original idea of my own; And that as of now, all ideas I've pursued were dead-ends.

Applying to Where:

Cornell U - Particle / Astro - (Feb 19: REJECTED via email)
U of Maryland, College Park - Fundamental / High Energy - (Feb 14: REJECTED via email)
Pennsylvania State U - Gravitational / Cosmology / Particles & Fields / Particle Astro - (Mar 18: REJECTED via email)
Boston U - Particle / Astro - (Mar 14: REJECTED via email)
North Carolina State U - Astro / Nuclear and Particle - (Jan 28: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email + $18k/9 month TA) - WILL ATTEND!!!
Northeastern U - Particle / Cosmology / String Theory - (May 07: REJECTED via website)
Colorado State U - High Energy Particle and Particle Astro - (Feb 15: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email + $18k/9 month TA)
U of Texas, Dallas - Cosmology, Relativity and Astro / High-Energy - (Feb 05: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email + $1900/month TA)
Last edited by yapanuwan on Tue May 07, 2019 9:06 am, edited 14 times in total.

edwarddramirez
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:18 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby edwarddramirez » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:08 am

Undergrad Institution: University of Florida
Major(s): Physics (B.S.) ; Mathematics (B.S.)
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 4.0 / 4.0 (Physics)
Overall GPA: 3.96 / 4.0
Length of Degree: 4 Years
Position in Class: N/A
Type of Student: Domestic Hispanic Male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 163 (83%)
V: 158 (80%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 860 (78%)


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience: I have been involved in research for most of my time at the university. My work has involved condensed matter physics, statistics, and biophysics. Probably due to classes and life, none of this experience was full-time (Less than 10 hours per week).
One publication, first author.
No conference talks.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: None.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Part of my research has involved focusing on lab maintenance.
Studied one semester in Sweden via exchange program.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: No.

Special Bonus Points: Nothing immediately relevant.
Fluent in English and Spanish. Decent in Swedish.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Statement of Purpose + Letters of Rec + CV

Applying to Where:

University of Florida - Physics - Theoretical Physics [Feb. 19 - Accepted via email - $18678 9-month TAship]
U Colorado Boulder - Physics - Theoretical Physics [Feb. 18 - Rejected via application website]
Duke University - Physics - Theoretical Physics [Feb. 26 - Rejected via application website]
Rutgers University - Physics - Theoretical Physics [Feb. 13 - Accepted via email - Above $25,969 10-month TAship (Stipend for at least five years)]
U Maryland, College Park - Physics - Theoretical Physics [Feb. 13 - Rejected via email]
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign - Physics - Theoretical Physics
UC Santa Barbara - Physics - Theoretical Physics [Feb. 26 - Rejected via application website]
Columbia University - Physics - Theoretical Physics [Mar. 11 - Rejected via application website]
U Chicago - Physics - Theoretical Physics [Feb. 07 - Rejected via application website]
Cornell University - Physics - Theoretical Physics [Feb. 19 - Rejected via email]
Princeton University - Physics - Theoretical Physics [Feb. 12 - Rejected via email]
MIT - Physics - Theoretical Physics [Feb. 12 - Rejected via email]
University of Miami - Mathematics - Applied Mathematics
Last edited by edwarddramirez on Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:37 pm, edited 12 times in total.

adg
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:52 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby adg » Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:29 am

Undergraduate Institution: Not renowned Worldwide (600-800 rank worldwide) but famous for physics in India.
Major: Physics
GPA in Major: 9.8/10
Overall GPA: 9.57/10
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in class: 2nd out of 50 students
Ethnicity/Gender: International Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 168 (94%)
V: 153 (61%)
W: 3.5 (41%)
P: 920(86%)

TOEFL : 103 (R : 27, L : 29, S : 23, W : 24)

Research: For the past eight months working on my thesis in Cosmology. One Summer and one winter in Theoretical Astrophysics. One summer in HEP. No publications. Semester projects in Field theory, Non-equilibrium stat mech, Group representation theory.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: One of the top 20 students to represent India in Asian Science camp, KVPY scholarship for 5 years, DAAD-WISE fellowship for research in Germany.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: No

Special Bonus Points: Advanced courses in Physics such as QFT I and II, High Energy Physics, GR, Advanced stat mech and also some math courses useful for theoretical physics such as Group theory, Representation Theory, Differential Geometry. Strong LORs all from research guides.

Applying in: Theoretical physics focusing on Cosmology, Gravity Theory, particle physics.

Applying to Where:

Princeton University - Physics - Gravitation Theory (Feb 13 : Rejected via mail)
UCSB - Physics - Gravitation Theory and HEP-theory (Feb 27 : Rejected via mail)
U of Maryland, College Park - Physics - Gravitation Theory (Feb 14 : Rejected via mail)
U of Pennsylvania - Physics - Cosmology and Particle Physics (Mar 20 : Rejected via mail)
UT Austin - Physics - Gravity theory
Johns-Hopkins U - Physics- Cosmology and Particle Physics (Mar 21 : Rejected via mail)
Pennsylvania State U - Physics - Gravitational Physics & Cosmology (Mar 16 : Rejected via mail)
UIUC - Physics - Gravitation Theory (Mar 19 : Rejected via mail)
NYU - Physics - Cosmology and Particle Physics (Mar 14: Rejected via mail)
Case Western Reserve U - Physics - Cosmology and Particle Physics
UMass, Amherst - Physics - HEP-theory (Mar 25 : Rejected via mail)

Probably gonna get rejected from UT Austin too. Really devastated. Don't really know what will be the next step.
Last edited by adg on Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.

jasonfan1997
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:28 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby jasonfan1997 » Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:53 pm

Undergraduate Institution:Top school in Hong Kong,no very big reputation on physics
Major: Physics/Decision Analytics
GPA in Major: ~3.4
Overall GPA: ~3.3
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in class: NA
Ethnicity/Gender: International Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 168
V: 150
W: 3.5
P: 950

TOEFL : 105 (R : 28, L : 30, S : 23, W : 24)

Research: 2.5 years research experience with a young but quite talented faculty(CMB/High Energy astronomy) including a summer research fellowship funded by the university. 2 years research experience with a member of Fermi LAT collaboration and paper in prep(N authors although...). 2 month at UMaryland for summer research on particle astrophysics.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Some but not important.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Two TA appointment at department of computer science(Yes... computer science. I am a man of programming). One one-month RA at department of math(just doing coding...)

Special Bonus Points: One of recommendation letters are probably quite strong.Two of the recommendation letters came from US researchers (Not that usual among International applicant) and all three recommendation letters came from people who has some reputation at High energy physics. A second major in statistics and CS related which is very useful for observational astronomy.

Applying in: particle astrophysics/High Energy astrophysics(observational).

Applying to Where:

U of Maryland, College Park - Physics -particle astrophysics(Accept 2/13 via email from commitee chair,finical support+$2.5k dean fellowship)
University of Wisconsin Madison - Physics - particle astrophysics(Rejected 1/30 via check website)
University of California Santa Cruz - Physics - particle astrophysics(Rejected 2/28 via email)
Harvard - Astronomy- High Energy astrophysics(Rejected 2/12 via email to check website)
Columbia - Physics - particle astrophysics(Rejected 3/12 via email to check website)
Yale - Physics - particle astrophysics(Rejected 3/26 via email to check website)
UCLA - Astronomy- particle astrophysics(Rejected 2/13 via email to check website)
U of Michigan - Physics - astrophysics(Rejected 2/14 via email )
Michigan State - Physics - particle astrophysics
Pennsylvania State - Astronomy- particle astrophysics(Rejected 1/22 via email)
Stony Brook University - Physics - astrophysics(Rejected 2/28 via email.Got unfunded master program offer)
Purdue - Physics - astrophysics(Rejected 3/25 via email to check website)
Washington in st louis - Physics - astrophysics
McGill -MSc Physics

Backup plan:
HKU Mphil-(already got internal offer)

To be frank,I think my GPA probably make me very hard to get into US grad school since they admit student by the decision of admission committee.Usually for undergrad, GPA is the most straightforward for them to see the potential of that student as researcher... And since I already got internal offer from HKU, i didn't apply schools that are easy to get in. I expect I will get 0-1 offer from US grad school,Let see....
Last edited by jasonfan1997 on Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:52 am, edited 11 times in total.

NinadKD
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:10 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby NinadKD » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:38 am

Undergrad Institution: Indian Institute of Technology-Varanasi(Decent reputation in India,not so much worldwide)
Major(s):Engineering Physics
Minor(s):Theoretical Physics
GPA in Major:9.09/10
Overall GPA:8.40/10
Length of Degree: 5 years (Bachelor's+Masters)
Position in Class:
Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 165(88%)
V: 156(73%)
W: 4.5(82%)
P: 920(86%)


TOEFL:107 (R:30 , L: 27, S: 24, W:26 )


Research Experience: 1. Five months in Quantum Information during my sophomore year
2.One summer in neutrino oscillations(HEP)
3. 9 months on a numerical project in soft condensed matter
4.~11 months in topological condensed matter(includes a summer working on fractional quantum Hall states using a numerical package)
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Departmental fellowship on clearing a national level exam in which I stood 58th out of ~15k candidates

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutor for Electromagnetism and Quantum Physics; Lab assistant for condensed matter experiments
Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Have done a truck load of certificate online courses in Physics,Lots of independent studies in QFT, Differential Geometry etc. Audited a few graduate courses in Quantum Phase Transitions and QFT

Special Bonus Points: 3 excellent recommendation letters,great CV,I am an excellent quizzer (if that's supposed to mean anything)
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:All for CMT(Topological CMP, emphasis on Weyl semi-metals and topological insulators etc.)

Boston University - Rejected (29/03)
University of Colorado- Boulder - Rejected (19/02)
Rice -
U Washington - Rejected (18/03)
U Michigan - Rejected (12/02)
Cornell - Rejected (21/02)
Stony Brook - Rejected (19/02) Accepted for the unfunded Masters Program
Johns Hopkins - Rejected (21/03)
The admissions scene in the US has really been bleak this year..
I'm assuming that I've been rejected if I haven't heard from the remaining places till now.. Going to consider places in Europe for Masters now
Last edited by NinadKD on Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:54 pm, edited 9 times in total.

Zombiehh
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:35 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Zombiehh » Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:16 pm

Postgrad Institution: Imperial College London (expected Sept. 2019)
Major: MSc in Quantum Fields and Fundamental Forces (theoretical physics, somewhat equivalent to pt III)

Undergrad Institution: Big engineering public university, small physics program
Major(s): Mathematical Physics (HonBSc), Mathematics (HonBSc)
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.72
Overall GPA: 3.76
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Top 5% in physics(1st in a few classes), Magna Cum Laude
Type of Student: White male

GRE Scores : Took in 2017, didn't have time to try again and didn't study at all the first time
Q: 157 (76%)
V: 154 (54%)
W: 3.5 (41%) -They obviously didn't like my writing
P: 530 (13%) -Pretty awful, don't really care but I'll obviously take it again next April if it doesn't get in the way of finals.


Research Experience: Computational physics research at undergrad, pedagogy research at undergrad, material/scintillatory/experimental research at LANL, more computational and analysis work at LANL after graduating.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: A few scholarships and grants etc.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: SPS VP, Sigma Pi Sigma President, Pi Mu Epsilon Treasurer, 2x LANL Undergraduate researcher (summers), 1 year postbac at LANL (lots of data analysis, computational work, and algorithm building)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: APS DNP 2016 presenter, PhysCon, LANL 2016 Student Symposium

Special Bonus Points: 2 well connected rec writers (unlikely this matters all that much), 2 honors Bsc's and a MSc in theoretical physics(by admission).

Applying to Where: Mostly interested in beyond SM theory, Ads/CFT, neutrino masses, hierarchy problem, TQFTs, MSSM/SUSY, String theory, and of course quantum gravity.

U Washington
Cornell Rejected Feb 19 via email
Princeton Rejected Feb 12 via email
Perimeter/Waterloo PhD
ETH
U Amsterdam
Edinburgh
Imperial
Oxford
UCSB Rejected Feb 26 via email/website, guess they kept me on their list until they filled up their slots.
UCSD
UC Berkeley Rejected Feb 15 via email/website
Caltech Rejected Feb 25 via email


Perimeter is dream school, UC Berkeley is ideal for location reasons. I'm happy to get into any of these programs, not about that backup life, but if I'm rejected from all of them I'll apply to more European Unis, apply for more DOE lab positions (especially at LBNL) and take non-degree seeking courses, and apply to spring programs with research I'm into.

Looking bad for a PhD, trying not to be discouraged but nothing this late is a good sign of rejection. Guess I'm hoping for international and miracle funding, or another gap year.
Last edited by Zombiehh on Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:26 pm, edited 7 times in total.

nolifeB4coffee
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:16 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby nolifeB4coffee » Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:40 am

Undergrad Institution: Large State School - very strong reputation in physics & astrophys
Major(s): Astophysics, Philosophy
Minor(s): Physics
GPA in Major: Astrophysics: 3.35, Philosophy: 3.62, Astronomy: 3.41, Physics: 3.29
Overall GPA: 3.47
Length of Degree: 4y (+bonus fall semester for extra physics courses and a grad class)
Position in Class: Maybe a bit above average? this is now available, top 20%
Type of Student: Domestic/White/Female

GRE Scores :
Q: 165 (88%)
V: 159 (83%)
W: 4.5 (82%)

Research Experience: A somewhat independent two year long astro project, resulted in 1st author publication in press and two posters presented. Currently on a different physics research project, hired full time until I head off to grad school. Was previously involved with a lab earlier in my undergrad and at my previous school (small liberal arts, one year) was involved in particle accelerator research. Also had a grant supported physics education research project for one year where I ended up producing lessons and tutorials that are still in use.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Latin honors - Magna Cum Laude (with a thesis research project), selected undergraduate representative on a departmental committee, one competitive in department scholarship for senior doing research, one school wide scholarship for pursuing STEM education for which I was nominated by my department and subsequently received.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Undergraduate TA for three courses, one where I taught my own recitations, two where I assisted and held office hours. Tutor in math, astronomy, physics, and philosophy.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: The first author paper & my philosophy major perhaps. Significant work in Python & MATLAB.

Special Bonus Points: Took grad math methods this semester to help fill in some holes in my math knowledge that affected early physics course performance. I expect very strong recommendation letters from people who genuinely think I am smarter than my grades and test scores show. I'm also a woman.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Attended a small liberal arts college for one year and then took a year off b/c I was miserable being in the middle of nowhere. I also got a C in EM2 with a terrible professor but retook and got an A- so hopefully they don't think I'm hopeless :|

Applying to Where:

Washington University in Seattle - Astronomy - (no interview requested) (Feb. 6: Rejected via website)
Carnegie Mellon University in Pitt - Physics - Astro/Cosmology - (Feb. 21: Rejected via email)
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor - Astrophysics & Astronomy - (Feb. 7: Rejected via email)
Columbia University in NYC - Astronomy - (no interview requested) (Feb. 1: Rejected via website, notified via email)
University of Wisconsin - Madison - Astronomy - Apr. 15: Accepted!! Will Attend!
Brown University - Physics - Astro/Cosmology - (Mar. 6: Rejected via email)
University of Pittsburgh - Physics - Astro/Cosmology - (Informed of waitlist position via email with POI, confirmed Mar. 21 via email)
Vanderbilt - Astrophysics - (Apr. 13.: Rejected via email)
Denver University - Physics & Astronomy - Astro/Cosmology - Mar. 25: Accepted via email!

I've combed these pages in the past to give myself hope that I could still go to grad school. They've given me a smidgen and I want mine to do the same for you. I'm applying a bit all over the place but chose to do this so that no matter where I go, I will be happy with the location and the program -- assuming I get in anywhere. Fingers crossed!


Final Thoughts:
On the process: This sucked for me. I was very stressed and constantly checking gradcafe.com and this site to see what was happening with other people. To future applicants, instead of doing that, spend that energy reading the work of people you want to work with and reaching out to the faculty with well thought out comments and explain why you are interested in working in their group. I have no doubt that my second offer was a result of reaching out and developing good connections with people at the school throughout this whole process. At another school, I developed another a genuine connection that did not lead to an acceptance but did mean I had someone advocating for my application throughout the review even though I had never worked with the faculty member.
On picking schools: Do not apply to a school you do not want to attend. I would have been thrilled to go anywhere I applied and so every rejection hurt but the acceptances both felt amazing.
On the field: Grad astro has become very competitive. Every program I was in dialog with mentioned this and their lower than normal number of positions because of previously larger than anticipated classes. Most had a ratio of 3-4 spots or lower to >150 applicants. That works out to admitting 6-7 people or less than a 5% acceptance ratio, which is wild.
On Astro vs Physics with astro: I worried that by choosing an Astronomy program, I could disadvantage my future self versus getting a Physics PhD. I asked a lot of people about this throughout the process. I found that no faculty found this to be a well founded fear. This was especially not well founded as I want to go into academia and am planning on taking Physics courses in my Astro track anyways. People agreed that if I was trying to go into industry that Physics PhD might be viewed differently in some sectors but that it would be rare and that my courses taken would be what mattered most.
On prepping to apply: Diversify your research background. Don't stay with one project forever. Try different things and find stuff you love. In many of my astro interviews, my Philosophy background came up and gave me a unique perspective. Have fun in college.
And in the end... I'm very thankful. Good luck.
Last edited by nolifeB4coffee on Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:26 pm, edited 27 times in total.

MiguelA3310
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:50 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby MiguelA3310 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:11 pm

Undergrad Institution: Colombian Private University (Descent reputation in physics)
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Phiosophy and Math
GPA in Major: 3.61
Overall GPA: 3.61
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: Male International

GRE Scores : most recent
Q: 162 (80%)
V: 152 (80%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 910 (85%)


TOEFL: (R: 30 , L: 29 , S: 30 , W: 28 )


Research Experience: I worked in high energy physics for one year at my university (there were no publications and I had to leave the group), I took part in a summer research fellowship for undergraduates at the U.S. in which I studied antihydrogen atoms inside the ALPHA magnetic trap at CERN (from this there a manuscript for a publication) and finally I am part of two research groups at my university: Quantum Information and Quantum Mechanics, and Statistical Mechanics.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: I was awarded three scholarships two from the national government and one from my institution. And I received two awards nationally and one in my institution due to my good academic standing.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I was able to work in my institution as a teaching assistant for several courses and I was able to be an academic tutor in physics for around a year and a half in my institution.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

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

Applying to Where:


Stanford - Physics - Theoretical Physics REJECTED Feb 20-email
Cornell - Theoretical Physics REJECTED Feb 25-email
MIT - Physics - Theoretical Physics REJECTED Feb 12-email
Princeton - Physics - Theoretical Physics REJECTED Feb 12-email
New York University - Theoretical Physics
CU Boulder - Theoretical Physics REJECTED Feb 18-email
UC Santa Barbara - Theoretical Physics REJECTED Feb 26-email to check website
UC San Diego - Theoretical Physics
Purdue - Theoretical Physics ACCEPTED Feb 26-email with offer letter-20k/9months TA

The whole process was quite stressful and expensive, but I hope I will pass somewhere and that the whole thing was worth it.
Edit thoughts Feb 12: As I didn’t get any emails requesting interviews I am not surprised I didn’t get into MIT or Princeton. I won't lie and say I didn’t want to be surprised, but the outcome was expected. Still somewhat sad.

Edit thoughts Feb 20: This is getting utterly disappointing
Last edited by MiguelA3310 on Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:18 am, edited 5 times in total.

QFTnaughtyBoi
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:37 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby QFTnaughtyBoi » Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:56 pm

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: (School or type of school, such as big state, lib arts, ivy, technical, foreign (what country?)... Overall Reputation in Physics?): University of British Columbia - Okanagan Campus, somewhat unheard of, gets confused with UBC proper a lot, which can be good or bad.
Major(s): Honours Physics, Honours Mathematics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: A average
Overall GPA: A-/B+ average
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: Near Top
Type of Student: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?) Domestic white male (so scandalous)

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q:170 (96%)
V:154 (65%)
W:4.5 (82%)
P: 830 (73%)


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: ) NA


Research Experience: I had only conducted research as an honours project for physics. This was 8 hours/week and only for 1 year, no publication came out of it. In high school I did a lot of work and got a patent and 2 publications. I included this in all of my applications but it was done in high school and not in the correct field of research I am applying for (this was in ergonomics).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: I was on the deans list for the past 3 years

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I have been a teaching assistant for the past 3 years. The past 2 years I have been teaching 2nd year physics classes.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I have been heavily involved in the math/physics/stats/comp sci course union at my university. I have been the physics representative and vice president (each were 1 year titles).

Special Bonus Points: 2/3 of my recommendations will be extremely good. The last one will be good but wont be a falling from the heavens into the lap of the admissions department as the other 2 will.

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

Applying to Where: I applied to the physics department, under experimental condensed matter physics for a PhD for all of the below unless otherwise stated.

University of California Santa Barbara - (Rejected (March 1st ish) Asked to check website)
University of California San Diego - (Rejected in email)
University of British Columbia - Masters Program (no direct PhD) - (Jan 29: Accepted via email, offered 25k stipend (CAD))
University of Alberta - (Dec 20: Accepted via website/email, offered 33.5k stipend (CAD) wants to hear response by Jan 18th and I asked for an extension - moved to March 22.)
University of Toronto - (Dec 20: Accepted via website/email, offered 28k stipend (CAD))
New York University - (Rejected asked to check website)

I was fairly confused by these admissions results, mainly because I thought UBC and Toronto would be harder to get into (as they are ranked higher than the US schools). Maybe the sub par GRE scores played a larger role than I thought? I am quite happy to "settle" for either UBC or Toronto. UBC has more research in what I am interested in specifically (it is actually my top choice of everywhere I applied).
Last edited by QFTnaughtyBoi on Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Nishikata
Posts: 131
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:37 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Nishikata » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:54 pm

Undergrad Institution: Well-reputed university in Asia.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Nanoscience, Engineering Materials
GPA in Major:4.71/5
Overall GPA:4.65/5
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: International Asian Male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 168 (94%)
V: 160 (86%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 980 (93%)


TOEFL: 107 (R: 30 , L:27 , S:23 , W:27 )


Research Experience

Three research projects, total 15 months full-time work: 1 theoretical project on graphene, and 1 experimental project on LAO/STO at my institution, plus 1 experimental project on manganese oxides at Chemistry Dept of an overseas institution. The graphene project resulted in a collaborative publication in Nat.Comms with a UC Berkeley professor. Got co-first author.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean’s List, Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Prize

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 3 years as process integration engineer in a semiconductor company, bonded to work as part of financing my undergrad degree.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Physics Club President. Helped organizing major olympiad during my tenure.
Resident Cluster Leader at my dormitory.

Special Bonus Points:
Took grad class Adv. Solid State Physics and completed with top grade, had the lecturer as my letter writer.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
The publication got accepted recently, so I have been working on this publication during these 3 years instead of merely working in a loosely related occupation to grad school physics.

Applying to Where:

All to Dept. of Physics:
Harvard - CMT (Feb. 25: Rejected via email)
MIT – CMT/CME/AMO (Feb. 12: Rejected via email)
Princeton – CMT/CME (Feb. 12: Rejected via email)
Stanford – CMT (Feb. 20: Rejected via email)
Columbia – CMT (Mar. 6: Rejected via email)
Caltech – CMT/CME (Feb. 25: Rejected via email)
Illinois – CMT (Mar. 8: Rejected via email)
Oxford – MSc at Mathematical and Theoretical Physics – CMT (Mar 20: Rejected via email)
Yale – CMT (Feb. 13: Rejected via email)
Berkeley – CMT (Feb. 15: Rejected via email)
University of Tokyo – CMT Masters - Mar 12: unofficial approval from POI by email. (Jun. 11: ACCEPTED for Masters via website and email, WILL ATTEND!)
Freie Universitat Berlin – CMT Masters - Mar 21: unofficial approval from POI by email. Withdrawn Jun 13.
École Normale Supérieure - ICFP - Theoretical Physics - (Jun. 4: Rejected via email)

Mar. 8 update: I will not be able to do my PhD in the US this year. Time to consider other places.
Mar 12 update: Tokyo's admission requires an approval from POI before the official application window starts. So happy to get one after being rejected by a few of them.
Mar 20 update: Oxford rejected me for a second time. Okay.
Mar 21 update: Germany comes into the picture.
Apr 22 update: France comes into the picture.
Jun 4 update: ENS-ICFP rejection
Jun 11 update: Admitted to Tokyo.
Jun 13 update: withdrawn application to FU Berlin
Last edited by Nishikata on Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:04 am, edited 19 times in total.

krappyram
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:12 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby krappyram » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:22 am

Undergrad Institution: University of Michigan
Major(s): Physics, German
Minor(s): Computer Science
GPA in Major: 2.96 Physics, 3.71 German
Overall GPA: 3.11
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: Average/Below Average (Physics)
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 155 (58%)
V: 158 (80%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 790 (66%)


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience: 1 year in observational cosmology, a summer in astronomy, and 1 year in HEPEX. A paper from HEPEX is in the process of being written.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: University Honors (1 semester), and a study abroad award.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Taking an online machine learning course, focused on AI in my comp science minor. Have been helping a lab in some augmented reality programming projects.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: N/A

Special Bonus Points: Have a website where I blog about some Machine Learning and AI programs/algorithms. I also had a semester abroad.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Nothing off the top of my head...I explain away my grades as having difficulty managing time and early uncertainty in career path/major.

Applying to Where: Physics/Astronomy, all in Computational Astrophysics or HEPEX.
Note: I applied last year with lower PGRE (660, 41%) and without the HEPEX research. Didn't get into any top 40 schools.

PhD:
Reach
Michigan State University - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Mar. 25 REJECTED via email to website)
Purdue University - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Jan. 29: ACCEPTED via email + $2000/month TA + Possible Fellowship) - Declined
University of Florida - Physics/Astronomy - HEPEX/Comp Astrophysics (Apr. 10: REJECTED via email)


"Match"
Texas A&M - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Mar. 26 REJECTED via website)
Vanderbilt - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Apr. 13 REJECTED via email to website)
University of Southern California - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Mar. 18 WAITLIST via email) (Apr. 2 ACCEPTED via email + $32k/year + Fellowship) - Will Attend
Rochester Institute of Technology - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (May 21 REJECTED via email to website)
Syracuse - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Apr. 17 WAITLIST via email asking if I'm still interested in their program) - Withdrawn
City University of New York - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (June. 7 REJECTED via email to website)
Louisiana State University - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (May 15 REJECTED via email to website)
Kansas University - Physics - HEPEX (Mar. 23 WAITLIST via informal email from Professor) (Apr. 23: REJECTED via email to website)
Drexel University - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (one letter of rec was waived...) (Feb. 27 WAITLIST via email to website) - Withdrawn

"Safety"
University of Texas at Dallas - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Feb. 5: ACCEPTED via email + $1900/month TA) - Declined
Clemson University - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Feb. 13: REJECTED via email to website)

Master's Degrees:
Indiana University - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Apr. 10: REJECTED via email)
University of Pittsburgh - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Mar. 20 WAITLIST via email to website) - Withdrawn
University of Connecticut - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Mar. 15 WAITLIST via email) (Apr. 18: REJECTED via email)
Washington State University - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Feb. 1: ACCEPTED via email + $1800/month TA) - Declined

Thoughts: Turns out it's good practice to submit applications to reach, match, and safety schools. I am very happy I was accepted to at least one school in each tier, especially because I was rejected from a lot of schools I applied to. However, seeing that I was accepted to one of my reach schools, I am wondering if I should have aimed for some more higher ranked universities too. I ended up choosing USC because they have a stronger computational cosmology core, and that's the area I really want to pursue. It seems that schools in the 65+ (usnews rankings) release decisions after April 15, some seem to even wait on reviewing applications until very late in the process.
Last edited by krappyram on Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:41 am, edited 30 times in total.

mangoloid
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:14 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby mangoloid » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:39 pm

Undergrad Institution: UC with a good physics rep
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.35
Overall GPA[: 3.35
Length of Degree] 3
Position in Class: not sure...
Type of Student: Domestic Asian Male

GRE Scores:
Q: 162 (80th)
V: 159 (83rd)
W: 4.5 (82th)
P: 730 (55th) :evil:


TOEFL Total:

Research Experience: 8 months in Exp. Cosmology Lab, 1 conference proceeding. 3 mos. full time in materials lab

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean’s list for two quarters :D

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics department study room fellow for quarter, Online tutor for 2 years, Volunteer for 3 years, board of directors for a property management org. for 6 mos...

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Strong upward trend, As in QM series, graduated in 3 years,

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

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: sitting in on CM courses

Applying to Where:
UCSB - MSE - Feb 8th: Accepted Recommended for admission to M.S. by email
UChicago - Molecular Engineering - Rejected 1/23 by email to check website
Penn State - CME - Rejected 3/18 by email
UC Irvine- CME - Rejected 4/14 by email
Rutgers - CME - Feb 11th: Accepted recommended for admission to PhD by email
UCSC - CME - Feb 20th: Accepted recommended for admission to PhD by email
NYU - CME - Feb 6th: Accepted recommended for admission to PhD by email Will Attend! $29,254 for 9mos. + $10,500 for first summer
UC Riverside - CME -
USC - CME - Withdrawn
Last edited by mangoloid on Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:41 pm, edited 7 times in total.

linktothepast
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby linktothepast » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:14 pm

Undergrad Institution: Mid-Size State University
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics
Minor(s): Computer Science
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.97
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic Asian Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 168 (94%)
V: 159 (83%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 950 (90%)

Research Experience:
~1.5 years computational math research at my school
~1.5 years theoretical atomic physics research at my school
1 REU in computational condensed matter physics

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Will graduate in honors program. Selected as outstanding junior math student.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Have been working as physics tutor for past 5 semesters. Was a LA for one Intro Mechanics course.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: 4 posters (one poster presented at a national conference). 1 talk at my university.

Special Bonus Points: I have done research with all three of my letter writers and they should all be very positive.

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

Applying to Where: All for CM/AMO Theory

MIT - Physics (Feb. 12: Rejected via email)
Harvard - Physics (Feb. 25: Rejected via email)
Princeton - Physics (Feb. 12: Rejected via email)
Yale - Physics (Feb. 13: Rejected via email)
Cornell - Physics (Feb. 25: Rejected via email)
UMD - Physics (Feb. 14: Rejected via email)
UIUC - Physics (Mar. 26: Rejected via email)
UT Austin - Physics (Apr. 9: Rejected via email)
Rutgers - Physics (Apr. 17: Rejected via email)
University of Delaware - Physics (Mar. 06: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + 5 year fellowship $32,000/yr) Declined
Lehigh - Physics (Feb. 08: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + 3 year fellowship $34,000/year) Declined

Update:

Ultimately, I decided to take a year off and apply to schools again next year. Although I received acceptances, I am now realizing that my choice of graduate school will define my future career, so I should go to the best school I can possibly get into. My statements of purpose could be more well defined as I probably sounded like I didn't really know what I wanted to study in graduate school. Additionally, I have no publications or significant research accomplishments which I can hopefully get in my year off. I will be continuing my undergraduate research while taking more time to find schools that are a better fit for me. This will also give me an opportunity to better define what exactly I'm interested in studying in graduate school and why I want to get my PhD. I thought my PGRE score would matter more, but I guess it doesn't. Research seems to be the most important factor by far and it is hard to stand out when coming from a school with little to no physics reputation. I have learned the hard way that I am not cut out for top 10 schools and I should adjust my selection of schools accordingly. Hopefully I'll have better luck next year.
Last edited by linktothepast on Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:39 am, edited 8 times in total.

darklurker
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:56 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby darklurker » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:18 pm

Undergrad Institution: top school in Canada, good reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: really didn't take any non core classes
Overall GPA: 3.67
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: consistently slightly above average
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 165 (88%) :oops:
V: 161 (88%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 800 (68%) (applying to astro so hopefully wont negatively affect)


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience: All in astro: 1 summer project and 2 semester research thesis at home institution. 1 summer project at NASA. One 1st author publication (not a fancy journal) and one 2nd author ApJ on the way. One poster presentation at a national undergrad conference, one oral presentation at AAS

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: A couple scholarships and research stipends, an award for my poster presentation.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: graded assignments for an undergrad class. Editor for a research journal. Took class notes for students with disabilities.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Nope!

Special Bonus Points: I'm female and I'm doing research for a pretty famous scientist currently (but they aren't one of my letter writers). My letters should be strong, a few connections between my writers and the schools I am applying too.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: One grad level astro course

Applying to Where:

Harvard (a girl can dream right?) - Astro - (Feb. 12: Rejected via email to check website)
Caltech - Astronomy - (Jan. 29: Rejected via email) kind of surprised given some connections I had but c'est la vie
MIT -Physics - Astro- (Feb. 12: Rejected via email)
Yale University - Astro - (Jan. 31: Rejected via email to check website) Not surprised lol
Columbia - Astro - (Feb. 1: Rejected via email to check website)
University of Michigan - Astro - (Feb. 7: Rejected via email)
University of British Columbia (Masters) - Astronomy - (Jan. 9: ACCEPTED for M.Sc. via email + $15k RA + $10k TA)
McGill University (Masters) - Astro - unoffically waitlisted, talked to potential supervisor
University of Toronto - Astro - Skype Interview Feb. 19 (Feb. 19: (unofficially) ACCEPTED for Direct Entry PhD via email) WILL ATTEND


Best of luck everybody! Happy to finally contribute to this forum, it both helped me and caused me so much anxiety during my undergrad years.

EDIT: Feb 12 - YIKES

School - Department - Research Interest (Feb. 28: WILL ATTEND for Ph.D. Accepted via website/email + $Xk Fellowship + $XXk/X month TA)
School - Department - Research Interest (Feb. 14: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email + $Xk Fellowship + $XXk/X month TA)
School - Department - Research Interest (Feb. 23: Rejected via website/email)
Last edited by darklurker on Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:11 am, edited 8 times in total.

Phyzch
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:33 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Phyzch » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:43 pm

Undergrad Institution: top school in China, PKU. good reputation in physics, but not sure if it is well known in US
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.71
Overall GPA: 3.68
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: around 30% I assume
Type of Student: Asian Male

GRE General: Verbal 155, Q: 170, AW: 3.5
PGRE: 990
Toefl: 107 (29L,30R, 26W, 22S :? )

Research Experience: All in Biophysics. first last half year from sophomore to junior in PKU(quit without recommendation letter, I have to say the professor is not kind enough, a little mean.), deep learning techniques applied to cryoEM. second, junior to senior year, some topics about nonlinear dynamics and statistical physics. third, from August,2018 to now, with a US professor affiliated to PKU about free energy, stochastic physics and biophysics.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: two scholarship.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: None.

Special Bonus Points: Letter of recommendation come from professor who direct my last two REU, they seem to be very satisfied about my performance. But it seems to me that US faculties quite underestimate the recommendation from Chinese professor, even from top University(compared with US and Europe), really bad news for me.

Applying to Where:
All orientation in biophysics and statistical physic theory if not specified
Yale physics (Feburary 14, Rejected )
Cornell physics(Feburary 20, Rejected via email)
UPenn physics (soft matter)
Michigan physics (February 12, Rejected via email )
UIUC physics(February 21 Accepted via email) (Will Attend!)
UCSB physics
University of Maryland physics (also mentioned nonlinear physics) (Feburary 14, Accepted, $5k fellowship) (Really a good relief for me)
UCSD physics
CU Boulder physics (chemical physics, soft matter) Feburary 19,Rejected Never thought that. I assume it as safety school, now I know I am too arrogant.

Feburary 20: After rejected by Cornell, I am a little disappointed about the result of my application. After some fight about my vanity, I told myself that Maryland is good enough for me to become a great scientists if I work hard, I will have great platform there. I believe I will succeed there. (When I am saying this, I definitely have no hope for other school I apply to. I even doubt I get this offer by luck, since as I know most of my classmates have done undergraduate exchange research in US top universities to prepare for their application.)

Feburary 21: A good day! I get the offer from UIUC. This is the very best school which I want to get in when I begin my application! I guess that's it!
Hope everyone have great offer! :D
Last edited by Phyzch on Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:22 am, edited 9 times in total.

physicseob
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:35 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby physicseob » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:01 am

Undergrad Institution: Well-reputed University in Asia
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.93
Overall GPA: 3.86
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: TOP
Type of Student: International Asian Male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 170
V: 152
W: 3.0
P: 800

TOEFL: 90 [ R: 26, L: 24, S: 19, W: 21 ]

Research Experience:
Undergraduate Student Researcher at school [ A semester ]
Research Internship at Government Institute in my country [ A year ]

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Dean's List [1st rank in Department of Physics]
Summa cum laude [1st rank in all College of Sciences]

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
A Oral Presentation
A 1st Author Submitted Publication

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
President of Physics Club
Member of Astronomy Club

Special Bonus Points:
Took graduate class, Electromagnetism, in advance

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
I'm interested in CME

Applying to Where:
University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign - Physics - CME (Mar. 09: Rejected via e-mail)
University of California, Santa Barbara - Physics - CME (Feb. 27: Rejected via e-mail)
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor - Physics - CME (Feb. 07: Rejected via e-mail)
University of Maryland, College Park - Physics - CME (Feb. 14: Rejected via e-mail)
University of California, Los Angeles - Physics - CME (Mar. 26: Rejected via e-mail)
University of California, San Diego - Physics - CME (Mar. 13: Rejected via e-mail)
University of Washington, Seattle - Physics - CME (Mar. 16: Rejected via e-mail)
The Ohio State University, Columbus - Physics - CME (Mar. 28: Rejected via e-mail)
Pennsylvania State University, University Park - Physics - CME (Mar. 16: Rejected via e-mail)
Carnegie Mellon University - Physics - CME (Feb. 22: Rejected via e-mail)

It's harder than expectation :cry:
Last edited by physicseob on Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:57 pm, edited 15 times in total.

ShowMeYourMoves
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:35 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby ShowMeYourMoves » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:56 am

Undergrad Institution: State school, no reputation in physics (usnews rank ~70)
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.74
Overall GPA: 3.7
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: Top 4 out of about 15
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 158 (68%) :cry:
V: 154 (65%)
W: 4
P: 640 (36%) :cry: :cry: :cry:


Research Experience:
- 1 summer + 1 semester in computational condensed matter group. Did some coding and presented a poster.
- 2 summers + part time for 2 semesters in material science lab working on OLEDs.
- 1 semester (post-bacc) internship in nuclear physics at national lab. Poster presented and paper submitted to arXiv
- Currently doing another internship at a national lab in quantum materials.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
- Mini-grant that funded one of my summer research projects
- Fellowship for funding the other summer research project
- Endowment I received for GPA my sophomore year when I was a chemE major prior to switching to physics (provided through school alumni)
- About 5 scholarships for GPA (each lasted several years, allowing me to fund myself until graduation)

All the above awards/scholarships were through my school.


Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 1 semester physics tutor

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I'm worried about B's in my atomic physics, thermal physics, and optics courses. Also, during my junior year I took some abstract math courses and got B's

Applying to Where:

Indiana University - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - 1/31: Unofficial acceptance via Email, roughly $17,000/yr
University of Michigan - Applied Physics - Condensed Matter/Quantum Information - 2/14: Acceptance via Email, fully funded and received a fellowship through the graduate school - Will attend

UMD College Park - Physics - Quantum Information/Condensed Matter Experiment - 2/14: Rejection via Email - Expected.
CU Boulder - Physics - Quantum Information/Condensed Matter Experiment - 2/18: Rejection via Email to check website - Expected.
University of Washington - Physics - Quantum Information/Condensed Matter Experiment - 3/15: Rejection via Email - Expected.
Penn State University - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - 3/15: Rejection via Email Was hoping to get in, not too disappointed though because of my other acceptances.
Stony Brook University - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - 4/9: Rejection via Email

Boston University - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - No response as of 4/26.

Thoughts: I was accepted to my top choice and rejected from pretty much everywhere else. This is unsurprising because I put significantly more effort into my Michigan application than the rest. Despite low GRE scores, I think I was accepted because I had a few research experiences under my belt and my statement of purpose was probably one of my best pieces of writing (I heavily emphasized my interest in applied physics and technology as opposed to more fundamental physics research). Also, Michigan is big on OLED and renewable energy research, which I have some background in.
Last edited by ShowMeYourMoves on Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:45 pm, edited 25 times in total.




Return to “Prospective Physics Graduate Student Topics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests