Semi-victory post. Heard back from the biggest schools now, so I don't feel like I'll jinx myself. Undergrad Institution
: Big State, Top 20 in Physics/AstroMajor(s)
: Lots of classes in Geology GPA in Major
: 2.9ish last two yearsOverall GPA
: 3.2Length of Degree
: 5Position in Class
: StruggledType of Student
: DWF, older now that I've taken a breakGRE Scores
Probably could've retaken and jumped into 600's, but $$$ and I also didn't apply to all programs that required the PGRE.Research Experience
1.5 last years at school on linear device with spectroscopy. No pubs. Presented poster and got highest undergraduate research honor.
Summer REU building circuit for radar sensing system. Very rewarding, highly recommend (at KU). One co-author.
2 years at national lab (out of 4 I've taken off). First internship on semi-HEDP (plasma jets, woot woot). Second on a nuclear diagnostic for ICF implosions. One co-author; one potential co-author in manuscript. Presented poster at APS which was well-received. Gave a talk on the research, too.Awards/Honors/Recognitions
: Prize mentioned above. REU.Pertinent Activities or Jobs
: Hung out with the astro and SPS kids a lot, and was an officer for my last two years with Women in Physical Sciences. Started first-ever Physical Sciences Poster Fair at our school (the normal one is dominated by biologists and some engineers). Proudest moment was when I helped raise on the order of 10k's in $ to win a proposal to hold CUWiP at our school. Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help
: Mostly focused on research and science-related activities in my application. Practically had a minor in music, but didn't think they'd care especially given my GPA.Special Bonus Points
: Two well-known recommenders in my field. One strong LOR from current advisor. Couldn't be more grateful.Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter
: Worked at a restaurant for two years while not in school. I'm an older student.Applying to Where
- Physics - Plasma: Basic and fusion (Jan. 30: Rejected via website; March 1: Rejected via email) UCSD
- Mech and Aero Engineering - Plasma: Z pinches (Feb. 8: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $29k/yr RA)U of Rochester
- Mechanical Engineering - Plasma: ICF and all the HEDP laser things (Feb. 12: ACCEPTED via email for Master's instead of PhD, partially funded) UNM
- Physics - Plasma: Basic and pulsed power/pinches (Feb. 13: Rejected via website) U of Michigan
- Applied Physics - Plasma: LPI re- loads of stuff (March 13: Rejected via email)
Was worth a shot!U of Rochester
- Physics - Plasma: ICF and all the HEDP laser things (March 14: Rejected via email to check website)
Ah well, looks like I was in the running for a bit at least.
Because I had an infatuation with electrical and computer engineering:Boston University
- ECE - Optics and information theory (Jan. 24: Rejected via email) Wisconsin, Madison
- ECE - Optics and information theory (Apr. 19: ACCEPTED for Professional Master's instead of PhD or Research Master's via email) U of Maryland
- ECE - Optics and information theory
- ECE - Plasma: Basic and pulsed power/pinches (March 6: Unofficially accepted for Ph.D via email + $20k/yr RA)
*Honestly wasn't even sure I'd get in ANYWHERE, not even my "fallback."