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.

Aditip97
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:45 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Aditip97 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:47 am

Undergrad Institution: Good national institute in India, average reputation in physics
Major: Engineering Physics
Minor: NA
Overall GPA: 8.66/10
Length of degree: 4 years
Position in class: 3rd (I think)
Type of student: International female
GRE Scores:
Q: 165
V: 160
W:4
P:850

TOEFL: R30,W29,S29,L30

Research Experience: One summer project on nanophotonics at a top Indian institute, this was more like a learning project. Attended talks on neutrino physics while I was at the institute. Took interest in particle physics from here.
Next project was on Quantum optics at another top institute which was quite far (9hrs away by train) from my home institute. Travelled back and forth and completed the project over a year (publication being prepared), simultaneously managing academics at my own institute. Also parallely handled a review project on ion traps at my home institute during the same.
Also did a summer project at another IIT on ion trapping and simulations. Mostly simulation works on extractor electrode configurations in accelerator physics. Presented a poster on the same.
Currently working on my thesis project on Supersymmetric Quantum mechanics.

Awards and Recognition: SPARK fellowship at IIT Roorke, Prime Minister's scholarship recipient, Received an official appreciation letter from the HRD minister for exceptional performance high school (don't know if this actually helps)

Pertinent Activities or jobs: Played a major role in the formation of a student inter-disciplinary research organisation at my institute. Executive of the Physics Association in my department. Script writer for that drama team at my institute. Former executive of the Audio-Visual club at my institute (we screen movies and host some fun events). I may have mentioned some volunteering activities pertaining to autistic children in a couple of my applications.

Any miscellaneous accomplishments that might help:

Special bonus point: Diversity factor? :P

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Attended several talks on topics like neutrino physics, gravitational lensing,etc. Completed some online courses. Really good recommendation letters (I'm hoping :) ). My GPA shows a steady improvement with no drops, so this could help present myself in a better light. :D

Applying to where:
UC Berkeley-HEP: Rejected 2/15 via email
U. Toronto-HEP( experiment):
U. Chicago-HEP: Rejected 2/8 via email
U. British Columbia(Dark matter experiment): Accepted via mail by the department, offered 25k CAD stipend 1/9, official acceptance on 2/7
OSU-HEP:

I applied for theoretical astro-particle physics at some and experimental at others.
Last edited by Aditip97 on Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

abnormalandroid
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:03 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby abnormalandroid » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:50 pm

Undergrad Institution: small private school, good reputation in engineering but not necessarily physics
Major(s):Physics
Minor(s):English and Creative Writing
GPA in Major:3.748
Overall GPA:3.748
Length of Degree: 4 years
Type of Student: Domestic Male
GRE Scores :
Q:161 (78%)
V:163 (93%)
W:4.0 (60%) (what a joke)
P:790 (66% percentile)

Wish I had done better on PGRE but I got a 640 the first time I took it so I can't be too mad.


Research Experience: 4 years at my undergrad institution. 2 projects in HEP-ph, 1 in astro. 2 publications in HEP-ph.
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Deans list 5 semesters, Presidents list 3 semesters. Award for "Outstanding academic achievement in Physics" at home institution.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: SPS officer

Special Bonus Points: Big name in particle theory on my 2 pubs


Applying to Where:

UChicago - HEP-ex (Feb. 7: Rejected via website) Knew this was coming but still hurts :cry:
Boston U - HEP-ex (Jan. 25: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email $35k/yr TA + $2k scholarship)
Wisconsin-Madison - HEP-ex (Feb. 1: Rejected via website) Disappointed but not surprised :(
Texas A&M - HEP-th (Feb. 8 : ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email $30k Fellowship for 1st year + $2k scholarship. $30k guaranteed TA/RA for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years) dang they really want me
Penn State - HEP-th
North Carolina State University - HEP-th (Jan. 25: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email + $4k Fellowship + $18k/9 month TA)
ASU - HEP-th
Missouri S&T - Master's Program
Washington University in St. Louis - Post-Baccalaureate Program in Physics
Last edited by abnormalandroid on Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

potatorum
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:05 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby potatorum » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:19 pm

Undergrad Institution: state school with tiny physics dept
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 2.6
Overall GPA: 2.0 (3.95 over past year)
Length of Degree: 10 years with all the breaks
Position in Class: probably top in department
Type of Student: domestic URM woman

GRE Scores : (revised version)
Q: 168
V: 170
W: 4.5
P: 940


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


Research Experience: 1 year, publication forthcoming

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Several scholarships from university to support research

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 10 yrs as science, math, writing tutor

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: minority woman

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: very dramatic turnaround in grades after a few years break from school, all while doing research and working.

Applying to Where:

UCLA - Physics - AMO (Jan 29th: Accepted for PhD via email from professor, funding TBA)
USC - Physics- HEP Th
UC Berkeley - Physics- AMO (Jan 29th: Accepted for PhD via email, 36k gsi)

I am so happy with this! A lot of folks said I didn't have a shot because of my GPA, but I guess the admissions committee must have not worried too much about older grades.
Last edited by potatorum on Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SassyPhysicists
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:44 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby SassyPhysicists » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:23 am

Undergrad Institution: Public University in the US, relatively small Physics total undergrad population (~50-200)
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics (Honors)
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.972 (Physics), 3.967 (Mathematics)
Overall GPA: 3.954
Length of Degree: 4-year
Position in Class: My guess is that I am in the top three or four students in my major
Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores : (revised version)
Q: 169 (96%)
V: 163 (93%)
W: 5.0 (92%)
P: 970 (92%)


TOEFL: 115 (R: 28, L: 29, S: 28, W: 30) (Did not study for this. Only the most pesky programs needed it, so had to give it again as these scores are only valid for two years)


Research Experience: 3 month summer research in Soft Condensed Matter Physics - Experimental (SCMP-E) at the end of Sophomore year, followed by a ~1.5 year experience in another SCMP-E lab with a focus on fluid dynamics. At the end of junior year, sought collaboration with an applied mathematician for simulation work. Dabbled for 3 months in a CMP experimental lab (spintronics) during the middle of my junior year. Did a university Summer UROP at the end of my junior year in the fluid dynamical SCMP-E lab. Currently finishing up with my honors thesis. Doing meteorological research with NASA for about 5 months now. One publication related to mathematical physics during the application period (which just got accepted for publication), one university symposium oral presentation.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Deans Honor List, Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Mu Epsilon

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Grader in an upper-division Math class, Tutor in a lower-division Physics class, couple on-campus leadership positions in my sophomore year.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: My advisor suggested some universities to apply to, all my recommenders say they gave strong recommendations (which I am starting to believe now).

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

Applying to Where: (CMP-E = "Condensed Matter Physics - Experiment", SCMP-E = "Soft Condensed Matter Physics - Experimental")

Reach:
Harvard - Physics - CMP-E (Feb. 25: Rejected for Ph.D via E-mail/Website) (Well, I was expecting that as I realized that I did not get interviewed. It is quite dejecting, though.)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Physics - CMP-E (Feb. 12: Rejected for Ph.D via E-mail, Jan 12: Interviewed by a CMP-E Professor) (Well, I guess they at least got to know me before they rejected me. It was saddening, though.)
University of Chicago - Physics - SCMP-E (Feb. 7: Accepted for Ph.D via website + ($34k+$5k) Fellowship + RAships in future) (Yay! I am quite elated! :D )
California Institute of Technology - Physics - CMP-E (Feb. 25: Rejected for Ph.D via E-mail) (Part of me expected this as I found that most of my research experience does not align with Caltech's departmental interests)
Princeton University - Mechanical Engineering - Fluid Dynamics/Biophysics, Biomechanics (Jan. 25: Accepted for Ph.D via Website/E-mail/Phone + $29.9k Fellowship + $8k Summer Support, Jan. 3 - Interviewed by a couple faculty members) (I am quite happy with this actually!) (ATTENDING!)

Match: (I guess?)
Cornell University - Physics - CMP-E (Feb. 11: Accepted for Ph.D via website + $29.7k/9 month TAship) (Yay!) (Will maybe Decline Offer)
University of Pennsylvania - Physics - CMP-E (Mar. 19: Rejected for Ph.D via E-mail) (Well, I don't know what happened there. But this does not affect me anymore.)
New York University - Physics - SCMP-E (Mar. 6: Waitlisted for Ph.D via email) (Wow. I am baffled. I wonder why that happened?)

Safety:
Carnegie Mellon University - Physics - CMP-E (Jan. 29: Accepted via email) (Declined Offer)
University of Wisconsin, Madison - Physics - CMP-E (Jan. 25: Accepted via email + $22k/9 month TA) (Declined Offer) (In my opinion, this is an abysmal financial offer; graduate students at my home university receive more than this, even after adjusting for location)

Final Thoughts: I am very happy with positive responses from UChicago and Princeton. I did realize that I may have expected a little more than I actually received. I would have wished to be accepted by MIT and/or Harvard too but I guess either my profile wasn't convincing enough for them or they didn't quite like my research experience in the context of their departmental constraints. That being said, I don't know what I could have done to be a better candidate for some of my other reach school. I am also not sure how much my international student status impacted the university's decision to reject me. This graduate admissions process definitely made me reevaluate a lot of views I held about myself. I now have some experience with "No pain implies no gain but the inverse is not true". In any case, I look forward to visiting the campuses.

(NOTE: I am very well aware that there are many others who have not received offers yet. I am not writing all this to make other people feel differently about their profiles. I am simply offering a reflection of the graduate admissions process in the specific context of my own profile and what thoughts I had when I was applying. I hope this gives some perspective for future graduate school applicants.)
Last edited by SassyPhysicists on Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:47 pm, edited 16 times in total.

guckymeister
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:40 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby guckymeister » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:07 pm

Undergrad Institution: Super small, unranked state school (I am one of 3 senior physics majors)
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major: 3.97
Overall GPA: 3.77
Length of Degree: 4 years
Type of Student: Run of the mill white American male with European descent

GRE Scores :
Q: 161
V: 163
W: 4.0
P: Didn't take

I actually wasn't planning on apply to grad school until next year, and I was planning on taking that time off to study for and take the pGRE. My adviser convinced me to just "go for it" anyway and apply to whatever schools don't require the pGRE on my list, which is why there are only two schools I applied to.


Research Experience: Was invited to work for a professor at University of Michigan on experimental biophysics between my Junior and senior year, which culminated into a poster I will present at the BPS conference (it wasn't an REU, I got this because my adviser at my home school knew the Michigan prof really well). Have a first author publication on experimental biophysics at my home school, and I am currently doing some CMT with a totally different prof. I am also working on a computational biophysics project with the prof I wrote the paper with.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Whole bunch of departmental and university specific awards

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutoring physics since the beginning of my sophomore year.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I have a soundcloud filled with crappy musical ideas

Special Bonus Points: All three of my recommendation letters are from professors I completed research projects with. I am certain they are quite strong. I don't consider myself to be the best writer, but when I wrote my statement of purpose, everything just kinda "clicked" and it was probably the best thing I've ever written.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I play jazz guitar and a UIUC professor who I reference in my statement of purpose ALSO plays guitar

Applying to Where (all for CMT and biophysics theory):

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) - (Feb. 3: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $23k 11 month TA, Fellowships will be announced later according to the email) - Will probably accept
University of Michigan Ann Arbor - Haven't heard back yet



Decided to throw this up there to give hope to anyone who thinks their app might be lacking. The acceptance to UIUC came as a complete shock to me, since I didn't take the pGRE. Just goes to show how important the rest of the application package is. I lucked out INCREDIBLY hard with this

Reinhart
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:43 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Reinhart » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:13 am

Undergrad Institution: An Engineering College
Major(s): Engineering Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: ~ 8.38/10
Overall GPA: 8.28/10
Length of Degree: 4 years
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores :
Q: 163 :?
V: 150 :?
W: 3.5 :?
P: 870 (80th Percentile) :?

Research Experience: Physical Research Laboratory, Theoretical Physics Division - Black Hole Geometries| JESS'19 Participant, Max Planck Institute of Gravitational Physics|Working in Photonics (In home university)|4 Conference Publications

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Summer Research Fellow 2018, Indian Academy of Sciences

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

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

Applying to Where:
USA
UIUC
RIT

Canada
UoT
UBC
University of Waterloo
University of Alberta
Queen's University

Europe
Utrecht University

I wish to study Numerical Relativity. Have applied to relevant masters and doctoral programs.

purplebash
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:53 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby purplebash » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:14 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school in the US, medium reputation in physics & astronomy, top-10 public university
Major(s): Astrophysics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.77
Overall GPA: 3.79
Length of Degree: 3.5 years
Position in Class: Near-ish top? hard to say!
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores :
Q: 164 (86%)
V: 164 (94%)
W: 5.5 (98%)
P: Didn't take!

Research Experience:
Freshman-Sophomore year - 2 semesters of part-time research with a graduate student who showed me the ropes of Linux commands & Python, plus basic observational astronomy topics not yet covered in coursework
Junior year - 1 semester of research done for-credit (ie, on my transcript, and got an A) in observation simulation, more theoretical than previous gig
Summer before senior year - 1 semester of full-time research at an internship with a well-known observatory, again in observation simulation - 1st-author publication still in prep for this
After graduation (which was Dec 2017) - Researching 30 hrs/wk in fully theoretical work with galaxy mergers, another 1st-author publication in prep.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 1 statewide academic scholarship, 1 major-specific academic scholarship, Dean's list, a few awards for extracurricular activities.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- Student-Athlete astronomy tutor for 1 year
- General math and physics tutor for 1 year
- President of the school's Astronomy Society for 2+ years
- Lots of outreach involvement with the department, one letter of rec definitely mentioned this

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: The code I developed in my internship actually seems to be pretty helpful for a myriad of research interests so if they actually check out the links on my CV, that could help?

Special Bonus Points: Recommenders all insisted their letters would be strong, they all have great connections to the places I'm applying (including being on the admissions committees for a couple of the schools). I'm also a woman, so there's that.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I had to work a service job that was 20+ hours a week throughout my entire undergraduate career, in addition to all my classes, tutoring side gigs, and research endeavors. This kept me from diving as deep into research as I would have liked until I graduated, but it also showed grit, because I did whatever it took to pay the bills, support myself, and still do well in school. I was also really involved in unrelated extracurricular activities largely relating to civic engagement and voter turnout. These efforts were actually pretty darn effective and successful and I'm really proud of that, but I have no idea if the schools care about that one bit. My assumption is, not much.

Applying to Where:

Harvard - Astronomy - Feb 12 Rejected via email to check notification status.
UT Austin - Astronomy - Feb 13 Rejected via email.
University of Florida - Astronomy - Feb 19 Unofficially ACCEPTED via phone call - March 11 Officially accepted via email! Minimum $18,000/9 months for TAship.
UC Santa Cruz - Astronomy - Feb 28 Rejected via email.
UC Santa Barbara - Physics (Astro Emphasis) - March 6 Waitlisted via email from faculty; April 8 Interview; April 10 2nd Interview; April 11 ACCEPTED via email! $10,636/9 months for 10-hr/wk (half-time) TAship; $10,636 Fithian Fellowship, $2272 Academic Fellowship, $2000 Dean's Fellowship, guaranteed $8456 summer funding, totaling ~$34,000/12 months; could go up with research assistantships. WILL ATTEND!
Northwestern - Astronomy - March 19 Waitlisted via email from faculty
Vanderbilt - Astronomy - April 13 Rejected via email to check website Rumor has it they didn't accept anyone this year??

NSF GRFP - April 9 Awarded Honorable Mention! I'll take that as great news since I can still apply in my first year of grad school! Reviews: E/E, E/E, VG/VG. One of the E/E reviews said "this is a very strong application and I recommend it for GRFP funding." The VG/VG review mentioned that I should have made clearer why research would help me grow more as a person, ie teamwork skills or something, and added that my Broader Impacts statement would have benefited by showing more impact for the "non-expert, non-college audience."

Bonus notes: I was able to get complete fee waivers for 5 of the above 7 schools, and the other ones were able to make an option for me where I didn't have to pay up-front and would only have to pay later, if accepted, so that was neat. I also pretty stubbornly refused to take the Physics GRE, so I only applied to schools that didn't require it. We'll see how much that affects things!
Last edited by purplebash on Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:34 am, edited 25 times in total.

arc2nd
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:51 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby arc2nd » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:32 pm

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: Top 10 Public University
Major(s): Astrophysics, Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.95
Overall GPA: 3.98
Length of Degree: 4 years
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 168 (94%)
V: 163 (93%)
W: 5.5 (98%)
P: 800 (68%)

Research Experience: 2.5 years of astronomy research in my department, one REU focused on computational astrophysics at a national astronomy observatory, one minor publication (an ATel)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Univeristy Scholars Program (research-based scholarship), state scholarships, Honor Roll every semester, 5 research presentations (one being a poster presentation at the AAS conference this past January)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for an astronomy lab class one semester, worked at the school's IT Help Desk for a year

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Wrote a software package in Python at the end of my REU and cited it on all my application materials

Special Bonus Points: Visited Harvard CfA, got a tour from a current grad student and met with a professor there I would want to work with. One professor from my college (not a recommender) said he would email some of his contacts from Harvard.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: A couple volunteering events (Women in Science) and I've been an officer in my school's Astronomy and Astrophysics club for 2 years as Ambassador / Treasurer

Applying to Where:
UC Berkeley - Astrophysics - Computational Astrophysics (Mar. 8: Rejected via email to check website)
Ohio State - Astronomy - Computational Astrophysics (Dec. 30: Invited for web interview; Jan. 4: Interviewed, Feb. 17: Waitlisted via email, Mar. 7: Rejected via email)
Harvard University - Astronomy - Computational Astrophysics (Feb. 12: Rejected via email to check website)
University of Michigan - Astronomy - Computational Astrophysics (Jan. 28: Waitlisted via email, Apr. 15: Rejected via email)
Cornell - Astronomy - Computational Astrophysics (Feb. 5: Waitlisted via email, Apr. 15: Rejected via email)
Caltech - Astrophysics - Computational Astrophysics (Jan. 29: Rejected via email)
Princeton - Astrophysics - Computational Astrophysics (Feb. 6: Rejected via email)
Northwestern - Astronomy - Computational Astrophysics (Mar. 18: Waitlisted via email, Apr. 18: Rejected via email)
University of Florida - Astronomy - Computational Astrophysics (Feb. 18: ACCEPTED for Ph.D, $18k RA/TA stipend)
University of Chicago - Astrophysics - Computational Astrophysics (Feb. 13: Rejected via email to check website)
UC Santa Cruz - Astrophysics - Computational Astrophysics (Feb. 28: Rejected via email)
University of Virginia - Astronomy - Computational Astrophysics (Feb. 1: Invited for web interview; Feb. 7: Interviewed; Feb. 12: WILL ATTEND for Ph.D, notified via email, $26.2k RA/TA stipend)
UMass Amherst - Astronomy - Computational Astrophysics (Feb. 8: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email, $31k RA/TA stipend)

NSF GRFP (Rejected), DOE CSGF (Rejected)
Last edited by arc2nd on Thu May 09, 2019 2:35 pm, edited 13 times in total.

vickyvaikunth
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:51 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby vickyvaikunth » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:04 pm

Undergrad Institution[/b]:Indian 2nd tier Engineering Institution
Major(s): Mechanical Engineering
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 8.04/10
Overall GPA: 7.65/10
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: above average
Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores : 320
Q: 168
V:152
W:4.0
P:580 ( Didn't send to any university though thinking it might be a big black mark, but having second thoughts on my decision)


TOEFL:105 R:28 , L:29 , S:23 , W: 27


[b]Research Experience
: 2 years in Aerodynamics at own university. Got a conference presentation and a publication out of it( 3rd author out of 5). 3 months observational astronomy intern at a top institute in India. Now in the US at a well known institute under a well known professor in theoretical astrophysics
Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Head of SEDS( Space club) University chapter, did several projects and outreach programs.

Special Bonus Points: Professor I am currently working under is a very well person. But havent got a recommendation from him.
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:
University of Texas Austin- Astronomy Phd- Feb 6 Rejected via E-mail
University of Wisconsin- Madison- Astronomy
University of Florida- Astronomy
Stony Brook University- MA Physics and Astronomy
Princeton - Post- Baccalaureate program in Astrophysics
KU Leuven- Msc Astronomy & Astrophysics

luttinger_320
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:43 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby luttinger_320 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:24 am

Undergrad Institution: Fairly new, national institute from India
Major: Physics
Minor: Mathematics
GPA in major: ~ 9.6/10.0
Overall GPA: ~9.6/10.0
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores :
Q: 165 :oops:
V: 159
W: 4.0
P: 960

TOEFL: (R: 29, L: 30, S: 25, W: 30)


Research Experience:
Research projects during each summer throughout undergrad (4 of them). Most of my projects have been on strongly correlated systems and developing computational frameworks. A couple of my work has been forked and starred in Giithub

- Spent a summer on thin film solar cells
- Worked on a computational technique that reproduces the correct phase diagram of Hubbard model, inaccessible via crude mean-field schemes
- Spent a summer abroad to develop a semiclassical technique to study the suppression of long range order of lattice bosons in frustrated systems (expecting a publication soon)
- MS project on an improved field theoretic method to account for quantum fluctuations (another publication is expected within a couple of months)
- A short term project on formulating k-space Hartree-Fock correction for Bloch bands

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Academic Excellence award every year, Bronze medal in an international poster presentation, secured a couple of competitive fundings from Govt. of India and a prominent Private corporation

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Nothing much. Helped science popularization causes in local community as a part of Science Activity Club

Special Bonus Points: One of my recommenders is the director of a prominent research institute, another was a Postdoc of a relevant group at one of universities

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

Applying to Where:

UC, Berkeley - Physics - CM Theory
U Chicago - Physics - CM Theory (Feb 7: Rejected via website)
UIUC - Physics - CM Theory/AMO
U Colorado, Boulder - Physics - CM Theory
U Michigan, Ann Arbor - Physics - CM Theory (Feb 6: Accepted for PhD by email + $2635 per month
Columbia University, NYC - Physics - CM Theory/AMO
Penn State - Physics - CM Theory / Stat Mech
Last edited by luttinger_320 on Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

xaxis
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:14 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby xaxis » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:54 pm

Undergrad Institution: Australian Top 3 University, known for Astrophysics & Quantum
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Computer Science (not completed but 95% there)
GPA in Major: 86.15/100
Overall GPA: 84.8/100 (Honours Class I) [I'm told roughly equivalent to a 3.5-3.7]
Length of Degree: 4 years (3 UG + 1 honours)
Position in Class: Top 10%
Type of Student: Int'l Male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 169
V: 166
W: 6.0
P: 740 (left it last minute so couldn't redo :/)


TOEFL: N/A
TestDAF (German): Re: 5/5, Wr: 4/5, Sp: 5/5, Li: 5/5


Research Experience:
- 3 undergraduate research projects (~ 6-12 wks each, 1/4 load) and one summer research project (6 wks) in Particle Physics.
- Summer research project (12 wks) and 12wk continuation during semester on Blockchain and Networks (Computer and Network Security area).
- Year-long honours project on ATLAS detector hardware (i.e. expt. particle physics)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
(All internal)
- School of Physics foundation scholarship No. III (3rd year)
- School of IT honour roll 2015-2016
- Admitted to Talented Students Program 2016-2018
- Admitted to UG with scholarship under Sydney Scholars program

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- TA/Tutor for 6 Computer Science units across 2 years (4 semesters)
- Data analysis experience (~2yrs)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
- Honours project completed as undergrad member of CERN/ATLAS collaboration.
- Founded open source collaboration at my university.

Special Bonus Points:
- Probably very strong letters of recommendation from both Physics and CS (I know that one of my CS professors wrote a letter to the effect of "I wanted him for a PhD myself". Actually true though - he's been begging me to swap to grad study in CS for almost a year now).
- Very focused interests (silicon detector hardware for particle physics, preferably ATLAS upgrade related) that continue on from my honours project; did my research and only applied to physics departments that actively collaborate with ATLAS in this field.
- Honours supervisor is somewhat well known within the ATLAS collaboration.


Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Dual citizenship (Aus + EU)

Applying to Where:
UBC (University of British Columbia) - HEP Applied - MSc Physics (Jan 10: Unofficial acceptance via email, Feb. 6: ACCEPTED for MSc via website/email)
ETH Zurich - HEP Applied - MSc Physics (late Dec: met Prof in person)
Cambridge - HEP Applied - PhD Particle Physics (Jan 25: Interview, ~Jan 30: informal email communicating acceptance conditional on funding, Feb 5th: met Prof in person)
Oxford - HEP Applied - DPhil (PhD) Particle Physics
Albert Ludwig Universität Freiburg - HEP Applied - PhD

ParticleExplosion
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:46 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby ParticleExplosion » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:01 pm

Undergrad Institution: State Research University (US), Within Top 100, Moderate sized physics department
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.76
Overall GPA: 3.77
Length of Degree: 4 Years
Position in Class: uncertain about my exact ranking
Type of Student: Domestic Hispanic Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 153 ( 50%)
V: 150 (47%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 580 (23%) Not great at standardized testing


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience:
About 3 years of research experience in experimental particle physics.
- Data Acquisition hardware work for Silicon Photomultipliers for a dark matter experiment and a spin-off project.
- Geant4 simulations of a full body, time of flight Positron Emission Tomography scanner based on the detector technologies from the aforementioned dark matter experiment (Currently drafting a paper, Good prelim results)
- SULI: FNAL beam diagnostics for the muon g-2 experiment, mostly computational and analytical work.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
SULI, DAAD RISE Germany internship (But I declined it for FNAL), Several research scholarships at my university, On the dean's list from 2015 to 2018

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
I volunteer at outreach events hosted by my college and the physics departments handling physics demonstrations. I even built new Electromagnetic demos which have been used by other people in the department and I am drafting instructions on how to build them for those interested. I am currently working with other students at my college to start a SACNAS chapter to help students find and stay in STEM research.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Several poster presentations and talks at multiple conferences (5 poster presentations, 2 talks)

Special Bonus Points:
Minority. I have already met some professors at some of the universities I have applied to and are familiar with my work. I know two professors and a graduate student at Princeton who can vouch for me but we'll have to see what happens.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
I managed to get fee waivers for all of my applications. Some were from college reps I met at the 2018 SACNAS conference and some were from the GEM Consortium.

Applying to Where:


Princeton University - Physics - Astroparticle/HEP Exp (Feb. 12: Rejected via website/email)
Cornell University - Physics - Accelerator Physics (Feb. 21: Rejected via website/email)
Rice University - Physics - Astroparticle Exp (Jan. 26: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email + $31k/12 month + $6k/yr Dean's Fellowship) Will attend!
University of Chicago - Physics - Accelerator Physics (Feb. 7: Rejected via website/email)
Purdue University - Physics - HEP Exp (Mar. 25: Rejected via website/email)
University of Notre Dame - Physics- HEP Exp (Feb. 18: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email + $23k for 9 month)

External Fellowships:
NSF GRFP
GEM Fellowship Recommended for the GEM associate fellowship (16k/yr min. and full tuition from GEM mem. university) but I am unsure if that means I got the fellowship.
Last edited by ParticleExplosion on Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:03 am, edited 6 times in total.

tcarbin
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:40 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby tcarbin » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:03 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big State School, Top 15 in Physics
Major(s): Physics, Philosophy
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.99
Overall GPA:3.86
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Somewhere in the top
Type of Student: DWM

GRE Scores :
Q: 163 (83%)
V: 164 (94%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 880 (81%)


Research Experience:
Did a research project for one semester freshman year at my school's observatory through a class. I collected and analyzed photometric data of a variable star binary system.

Worked for about a year and a half in a superconducting qubit lab. Was involved with lots of different parts of the experiments. Data analysis with MATLAB, fabrication of qubit devices (including SEM lithography, double-angle evaporation, working with chemicals in a clean room), basic circuitry, Used CAD to design devices for measurement and other tests, and more. Perhaps the most impressive part of my application is that I came up with a new way for controlling our qubit systems and I was able to implement it.

Summer SULI appointment at General Atomics. I worked with a particle simulation code and applied it to create a tool for personnel in the tokamak control room who can use it to quickly identify heating sources. I also did several studies to optimize the code for this use. This involved me learning lots of new programming skills. I also presented my work at APS-DPP.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: One Physics departmental scholarship, one scholarship from my university, Phi Kappa Phi, Dean's list every semester

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: not unless you count tutoring in high school

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Each of my four recommenders I did research with and each was very willing to write me a letter and I expect the letters to be one of the strongest points of my application. One came from Harvard and is relatively big in CM, another graduated from UCLA.

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

Applying to Where:

All Physics PhD in QI/QC:

Yale (Feb 13: Rejected via email to check website)
Harvard (Feb 25: Rejected via email to check website)
Berkeley (Feb 15: Rejected via email to check website)
Princeton (Feb 12: Rejected via email)
Caltech (Feb 25: Rejected via email)
Stanford (Feb 20: Rejected via email)
UCSB (Jan 23: 15min skype chat) (Feb 26: Rejected via email to check website)
UC Boulder (Feb 18: Rejected via email to check website)
Michigan (Feb 6: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $2635/month for 5 years + TA opportunities)
Illinois (Feb 13: ACCEPTED via email + $23,298 for first 11 months)
UCLA (Feb 21: ACCEPTED via email + $15,000 for first year + TA) *****WILL ATTEND!!!!!******
Washington (Rejected)
UCSD (Rejected)
Northwestern (Rejected)
Waterloo[/quote] (Rejected (presumably -- never heard back lol) )

Overall happy at where I wound up, though I definitely expected to have a few more options. I didn't really get into any of the schools I considered reaches and got denied from essentially all of the schools I thought were safeties. Nonetheless, very happy with how things turned out and excited to begin the next chapter.
Last edited by tcarbin on Tue May 28, 2019 12:37 am, edited 13 times in total.

sh2019physics
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:45 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby sh2019physics » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:32 pm

Undergrad Institution: Ivy League, strong applied physics program
Major(s): Physics, Electrical Engineering
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.64 (Physics), 3.72 (EE)
Overall GPA: 3.60
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Not considered at university
Type of Student: Domestic Asian Male

GRE Scores :
Q:168 (94%)
V: 159 (83%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 860 (78%)

Research Experience: 2 summers of microfluidics biosensor research at home university, one semester project on nanowire break junctions, one semester project on microfabricated cell counter.
1 year cold atom experiment research at home university after graduation (full time) - designed and built electronic safety systems, special AOM drivers for spatial modulation of optical dipole trap; sub-Doppler cooling and RF state transfer of atoms en route to Bose-Einstein condensation

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Graduated with distinction in engineering, QuestBridge Scholar

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Linear algebra and multivariable calculus tutor through university math department (2 years), instructor to high school students through university summer program (2 summers)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Low income background; first generation college student

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Strong progression of GPA through college

Applying to Where: All experimental AMO

Columbia - March 15: Rejected; email to check website
UChicago - Feb. 7: Rejected; email to check website
Georgia Tech - Feb. 11: Accepted; email to check website; $27k TA
Harvard - Feb. 25: Rejected; email to check website
MIT - Feb. 12: Rejected via email
Princeton (EE) - Applied physics concentration Feb. 12: Rejected via email
UVA - Feb. 22: Accepted; email to check website; $20k TA + $5.6k summer RA
Yale - Feb. 13: Rejected via email
Last edited by sh2019physics on Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:06 pm, edited 6 times in total.

Proheat2019
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:37 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Proheat2019 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:56 am

Undergrad Institution: State university with good engineering reputation
Major(s): Aerospace engineering and Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.82
Overall GPA: 3.82
Length of Degree: 4 years (pretty happy about pulling this off)
Position in Class: No official ranking - near top I think?
Type of Student: Domestic (California)

GRE Scores :
Q: 170
V: 163
W: 5.5
P: 940



Research Experience: 3+ years being very involved in developing Cubesat missions with an on-campus lab (pretty much all of my time in between classes has been spent in this lab for the last few years), 1 year of composite thermoelectric material research with a physics professor (1 summer spent working on each).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nope

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutoring for our physics department for the last year

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Co-authored paper published in SPIE

Special Bonus Points: Rec letters are all from professors I have done research with

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Worked on Cubesat projects with NASA JPL, which probably helped with Caltech.

Applying to Where:

University of Washington - Physics PhD - ACCEPTED Jan. 17 + $21K TA
Caltech - Physics PhD - ACCEPTED Feb. 1, official letter received Feb. 5 + $35K - WILL ATTEND
MIT - Physics PhD - REJECTED Feb. 12 via email
UC Berkeley - Physics PhD - REJECTED Feb. 15 via email to check portal
UC Santa Barbara - Physics PhD - REJECTED Feb. 26 via email to check portal
Stanford - Physics PhD - REJECTED Feb. 20 via email

MIT - Aerospace Eng. MS/PhD- WAITLISTED March 1. via email
Georgia Tech - Aerospace Eng. PhD
Last edited by Proheat2019 on Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:10 am, edited 13 times in total.

fraiserfan69
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:54 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby fraiserfan69 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:15 pm

Undergrad Institution: Highly ranked state school
Major(s): Physics and Math
Overall GPA: 3.7
Length of Degree: 5 years
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores :
Q: 154 (65%)
V:158 (68%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 650 (39%)


Research Experience: Three years with one advisor at home institution, including two summers working abroad on the collaboration. One semester spent at CERN working with ATLAS. All work in experimental particle physics.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list some semesters, won poster competitions

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: SPS VP and SPS Social Chair for a year each

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: One publication with a large collaboration, undergraduate thesis in progress, Nuclear Instrumentations Paper in progress (first author). Many grad level courses in physics and math, including a seminar on high energy particle physics.

Special Bonus Points: All LOR writers well known in field from work with big collaborations (ATLAS and CDF)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Five years to graduate due to semester abroad, semester working at CERN and a semester with limited credits due to being very sick

Applying to where:
Applying for HEP Ex

Reach:
University of Chicago - Physics - Accepted 2.7
Harvard - Physics
Yale - Physics - Rejected 2.13
Cornell - Physics
Caltech - Physics
University of Pennsylvania - Physics

Match/Safe:
Columbia - Physics
University of Michigan - Physics - Accepted 2.1
University of Virginia - Physics - Accepted 1.25
University of Wisconsin - Physics - Accepted 1.25
UC Irvine - Physics - Accepted 1.30
UC Davis - Physics
University of Washington - Physics
University of Oregon - Physics
Last edited by fraiserfan69 on Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bmarx
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:31 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby bmarx » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:01 am

Undergrad Institution: top Brazilian university
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): -
GPA in Major: 9.0/10 (3.57)
Overall GPA: -
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: international male

GRE Scores : revised
Q:170 (96%)
V:152 (56%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 940 (89%)

TOEFL: 107 (R: 29, L: 30 , S: 20 , W: 28 )

Research Experience: one year in a math project about qualitative theory of ODE's (one presentation in a national event), one year in an experimental physics project about NMR spectroscopy (one presentation in national event also, but I almost didn't write about it in my application), and one year in a theoretical physics/statistics project involving modelling of collective intelligence (two presentations in national events plus a talk about my results).

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: one semester as lab TA for freshmen. One year as student representative in the physics undergrad course coordination and in the undergrad committee of my institute.

Applying to Where: All PhD programs

Princeton - Physics - Biophysics (Feb 12: REJECTED via email)
Northwestern - Physics - Biophysics
Georgia Tech - Physics - Biophysics
Rice - Physics - Biophysics (Feb 8: ACCEPTED via email)
Penn State - Physics - Biophysics (Feb 8: ACCEPTED via email)
Emory - Physics - Biophysics (Feb 5th: interview w/ two professors)
UC Davis - Physics - Biophysics
Duke - Statistical Science
Last edited by bmarx on Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

diptanilroy
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:59 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby diptanilroy » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:18 am

Undergrad Institution: Fairly new, national institute from India
Major: Physics
Minor: Mathematics
GPA in major: ~ 9.17/10.0
Overall GPA: ~ 9.17/10.0
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: Top 3
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores :
Q: 165
V: 157
W: 4.0
P: 910

TOEFL: 116 (R: 28, L: 30, S: 28, W: 30)


Research Experience:

- Participated in a summer school on Astrophysics and related Data Analysis
- Have a conference proceeding in Non-Linear Dynamics where I worked on the dissipation dynamics of a system of quartic oscillators.
- Worked on cluster algorithms for Potts Model, which is akin to the QCD phase transition
- Worked on the reconstruction of hypernuclei in the CBM experiment at GSI, Germany (Summer)
- Master's thesis on the study of cumulants in the CBM setup. To be published in CBM Progress report for 2019

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Secured a couple of competitive fundings from Govt. of India and a prominent Private corporation

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Students' Council President. Students' Representative to the Undergraduate Committees of School of Physical Sciences, and Institute, Student' Representative for Outreach Committee of Institute

Special Bonus Points: One of my recommenders is one of the top-most high energy experimentalists in India, another is a spokesperson for the CBM experiment.

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

Applying to Where:

UC, Los Angeles - Physics - Experimental HEP
UC, Davis - Physics - Experimental HEP (Feb 23: Accepted for PhD by email + $27k per annum)
CalTech - Physics - Experimental HEP (Feb 27: Rejected)
Purdue University - Physics - Experimental HEP (Feb 6: Accepted for PhD by email + $20.2k per annum)
Rutgers University - Physics - Experimental HEP (Feb 11: Accepted for PhD by email + > $26k for 10 months)
Columbia University - Physics - Experimental HEP

Max Planck IMPRS EPP - Physics - Experimental HEP
Last edited by diptanilroy on Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:33 pm, edited 6 times in total.

Xpolonia
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:10 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Xpolonia » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:27 pm

Undergrad Institution: University in Hong Kong, not well-known for Physics I guess
Major(s): Physics
Overall GPA: 3.56 / 4.30 :?
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: N/A
Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 155
V: 169
W: 3.0 :(
P: 760 :(


TOEFL: 110 (R: 29, L: 29, S: 23 :? , W: 29)


Research Experience: 2 Years of experimental AMO, 1 semester in Chaos theory, 1 semester in CMT and half a year in astro. 1 conference paper in astro in preparation, 4 conference posters in AMO.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Just some minor scholarships

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Was a mentor for some high school science competitions, I guess that doesn't really matters...

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: N/A

Special Bonus Points: Two very strong reference letters (But the third is a bit weak I believe), worked with past students of Nobel Laureates and Nobel Laureate. Research intern at UC Berkeley before, exchange semester at ETH Zurich.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I didn't expect much due to my poor PGRE and GPA. Though I excel in a graduate AMO course as well as all experimental courses.

Applying to Where:

MIT - Physics - Exp AMO
UC Berkeley - Physics - Exp AMO
CU Boulder - Physics - Exp AMO (Feb. 5: ACCEPTED via email)
UChicago - Physics - Exp AMO (Feb. 7: Rejected; email to check website)
Columbia - Physics - Exp AMO
UIUC - Physics - Exp AMO
Rice - Physics - Exp AMO
ETH Zurich - Physics (MSc)

noethername
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:43 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby noethername » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:27 pm

Undergrad Institution: State school, ranked in lower third of U.S. physics top 100.
Major(s): Astrophysics; Pure Math double-major.
Minor(s): None.
GPA in Major: Physics 3.78; Math 4.05
Overall GPA: 3.91
Length of Degree: Uhhhh, 5? But see below for extra info.
Position in Class: Near top - small class so hard to say, those of us doing well had strengths in different areas.
Type of Student: Domestic white female, graduating this semester.

GRE Scores :
Q: 164 (86%)
V: 166 (97%)
W: 5.5 (98%)
P: 740 (57%)

Research Experience:
- One year of proofy math research (but topic does relate to physics) culminating in successful formal defense of honors thesis in that department;
- Eight months as "undergraduate physicist" for university-associated company that works with space industry;
- One physics REU at a significantly higher-ranked institution;
- Two semesters of research methods credit in QM (emphasis on topics crucial to QFT), cosmology. Mostly supervised learning, no publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
- Phi Beta Kappa;
- Summa Cum Laude Mathematics Departmental Honors and Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award;
- Sigma Pi Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi, and a couple departmental and university merit-based scholarships awarded in middle of degree.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- Three semesters of employment as math, physics, astronomy tutor by university;
- Three semesters (ongoing) as TA in physics and chemistry (covered 4 different courses, two of them junior-level, 7 lecture sections total);
- All research listed above was paid/funded except the last;
- Worked a second non-physics-related job to support self throughout undergrad. Bonus: skilled labor (many people go to school for this work, but I trained myself to high quality), self-employment/own business built from scratch.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
- Active classical violinist and studied multiple foreign languages for any places that care about well-roundedness?

Special Bonus Points:
- Female, vaguely nontraditional student (in late 20’s).
- Disabilities/medical conditions have chronically impacted performance and were a source of serious physical and financial barriers, shows I’m able to overcome bad circumstances/demonstrates that grit and determination committees like to see.
- Took courses in cosmology and GR, currently taking particle physics, all of which are highly relevant to my research interests for grad school.
- Once upon a time, before I fell mysteriously ill and had a gap in education, I graduated high school with about 95 credits earned (including 30 in math) from a different state university.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
-I have a strong interest and track record in teaching (including both paid and volunteer work) and emphasized this in addition to primary research interests, particularly at those schools where Physics Education Research is a thing;
-Worst couple grades on current transcript explained fairly well by outside circumstances.



Applying to Where:
All for whichever areas of HEP, Gravity and/or Cosmology each school is strong in (strong emphasis on theory, with a slight possible willingness to bend towards experimental/observational depending on the exact topic and mentor). Applied for physics (not astro). I know that HEP-TH is highly competitive and there will be plenty of applicants from more well-known schools and with higher personal stats, so hopefully this long list with some spread will work out for me! Listed in order of overall department rankings, not necessarily in order of preference.

Harvard - Gee, sure is taking them a long time to reject me! :P
Cornell - Feb. 19: REJECTED
U Michigan - Feb. 14 contact confirmed I will be rejected and unusually small number of HEP-TH offers made this year Feb. 15: REJECTED
U Maryland - Feb. 14: Rejected.
U Penn -
U Wash -
UT Austin -
Penn State - Feb. 21 ACCEPTED - $22k Fall/Spring TA + $4000 Academic Year Fellowship + $4000 Summer Fellowship Support = $30,000 for first year. Pretty excited about this one! I had started to give up hope with how late in the month it is and here they come WITH fellowship money! :D
U Minnesota - Jan. 14: ACCEPTED - approximately $26.5K total TA and summer support, told that number may increase slightly. :D
UC Davis -
Brown University -
North Carolina Chapel Hill - applied a couple days past "priority" deadline
U Pittsburgh -
U Mass Amherst - Jan. 30: ACCEPTED - financial details came later: "at least" $23,050.50 TA + "up to" $8,565.00 summer RA support to be "negotiated" = $31,813.60. Departmental fellowship winners have not yet been decided and there "may be" more money. .
Last edited by noethername on Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:57 pm, edited 16 times in total.

mp2019
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:10 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby mp2019 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:35 am

Undergrad Institution: Medium size public college
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math and Engineering
GPA in Major: 3.5/4.0
Overall GPA: 3.45/4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: N/A
Type of Student: Domestic Hispanic Male
GRE Scores: revised
Q: 154 (54%)
V: 150 (47%)
W: 3.5 (41%)

I suck at standardized tests...

Research Experience: Small project as an undergrad (OLEDs)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Several scholarships as an undergrad.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Volunteer work, held physics/math TA positions as an undergrad.

Special Bonus Points: 3 year of experience in the field at a well known institution. Have taken several courses in medical physics

Applying to Where:

Ph.D. Positions:

University of Wisconsin-Madison: Medical Physics - (Received rejection email on 1/18)
University of Chicago: Medical Physics - (Received rejection email on 1/18)
Duke University: Medical Physics -
UTHealth MD Anderson GSBS : Medical Physics -

Master's Position:
Duke: Medical Physics -

Duke had an open house/interview weekend (2/1-2/3), but I have not heard anything from them. Does anyone know if they are still reviewing applications?

rob3rt
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:16 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby rob3rt » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:47 pm

Undergrad Institution: mid/large state school, mid-low rep in physics
Major(s): Physics and Math
Minor(s): Comp Sci
GPA in Major: ~3.8
Overall GPA: ~3.9
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Probably around top 10%
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 157 (76%)
V: 158 (68%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 750 (59%)



Research Experience: 1.5 years of computational biophysics, 1 summer astro REU (data analysis related), 1 year astro research. No papers.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Only state/school related stuff. Dean's list, school scholarship, small department scholarships, small state research grant

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: none

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 computational astrophysics
ACCEPTED REJECTED WAITLIST
School - UIUC (Feb 21 Rejected via email)
School - Vanderbilt
School - Georgia tech (Feb 12: WAITLIST <- will probably leave waitlist soon)
School - Notre Dame (Apr 5 Rejected via email to check website)
School - Iowa (Feb 11: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
School - Oklahoma
School - Tennessee, Knoxville (Mar 5: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
School - Alabama

No response from the rest of the schools as of Apr 11. I am assuming rejection.

I just wanted to show what a more 'normal' application might look like. The schools I chose were influence heavily by location. From what my professors have told me, the applicants here are incredible on average (seriously the people here rock!) In my opinion, the biggest deciding factor is letters of rec, which I knew that at least one of my letters was fantastic. My advice to everyone who is panically reading these like I did for 3.5 years is to work on getting good solid research with a professor who you can relate to personally as well. Also, don't procrastinate on your statement of purpose and write it on new years eve like I did.
Last edited by rob3rt on Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:42 am, edited 6 times in total.

anupamraj0701
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:37 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby anupamraj0701 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:29 am

Undergrad Institution: Reputed Indian Institute
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): NA
GPA : 8.978/10
Length of Degree: B.Sc. Physics ( hons) 3 years + M.Sc.Physics (2 years) [5 Years]
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student:International male

GRE Scores : (only took once)
Q: 156
V: 152
W: 3.0
P: 680



IELTS: 8


Research Experience:
First internship in accelerator Physics ( 1 month )
Master's thesis work in US at UIC in Solar cells ( 4 months) with one submitted paper.
Currently interning in Physics Education Research at HBCSE, India. ( Since Jan 21)


Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Academically : Scholarships in school and silver medalist in college.
Extra: Also a few in cultural activities, sports and leadership roles.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
2 Years of work experience in AIESEC student leadership organization and 5 months of part-time teaching (Physics) experience during my Master's degree.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I care about what I am going to do and see how it will make this world a better place.

Special Bonus Points: Recommendations are from where I did my research work. Quite passionate about Physics Education Research. Took some relevant courses in Psychology, Data analysis and Reasearch methodology during undergrad.



Applying to Where: USA (4) and Canada (1)

PhD In Physics Education Research (PER):

Cornell - Physics - PER : Rejection ( Feb 19) : Not Accepted (Feb 19).
UIUC - Physics - PER Not Accepted (8 March).
Purdue - Physics - PER : Not Expecting *
University of Colorado Boulder - Physics- PER : Not Accepted (Feb 18).

Phd in CMP:

[u] University of British Columbia
- Physics - CMP : Not Accepted (Feb 21).

Best thing about my application is that my career goals aligns very well with my intention to work in PER. I wish I had discovered this field of research before but better late than never.

Lastly, I know my application might look slightly ambitious considering my GRE scores. But I know I have it in me and a speed testing standardized test won't stop the committee from seeing it. My PhD work will define my youth, so better to do it from a place I love or do something else.

Post Rejection Thoughts:

I think the world cares less about my intentions and more about how I can do on exams to test speed (ETS). All the extra work, my teaching and leadership experiences seems to play no role. I guess I was in illusion about either my own profile or the American Education. It feels bad today, I really wanted to make a difference. I guess my plan for the PhD is going to come crashing soon and I must look for other ways to serve this world.
Last edited by anupamraj0701 on Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:36 am, edited 9 times in total.

matrix4042
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:41 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby matrix4042 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:39 pm

Undergrad Institution: private university, high rep in quantum optics, mid rep in other subfields of physics/astronomy
Majors: Physics & Astronomy
GPA in Major: 3.98
Overall GPA: 3.95/4.00
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: international male

GRE Scores:
Q: 170 (p:96)
V: 161 (p:88)
W: 4.5 (p:59)

Research Experience:
- 3 years of research in computational cosmology, including algorithm development, simulation, etc.
- 2 years of research in high-energy astroparticle physics
- recent 6 months of research in GW astronomy, including 3 months summer internship at LIGO Caltech as a LIGO SURF Fellow (continuing research after summer).
- 3 years of experience in data science + 1 year of experience in machine learning
- 2 in-preparation publications (one white paper) in GW astronomy with a focus on machine learning
- 1 conference proceeding in high-energy astrophysics
- lead the development of a major cosmology algorithm github repository
- gave presentations at AAS Winter Meeting in Jan 2019 and multiple small, regional conferences

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
- School's merit-based scholarship
- Dean's list all eligible semesters
- Departmental award for having the highest numerical grade in all introductory physics course
- LIGO SURF Fellowship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- 3 years of teaching experience from TAing intro level physics/astronomy courses to advanced astronomy courses to tutoring physics
- tour guide at university observatory
- member of SPS professional development committee
- former vice president of astronomy club
- president of a theoretical physics society on campus

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
- participate in various hackathons and software development projects

Special Bonus Points
- outstanding letters of rec from 3 research advisors (including one from LIGO SURF)
- one advisor is a superstar post-doc at LIGO + ZTF
- one advisor is a well-known HEP-ex physicist who recently turned to cosmology
- both advisors at university have taught my core courses. Both of which I did really well on and impressed both of them.
- overload every semester since 2nd year: 20-26 credits per sem (university standard is 16 credits)
- took graduate-level data science, theoretical particle physics, and HEP detector courses
- enthusiastic about theoretical physics, though I don’t plan to do any theoretical research - 1 year of independent study in QFT and theoretical gravitation with a faculty member (not a recommender though)
- connection at SLAC ATLAS, LIGO and ZTF

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
- I got interviewed by MIT astrophysics while at AAS meeting. I think it helps getting me in.
- I was lucky that I got interviewed by my faculty of interest for both MIT and UW (as far as I know, they do not personalize interview), and had meaningful discussions with both of them about my current research projects (they asked really technical stuffs).
- though taking courses in HEP and doing independent study, I have almost zero research experience in HEP-ex

Applying to Where: (LSST and/or ZTF, computational astrophysics/cosmology = CA)

Caltech - Physics - LIGO, CA
Stanford - Physics - CA, HEP-ex
MIT - Physics - LIGO, HEP-ex (Interviewed by astrophysics division, Accepted)
Harvard - Astro - CA (Rejected)
UChicago - Physics - CA, HEP-ex (Rejected)
UMichigan - Physics - LIGO, HEP-ex
Johns Hopkins - Physics - CA, HEP-ex (Accepted)
UWashington - Astro - CA (Interviewed, Accepted)
Northwestern - Astro - LIGO, CA
Penn State - Astro - LIGO, CA (Accepted)
Carnegie Mellon - Physics - CA (Accepted)
UC Santa Cruz - Astro - CA
UFlorida - Physics - LIGO, HEP-ex (Accepted)

bgrinkem
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:44 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby bgrinkem » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:08 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state, good reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.95
Overall GPA: 3.9
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: near top (I think?)
Type of Student: Domestic White Male


GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 166 (91%)
V: 156 (73%)
W: 4.0 (60%)
P: 810 (70%)

Research Experience:
One summer doing condensed matter experiment at NIST
Three years working with my home institution on AMO/CME. Gained a lot of useful experience, but no publications
Took a semester off to do full-time research at a school in France. The research was mostly Atomic physics and Optics.
One summer working at an Ivy league school working on atomic physics with an Nth author publication.
Took a gap year to do full time research on AMO/CME physics at another big state school with a decent reputation in physics
One summer working at the Air Force Research Lab on Machine Learning through Neural Networks
Two summers working as an engineering intern at a networking company

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Some university scholarships, dean's list, dean’s scholarship, graduated Cum Laude, Departmental High Honors

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Started a makerspace for my school's physics department, then helped get it started (ran tutorials on useful experimental procedures)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
I have participated in many hackathons and won a few.

Special Bonus Points:
Managed to fit in a graduate course.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
I graduated in three years. I am also taking this semester off, so I only have five semesters of courses on my transcript...

Applying to Where:
All for AMO, but also interested in quantum information

MIT - Physics - AMO ACCEPTED
Harvard - Physics - AMO ACCEPTED 3161/month Fellowship (Will be attending!)
Caltech - Physics - AMO ACCEPTED 35k Named Fellowship
Princeton - EE - AMO ACCEPTED 34.5k Wu Fellowship + 3k
University of Chicago - Physics - AMO ACCEPTED 34k TA
University of Maryland, College Park - Physics - AMO ACCEPTED JQI Graduate Fellowship
University of Colorado, Boulder - Physics - AMO ACCEPTED 38k RA + 10k Fellowship
University of Wisconsin, Madison - Physics - AMO ACCEPTED 25.3k/10 month + 8k Fellowship

Also, applying for

NSF GRFP - AWARDED (Declined for NDSEG)
Hertz - REJECTED
NDSEG - AWARDED (Accepted)
Last edited by bgrinkem on Tue May 21, 2019 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

furball1379
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:37 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby furball1379 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:51 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 5
Major(s): Physics & Math with Computer Science
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.9/4.0
Overall GPA: 3.9/4.0
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic female

GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (96%)
W: 5.0 (93%)
V: 167 (97%)
P: 800 (68%) yikes!

Research Experience: 4 years in astro, 1 first-author publication, 1 third-author publication, and 1 first-author in prep. 1/2 year in CME.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Research grant, a couple of talks/awards.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 4 years as a TA in physics, graded for a grad physics class, did a summer at NASA in software engineering.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: 4 physics grad classes.

Special Bonus Points: My recommenders are famous/well-known, but I don't think that matters as much as people think.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I've taken a lot of courses in physics, math, and computer science. I did some cool computer simulations for class projects.

Applying to Where: (CM = a mixture of condensed matter theory and experiment) In all my personal statements I stressed an interest in computational work.

Stanford - Applied Physics - CMT - Jan. 25: Accepted for Ph.D. via email + $43k/year RA+$21k in fellowships
Harvard - Physics - CME - Jan 16: Interview Feb. 14: Accepted for Ph.D. via email + $31k/year + $18k fellowship
UIUC - Physics - CMT - Jan. 22: Accepted for Ph.D. via email + $25k/year TA + $6k fellowship
Boulder - Physics - CMT - Jan 25: Accepted for Ph.D. via email + $35-38k/year TA + $3k fellowship
Yale - Physics - CM - Feb 13: Accepted for Ph.D. via email + $35/year TA + $1k fellowship
Princeton - Physics - CME - Feb 7: Accepted for Ph.D. via email + RA/TA
University of Chicago - Physics - CMT - Feb 7: Accepted for Ph.D. via email + $34k RA/TA
UT Austin - Physics - CM - Feb 5: Invited to Open House
Berkeley - Physics - CMT - Feb 13: Accepted for Ph.D. via email + $36k RA/TA
Cambridge - MASt in Applied Mathematics - Jan. 25: Accepted to Trinity via email
Last edited by furball1379 on Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

egn1996
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:34 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby egn1996 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:05 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small state school in Louisiana, relatively unknown in Physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.4
Overall GPA: 3.1
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Average
Type of Student: Domestic Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 155 (58%)
V: 155 (69%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 450 (2%)



Research Experience: one full year of computational material science research at my home university, an REU in computational optics and atmospheric physics at a small state school in New York, and an academic year in computational optics at my home institution. Tons of experience with HPC and spent a bit of time with general purpose GPU programming during an REU.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Sigma Pi Sigma Inductee, A mathematics honor scholarship, and a few symposium competition awards.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Very active in SPS, president and treasurer each for a year, spent a year as a TA for an introductory physics lab and spent an extensive amount of time doing outreach both inside and outside of my university.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Extensive programming experience (helpful since almost all programs are computational)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Very positive letters of recommendation and heavy involvement in the physics department of home university

Applying to Where:

University of Ottawa - Physics - Nonlinear Optics (Feb. 13: ACCEPTED for M.S. Unofficially accepted via email from thesis advisor)
University of Toledo - Physics -computational CMP / theory (Feb. 12: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $2k Fellowship + $24k/12 month TA)
Montana State University - Physics - Optics and Photonics (Feb. 5: ACCEPTED for M.S. unofficially accepted via email from professor)
University of Maryland at Baltimore County - Atmospheric Physics - Atmospheric Optics (Feb 4: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email $26k/12 month TA)
State University of New York Albany - Physics - Computational Optics
State University of New York Binghamton - Physics - Computational CMP
State Univeristy of Kansas - Physics - AMO (Feb. 8: WAITLISTED via email)
University of Victoria - Physics - CMP Theory (Jan 29: REJECTED by email from thesis advisor)
McMaster University - Physics - Compuational CMP (Jan 24: REJECTED by email from thesis advisor)

smooveasian
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:25 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby smooveasian » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:54 am

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: Ivy League
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 4.00/4.00
Overall GPA: 3.98/4.00
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: Domestic Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (96%)
V: 165 (96%)
W: 5 (92%)
P: 790 (66%) (Didn't study, not needed for ECE departments)

Research Experience:
- Two years cosmology research at current school doing instrumentation work, presented a poster at an undergraduate research forum
- One year atomic physics research resulting in an APS march meeting presentation and first author publication to be submitted
- One year condensed matter research on the side, resulting in a publication to be submitted

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list, a merit scholarship, Phi Beta Kappa

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for four semesters, did some science outreach stuff

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Great rec letters all from research advisers

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

Applying to Where:

MIT - EECS - Photonics (Feb. 4: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
Stanford - EE - Photonics
UC Berkeley - EECS - Photonics (Jan. 31: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
UCSD - ECE- Electromagnetics (Jan. 31: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
UCLA - ECE- Electromagnetics
Michigan - ECE- Electromagnetics (Jan. 28: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
Duke - ECE- Photonics (Feb. 10: Unofficial acceptance via email from POI)
Penn - ESE- Photonics (Feb. 1: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
UIUC - ECE- Electromagnetics
Ohio State - ECE- Electromagnetics (Jan. 6: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)

Thoughts:

This forum is almost entirely filled with applicants to Physics PhD programs, so I wanted to remind everyone physics majors can apply to other departments as well :P Looking back, the recommendation letters really are the most important part of the application and are clearly what led to my success. If anyone is curious about applying to Electrical Engineering departments, feel free to hit me up!

sadman
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:13 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby sadman » Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:28 pm

Undergrad Institution: An Indian engineering institute, shit-tier in physics
Major(s): Electronics (Field of study is Engineering Physics)
Minor(s): Nuclear Engineering (did not mention in the applications, wasn't sure if I'd be getting a minor at that time)
GPA in Major: N/A
Overall GPA: 8.91/10
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: International (Indian) male

GRE Scores :
Q: 169
V: 162
W: 4.0
P: 900


TOEFL: 117 (R: 30, L: 30, S: 28, W: 29)


Research Experience:
  • Summer research internship on nuclear shell model theory/nucleon interactions (my only research experience that is somewhat related to the field I wish to pursue; was more of a training/learning project though)
  • Project on luminescent materials (at home university, started about 1.5 years ago)
  • Project on metamaterials (simulation and computation based work, at home university, started about a year ago) - 2 conference publications

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nothing significant - Department rank 2 in a couple of semesters, had received a certificate of appreciation of sorts from the education minister of the country for excellent performance in high school, and some other stuff from earlier times.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I wish ;_;

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Been a regular in the school and university football teams, won a few medals and helped organise tournaments (not sure if this helps, might show I'm a team player eh?)

Special Bonus Points: None whatsoever.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Tried to make up for my lack of physics knowledge (due to applied physics background) by studying on my own (books and publications) and doing a few online courses. Apart from that, nothing positive.

Applying to Where: (For master's unless mentioned, all to physics departments, mentioned research interest in HEP-Th)

Rutgers University(PhD)(Submitted on Dec. 3) - Randomly checked application on Feb. 24, waitlisted - April 13: Rejected via email
CMU(PhD)(Submitted on Dec. 11) - Feb. 21: Rejected via email
Rice University(PhD)(Submitted on Dec. 26) - Feb. 26: Rejected via email to check website
KU Leuven(Submitted on Jan. 1) - Jan. 17: Rejected via email
McMaster University(Submitted on Jan. 26) - April 29: Rejected via email
University of Victoria(Submitted on Jan. 26) - Mar. 7: Rejected via email
University of Stuttgart(Submitted on Jan. 28) - Accepted
Autonomous University of Barcelona(Submitted on Feb. 3) - Accepted
RWTH Aachen University(Submitted on Feb. 19) - Rejected
University of Geneva(Submitted on Feb. 25) - Accepted
University of Goettingen(Submitted on Mar. 7) - Accepted
University of Hamburg - Rejected
Autonomous University of Madrid

PS: I have really low hopes on getting into the schools mentioned above, so I will be completing more applications in the future. Also, I thought application submission dates would be a useful piece of information.
Last edited by sadman on Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:01 am, edited 8 times in total.

sudcosmico
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:44 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby sudcosmico » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:46 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 5 Private US - good reputation in physics

Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major: 3.41
Overall GPA: 3.57
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Not officially given, Average???
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q:164 (86%)
V:164 (94%)
W:4 (59%)
P:830 (71%)


TOEFL: not required since I did undergrad in the US


Research Experience:
Two summers of HEP experimental neutrino research, from summer after second year to present with the same professor, publication and senior thesis in the works.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Summer research grants from physics department for both summers
Additional summer grant for most recent summer from university

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Not that I can think of

Special Bonus Points: Hispanic/Latino ? from a small Latin American country. (Don't know if that matters as much since I'm international)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Two recommenders that can speak about my research experience (my supervisor and a collaborator who is a professor at another university), additional letter from well-known professor from Cosmology course I got a B+ in (but in which I showed improvement by bringing my grade back up from a C-)

Applying to Where:
Applying to particle physics experiment and astrophysics/cosmology experiment, emphasis on either one depending on school

US (all Ph.D. programs)

Columbia University - Physics - Astrophysics (Feb. 15: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. Accepted via email)
University of California San Diego (UCSD) - Physics - Cosmology Experiment
University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) - Physics - Particle Physics/Neutrino
University of Wisconsin Madison - Physics - Astroparticle/Neutrino (Feb. 01: Rejected via website)
Yale University - Physics - Astrophysics/Cosmology (Feb. 13: Rejected via email)


Canada

McGill University - M.Sc. Physics - Cosmology Experiment
University of Toronto - Astronomy and Astrophysics Ph.D. - Astrophysics/Cosmology experiment

Some thoughts:
Glad to give back to this forum after looking at it and stressing for two years :D
I had been feeling terribly pessimistic about my applications for the past month but got surprised this week with my first acceptance, and it is from one of my top choice schools which I genuinely can't believe. My advice is, don't sell yourself short! Recommendation letters and research experience can go a long way! Most of the people who post in this kind of forum are bound to be outstanding individuals so don't let that discourage you. Apply to a reasonable number of schools, covering from your top tier dream school to a reasonably safe choice, try to get your lab advisor's input on what programs to apply to.
Last edited by sudcosmico on Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Gravitino
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:45 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Gravitino » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:26 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top public in US
Major(s): Physics and Mathematics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.97
Overall GPA: 3.95
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near the top
Type of Student: Domestic male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 168 (94%)
V: 160 (86%)
W: 5.0 (92%)
P: 950 (90%)


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience: I did research since the summer before I came to university. I worked in three groups: soft CM, gravity experimental with LIGO, and theoretical studies of GR. 1 paper in the last project and another being written. The soft CM project also has a paper being written.

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

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Just did research throughout undergrad.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: I took QFT, GR, String, and grad level scientific computing. Having done research with LIGO could help with schools with a large presence of it.

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

Applying to Where: All for relativity and gravitation.

Caltech - Physics - GR-QC (Feb. 1: ACCEPTED)
MIT - Physics - GR-QC (Feb. 12: ACCEPTED)
Princeton - Department - GR-QC (Feb. 12: Rejected via email)
Chicago - Department - GR-QC (Feb. 7: Rejected via email)
Johns Hopkins - Physics - GR-QC (Feb. 1: ACCEPTED)
Cornell - Physics - GR-QC (Feb. 15: ACCEPTED)
UCSB - Physics - GR-QC
Harvard - Physics - GR-QC
Berkeley - Physics - GR-QC (Feb. 15: Rejected via email)
Montana State - Physics - GR-QC (Feb. 15: ACCEPTED)
UT Austin - Physics - GR-QC
Pennsylvania - Physics - GR-QC

______________________________________________
Fellowships:
NSF GRFP -
Hertz - (Rejected via email) (I suppose my research was a little too theoretical...)

bluejay
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:14 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby bluejay » Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:59 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small research uni, not known for physics
Major(s): B.S. Physics, B.A. Chinese
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.74/4.00 -Physics, 4.00/4.00-Chinese
Overall GPA: 3.70/4.00
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: Domestic female minority

GRE Scores : Taken fall 2018
Q: 163 (83%)
V: 157 (76%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 550 (17%) Lol, no lie, probably shoulda studied. Seriously. Those of y'all on here freaking out about your "low" PGRE score, just take a look at this bullshit right here and know that it'll all be alright :D I got accepted places, so you will be too :D


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience:
1 year research in STAR collaboration, experience with ROOT and PYTHIA, including summer research (not REU)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Dean's List all semesters except one
Various military awards and academic recognitions

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
U.S. Army National Guard 5.5 years (not ROTC)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:
Female minority
Military experience
Recommender with connections
Met with some of the professors from the schools I applied to at conferences

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Musculoskeletal issues ;_; + ADHD extreme

Applying to Where: I placed emphasis on heavy-ion physics, but also expressed interest in working with other collaborations at RHIC and the LHC.

UC Davis - Physics - Nuclear Experiment (Feb. 16: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $21.2k/9mo TA + $5.7k summer support, health insurance included)
UCLA - Physics - Nuclear/Heavy Ion
UC Riverside - Physics - Heavy Ion/Spin (Feb. 11: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $31.6k/12mo Fellowship + $7k TA for spring semester for first year; $28k/12mo TA for all following years, health insurance included)
UT Austin - Physics - Nuclear/Heavy Ion (Feb. 5: invited for interview/open house)
University of Houston - Physics - Nuclear/Heavy Ion (Feb. 27: ACCEPTED for Ph.D + $23.4k/year TA + $5k/year for 5 years Fellowship + $1.8k/year other) The $1.8k/year is for health insurance because UoH does not cover it.
Lehigh University - Physics - Nuclear/Heavy Ion (Feb. 12: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email - waiting on TA/RA info)
Last edited by bluejay on Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.

frustratedtir
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:05 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby frustratedtir » Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:40 pm

Undergrad Institution: Well-known state school
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 4.00/4.00
Overall GPA: 4.00/4.00
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: We don't rank, but probably top
Type of Student: Domestic female

GRE Scores :
Q: 170
V: 164
W: 5.5
P: 940

Research Experience: Two summers at top 10 schools and one summer at home institution, all in astrophysics/cosmology. One in-prep paper that I think my recommender mentioned in the letter. I got really lucky one summer and landed a very well-connected and famous group that definitely helped a lot with apps--one recommender actually mentioned to me during our interview "I was just talking to [my recommender] over the weekend!"

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Goldwater scholar (hot take: I think this is heavily overrated; whether you get it depends so much on the school you go to), GPA-related awards from my school, REU award for best poster.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Heavily involved with women in physics organization at my school. TA'd a few intro physics and stats classes

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Nope!

Special Bonus Points: One recommender who I worked for one summer is very famous, but I actually doubt it was my strongest letter (although I'm sure it helped that he's super well-connected). Another recommender I took a class and then did research with for a year; he knew me really well and I'm sure that was my strongest. But all three recommenders were just so, so kind and helpful throughout the entire process. Feeling incredibly grateful.

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

Applying to Where: All physics departments and for astrophysics/cosmology theory

UCSB - Jan. 23: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email
Caltech - Feb. 1: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email
Michigan - Feb. 5: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email
Princeton - Feb. 7: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email
Cornell - Feb. 7: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email
UChicago - Feb. 7: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website
MIT - Feb. 12: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email
Yale - Feb. 13: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website
Berkeley - Feb. 13: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email
Harvard - Feb. 14: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email
Stanford - Feb. 20: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email

I'm not sure where I'll be going yet but obviously I feel so lucky to have so many options. I am so grateful to my recommenders! This forum has also been so helpful but also incredibly stress-inducing!! I hope my post can help future applicants!

Why Physics
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:53 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Why Physics » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:19 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major: 3.2/4
Overall GPA: 3.1/4
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Around average
Type of Student: domestic male

GRE Scores : Only took them once
Q: 162
V: 158
W: 3.5
P: 840


Research Experience: Did a year's worth of research in CME, don't have any papers to show from it.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I have been a TA for the last couple of years in every semester.

Special Bonus Points: Believe I had strong letters of rec, and I also visited some professors at half the schools I applied to.

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

Applying to Where: All applications were for CME

Safety:
Georgia tech - Feb 26: Rejected via email
Colorado State -
UT Knoxville - Feb 13: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $21.5k yearly stipend + $3.5k Fellowship

match:
UCLA -
UC Irvine - Jan 30: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + ~$21k/9 mo TA
Ohio State -
Boston University -

Reach:
Cornell - Feb 19: Rejected via email
UIUC -
Last edited by Why Physics on Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

me25hage
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:32 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby me25hage » Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:51 am

b]Undergrad Institution[/b]: Small, private, liberal arts school. Little to no reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics with a Computational Science Concentration
Minor(s): Mathematics, Computational Science
GPA in Major: 3.87
Overall GPA: 3.85
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: No rank but definitely top/near top in physics
Type of Student: Domestic female

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 164
V: 162
W: 5.0
P: 550 (17th percentile - big yikes)


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience: 3 years research experience at school, 1 year at Fermilab, 1/2 year at CERN through UMichigan semester abroad, Summer at JHU APL, no publications

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Sigma Pi Sigma, Outstanding Sophomore Award

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutor, TA, Resident Assistant, Research Assistant

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I act and have been in at least one show a year. I also do light design and operation in the theatre. Several people were very interested in this fact.

Special Bonus Points: ATLAS Spokesperson as a recommender, I do A LOT of networking and got my face in many doors while at CERN/Fermilab

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: 15+ conferences/workshops attended with almost the same number of presentations/posters

Applying to Where:

All High Energy Experiment Ph.D

MIT - Feb 12: Denied via email
UPenn
Michigan - Feb 13: Denied via email
Cornell - Feb 25: Denied via email
Johns Hopkins - Feb 1: Accepted via email, $25k/9 month TA
Carnegie Mellon - Jan 29: Accepted via email, at least $2500/month for 9 months TA
UCRiverside
UCDavis
Southern Methodist - Jan 25: Accepted via email, nominated for additional fellowship, financial information to come
Brandeis - Jan 24: Interview March 15
Northeastern - Feb 1: Accepted through site, ~$24k/9 month TA
Last edited by me25hage on Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hasan
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:16 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby hasan » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:41 pm

Undergrad Institution: University in Turkey
Major(s): Chemical Engineering, BSc. and PhD.
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.3 /4
Overall GPA: 3.3 /4
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: ~10 in 90
Type of Student: international male

GRE Scores : Only took them once
Q: 166 (90%)
V: 150 (47%)
W: 3.0 (17%)
P: 980 (93%)

TOEFL: 106 (R: 26 L: 28 S: 27 W: 25)

Research Experience:
- 9 peer reviewed papers
- 1 book chapter
- computational rheology
- molecular simulations

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Took online non-credit physics courses: Quantum Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism. Self-studied the theory of relativity.

Applying to Where:

Rutgers University (PhD) (Submitted on Oct. 15) - Rejected on April 13 via email and website.
Last edited by hasan on Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:18 am, edited 3 times in total.

madeagascar
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:46 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby madeagascar » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:50 am

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: Reputed Indian School, decent in Physics
Major(s): Physics and Chemical Engineering
Minor(s):
GPA in Major:7.3
Overall GPA:7.03
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: Average
Type of Student: International Male
GRE Scores :
Q: 167
V: 165
W: 4.0
P: 720

TOEFL:111 (R: 29, L: 30, S: 25, W: 27)

Research Experience: Research with experience in diverse fields, Nuclear Physics(4 projects), Material Science (3 projects), Chemical Engineering (1 Project)
In reverse chronological order -
- 10 months full time Research assistant experience working at an accelerator facility in nuclear physics.
- 2 months part-time theoretical study of EOS of Neutron Stars.
- 5 months full-time project on simulation of membrane for solar water distillation.
- 5 months full-time project on charged particle identification using digital signal processing.
- 5 months part-time project on synthesis of nanoparticles for cancer research.
- 5 months part-time project on comparative strength testing of fibres.
- 5 months part-time theoretical project on the nature of the Hoyle State.
- 2 months full-time project on surface chemical studies on graphite solutions.

1 poster presentation in a national conference, no publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Volunteered for multiple programs in science popularisation, have taught in a school for underprivileged children.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Participated in schools/workshops in Nuclear physics and Astrophysics (1 international school, 2 domestic)

Special Bonus Points: 3 good recommendations, 2 decent. One recommender is a prominent nuclear physicist at a leading research institute with a number of international collaborations. Another made it a point to mention that the lack of publication from my work was due to the industrial nature of the project.
Contacted the professors before applying to the Universities, a few seemed interested in my profile.

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

Applying to Where: All for Nuc-Ex.

University of British Columbia - (Feb. 20: Rejected via email)
University of Notre Dame - (Feb. 20: Rejected via email)
Florida State University (FSU) - (Feb. 11: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website + $1k Dean's Fellowship + $20.9k TA) - Will Attend :D
Texas A&M University (TAMU) - (Feb. 26: ACCEPTED via mail from department. $2k fellowship + $2k per month TA) - Declined
Michigan State University (MSU) - (Apr. 19 : Rejected via email) This one seriously hurt :(
Indiana University Bloomington - (Apr. 9 : Rejected via email)
University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) - (Apr. 9 : Rejected via email)
Ohio University - (Feb. 26: Waitlisted via mail from the department) - Withdrawn

Takeaways : GPA's matter, unless you have something spectacular that outweighs it. The Physics GRE can offset a lot of it, so make sure to focus on it (unlike yours truly). Publications are a HUGE advantage. If you have one on the way, upload it on arxiv and include it in your SOP.
This site has been both a boon and bane of my life, this has been a trying couple of months. Now I'm going to kick back relax and go through the rest of this process. I'm set to go for my PhD :D
All the best to everyone else ^_^
Cheers!
Madeagascar out
Last edited by madeagascar on Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:39 pm, edited 10 times in total.

fysics
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:27 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby fysics » Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:01 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state university, strong 30 physics program
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.06( :oops: bad i know)
Overall GPA: 3.26
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Struggling mid-bottom
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 170
V: 152
W: 4.0
P: 790 (66%)


TOEFL: Waived since I got a U.S. bachelor's degree.


Research Experience:
---- 2 years research assistant at a national accelerator facility. Including 1 year full time research work after graduation (still on going). No paper or poster.
---- 1 year fundamental physics research. Focused on the searching of EDM (still on going). No paper or poster.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: None

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: None

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Some volunteer work?

Special Bonus Points: 2 out of 3 recommenders know me well. One is my research advisor who gives me a very strong letter. The other one is my two upper level courses professor, who was impressed by how much I improved during those two classes. Assuming it's also a decent letter. Third one comes from a math professor. I did well on that upper level class and went to a lot of office hours. Wouldn't be as strong as the other two letter though.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I did horrible during my second year. Explained that a little bit in my statement. Last two years I'd say it's average/above. Since I knew there was little hope to get anywhere last year because of my poor GPA, I decided to take a gap year and continue doing full time research and self studying. I'm sure this experience helped a lot in my application this year. Also mentioned about attending one upcoming national conference in my statement.

Applying to Where:

Colorado State U - Physics - Nuc Exp
Indiana University Bloomington - Physics - Nuc Exp
North Carolina State U - Physics - Nuc Exp (Rejected via email check website 01/20ish
Michigan State U - Physics - Nuc Exp
Texas A&M - Physics - Nuc Exp (Accepted via email from professor 02/26. Official letter 02/28)
U of Notre Dame - Physics - Nuc Exp (Accepted via email from department on 03/11. Standard TA funding)
U of Arizona - Physics - AMO
U of Rochester - Physics - AMO (Rejected via email check on website 03/06)
Wayne State U - Physics - Particle Exp (Accepted via email on 02/27) Declined on 03/08
Illinois Institute of Technology - Physics - Nuc Exp (Accepted via email on 03/01 via department) Declined on 03/24

Post Submission Thoughts:
My profile is definitely not as strong as the others on this forum. Poor GPA and pGRE. No awards or extra activities. For those of you who have similar profile, don't let your 'not great' profiles discourage you from applying to grad schools. You never know where you would get to unless you apply. Worst case is one rejection letter but if you don't apply, there is no chance to be accepted at all. Cheers!
Last edited by fysics on Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

TejasP1996
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:12 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby TejasP1996 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:05 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top Indian institute
Major(s):Physics, Additional major in Electrical Engineering

GPA in Major: 9.84
Overall GPA: 9.81
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Department rank 1
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores:
Q:161
V:169
W:4
P:860 :( (Solved all the questions, could not mark the last 25 questions on the OMR)


TOEFL: 115 (R:30 , L:30 , S:26 , W:29 )


Research Experience: One publication in EPJC (topic in astroparticle physics) , two summer internships at top research institutes in India (NCRA and IIA), two conference posters. Currently working on a paper. Primary research interests include compact objects and theoretical astrophysics.

Awards/Honors/Recognition: Pre-selected for Ph.D at NCRA based on internship performance, academic excellence awards, online course certificates

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for quantum mechanics and astrophysics courses


Special Bonus Points: Good recommendations, contacted professors before applying

Applying to Where:

All applications for PhD

MIT physics: Rejected on Feb 13 through email
Harvard astronomy: Rejected on Feb 13 through email to check website
Caltech astronomy: Rejected on Jan 30 through email
Johns Hopkins physics and astronomy:
UT Austin astronomy:
Ohio State university physics: Accepted on Feb 26 through email, stipend $27,264 per year TA
Virginia physics: Accepted on Jan 26 through email, stipend $25,600 per year, no TA duty for first year (fellowship granted for first year)
RICE physics and astronomy: Accepted on Feb 07 through email, stipend $31600 per year TA
SUNY Stony Brook physics and astronomy: Accepted on Feb 04 through email, stipend $23,000 per year TA
Ohio university physics and astronomy: Accepted on Feb 12 through email, stipend $9801 per semester TA, Will not attend

User avatar
jerrychen
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:36 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby jerrychen » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:42 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top Chinese Institute, well known in Physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): CS
GPA in Major: 3.7
Overall GPA: 3.59
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 170
V: 149
W: 3.5
P:


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: ) (Though I did take TOEFL, finally I used my IELTS score, 7.0)


Research Experience: Several different short-term experiences at my school and an overseas university in AMO, both experimental and theoretical, and computational/theoretical CMP, without any publications or conference talks

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

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

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

Applying to Where:

Perimeter Institute - Physics - Computational/Theoretical CMP (Feb. 27: ACCEPTED for M.Sc., PSI, Accepted via email)
ETH Zurich - Physics - Computational/Theoretical CMP (Feb. 27: ACCEPTED for M.Sc. via email)
Cologne University - Physics - Computational/Theoretical CMP (Feb. 19: Invited to BCGS AdAc interview via email)


Emmm, I currently prefer PSI or ETHZ but not yet decided which one to take. However, I think I will decline Cologne whatever the interview result...

arutunian
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:58 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby arutunian » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:55 am

Undergrad Institution: Large, public research university in US. Well regarded in physics.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.9
Overall GPA: 3.9
Length of Degree: 4 years, graduating this Spring
Position in Class: Near top of class, honors student
Type of Student: Domestic, white, male

GRE Scores :
Q: 162
V: 162
W: 4.0
P: 850

Research Experience:
Summer research project in HEP-ex where I did some data analysis.
1.5 years working in a technician type role in a HEP-ex lab. Did a lot of software.
1 year working on a computational project for an honors thesis.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Four merit-based scholarships from my university

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics TA-type job for an intro class

Applying to Where:
All for high energy theory/gravity theory:

Berkeley - Rejected by email Feb 15
Stanford - Rejected by email Feb 20
UCSB - Rejected by email Feb 26
Michigan - Rejected by email Feb 15
Princeton - Rejected by email Feb 12
Washington -
UPenn -
NYU -

Needless to say, this has been extremely disappointing.

shane
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:12 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby shane » Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:46 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school on west coast. pretty big in physics
Major(s): Physics, Math, Astronomy
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.75/4.0
Overall GPA: 3.49/4.0
Length of Degree: 5 Years
Position in Class: top 15/300 according to advisor
Type of Student: Domestic/male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 162 (80%)
V: 155 (69%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 920 (86%)


Research Experience: 2.5 years in big dark matter experiment. Mainly worked in theory/analysis. One paper in works (1st author). One presentation on this work. 2 unrelated presentations

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: lots of deans list. In physics honors program.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
idk. I did two years of drum corps. Taught drumline for a couple years.

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)
One of my recommendations is pretty big (at least I think). I signed up for graduate general relativity, but after i sent out applications...

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
I mentioned grievances I overcame (family members passing/injured, etc.). This was related to how I got started with physics, so I figured Id put it in the app.

Applying to Where (trying to do astrophysics, work on compact objects):

University of Washington - physics - Astrophysics (Mar 15: Rejected for PhD via email)
Cornell - physics - Astrophysics (Feb 21: Rejected for PhD via email)
Caltech -physics - Astrophysics (Feb 25: Rejected for PhD via email)
Stanford - physics - Astrophysics (Feb 20: Rejected for PhD via email)
University of Colorado Boulder - physics - Astrophysics (Feb 18: Rejected for PhD via website. Email said to check updated application) :(
Cambridge - physics - Astrophysics
Oxford - physics - Msc Mathematical and Theoretical Physics (Mar 19: Rejected for MSc via email)
ETH Zurich - physics (Mar 1: Accepted for MSc via email!!!!!! WILL ATTEND :D )
University of Melbourne - physics
University of Arizona - physics


Im pretty stoked about ETH. After getting the masters, I'll go right for the Ph.D. Idk why I didnt apply for ESOP. Shouldve applied since there was nothing to lose. Boulder was my top choice and I had been in contact with a professor there, so pretty bummed about that, but ETH was my second choice so alls good.

Good luck to everyone else during this stressful time! Dont forget to breath!
Last edited by shane on Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Sifyrena
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:40 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Sifyrena » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:45 pm

I'm so late this year why bother ...

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results
Undergrad Institution: New Zealand, well known in Quantum Optics / Dynamical Systems
Major(s): Physics, Pure-ish Mathematics
Minor(s): /
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 3.95
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: International male ...

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 169
V: 168
W: 5.0
P: 950


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: ) (My TOEFL Expired so I didn't send them.)


Research Experience: No publications or conference talks good enough to mention in my app. Several short-term opportunities including one in computational chemistry, one general data analysis.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dept. of Physics Scholarship throughout my degree.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Lab demonstrator in my home Uni's physics lab. Physics tutor employed on campus while on exchange at UC Berkeley.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

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

Grad class at Berkeley in dynamical systems and one letter of rec from my GR Prof there.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I am Chinese and had some high-school physics Olympiad experience.

Applying to Where:

Perimeter Institute - Physics - Mathematical Physics - Silence so far.

Zombie_Nixon
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:53 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Zombie_Nixon » Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:06 am

[b]Undergrad Institution[/b]: Technical state University with decent physics program
[b]Major(s)[/b]: Physics
[b]Minor(s)[/b]:
[b]GPA in Major[/b]: 3.83
[b]Overall GPA[/b]: 3.94
[b]Length of Degree[/b]: 4
[b]Position in Class[/b]: Top or near top
[b]Type of Student[/b]: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?) Domestic white male

[b]GRE Scores [/b]: (revised or old version?)
[b]Q[/b]: 160
[b]V[/b]: 164
[b]W[/b]: 4.5
[b]P[/b]: 650 (39%)


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


[b]Research Experience[/b]: Over a year of photonics research with multiple regional presentations and two international presentations. Published in international conference proceedings and have intention to submit to a more prestigious publisher.

[b]Awards/Honors/Recognitions[/b]: (Within your school or outside?) Dean's list every semester, merit based scholarship

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

[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]:

Stanford - Rejected (expected)
UCF CREOL - Accepted
U of Rochester Optics College - Accepted
U of Arizona Optics College - Accepted
USC Physics - Accepted
CU Boulder Physics - Rejected
UCSB - Rejected
UCI
UCR
UCSD - Rejected
UCLA
Caltech - Rejected
Northwestern
U of Washington
Last edited by Zombie_Nixon on Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

bloc_crusher
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:11 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby bloc_crusher » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:18 pm

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: Top 15 US
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Scientific computing, earth sciences.
GPA in Major: 3.9/4.0
Overall GPA: 3.7/4.0
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: don't know
Type of Student: international male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 166
V: 162
W: 5
P: 720


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


Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...)
Freshmen year to senior year, one 2nd author publication, 2 aps march contributed talks.

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

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

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

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

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

Applying to Where:

Princeton - Physics - CMT/Biophysics (Feb. 12: Rejected via website/email)
Yale - Physics - CMT/Biophysics (Feb. 13: WILL ATTEND for Ph.D. Accepted via website/email + $Xk Fellowship + $XXk/X month TA)
Cornell - Physics - CMT/Biophysics - withdrawn

toa003
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:34 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby toa003 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:10 am

Undergrad Institution: Top few in SE Asia. Not known for physics.
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.93/4
Overall GPA: 3.93/4
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 170
V: 158
W: 4
P: 980


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


Research Experience: Quantum info/ condensed matter, qubit implementation on semicon, theoretical, no publication (1 year). Ultra-fast laser, computational, no publication (0.5 year).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Undergrad scholarship, Dean's lists and top awards, but all from my school.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA, computer lab assistant (total about 1.5 year)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: clear double major requirements very fast.

Special Bonus Points: None

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

Applying to Where:

Harvard - Applied Physics - CME (Feb. 23: Rejected via website/email)
Stanford - Applied Physics - CME (Jan. 31: Rejected via website/email)
Caltech - Applied Physics - CME (Mar. 9: Rejected via website/email)
UC Santa Barbara - Physics - CMT (Feb. 27: Rejected via website/email)
Princeton - Physics - CMT (Feb. 13: Rejected via website/email)
Cornell - Physics - CMT (Mar. 2: Rejected via website/email)
UC Berkeley - Physics - CMT (Feb.16: Rejected via website/email)
UC Los Angeles - Physics - CMT. (Mar.26: Rejected via website/email)
university of illinois urbana champaign - Physics - CMT. (Mar.27: Rejected via website/email)

Post-application reflection and extra info (very long):

I certainly overestimated my qualifications, but no harm trying, right? Here are a few more details that are hopefully useful for future applicants.

Recommendation letters. All strong letters, probably the strongest one from a young physics prof who seems to be a rising star in the field. The other 2 recommenders are not known in physics. My recommendation letters might be one of the decisive factors to failure? Nobody will ever know anyway.

GRE and TOEFL. Certainly can be better; but it sure is costly. Having spent so much on applications, and being a penniless fresh graduate, this can be really crippling. So much inertia to retake these exams. Suggestion: I know a few people who stick around as project officers/ research assistants. This is probably the best choice: you can earn some money first (pay your loan etc) and get some RELEVANT publications (more on this later, I advocate committing yourself to a research topic and group). One of them got into Cornell (but not most other schools) with about 5 publications within 3 years working.

Research experience
My first research in an applied physics lab was utterly disappointing. The prof assigned me to a graduating PhD student who probably could not be bothered. He made me read textbook for the summer, and soon he graduated without leaving me so much as an inch of laboratory experience. Completely disillusioned, I left the lab. Afterwards, I was hopping about from one research to another. I was looking for a "good research group" and prepared myself with lots of computer programming. Do I find a "good" research group? On the hindsight it depends on myself; I must be too idealistic. So, I will say I did not. Why computer programming? Being rather disappointed in doing physics, I was simply preparing for future employment bearing in mind there is not much future for me in physics along the direction I envision. Doing computer programming, is that a good choice? Yes and no. No, because, I could have instead stuck to a physics research and commit my full attention to it, but this is hypothesis contrary to fact- pretty much meaningless. Yes, because at the very least I get the compromise choice I prepared for... well... Anyway, I learnt machine learning stuffs, contributed quite significantly to the company I did internship in (employed there later, before moving to my current job) and included them in my application; this point does not seem to help much in application.

On the hind-sight, I think it is important to join a research group early, stay committed to it and be highly adaptable. **Biased personal opinion ahead, stop reading if you are easily offended**: If things start to get rough and you start to think you do not like that research topic, then reflect on yourself, reflect on what you did wrong and stay there a little longer (in my case, I should then realise I was such a trash and I should do better). This is especially the case if the research group is at least somewhat renowned; you might not want to miss the chance to work there again just because of immaturity at the moment. This should apply in most cases other than research.

Application
The way I applied to these schools is quite simple. For each school, I checked the faculty list and indicated interests in faculties that are most reputable. My statement of purpose was mostly general, emphasized my versatility (I do not have a specialization) and appealed to myself being a somewhat minority w.r.t. US demographic (not sure about this). As you can see, my application is disastrous. The graduate admission may just think I am some undecided brat trying my luck and I cannot fully deny that.

That concludes my attempt at getting into a well-known Physics graduate school. It was expensive. Physics GRE only lasts for 2 years (unfortunately this is the second year for me) and too much of a hassle to relearn and retake. It is quite clear that the admission process is not fully merit-based anyway, plus with dying passion, given 3 more chances to apply I am more than 98% sure it will just fail again. At least 4 years of undergrad physics was fun while it lasted. Regrets? No regrets, if i have time to regret I should spend time planning for the next step and scheming to get the next better opportunity. I guess that's good bye physics.
Last edited by toa003 on Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.

striker6g
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:35 am

QQ

Postby striker6g » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:33 pm

Undergrad Institution: State school, no reputation for anything.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : Taken September 2018
Q: 168 (94%)
V: 161 (88%)
W: 5.5 (98%) Guess I should've majored in English.
P: 910 (85%)


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience: 1 summer taking measurements on SQUIDS, a couple semesters working on simulating light in fiber optic cables in a variety of situations, did a semester of independent study in QC. No publications/presentations. Using the fiber optic stuff for my senior thesis.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List, physics scholarship that requires nomination from faculty (got this three times), another physics scholarship, placed 6th in a math competition

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutored in math, TA'd for a physics lab, have a job relating to thermal properties of materials.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Nah.

Special Bonus Points: One of my recommenders had connections at Texas A&M

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I didn't mention that I only took three years to graduate. Perhaps this hurt my chances due to my lacking much research experience.

Applying to Where: All for QC/QI

Texas A&M - Physics - (1/30: WILL ATTEND for Ph.D. Accepted via website/email + $30k/year Fellowship for four years (start TA second year, TA/RA third/fourth years)+$2k bonus for first month)
Colorado State - Physics - Also expressed interest in their photovoltaics group (2/19 ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email + $18k/9mo TA for first year)
CU Boulder - Physics - (2/18 REJECTED via website. No email.)
UW Madison - Physics - (1/30 REJECTED via website. No email.)

I should've applied to more schools, or applied for something other than QC. Seems like the applicant pool is really competitive, and probably has more relevant research experience.

tigerljl
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:00 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby tigerljl » Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:52 am

Undergrad Institution: Ivy
Major(s): Applied Physics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: N/A
Overall GPA: 3.86
Length of Degree: 3
Position in Class: N/A
Type of Student: Domestic Asian Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170
V: 161
W: 4.5
P: 920


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


Research Experience: 3 years of research experience in on-campus lab. 1 Summer REU at Princeton. 1 Summer SURF at Caltech.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Tau Beta Pi

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Well known recommenders

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

Applying to Where:

Columbia - Applied Physics- (Jan. 29: Accepted for Ph.D. Accepted via website/email with Presidential Fellowship + $45k Fellowship)
Carnegie Mellon - ECE(Feb. 5: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email +$32K fellowship)
Duke - Medical Physics(Feb. 15: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email +$32K fellowship)
Caltech - Applied Physics - (Feb. 15: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email +$35K fellowship)
Georgia Tech - ECE - (Jan. 25: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email +$26K TA fellowship)
Yale - Applied Physics - (Feb. 11: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email +$33K TA fellowship)


UC Berkeley - EECS - (Mar. 1: REJECTED via email)
Harvard - Applied Physics - (Feb. 22: REJECTED via email)
Harvard - Physics - (Feb. 25: REJECTED via email)
MIT - Physics - (Feb. 12: REJECTED via website)
MIT - Medical Physics - (Jan. 18: REJECTED via website)
MIT - EECS - (Feb. 25: REJECTED via email)
UPenn - Electrical and Systems Engineering - (Mar. 7: REJECTED via email)
Stanford - Applied Physics - (Jan. 30: REJECTED via email)
UChicago - Medical Physics - (Mar. 5: REJECTED via email)
UChicago - Physics - (Feb. 7: REJECTED via email)


Princeton - Electrical Engineering - (Feb. 12: WAITLIST via email)

UIUC - ECE- (Application Withdrawn)

manhcam0510
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:45 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby manhcam0510 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:02 pm

Undergrad Institution: national university, South East Asia, one of top schools in the country for physics (and natural science)
Major(s): Nuclear Engineeing
Minor(s): Medical Physics
GPA in Major: N/A
Overall GPA: 3.80/4 (9.17/10)
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top of the class
Type of Student: international male

GRE Scores : 318
Q: 170
V: 148
W: 3.5
P: 920 (86%)


TOEFL: 101 (R: 28 , L: 26 , S: 20 , W: 27)


Research Experience: research for undergrad thesis, in medical physics, 1.5 years, oral presentation at the national conference.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?): Vallet Scholarship, First Prize in National Physics Olympiad for Undergrad Students,...

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for the department after graduation

Special Bonus Points: recommenders are: 1) thesis advisor, who graduated from Florida State, 2) a professor from Univ. of Virginia.

Applying to Where:

Reach:
- University of Colorado Boulder, AMO: rejected on Feb 19
- University of Washington, AMO: rejected on Mar 16
- Michigan State University, HEP:

Match:
- University of Virginia, Medical Physics: accepted Feb 2, $25,600 ($5,600 for summer), WILL ATTEND
- University of Rochester, AMO: rejected on Mar 15
- Florida State University, AMO:

Safe
- Oregon State, AMO: late submitting of LOR, speaking score not meet requirement: almost certain rejected
- UT Dallas, AMO: accepted Feb 6, TA/RA: $1900.00/month.
- Tulane: only 2 LOR submitted, think they wouldn't consider my application. But Accepted March 12, $20,494 (36 weeks) + $7,968 (summer)
Last edited by manhcam0510 on Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.

aenews
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:05 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby aenews » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:46 pm

Undergrad Institution: UCLA
Major(s): Astrophysics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 2.67
Overall GPA: 2.92
Upper-Division GPA: 2.75
Length of Degree: 5 Years (Switched to Astrophysics from Biochemistry during Spring 2nd Year)
Position in Class: Below Average
Type of Student: Domestic/Indian/Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 164 (86%)
V: 163 (93%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 620 (32%)

Research Experience:

2 Quarters Extragalactic Cosmology w/ Astrophysics Professor

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: N/A

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Technology Reseller

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: President of Major Non-Physics Club

Special Bonus Points:
Recommendation Letter from Astrophysics Professor with whom I did research
Recommendation Letter from UCLA Head of Graduate Admissions

Applying to Where:


Beyond Reach:

UC Berkeley (UCB) - Astronomy PhD - (XXX: Rejected via email)
UC Los Angeles (UCLA) - Astronomy PhD - (Mar. 26: Rejected via email indicating portal update)
UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) - Astronomy PhD - (Feb. 28: Rejected via email)
University of Washington - Astronomy PhD - (Feb. 6: Rejected via email)
John Hopkins University - Astronomy PhD - (Mar. 4: Rejected via email)
University of Wisconsin - Astronomy PhD - (Feb. 18: Rejected via email)
CalTech - Astronomy PhD - (Jan. 29: Rejected via email; Feb. 22: Rejected again via email)
University of Washington - Astronomy PhD - (Feb. 23: Rejected via email)
Princeton University - Astronomy PhD - (Feb. 6: Rejected via email)
Dartmouth College - Astronomy PhD - (Apr. 22: Rejected via email)

Reach:

University of Florida - Astronomy PhD - (Apr. 10: Rejected via email)
University of Iowa - Astronomy PhD - (Apr. 17: Rejected via email)

Maybe Match:

San Diego State University (SDSU) - Astronomy MS - (May 15: Accepted via Portal, May 17: Granted 7.2K/Year Tuition Waiver via e-mail indicating portal update) WILL ATTEND + (June 7: 18K/Year TA Position Offered)
Arizona State University (ASU) - Astronomy MS - (Apr. 6: Rejected via email)
University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) - Astronomy MS - (July 15: Rejected via email indicating portal update)
CSU Northridge (CSUN) - Physics MS - Did Not Submit
San Francisco State (SFSU) - Physics MS w/ Astronomy Emphasis - Did Not Submit
Last edited by aenews on Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:51 pm, edited 8 times in total.




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