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Imperate
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:01 am

Profile

Postby Imperate » Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:25 pm

I thought I'd use the template to post my profile, as I really don't know what to do now in terms of US apps could really use some advice.

Undergrad Institution: Reasonable UK institute (Not Oxford/Cambridge/Imperial)
Major(s): Physics with Theoretical Physics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: Converts to close to a 4.0 I think (High-ish British First Class if that means anything to anyone)
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years long (I did an undergrad masters or MPhys which basically a bachelors with another year added on of grad courses and a bit of research, so a Bsc plus taught year masters in effect)
Position in Class: Third
Type of Student: International White male.

GRE Scores:
Q: 780
V: 570
W: 5.5
P: 830 (79%)

Research Experience: Largely comes from my final masters year which had two 3-4 month long research projects.

Publications: Second research project published a HEP-phenomonology paper in the Journal of HEP (one of four authors), this paper was to do with a certain detection channel at the LHC.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Awarded a prize from university for the above mentioned project, also got a scholarship before starting university for exeptionally high A-level (equivalent of US high school final year exams before college I guess) results.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Nothing much ....

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Not really.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Nothing that matters...

Hoping to study: HEP-Theory :lol:

Thinking of Applying to Where:

This is where I could really use some input! I want to be in either NY/California/British Columbia, unless there's some particular exception to draw me away from these areas. Where could I get into?
Is the internationals must have higher PGRE so stringent for someone from Britain?

Thanks alot

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secander2!
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Re: Profile

Postby secander2! » Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:41 pm

I wouldn't swear to it, but I would think that the bias against internationals wouldn't be too bad for somebody from the UK. Maybe admissionprof or somebody else might know for sure. Also, many people in the US who went to completely unknown undergraduate institutions are able to get into top programs so I doubt your school would be a liability.

I don't know how strong they are in HEP-Theory, but schools like U Rochester, SUNY-Stony Brook, and most of the UCs seem, to me, like they would be solidly in your range. If money is not a huge issue, I'd send of an application or two to some top-10 schools because it can't hurt, and it's likely that you're underestimating yourself as a candidate.

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Helio
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Re: Profile

Postby Helio » Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:32 pm

From what i have heard even domestic HEP theory people they look for 900... that is just what i hear from people. The masters will be to your advantage, but i dunno about the GRE... they would expect more from a masters student, but we have seen others get in with a masters and a lower score

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=975&start=50#p9516

So you mihgt have a chance

Imperate
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:01 am

Re: Profile

Postby Imperate » Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:09 pm

Thanks for replies.

Helio wrote:From what i have heard even domestic HEP theory people they look for 900... that is just what i hear from people. The masters will be to your advantage, but i dunno about the GRE... they would expect more from a masters student, but we have seen others get in with a masters and a lower score

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=975&start=50#p9516

So you mihgt have a chance


I personally think having done the masters was the reason I didnt score as high as I might, since it had been years since I studied springs, circuits, basic therm....even though it's easy you kind of forget. I think doing it in my second/third year would of helped, but oh well it's over and done with now.

Hmm so the british guy got into purdue and ohio state, whats the equivalent level of these schools in california/NY?

My main worry now is that applying to the non-prestigious UC's that you might normally have as safeties might be a waste of time because of the funding restrictions.

I think I'll def apply to a few in canada, I hear they don't care so much about the PGRE and I would love to live in Vancouver :)

rohit
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Re: Profile

Postby rohit » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:00 pm

Imperate wrote:I personally think having done the masters was the reason I didnt score as high as I might, since it had been years since I studied springs, circuits, basic therm....even though it's easy you kind of forget.


I hear you. :?
Any suggestions on the schools in Canada where an international with moderate research ,1st class grades, and >800 PGRE has a solid chance?

tmc
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Re: Profile

Postby tmc » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:11 pm

Canadian universities are as a whole much easier to get into for international students than american universities; just about everything should be within your reach.

robertson
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Re: Profile

Postby robertson » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:31 pm

Hey!
I now what first class means, tough work to get those at Imperial (I did my erasmus year there, I love British system since then). I am also looking for HEP physics, and I definitely encourage you to apply to UCSanDiego. It is a bit below top-10 universities, but they have a very strong theoretical group: Manohar (Georgi student, invented effective field theory), Intrilligator and Grinstein. You might have a big chance to get in. I am also applying to Columbia (Best in Lattice QCD) and UW Seattle (David Kaplan is such a genious, also big group of Lattice). Then you have top5 universities, and you may take a look at UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley, though they might ask for a higher PGRE.
I've heard about John Hopkins and Rutgers, but don't know if you fancy living in New Jersey (don't even know where JH is).
In Canada, take a look at http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca . They talk about doing the PhD at the University of Waterloo, doing something at the PI. I've always heard very nice things about this institute.

About your PGRE i'm starting a new thread with information that I got from MIT, you might want to read it. Good luck, and please say the name of the university because I have a friend who wants to do a MSc in England, and I only know about Imperial and Cambridge. Thanks!

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secander2!
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Re: Profile

Postby secander2! » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:40 pm

For finding schools that are approximately equivalent to Purdue and Ohio State, you could use the US News rankings. I did a little analysis a year ago (yes, I'm a nerd and I obsess a bit too much over grad schools and statistics :oops: ) and found that there's about a .66 correlation coefficient between average PGRE scores and US News rank, so it should be somewhat fair to say that US News rank is indicative of how competitive the school is.

rohit
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Re: Profile

Postby rohit » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:45 pm

tmc wrote:Canadian universities are as a whole much easier to get into for international students than american universities; just about everything should be within your reach.


I dunno. Simon Fraser has this 85% GPA requirement. A 1st class in India is 60%. Plus they seem adamant about receiving "official" transcripts even for reviewing the application, which are very difficult (if not impossible) to obtain frm. Indian univs.. :evil:

tmc
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Re: Profile

Postby tmc » Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:55 pm

Actually, the requirement at Simon Fraser is 80% (A-), which is extremely common across north america (since many universities' passing grade in grad school is a B+). If someone couldn't get an A- cumulative average in undergrad, they probably won't be able to pass their grad courses.

Note that they also only require a 700 on the PGRE.

99percent
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Re: Profile

Postby 99percent » Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:04 am

Hey Rohit, that 85% GPA requirement of SFU is equivalent to the first class, i.e., 60% of India. I had emailed graduate program regarding this. He had said that 60% from India is considered equivalent to A+ grade in Canada. Also, he said that you can also demonstrate your eligibility for the program by taking GRE physics exam...

Its a good thing for international students that Canadian universities do not ask for GRE general score... :lol:
But the bad thing is that they give admission to international students in their MS program only and not PhD....
Another good thing is that you get guaranteed finance even in MS and you can go on to finish PhD after completing your MS... :D

- 99percent

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Helio
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Re: Profile

Postby Helio » Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:08 am

Imperate wrote:Thanks for replies.

Helio wrote:From what i have heard even domestic HEP theory people they look for 900... that is just what i hear from people. The masters will be to your advantage, but i dunno about the GRE... they would expect more from a masters student, but we have seen others get in with a masters and a lower score

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=975&start=50#p9516

So you mihgt have a chance


I personally think having done the masters was the reason I didnt score as high as I might, since it had been years since I studied springs, circuits, basic therm....even though it's easy you kind of forget. I think doing it in my second/third year would of helped, but oh well it's over and done with now.

Hmm so the british guy got into purdue and ohio state, whats the equivalent level of these schools in california/NY?

My main worry now is that applying to the non-prestigious UC's that you might normally have as safeties might be a waste of time because of the funding restrictions.

I think I'll def apply to a few in canada, I hear they don't care so much about the PGRE and I would love to live in Vancouver :)


OSU in NY..... Well i dunno columbia is a stretch... NYU can be compared sorta kinda....Stony Brook is more a Purdue equivalent ...

OSU in CA... UCLA, UCSD somewhere around there. Purdue is more a USC

Imperate
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:01 am

Re: Profile

Postby Imperate » Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:04 pm

Thanks again for the responses.

After some thought my shortlist looks like:

Reaches :D :
UCSB (Since this was my ideal school, and my scores have been sent now anyway)

Middle band:
Perimeter (this is possibily a reach depending how much they care about the GRE there)
UCLA
UCSD

Safe (I think, I hope)
USC
NYU

That's about it for now. Do I put in a super reach like Caltech or would I be just throwing away $90 with a PGRE of 830?

I'm open to any suggestions for the three bands, I could afford to pay for one or two more, if anyone has any ideas? (Mainly looking at California/NY though)

nowhereguy
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:21 am

Re: Profile

Postby nowhereguy » Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:20 pm

Hey, Imperate. I think it might be wise to add one private CA school to your list since those don't have the budget constrains regarding international students. Things is, I don't really know which one to recommend because the two that come to mind are Stanford and Caltech. Given your research interest, I think you should replace NYU by Stony Brook. Or simply add it to your list. Granted NYU is in NYC, but Stony Brook is stronger in HEP theory, specially in the more formal side of things. Plus, I would assume you have a pretty good chance of getting in.

Oh, and good to see that you are applying to PI ;)

Imperate wrote:Thanks again for the responses.

After some thought my shortlist looks like:

Reaches :D :
UCSB (Since this was my ideal school, and my scores have been sent now anyway)

Middle band:
Perimeter (this is possibily a reach depending how much they care about the GRE there)
UCLA
UCSD

Safe (I think, I hope)
USC
NYU

That's about it for now. Do I put in a super reach like Caltech or would I be just throwing away $90 with a PGRE of 830?

I'm open to any suggestions for the three bands, I could afford to pay for one or two more, if anyone has any ideas? (Mainly looking at California/NY though)

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zxcv
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Re: Profile

Postby zxcv » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:30 am

If you were a domestic student, I would encourage you to apply to several more "reach" or top 10 schools. In fact, I'd encourage you to give that a shot in any case, even though the international funding situation is mysterious. You seem reasonably qualified by the standards of the people I've met at Berkeley.

Let me just say that I encourage everyone on this forum to apply to Berkeley. That way I can actually meet you when you get in!

As much as I hate to suggest this, private schools like Stanford and Caltech may be your best bet because funding is less biased against international students, and you speak English fluently so you're nearly as good as a domestic applicant to them.

Imperate
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:01 am

Re: Profile

Postby Imperate » Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:56 pm

OK, I think since I have UCSD/UCLA already, I'm going to scrap UCSB, just incase the whole UC funding thing comes back to haunt me.

Reaches :
Caltech or Stanford

Middle band:
Perimeter (this is possibily a reach depending how much they care about the GRE there)
UCLA
UCSD

Safer (I think, I hope)
USC
Stony Brook

I notice from Caltechs website though that the average PGRE score is 880, and obviously that will include domestics too, and my score was only 830. Whereas according to gradschool shopper I think the average for Stanford was only 803. However Stanford is ranked number one for Physics according to US news whilst Caltech is number 3. Which do people generally regard as harder to get into?

Also what do people think of USC, would I want to go here even if I did get in?

Juston
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Re: Profile

Postby Juston » Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:55 pm

I visited USC on Monday, and I really liked the campus. I guess it's mostly due to the fact that I enjoy looking at buildings that have a classical/art deco look, especially after looking at the same dull postmodern buildings here at UC Irvine for the past five years.

As for the HEP theory group, they have some pretty well known names, but I don't know what the academic environment is like. Still, they have a good number of people working in HEP theory, so you probably won't be short on research opportunities. If anyone cares, USC doesn't have an experimental HEP group.

In any case, I'm applying to USC mostly because I like the campus, though I do find some of the HEP research there interesting (most of the research done there is string theory or string theory related). Plus, its close to home.

By the way, you should apply to UCSB anyway. If you can get in, you're almost guaranteed to make it out with a PhD, since they care more about your ability to do research than passing a qualifying exam. One of my friends at UCSB tells me that no one in the history of their graduate physics program was kicked out because of his/her inability to measure up. The students that left the program did so because they wanted to do something else.

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zxcv
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Re: Profile

Postby zxcv » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:03 am

I asked a Canadian grad student a little bit about international funding at Berkeley today. It sounds like there is a some maximum number of international students that they can afford to fund. If people on here are interested, I can talk to some of the profs who do admissions and let you know the definitive answer.

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quizivex
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Re: Profile

Postby quizivex » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:12 am

Hey zxcv, have you met butsurigakusha?

I'm not sure if this was mentioned on this thread or not (don't want to re-read it all), but someone else mentioned that European international students are considered similar to American students when interpreting the PGRE, not like Chinese/Indian students.

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zxcv
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Re: Profile

Postby zxcv » Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:13 am

quizivex wrote:Hey zxcv, have you met butsurigakusha?
Yes, indeed. There's also another physicsgre.com poster from last season who I know pretty well, too, although he wasn't as active on the site. Of course I also met people like grae313 when visiting schools. Yay internet!

By the way, I'm on the official graduate student recruitment committee this year. I'm not sure exactly what that means I can or can't tell you, but I can certainly recommend that you all apply and come to Berkeley!

Imperate
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Re: Profile

Postby Imperate » Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:50 pm

Juston wrote:By the way, you should apply to UCSB anyway. If you can get in, you're almost guaranteed to make it out with a PhD, since they care more about your ability to do research than passing a qualifying exam. One of my friends at UCSB tells me that no one in the history of their graduate physics program was kicked out because of his/her inability to measure up. The students that left the program did so because they wanted to do something else.


I want to apply to UCSB, it is probably my top choice of anywhere, but it's just the fact that I already have UCSD/UCLA in my middle band, and I seem to be filling up on UC's, since I may even put Berkeley as a reach, and I dont want to regret applying to too many UC's incase the funding for internationals thing comes back and bites me.

I will be definitley applying to USC, do you know when the deadline is by the way, I saw on the Physics dept website Jan 01, but on the main graduate site Dec 01.

Also is Caltech generally regarded as harder to get into than Stanford or vice versa?

Imperate
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Re: Profile

Postby Imperate » Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:55 pm

zxcv wrote:I asked a Canadian grad student a little bit about international funding at Berkeley today. It sounds like there is a some maximum number of international students that they can afford to fund. If people on here are interested, I can talk to some of the profs who do admissions and let you know the definitive answer.


Yeah it would be good to find out definitivley instead of just speculation. Although according to http://graduate-school.phds.org/find/programs/physics Berkeley is in the lowest 20% band for acceptance of foreign students, which I guess can't be good news.

rohit
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Re: Profile

Postby rohit » Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:16 pm

99percent wrote:Hey Rohit, that 85% GPA requirement of SFU is equivalent to the first class, i.e., 60% of India. I had emailed graduate program regarding this. He had said that 60% from India is considered equivalent to A+ grade in Canada. Also, he said that you can also demonstrate your eligibility for the program by taking GRE physics exam...

:shock: wow , i didnt know i had an A+ in my undergrad. Are you sure it wasnt an A- or something? I'll pm u later for your plans on Canada. Got my end sem exams now :)

rohit
Posts: 104
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Re: Profile

Postby rohit » Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:24 pm

nowhereguy wrote:Hey, Imperate. I think it might be wise to add one private CA school to your list since those don't have the budget constrains regarding international students. Things is, I don't really know which one to recommend because the two that come to mind are Stanford and Caltech. Given your research interest, I think you should replace NYU by Stony Brook. Or simply add it to your list. Granted NYU is in NYC, but Stony Brook is stronger in HEP theory, specially in the more formal side of things. Plus, I would assume you have a pretty good chance of getting in.



Talkin about private CA schools, Howz Univ of So Cal ?
For An international wid moderate research and >800 PGRE a long shot i guess?




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