Harvard's cutoff Physics GRE score for domestic applicants?

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muonman
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Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:19 pm

Harvard's cutoff Physics GRE score for domestic applicants?

Postby muonman » Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:49 am

All schools have some sort of cutoff for the PGRE, whether formal of informal, and usually one for domestics and one for internationals. For instance, it is well-known that UT Austin's cutoff is 700 for domestic males.

Anyhow, anyone knows what's the domestic male cutoff for Harvard?

I only got a disappointing 810 :oops: (no 900 club for me), so should I even bother applying there? I'm an experimentalist, solid state.

For reasons that I'm not going to get into right now, that's the only school I would even consider attending if accepted, so I'm not even applying anywhere else.

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trani
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Re: Harvard's cutoff Physics GRE score for domestic applicants?

Postby trani » Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:56 am

Interesting... Harvard is an odd ball. If I were to _guess_ from what I have read in this forum I would say they don't really have a cut off. I think they truly look at the whole application in order to determine whether _you_ are good fit for their department. Since you are just applying there I assume you have a very good reason (e.g. you knew you wanted to work with Prof. X since you were at the age of 6 :lol: ). If you think disclosing that reason will make you more desirable and unique applicant I'd say: "Go for it."

tmc
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Re: Harvard's cutoff Physics GRE score for domestic applicants?

Postby tmc » Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:01 am

You could always try posing as a female

stardust
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 8:15 pm

Re: Harvard's cutoff Physics GRE score for domestic applicants?

Postby stardust » Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:07 am

It's ridiculous not to apply anywhere else. You can still have the career you want
elsewhere.

I think the chances of a man in drag getting in are even less tmc, nice try though. :)

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Helio
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:11 pm

Re: Harvard's cutoff Physics GRE score for domestic applicants?

Postby Helio » Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:10 am

To quote their profile for AIP:
The GRE and GRE Advanced are normally re-
quired and high scores are expected, although there is no
rigid minimum acceptable score.
Average GRE scores for
2003 – 04 admissions were verbal-682; quantitative-781; ana-
lytical-742; physics-892. :shock: :shock: :shock:

Somebody loves their PGRE

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secander2!
Posts: 264
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Re: Harvard's cutoff Physics GRE score for domestic applicants?

Postby secander2! » Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:26 am

So from those statistics, 900 club would put a domestic WAY above the Harvard domestic PGRE average. I would guess that a 810 is still competitive for a domestic. Go for it! If the rest of your application is strong, I'd bet you'd have a great chance.

@stardust, I think tmc's idea is great! From what I've seen (and it can be a little hard to tell with this for obvious reasons), there are even fewer transvestites in physics than women. I think a transvestite applicant would add quite a bit of diversity!

sterculus
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Re: Harvard's cutoff Physics GRE score for domestic applicants?

Postby sterculus » Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:42 am

secander2! wrote:So from those statistics, 900 club would put a domestic WAY above the Harvard domestic PGRE average. I would guess that a 810 is still competitive for a domestic. Go for it! If the rest of your application is strong, I'd bet you'd have a great chance.


Glancing back through the thread for last year's profiles, I see at least one person with a 850 PGRE (not that much higher than you) who got into Harvard. Definitely give it a shot - I agree with secander2! that the average is probably pulled up by a ton of foreign students with 990s.

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muonman
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Re: Harvard's cutoff Physics GRE score for domestic applicants?

Postby muonman » Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:01 am

I was not posting to brag. My score is nothing to brag about anyways. This situation has gotten me so stressed out, I could not even sleep well last night.

For most of you, grad school might be the next logical step. But for me, I am already working. I got a job. A high-paying job. With my own office. Everybody I know basically thinks I'm happy career man. I took the PGRE in secret and didn't even tell anyone outside this forum. It'd be career suicide for me to quit to go to school full-time again. Except for that school. Harvard my bosses would understand, perhaps even appreciate and maybe invite me back someday to the firm.

Yes, when I was a student like you, I scored very very low on my first PGRE. No school wanted me. That's why I'm working now. I thought to myself, if I could join the 900 club then I'd be good enough to enter the game again. But I didn't... I am having a serious confidence crisis (considering how much time I spent studying for that stupid test, I should have done at least 890 or so), coupled with my very comfortable lifestyle right now, I really don't know if I should apply, guys... I need the forums advice....

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secander2!
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Re: Harvard's cutoff Physics GRE score for domestic applicants?

Postby secander2! » Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:17 am

Don't worry, I didn't take it as bragging and yours is a very valid question.

Aren't there other high caliber grad schools that your boss would understand? I'm pretty sure that Princeton, Stanford, Berkeley, and MIT, and Cal Tech have just as much name recognition as Harvard (more in some ways). If your boss only recognizes Harvard as good when compared to places like these, then what sort of idiot are you working for? Maybe it would be best to quit your job and never look back just because of that... j/k. Seriously though, with an 810 and good other credentials, I'd bet that you could get into a top 10 school as long as you hedge your bets by applying to most of them. If you want, you could always apply and see if you get accepted before telling your boss that your heading off to grad school. I'm guessing money isn't an issue since it seems you've got a nice paying job, so what is $1000 of application fees if you've got a good chance to fulfill your dreams? Sorry, I hope you're not offended by my 2 cents :oops: Anyways, best of luck!!!

PoincareSection
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Re: Harvard's cutoff Physics GRE score for domestic applicants?

Postby PoincareSection » Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:41 am

Who gives a *** what your boss thinks? :lol:

Seriously, I was in the same situation as you. I fucked up the PGRE the first time around and I got myself a kick ass job making a shitload of money... and then after a few months, I HATED it because it went from being new and exciting to the same boring crap every day. Eventually, the business at this photonics company slowed down, and in order to keep myself busy and not go insane or buy things online, I was making boxes for stuff to be shipped in. I really almost cried at work that day because I felt like such a failure for being able to solve Schrodinger's equation only to make boxes.

That's when I got a TA-ship and got a Masters. Now I'm applying to PhD programs. You don't even have to do that though with your score.

BTW... When I quit the HR guy basically told me I was a stupid college kid, my family makes fun of me on a daily basis for "choosing to make *** money", and my boyfriend still doesn't understand.... and I don't care because I want to be an astronomer and not some box-maker.

Good luck to you. If you want to stay in Boston, why don't you try MIT?

stardust
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 8:15 pm

Re: Harvard's cutoff Physics GRE score for domestic applicants?

Postby stardust » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:16 am

Who cares what your boss understands? It's your life. Unless your boss is a spouse or a parent
where you may have to explain and even then, do not, I repeat DO NOT ever let anyone define who you are. Even if you decided to go to U. of Alaska, it is your business. Besides, most boss' are imbeciles, ever see Dilbert cartoons with the pointy-haired boss? You would have a serious
screw loose if you continue on this line of thinking. Besides, the boss probably couldn't even get into
Harvard himself. Boss' will always be pissed when they can no longer take over your life.
That's where they think they have a right to re-direct your career and whole life to what they
want, not what you want.

Live for yourself, live for a cause, for god's sake, don't live for you boss, man!

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G01
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:54 pm

Re: Harvard's cutoff Physics GRE score for domestic applicants?

Postby G01 » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:18 am

muonman wrote:I was not posting to brag. My score is nothing to brag about anyways. This situation has gotten me so stressed out, I could not even sleep well last night.

For most of you, grad school might be the next logical step. But for me, I am already working. I got a job. A high-paying job. With my own office. Everybody I know basically thinks I'm happy career man. I took the PGRE in secret and didn't even tell anyone outside this forum. It'd be career suicide for me to quit to go to school full-time again. Except for that school. Harvard my bosses would understand, perhaps even appreciate and maybe invite me back someday to the firm.

Yes, when I was a student like you, I scored very very low on my first PGRE. No school wanted me. That's why I'm working now. I thought to myself, if I could join the 900 club then I'd be good enough to enter the game again. But I didn't... I am having a serious confidence crisis (considering how much time I spent studying for that stupid test, I should have done at least 890 or so), coupled with my very comfortable lifestyle right now, I really don't know if I should apply, guys... I need the forums advice....



Muonman, this is YOUR life. If you want to go to grad school for physics then do it. Don't make your chances of getting in minimal because you boss will only respect Harvard. That is ridiculous.

You have a shot at Harvard, but very few people have a large chance of getting in. Don't decrease your chances of getting in b/c you limit yourself only to Harvard.

Remember that getting into a physics PhD program anywhere is wonderful and something to be proud of and is deserving of respect.

An 810 on the PGRE means that you did better than ~76% of all people taking the test! Remember that the people taking the PGRE are not a cross section of the normal population. They are not even a cross section of all physics majors. The only people who take the physics GRE are physics majors who are striving for a PhD. You competed against a group of, arguably, some of the smartest college grads there are, and did better than 3/4 of them! Be happy. You deserve to get into a PhD program, whether or not your boss respects the program.

Anyway, my point is that you should apply to more schools than just Harvard. It is your life and your decision. Don't ask if other people will be happy with you going to a grad school other than Harvard. Ask, "Would you be happy with a PhD from a school that is not Harvard?" Also ask, "Am I willing to give up some of the comforts I have now to obtain the degree?"

If you answer yes to both of the above questions, then you should not limit yourself. You should apply to Harvard and to other schools to make sure you get in. You should go for it.




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