## Wave, Vibrations & Perturbations: Wavefunction collapse

• 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.

confused_p
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:50 am

### Wave, Vibrations & Perturbations: Wavefunction collapse

What is the exact method for making decision admission decision by any school?

a. Admission Secy decides and extremely low GPA / Physics GRE scores
b. Rest are taken up by a committee of faculty members. Say there are 4 faculty working this time. Each one of them take 1/4 of the application and read the application. They make 3 piles - One for sure-shot rejection, One for need more comparing with that of others -- makes note on a sheet about pros and cons, and the other pile with sure-shot acceptances.
c. Committee members meet to send the sure-shot acceptances and rejection. Remaining ones are read by at least one other faculty member and mark their pros and cons on the sheet
d. faculty member have a meeting and decide on the remaining apps. They will be preparing for the long meeting as they need to balance the number of offers, expected yield, places they need to fill, money they have.

Any thoughts on this conjecture while you painfully wait for the decisions to come and selection you have to make in couple of weeks....

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

### Re: Wave, Vibrations & Perturbations: Wavefunction collapse

confused_p wrote:What is the exact method for making decision admission decision by any school?

a. Admission Secy decides and extremely low GPA / Physics GRE scores
b. Rest are taken up by a committee of faculty members. Say there are 4 faculty working this time. Each one of them take 1/4 of the application and read the application. They make 3 piles - One for sure-shot rejection, One for need more comparing with that of others -- makes note on a sheet about pros and cons, and the other pile with sure-shot acceptances.
c. Committee members meet to send the sure-shot acceptances and rejection. Remaining ones are read by at least one other faculty member and mark their pros and cons on the sheet
d. faculty member have a meeting and decide on the remaining apps. They will be preparing for the long meeting as they need to balance the number of offers, expected yield, places they need to fill, money they have.

Any thoughts on this conjecture while you painfully wait for the decisions to come and selection you have to make in couple of weeks....

a. wrong we are not in med school
b. depends on the school, some schools are very heavily sub-discpline (MIT, Stanford) based others just have a general committee
c. depends on school. some do waves, some do all at once
d. see above.

cato88
Posts: 420
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:46 am

### Re: Wave, Vibrations & Perturbations: Wavefunction collapse

I dont understand why its so uncommon to send a first wave of rejections along with first wave of acceptances. Whats the point of keeping waiting when they know they are not going to admit.

Im still not convinced the MIT heavily discipline based is true at least not significantly more than other schools. They ask if your interested in a particular field and im sure all schools have a few more people view the application whos interest align with yours as given by a direct question or SOP. All schools have to consider who could possibly be your adviser to figure out a possible distribution of students and be able to build the best incoming class that fills the lab groups as necessary. I dont think any programs just admits students and hopes that the distribution becomes 35 CM Exp to 12 HEP Exp and so on. Some schools will ask you what field your interested in others look at your SOP to determine that.

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

### Re: Wave, Vibrations & Perturbations: Wavefunction collapse

cato88 wrote:I dont understand why its so uncommon to send a first wave of rejections along with first wave of acceptances. Whats the point of keeping waiting when they know they are not going to admit.

Im still not convinced the MIT heavily discipline based is true at least not significantly more than other schools. They ask if your interested in a particular field and im sure all schools have a few more people view the application whos interest align with yours as given by a direct question or SOP. All schools have to consider who could possibly be your adviser to figure out a possible distribution of students and be able to build the best incoming class that fills the lab groups as necessary. I dont think any programs just admits students and hopes that the distribution becomes 35 CM Exp to 12 HEP Exp and so on. Some schools will ask you what field your interested in others look at your SOP to determine that.

I am basing it on the fact that some people get emails, others get phone calls, and others again get a mail package and the method depends on the sub-discipline. I would say there admissions is discipline based. The undecided ones, I am guessing, end up somewhere between CM and HEP Experiment/Theory, as those are the most sought after positions.

Posts: 369
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:50 pm

### Re: Wave, Vibrations & Perturbations: Wavefunction collapse

It's extremely school-dependent. On my committee, every domestic application is read and commented on (we have a sheet attached to each application) by every committee member. No initial cuts by a "secretary". Yes, it takes a while, but we begin as soon as possible in early January and go though them in stacks.

Other places are completely different.

cato88
Posts: 420
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:46 am

### Re: Wave, Vibrations & Perturbations: Wavefunction collapse

Helio wrote:I am basing it on the fact that some people get emails, others get phone calls, and others again get a mail package and the method depends on the sub-discipline. I would say there admissions is discipline based. The undecided ones, I am guessing, end up somewhere between CM and HEP Experiment/Theory, as those are the most sought after positions.

People get an e-mail/phone from a possible adviser from a lot of programs the only difference I perceive is that some schools like to a lot more e-mail communication. There is also the fact that people hear about this discipline thing on the forum and try to make a bigger deal about the way they are communicating with you. The forum makes people more sensitive to this. I havent heard about Stanford doing this till this year and have no clue about their admissions process but I am sure that now that the rumor is out there people will be more critical of the form of communication and the rumor will grow in the coming years.

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

### Re: Wave, Vibrations & Perturbations: Wavefunction collapse

cato88 wrote:
Helio wrote:I am basing it on the fact that some people get emails, others get phone calls, and others again get a mail package and the method depends on the sub-discipline. I would say there admissions is discipline based. The undecided ones, I am guessing, end up somewhere between CM and HEP Experiment/Theory, as those are the most sought after positions.

People get an e-mail/phone from a possible adviser from a lot of programs the only difference I perceive is that some schools like to a lot more e-mail communication. There is also the fact that people hear about this discipline thing on the forum and try to make a bigger deal about the way they are communicating with you. The forum makes people more sensitive to this. I havent heard about Stanford doing this till this year and have no clue about their admissions process but I am sure that now that the rumor is out there people will be more critical of the form of communication and the rumor will grow in the coming years.

Well stanford is weird in a way. They send all their stuff out within a week. What they actually do is:

1. Meet by sub discipline and go through the apps. Do a first sweep through
2. Those who were accepted in the sub-committee go to the general committee and the big sorting out begins
3. They make their piles. Finalize the money and send out their apps.

I know a prof there, so i talked to him about it.

I am not quite sure why they take forever with this (2.5 months), but I guess they can cause they are stanford. Like harvard sending out rejections in april

Well the form of communication is changing. Until two years ago. Berkeley had all paper recommendations, as UCLA still does, while Madison last year only mailed things out they send emails this year. It is an ever evolving process.

edit:

and the proof my MIT point somebody got mail and others phone/email

confused_p
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Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:50 am