Applying to University of Chicago

  • 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.

physicshbar
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:20 pm

Applying to University of Chicago

Postby physicshbar » Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:15 pm

Hi,

I wonder if anyone here has applied or got admitted to the University of Chicago for particle physics?

May you share some experience or give me some advice in applying to that school?

I appreciate that.

Thanks

nonick
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 5:16 pm

Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby nonick » Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:18 pm

I applied but I haven't heard back from them yet.
It is one of my top choices, and I have heard only good stuff about the school -- definitely one of the best graduate school in the world, though frankly, I don't know much about their particle physics research, but I am sure it's at top level.

DR.DOOLITTLE
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Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby DR.DOOLITTLE » Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:16 pm

I applied to particle theory at U.Chicago as well. I contacted the department earlier this month and they said they were swamped with applications and won't be finished with the review and selection process until the end of February.

Hopefully we'll be getting news soon?

-Doolittle

physicshbar
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:20 pm

Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby physicshbar » Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:51 am

Dang,

It sounds competitive. Gosh, I wish there are a great school but with not many applicants haha.

Is it true that most of the time, you need to have the combination of top GPA, good research experience and good letter of recommendation in order to get in those top private schools? Or it also depended on luck or ethnicity or gender?

Hypatia
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Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:00 am

Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby Hypatia » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:55 pm

I have applied for HEP, but I haven't heard from them...

aristotle
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:25 pm

Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby aristotle » Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:35 pm

I applied there for CME, haven't heard back yet. For top schools, GPA, good letters, good research, and good test schools are the typical combination you need. Publications and a good undergrad university are a definite plus.

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grae313
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Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby grae313 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:55 pm

physicshbar wrote:Is it true that most of the time, you need to have the combination of top GPA, good research experience and good letter of recommendation in order to get in those top private schools? Or it also depended on luck or ethnicity or gender?


yes and yes.

physicshbar
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:20 pm

Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby physicshbar » Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:47 am

why is now so competitive to go to Physics grad school. I wish we were able to publish and study like the time of Einstein. Hahaha, he did not need to go to grad school to publish the great papers.

Going grad school is cool and fun but the things you have to go through to get there is a pain in the butt.

abeboparebop
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Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:26 am

Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby abeboparebop » Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:32 am

physicshbar wrote:why is now so competitive to go to Physics grad school. I wish we were able to publish and study like the time of Einstein. Hahaha, he did not need to go to grad school to publish the great papers.

Going grad school is cool and fun but the things you have to go through to get there is a pain in the butt.


Nobody's gonna keep you from working in a patent office and writing papers on the side; if you're an Einstein, maybe that's a plausible career option. Everybody else has to go to grad school because 1) we still have plenty left to learn and 2) in order to pursue non-Einstein-type research*, you have to use the system.

*I'm defining Einsteinish research as the kind of paper that doesn't really require that you cite any sources -- gedanken experiments, completely new theory, etc.

bosem
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Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby bosem » Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:46 pm

abeboparebop wrote:
physicshbar wrote:why is now so competitive to go to Physics grad school. I wish we were able to publish and study like the time of Einstein. Hahaha, he did not need to go to grad school to publish the great papers.

Going grad school is cool and fun but the things you have to go through to get there is a pain in the butt.


Nobody's gonna keep you from working in a patent office and writing papers on the side; if you're an Einstein, maybe that's a plausible career option. Everybody else has to go to grad school because 1) we still have plenty left to learn and 2) in order to pursue non-Einstein-type research*, you have to use the system.

*I'm defining Einsteinish research as the kind of paper that doesn't really require that you cite any sources -- gedanken experiments, completely new theory, etc.

I think I am an Einstein... I have proof. My girlfriend always tells me, "Knock it off, Einstein!... unhooking is not rocket science." I don't know whether it's a complement or not. Who cares? I am Einstein, I am going to solve the dark matter dark energy mystery.

stardust
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Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby stardust » Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:55 pm

Thank you bosem. That was the funniest thing I've heard all day! You win prizes because
you made me laugh amidst all this stress ... and out loud too!!!

Anyway, I just wanted to add that I heard that the University of Chicago has students on
the admissions committee. I got the impression they did a large portion of it, or maybe it
was just the first weed out. I thought that was bizarre (ok, how do you spell bizaar?),
as I didn't hear about any other schools doing that. Did anyone else hear this about
Chicago?

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a13ean
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Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby a13ean » Sat Feb 21, 2009 8:07 pm

bosem wrote:I think I am an Einstein... I have proof. My girlfriend always tells me, "Knock it off, Einstein!... unhooking is not rocket science." I don't know whether it's a complement or not. Who cares? I am Einstein, I am going to solve the dark matter dark energy mystery.



=)

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quizivex
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Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby quizivex » Sun Feb 22, 2009 2:45 pm

bosem wrote:I think I am an Einstein... I have proof. My girlfriend always tells me, "Knock it off, Einstein!... unhooking is not rocket science." I don't know whether it's a complement or not. Who cares? I am Einstein, I am going to solve the dark matter dark energy mystery.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Ah this forum hasn't seen enough of those types of comments since RG disappeared last year:(

Better late than never to get some silliness started!

About the Einstein things, it's hard to figure whether such a guy would be so successful in today's world. In Einstein's day, there wan't a whole lot one had to know in order to start coming up with new things. But today, it'd take a tremendous amount of reading just to get abreast of a tiny area of modern physics research, and the math itself would be an ordeal to learn. Maybe there are people brilliant enough to pick it up quickly, but it'd still take a lot more initiative than taking F=ma to the next level...

physicshbar
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:20 pm

Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby physicshbar » Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:24 pm

Hey, where can you check whether a special physics program is good at certain university? Is there such a website? I tried phds.org, but they don't have such thing.

For theoretical particle physics, where do you think/heard is on the top? I know University of Chicago is one.

Sincerely,

sterculus
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Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby sterculus » Sun Feb 22, 2009 7:46 pm

Ask professors who work in that subfield - they'll have a good idea of which programs are best. US News does some rankings by subfield, but I have no idea how good they are (or who they say is top for particle physics).

bosem
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:07 am

Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby bosem » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:07 pm

stardust wrote:Anyway, I just wanted to add that I heard that the University of Chicago has students on
the admissions committee. I got the impression they did a large portion of it, or maybe it
was just the first weed out. I thought that was bizarre (ok, how do you spell bizaar?),
as I didn't hear about any other schools doing that. Did anyone else hear this about
Chicago?

I heard that too. I think I saw it on some webpage. However, I am sorry I have not yet heard from Chicago and am worried that I am probably getting rejected. I applied to UChicago becuase of their excellent cosmology program. If you are into theoretical cosmology, then I think: Caltech, UChicago, UCSC,UC Berkely are some of the nicest places.

abeboparebop
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:26 am

Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby abeboparebop » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:17 pm

I was about to tell you that they haven't started admitting people yet, but according to gradcafe there's one new acceptance and two new rejections. Time to start getting worried every time I check my mail box...

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valentino
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Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby valentino » Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:45 pm

talking about subfields, anyone know if cornell, berkeley or chicago offer string courses/research?

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trani
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Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby trani » Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:01 pm

Berkeley:

You are interested in Physics 234A and 234B (the latter is actually being taught this semester). You can look up the desriptions here:

http://sis.berkeley.edu/catalog/gcc_list_crse_req?p_dept_name=Physics&p_dept_cd=PHYSICS

Yes, there is also research. I know of at least a couple students doing research in String theory and apparently there are also regular meetings:

http://www-theory.lbl.gov/~horava/stgm.html

babazula
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:59 pm

Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby babazula » Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:14 pm

valentino wrote:talking about subfields, anyone know if cornell, berkeley or chicago offer string courses/research?


Berkeley and Chicago are excellent places to do string theory. they both offer strig theory course, but i personaly do not like the textbook they follow (String Theory and M-Theory - BBS).
If you are willing to do Mirror Symmetry, Toric Geometry, Homoogical Algebra,Noncommutative geometry.. i recommend you to go Berkeley and work with Mina Aganagic. She is very young and already one of the leaders of the field. berkeley has also great names like Petr Horova ( he's also the lecturer of the String Theory course at Berkeley ), Ori Ganor ( especially if you are interested in Matric-Models, and Noncommutative geometry).
Chicago is a better option if you are interested in String Theory Landscape, since they have Dr. Sethi ( he is also the lecturer of String Theory course ). David Kutasov could also be a great supervisor if you want to do strongly coupled field, BPS states in supersymmetric gauge theories...
I don't know about Cornell, and i don't think COrnell is a good place to do String Theory.

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valentino
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Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby valentino » Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:18 pm

thanks trani... can't seem to find any string course in cornell, but they do have some researcher.

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metric
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Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby metric » Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:38 pm

stardust wrote:Thank you bosem. That was the funniest thing I've heard all day! You win prizes because
you made me laugh amidst all this stress ... and out loud too!!!

Anyway, I just wanted to add that I heard that the University of Chicago has students on
the admissions committee. I got the impression they did a large portion of it, or maybe it
was just the first weed out. I thought that was bizarre (ok, how do you spell bizaar?),
as I didn't hear about any other schools doing that. Did anyone else hear this about
Chicago?


Columbia also has students in their committees, I know a couple of them.

nowhereguy
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:21 am

Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby nowhereguy » Wed Feb 25, 2009 8:53 pm

valentino wrote:talking about subfields, anyone know if cornell, berkeley or chicago offer string courses/research?


As someone said above, Berkeley and Chicago are great places to do string theory. Cornell has Tye and McAllister, who both do what you could call string cosmology. But McAllister has also worked on other stuff and he explicitly states in his website that he is also interested in other sub areas. They are both really good.

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valentino
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Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby valentino » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:31 am

are you from cornell, how do you know they are both good? well i was wondering about courses too, does cornell offer courses on strings?

nowhereguy
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Re: Applying to University of Chicago

Postby nowhereguy » Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:04 am

valentino wrote:are you from cornell, how do you know they are both good? well i was wondering about courses too, does cornell offer courses on strings?


I am not from Cornell. I meant they are good in the sense that they do good research (no need to be at the same institution to know that). About courses, I guess you can just look up their website?




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