Who are we competing against? (domestic)

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badphysicist
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Who are we competing against? (domestic)

Postby badphysicist » Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:22 pm

I ask this because late last week a professor at my school told me that my application wouldn't be competitive for any of the schools that I am applying. I asked this person why and got the reply that I am going to be compared to other MS students, namely all the international applicants. This was said because I don't have a paper submitted yet (should have it done by early next year).

I know that I don't stand a chance for MIT, Berkeley, and Stanford (my three reaches) but I thought that I'd at least be somewhat competitive for the other schools.

Is this professor right? I'm getting pretty worried right now that I'm going to waste a lot of money on my applications and if that is the case it would be better to forgo applying this season and go for next year when I'll have a MS thesis done, at least one paper submitted (probably more), and most likely a much higher pgre score.

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grae313
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Re: Who are we competing against? (domestic)

Postby grae313 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:02 pm

I think most of the schools on your list are large reaches, but you might be competitive at places like Merced, Riverside, and Irvine. Schools often have a ratio of domestic/international they are aiming for based on available funding so in that respect international students compete more against other international students for filling the slots for internationals, and domestic students are more in competition with other domestic students for the domestic spots. I don't think the same is said for MS students verses BS students, so ultimately you're competing against all domestic applicants. However, coming with an MS degree, they'll expect to see something for it and will likely hold you to higher standards. The fact that you haven't published is damaging but I can't really say to what extent, and your undergraduate GPA and low PGRE will still hurt you.

I think your chances at Berkeley, MIT, Stanford, Santa Barbara, UIUC, and Boulder are very low and I would trade these for more safety schools ranked lower than 30. If you have the money though there's nothing wrong with giving it a shot.

badphysicist
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Re: Who are we competing against? (domestic)

Postby badphysicist » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:13 pm

grae313 wrote:I think most of the schools on your list are large reaches, but you might be competitive at places like Merced, Riverside, and Irvine. Schools often have a ratio of domestic/international they are aiming for based on available funding so in that respect international students compete more against other international students for filling the slots for internationals, and domestic students are more in competition with other domestic students for the domestic spots. I don't think the same is said for MS students verses BS students, so ultimately you're competing against all domestic applicants. However, coming with an MS degree, they'll expect to see something for it and will likely hold you to higher standards. The fact that you haven't published is damaging but I can't really say to what extent, and your undergraduate GPA and low PGRE will still hurt you.

I think your chances at Berkeley, MIT, Stanford, Santa Barbara, UIUC, and Boulder are very low and I would trade these for more safety schools ranked lower than 30. If you have the money though there's nothing wrong with giving it a shot.



Ah ***, thanks for the reply. I'll know for sure what my pgre score is after the first wave of applications (dec. 15/17) so from there I'll have a better game plan for applying. If it's just simply too low to be reasonably competitive I'll probably just not submit the remaining applications and push back my graduation a year like the professor suggested. I'm really sure by then I'll have at least one paper finished with a couple others in preparation/submission; and of course several months to prepare for my slow calculation skills.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Who are we competing against? (domestic)

Postby WhoaNonstop » Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:47 am

I wouldn't suggest pushing back your applications another year, just apply to enough safety schools. I agree with grae though. I think you need to drop the higher ranked schools like she mentioned and add more safeties. Unfortunately there are things you can not change on your application even if you waited (such as undergraduate GPA). Since you are interested in Condensed Matter I would suggest Iowa State University...

-Riley

badphysicist
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Re: Who are we competing against? (domestic)

Postby badphysicist » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:32 am

WhoaNonstop wrote:I wouldn't suggest pushing back your applications another year, just apply to enough safety schools. I agree with grae though. I think you need to drop the higher ranked schools like she mentioned and add more safeties. Unfortunately there are things you can not change on your application even if you waited (such as undergraduate GPA). Since you are interested in Condensed Matter I would suggest Iowa State University...

-Riley


Thanks for the suggestion,

I mentioned Iowa State to that professor and I was still told that a reach. :lol: I was told pretty much that it would be just as hard to get into Iowa State/Univ of Iowa as Boulder/Rice so I'm not sure what would be good safeties with that kind of criteria. I've been using phds.org w/ that us news rankings and gradschoolshopper to see what the average admissions are as well as seeing if the programs actually have research that catches my attention. I'm going to try suggesting Oregon State, Washington State, and Univ. of Idaho and see what kind of response I get. But if all these schools are currently out of my league I might as well just wait the year for my publications to go through and to improve my PGRE.

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grae313
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Re: Who are we competing against? (domestic)

Postby grae313 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:36 am

Remember that if the money isn't a barrier, there's not penalty for applying this year and seeing how you do. You might get an offer you're excited about, and if not, you can try again next year with a better profile.

badphysicist
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Re: Who are we competing against? (domestic)

Postby badphysicist » Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:06 am

grae313 wrote:Remember that if the money isn't a barrier, there's not penalty for applying this year and seeing how you do. You might get an offer you're excited about, and if not, you can try again next year with a better profile.



Well, applying to these schools won't make me go homeless or hungry as I still have some savings from working at Boeing. So I plan on submitting the applications and hoping for a miracle (pgre above 600 :roll:).

Anyway, thanks for the replies.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Who are we competing against? (domestic)

Postby WhoaNonstop » Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:31 am

badphysicist wrote:I was told pretty much that it would be just as hard to get into Iowa State/Univ of Iowa as Boulder/Rice.


I highly doubt this. I feel Iowa State is a highly underrated school and I do feel it is easier to get into in comparison to anything of it's standing.

-Riley

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InquilineKea
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Re: Who are we competing against? (domestic)

Postby InquilineKea » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:58 am

http://www.gradschoolshopper.com/gradsc ... sp?rec=190

For fall admission, 2009 - 10, 15 students were accepted from 198 applicants.


That's like less than 10%. Do you think they're simply talking about the number of students who accept their offers?

kroner
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Re: Who are we competing against? (domestic)

Postby kroner » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:13 am

That would make sense based on the numbers. If they've got 94 students, that's around 15-20 per year. Unless last year they decided to barely take anyone for budget reasons.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Who are we competing against? (domestic)

Postby WhoaNonstop » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:18 pm

Well, I can say with certainty they had at least 15 students start graduate school last year and there were 19 who started this year. I highly doubt those 15 students were the only ones accepted. You can't rely on gradschoolshopper for everything.

Also, considering Iowa State has a national laboratory run by the Department of Energy (I believe), I highly doubt they had a budget cut (at least nothing that drastic).

-Riley

badphysicist
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Re: Who are we competing against? (domestic)

Postby badphysicist » Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:52 pm

Holy crap did I do poorly on the pgre. I'm pretty much going to save money this time around and only apply to the UCs. I told my advisor that I'm pretty much betting on staying an extra year and he was pretty happy about that, so I'll have funding if I stay. I'll of course fully report my rejections and acceptances for the next gen of applicants. I would like to see more data on domestic MS students applying to grad school.

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InquilineKea
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Re: Who are we competing against? (domestic)

Postby InquilineKea » Fri Dec 24, 2010 7:40 pm

Hm, how would the UCs be easier to get into than others? The UCs seem to be hit by larger budget cuts than most others.

badphysicist
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Re: Who are we competing against? (domestic)

Postby badphysicist » Sat Dec 25, 2010 3:18 am

InquilineKea wrote:Hm, how would the UCs be easier to get into than others? The UCs seem to be hit by larger budget cuts than most others.


Easier? They aren't really easier to get admitted. They are just more likely to have heard of csulb's MS program, and as a native Californian I don't mind donating $70 to each of the UCs.

blacksl
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Re: Who are we competing against? (domestic)

Postby blacksl » Sat Feb 05, 2011 11:42 pm

Hello,
I would like to know about the admission standards of Iowa state for the international students. I mean average GRE's and GPA.

Both my wife and I applied to Iowa state and these are our scores,
My,
GPA 3.8/4
PGRE 840
GRE Quantitative 740
Verbal 310
A.W 2
TOEFL 85

Wife's

GPA 3.3/4
PGRE 640
GRE Quantitative 760
Verbal 310
A.W 2.5
TOEFL 82

Do you think these score enough to get admission for both of us?

Waiting for advice!!! :roll:
Thanks
Blacksl


blacksl
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Re: Who are we competing against? (domestic)

Postby blacksl » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:36 am

WhoaNonstop wrote:
badphysicist wrote:I was told pretty much that it would be just as hard to get into Iowa State/Univ of Iowa as Boulder/Rice.


I highly doubt this. I feel Iowa State is a highly underrated school and I do feel it is easier to get into in comparison to anything of it's standing.

-Riley



"Iowa State is a highly underrated school" What is the reason for that? and why?




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