==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

  • 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.

wavicle
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:47 pm

==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby wavicle » Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:33 pm

This is the most useful resource PhysicsGRE has to offer. If you have used this information in the past or are currently using it to help decide upon schools, I highly suggest you help out and post your own profile once you have applied to schools. Future members of this forum will find it very useful! Don't be shy!

Copy and paste the template below in your reply to keep the formatting.

______________________________________________
[b]Undergrad Institution:[/b] (School or type of school, such as big state, lib arts, ivy, technical, foreign (what country?)... Overall Reputation in Physics?)
[b]Major(s):[/b]
[b]Minor(s):[/b]
[b]GPA in Major:[/b]
[b]Overall GPA:[/b]
[b]Length of Degree:[/b] (Are you graduating after 3, 4, or 5 years?)
[b]Position in Class:[/b] (No numbers needed, but are you top? near top? average? struggling?)
[b]Type of Student:[/b] (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?)

[b]GRE Scores (revised/old version):[/b]
[b]Q:[/b]
[b]V:[/b]
[b]W:[/b]
[b]P:[/b]


[b]TOEFL Total:[/b] (if applicable, otherwise delete this)

[b]Research Experience:[/b] (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...)

[b]Awards/Honors/Recognitions:[/b] (Within your school or outside?)

[b]Pertinent Activities or Jobs:[/b] (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...)

[b]Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:[/b]

[b]Special Bonus Points:[/b] (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)

[b]Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:[/b]

[b]Applying to Where:[/b]

[u]School[/u] - Department - Research Interest
[u]School[/u] - Department - Research Interest
[u]School[/u] - Department - Research Interest
______________________________________________

Thanks to quizivex for the template from previous years.
Last edited by wavicle on Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

wavicle
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:47 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby wavicle » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:17 pm

Undergrad Institution: big state, ranked in 2nd decade according to 2012 US News
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.64
Overall GPA: 3.38
Length of Degree: 4.5 (started behind on prereqs)
Position in Class: no idea
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores: old system 800/800/6
Q: 740 (79%)
V: 670 (94%)
W: 5 (87%)
P: 820 (76%)


Research Experience:
Start-up company with CTO. Publication submitted, 2nd author of 2 in Journal of Thin Solid Films.
Other misc, transient stuff that never got off the ground.
REU, at Purdue. Nuclear and Particles.
Research Technician at my school. AMO. One semester.
REU at Oklahoma State. AMO. Worked on publication but wouldn't heed my advisor's suggestions. I was an idiot.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Sigma Pi Sigma. Departmental Scholarship. Finalist in Engineering business plan competition.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: SPS Secretary. Particle detector construction volunteer. Annual Physics outreach volunteer. TA, undergraduate probability. Math tutor ~2 yrs (excluding relatives). Physics tutor 0.5 yrs (ibid).

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Non-thesis Masters in very academic Engineering discipline?

Special Bonus Points: One recommender has a lecture series named after him (may not use him). One recommender is Dept Chair of my school. Took really difficult graduate Engineering courses.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I go through spurts of omnivorous textbook reading e.g. assembly language programming. I read a year 1 "extended" Physics text, and a modern Physics text, cover to cover to study for PGRE. Not sure how this would show up on app?

Applying to Where: All either Atom Optics or Condensed Matter, or some combination thereof

Chicago - rejected 2/18
Illinois (UIUC) -rejected 3/29
Wisconsin - rejected 2/2
Ohio State - wait-listed 2/20. application withdrawn 4/13
Purdue - Accepted 2/14 via email! $17.8k TA for the 9-month academic year. Summers pay less monthly :?
Johns Hopkins (JHU) - rejected 4/13
Michigan - rejected 2/23

Comments: Was seriously considering a last minute offer from Ohio State on the basis of NRC rankings. However, after thinking long and hard about NRC rankings, I find them to be pretty baseless. There's 20 variables measured, which I don't clearly see how they make one Physics program intrinsically better than another. What does it matter if one program has 0.3 more citations per faculty (or whatever) than another? And that's one of the variables that might actually matter! Yet such a small difference equates to rank separations by the 10's!

I'm not sure who is the jerk responsible for taking until the last minute, the department or the applicants. After I decided rankings are bogus I was going to consider Ohio State holistically: town, department culture, joining the mile-high club on my way to Columbus, etc. But they couldn't even get back to me by the "end of the day" Friday 4/13 (4:30 pm Eastern) which was their targeted response time. I considered asking Purdue for more time, so I could visit Ohio State and make a final decision. I thought that was dicey enough with a competing offer. Then when I didn't have an offer "in hand" by Friday the 13th's end, which would have been the basis of asking for more time, I withdrew. I withdrew with the mindset that it's their problem now.
Last edited by wavicle on Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:12 pm, edited 10 times in total.

bemonocled
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:49 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby bemonocled » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:50 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 10 State School
Major(s): Math, Physics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA: 3.7 overall, 4.0 math, 3.8 physics
Position in Class: Top for both majors, but they are small classes since I am graduating in the fall
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores:
Q: 800 (94%)
V: 590 (84%)
W: 5.5 (96%)
M: 730 (69%)

Program Applying: Applied for pure math, but am primarily interested in mathematical physics, so this should be of interest to some people.

Research Experience: 1.5 years in experimental nonlinear dynamics, 1 summer internship in optics lab, 1 REU abroad in mathematical physics, 1 REU at Caltech in mathematical physics. Publication in progress from REU at Caltech.
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nothing unusual.
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for a semester
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: Letter writers have strong connections to Caltech, Berkeley, and UPenn (all were/are professors there). Graduate coursework in algebra, differential topology/geometry, functional analysis, operator theory, quantum mechanics. Significant research in areas of interest.
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Interested primarily in mathematical physics, operator algebras/non-commutative geometry, low-dimensional topology, and algebraic geometry.

Applying to Where:

Berkeley - Pure Math - Rejected by email - 2/24/12
Caltech - Pure Math - Rejected in person - 2/16/12. Was visiting friends on campus and asked admissions committee person.
Chicago - Pure Math - Rejected by mail - 2/7/12
Duke - Pure Math - Accepted via Website - 2/6/12. Fully funded but no details beyond that. Declined 3/11/12
Georgia Tech - Pure Math - Accepted via email - 2/19/12. Funding of $2,100/month as a TA, Declined 3/16/12
MIT - Pure Math - Rejected by email - 2/22/12
Northwestern - Pure Math - Wait listed via Email - 2/3/12, Application Withdrawn - 3/11/12
Penn State - Pure Math - Application Withdrawn - 3/11/12
UCLA - Pure Math - Accepted via Email - 2/3/12. $24k stipend for academic year (TA), $4k for summer, first year fellowship (no teaching). Attending!
UCSD - Pure Math - Application Withdrawn - 2/5/12
UPenn - Pure Math - Application Withdrawn - 3/11/12
UT Austin - Pure Math - Wait listed via Email - 2/10/12, Application Withdrawn - 3/16/12

NSF GRFP - Honorable Mention - 3/30/12
Last edited by bemonocled on Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:51 am, edited 5 times in total.

cuduhxu
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:45 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby cuduhxu » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:37 pm

Undergrad Institution: big state school, absolutely no physics reputation <- (I believe this to be the deathblow for many of the schools to which I applied, albeit quite shallow considering my other credentials)
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.75
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: domestic male

GRE Scores:
(took GGRE twice)
Q: 690 (67%) ->770 (86%)
V: 690 (96%) ->550 (72%)
W: 4.5 (72%) ->5.0 (87%)
P: 900 (86%)

Research Experience:
research since freshmen year in AMO/CMT, specifically on the dynamics of Bose-Einstein Condensates (after release from toroidal confinement/after being subjected to manipulation with laser-pulses/collective excitations). Published two papers in PRA (2nd author of four, 1st author of five) and am working on third. On five conference papers (APS DAMOP meeting/APS March Meeting) and have given a presentation at each of these conferences. REU at NIST, for which I received a federal grant, and an undergraduate research scholarship from my college.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
REU and scholarship above. Also, was selected as one of two students from my school to participate in an undergraduate workshop at Arecibo observatory in Puerto Rico. In honors college at my school (2nd publication was my honors thesis) as well as numerous honors societies.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Physics tutor all four years, taught an introductory astronomy lab as a sophomore, and research.

Special Bonus Points:
One recommender is pretty well connected in general, especially at UMD

Applying to Where:
(QI, AMO, or CMT, all theory)
MIT - Rejected, 2/29, by email
Harvard - Rejected, 3/1, by email
Princeton - Rejected, 2/18, by email
CalTech - Rejected, 2/24, by email
Stanford - Rejected, 2/28, by email
Chicago - Rejected, 2/18, by email
Maryland - Accepted, 2/16, by email
Michigan - Accepted, 1/26, by email
Columbia - pending
Cornell - Accepted, 2/8, by email - will be attending!
Yale - Rejected, 2/22, by website
Stony Brook - Accepted to Masters program, 3/26, by email
______________________________________________
Last edited by cuduhxu on Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:53 pm, edited 28 times in total.

coffee&physics
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:22 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby coffee&physics » Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:29 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top ten, well known
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.4
Overall GPA:3.5
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Up there among physicists
Type of Student: Domestic male

GRE Scores:
Q: 166 94%
V: 162 90%
W: 6 99%
P: 760 (66%) Well, dang.




Research Experience: Experimental REU at Harvard, experimental at current school, theoretical at current school

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list/with distinction

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Two years as a teaching and lab assistant (only undergrad TA)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Well known recommenders (two of the three), I'm good at writing?

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:Explanations for some of my poorer grades and hence relatively low GPA.

Applying to Where:
All in observational cosmology

Stanford
NYU
MIT
Caltech-Rejected 2/23 via e-mail
Harvard
CU Boulder
UCSB
Brown-Rejected 2/20 via e-mail to check website. Very surprised as I had been contacted by a professor interested in my research.
Carnegie Mellon
UPenn
UChicago-Rejected 2/18 via e-mail.
Washington at Seattle
Last edited by coffee&physics on Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:31 pm, edited 11 times in total.

iatheia
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:09 am

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby iatheia » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:30 am

Undergrad Institution: Nothing too impressive
Major(s): Astrophysics
Minor(s): Japanese
GPA in Major: 3.97
Overall GPA: 3.94
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Close to the top
Type of Student: First-gen US citizen, female

GRE Scores:
Q: 161 (86%)
V: 154 (64%)
W: 4.0 (48%)
P: 610 (34%)

Research Experience: Started right of the bat as an undergrad, participated in REU every summer, presented once at AAS already, paper is in the works with me as a first author.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Sigma Pi Sigma member since my freshman year.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Work at our planetarium, became one of the observers at a science-grade telescope for a while.

Special Bonus Points: Our research group is pretty big, and I want to stay in the field, so quite a few of the schools that I am applying to have our collaborators. I could also say that my recommender are fairly well-known.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Fluent in Russian

Applying to Where:

Arizona - IR Astronomy - rejected 02/14
Colorado - IR Astronomy - rejected 02/14
Cornell - IR Astronomy - rejected 03/07
Maryland - Planetary Astronomy - accepted 02/17
UMich - IR Astronomy - waitlisted 02/08
Penn State - IR Astronomy - rejected 02/14
Rochester - IR Astronomy - accepted 01/31
Last edited by iatheia on Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:43 pm, edited 9 times in total.

King Vitamin
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:01 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby King Vitamin » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:45 pm

Undergrad Institution: Huge Public School, Top 20 for Physics
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

I took the revised GRE, so Quantitative/Verbal are on the 170 point scale
GRE Scores:
Q: 166 (94%)
V: 168 (98%)
W: 4.5 (72%)
P: 960 (92%)

Research Experience: Have been working on a general relativity theory project with a professor and a grad student for over a year, no publication. Also, a condensed matter theory project with funding which will result in a first-name publication. I will have a preprint on arXiv by mid-February, probably too late for most schools (UPDATE: the damn paper probably won't be out until the summer, oh well). I will present my research at the 2012 APS March Meeting, I found out in time to list this on about 5-6 of my applications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: One major outside scholarship.
Won the presidential scholarship at my school both years I was eligible (only two students in the physics department get nominated). This scholarship is very selective due to the enormous amount of students at my school.
Standard generic "distinguished honors" each semester.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Worked as a teaching assistant my junior year for engineering physics I & II, I also helped out tutoring intro physics students.

Special Bonus Points: Currently taking graduate quantum field theory, getting very high grades. (Update, got an A in the course). Lots of physics and math electives including general relativity, computational course, real and complex analysis, abstract algebra and topology (would have gotten a math degree if the core for math wasn't different). One of my recommenders mentioned having a lot of good connections, and I think his letter was very strong.

Applying to Where:
Applying for physics, first choice CMT, second choice HET.

UC Berkeley - Accepted, by e-mail, 29k/yr, 2/16 - Declined
Stanford - Accepted, by e-mail, 35k/yr, 2/28 - Declined
Harvard - Accepted, by e-mail, stipend about 30k/yr + Peirce Fellowship 18k, 2/14 - Will Attend
MIT - Accepted, by e-mail, with a fellowship, 2/14 - Declined
Caltech - Accepted, by e-mail, 2/16, 28k/yr TA - Declined
Princeton - Accepted, by e-mail, 2/17 - Declined
U Chicago - Accepted, by e-mail, 2/16 - Declined
Columbia - Accepted, by e-mail, with a 5-yr fellowship, 2/3 - Declined
UC Santa Barbara - Accepted, by e-mail/status check, 17k/9mo TA + 3k Broida Fellowship, 2/23 - Declined
Cornell - Accepted, by e-mail, with a 1-yr fellowship of 26.4k/9mo, 1/27 - Declined
U Washington - Accepted, by e-mail, 1/24, 1 year 5k scholarship (2500 up front and 1900/mo) - Declined
U Colorado Boulder - Accepted, by e-mail, 2/10, 16k/9mo +10k "signing bonus" - Declined

Fellowships:
DOD NDSEG - Rejected, by e-mail, 5/4
DOE - Rejected, by e-mail, 5/24, was one of 254 finalists, but not one of 50 fellowships offered
NSF - Accepted, by e-mail/status check, 3/30
Last edited by King Vitamin on Sun May 27, 2012 11:31 am, edited 25 times in total.

Brooks
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:48 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Brooks » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:03 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large public university--top 20 for physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.93/4.0
Overall GPA: 3.87/4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years (finished in 3 years)
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: domestic male

GRE Scores: Note: I took both tests twice Fall 2006 and 2011 but both scores are reported
Q: 800 (94%) and 166 (96%)
V: 510 (64%) and 162 (90%)
W: 5.5 (96%) and 5.0 (87%)
P: 640 (42%) and 790 (72%)


Research Experience: I spent one summer working in spintronics lab in Germany, two semesters in a non-linear dynamics, and one summer as a research intern at a large oilfield service company--no publications (Note that I graduated in three years so hopefully this makes not publishing okay)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: I recieved an award restricted to less than 1% of all graduating seniors in the college of natural sciences, a small fellowship to fund my senior thesis, a research forum poster award and a hand full of physics department scholarships

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I worked in industry for four years after graduating--I wasn't doing research, but I worked in a technical role for a large company that produces electronic measurement and automation equiptment. I think it is definitely relevant experience since I'm interested in experimental condensed matter research.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:
Physics: Condensed Matter Experiment with a stated inclination towards nanoscience

Stanford - rejected, 2/28 by email
UC Santa Barbara - accepted! 2/29 by email --Will attend!
Cal Tech - rejected, 2/23 by email
University of Washington - rejected, 3/22 by email
University of Colorado at Boulder -accepted! 2/21 by email--declined
University of Chicago - accepted! 2/16 by email--declined
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne - accepted! 2/8 by email--declined
MIT - rejected, 2/29 by email
Last edited by Brooks on Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:20 pm, edited 10 times in total.

User avatar
InquilineKea
Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:07 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby InquilineKea » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:16 pm

Undergrad Institution: Early Entrance @ University of Washington (top-5 in atmospheric science, where I'll be getting most of my LORs from)
Major(s): Astronomy, Physics, Math
Minor(s): Applied Math
GPA in Major: 3.77 Astronomy, 3.76 for all Physics courses beyond freshman year (but it drops to 3.0-3.5 range when I include my bloody freshman year)
Overall GPA: In 3.0-3.5 range (3.58 for last two years)
Position in Class: Unknown as school doesn't report. But definitely one of the top students in the Astronomy department (though only with respect to Astronomy/Physics courses).
Type of Student: Domestic Parrot

GRE Scores:
Q: 167 (95%) - 800 on old GRE.
V: 166 (97%) - 700 on old GRE.
W: 6.0 (99%)
Biology: 810 (89%), completely self-studied without taking any courses asides from a grad-lvl neurophysiology course
Cellular & Molecular Biology: 82%
Organismal Biology: 89%
Ecology/Evolution/Population Biology: 91%
P: 680 (50%) <- this kid got too addicted to Quora and ended up cramming (rather inefficiently) for the PGRE in a week (though much of it was that I sacrificed PGRE study time for the Biology GRE). It makes me look like a complete fool, given all my past posts on this forum. Nonetheless, it doesn't matter anymore as you can see below...

Research Experience:
- Several years

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
- National AP Scholar (8 self-studied APs)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- Attended a grad-student summer program (CASS 2011 - http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/UHNAI/CASS2011/ ) as an undergrad last summer
- Quora Reviewer (have really built up the science sections on Quora up over the last few months), and am a top answerer on Astronomy, Biology, Neuroscience, Planetary Science, Atmospheric Science, Animal Behavior, Scientific Research, and Academia

Special Bonus Points:
- Grad-lvl courses in Neurophysiology, Planetary Atmospheres, Objective Analysis (aka Digital Signal Processing), High-Performance Scientific Computing, Numerical Linear Algebra, Causal Modelling (in statistics), Chinese Geography, and Ice/Climate (atmospheric science) - all with 3.4 GPA or above

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
- My overall GPA got nuked by my idiocy when I was 16, but I'm still glad I did early entrance.
- Intense interdisciplinarity may help with earth/atmospheric/planetary science programs (even though it may be seen in a negative way by other programs). It turned out to really help with both Chicago and Brown.
- Numerous other factors, but best not to elaborate here. But very possibly one of the most unusual (and high-risk) applicants that anyone has ever seen.

Applying to Where:
Mostly programs with active professors who do 3D modelling of exoplanetary atmospheres + Brown (which fits my INTP personality well). At this point, though, general 3D GCM modelling would work just as well..

Brown - Geological Sciences - have received a number of "I'm interested in your application" emails late January - Accepted (with special fellowship for top applicants; TA duties relieved for 1st year) via dinner with Brown professor 2/13. Official acceptance via website 2/22, and again (via department email) 2/24, and again (via postal mail).
Stipend: $21,500 school + $1,405 departmental + $7,935 summer = $30,840/year
Caltech - Environmental Science and Engineering (ESE) - Rejected via departmental inquiry 1/23. Official rejection via email 2/13
Chicago - Geophysical Sciences - Exoplanetary Atmospheres - Accepted with McCormick Fellowship via email 1/25. Official acceptance via postal mail postmarked 2/03.
Stipend: ($2250/month if RA or $2350/month if TA) for 12 months. So $27,000 + $4,500 fellowship = $31,500/ year if I RA for the first year.
Columbia - Astronomy - Not sure if they actually went all the way through in copying my application from EESC to Astro...
Columbia - Earth and Environmental Science (EESC) - Climate Science -
MIT - Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) - Planetary Science - Rejected via email 3/15
Yale - Geology & Geophysics - Atmospheres, Ocean, and Climate Dynamics (AOCD) - Shortlisted and invited for visit/interview 1/12 - Not admitted via website 2/15. I suppose that the interviews revealed that I wasn't enough of a research fit, though if I did more research before applying, then I might have actually emailed the person who was looking at expanding into exoplanetary atmospheres (who went on vacation during decisions week)... Anyways - it's an interesting story, since I was very possibly in competition for the same exact slot as someone I contacted at gradcafe (but there were no other slots I could be in). I'm still very glad that I applied and visited though (even though I was hesitant about the research fit from the very beginning), since I learned a lot and was able to visit Brown in the same trip.
UCSC - Astronomy - Rejected via email 2/10

Withdrawn applications:

Washington - Atmospheric Science
Cornell - Atmospheric Science
Penn State - Astronomy
UCLA - Geophysics & Space Physics

In any case, with the information I have now, I don't think that I would have gotten into any of those 4 schools.

Strongly considered, but cancelled before applying:

Berkeley EPS, Princeton AOS, Harvard EPS, Oregon State COAS, Arizona LPL, Hawaii
Last edited by InquilineKea on Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:03 am, edited 203 times in total.

User avatar
Sardor
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:12 am

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Sardor » Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:32 am

Undergrad Institution: Former Soviet Union. Use to have a Good Reputation in Physics?)
grad Institution: Engineering School. No reputation in physics.
Major:[b/] Physics
[b]undergrad GPA in Major:
3.5
Overall undergrad GPA: 3.5
grad GPA: 3.7
Length of undergrad Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: International male
GRE Scores:
Q: 770
V: 300 :oops:
W: 3 :cry:
P: 2010: 720, 2011: 850




TOEFL Total: no need, since I have a degree from US institution (who cares :) ), taking it again would be waist of money, so I decided to apply to places where It is not required for me.


Research Experience: Published paper in physics letters during undergrad period as 2nd author, theoretical work. Actually, I think, it is quite impressive to be able to publish such a paper during undergrad period. Besides, that research required knowledge of very advanced theoretical courses like QFT, Advanced QM, Theoretical Optics..... It was very hard work, but good experience!

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: No awards :)
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 1 year tutoring,2 year RA, 2 year TA in USA.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I play table tennis in Universities A team, if it helps :wink: :)

Special Bonus Points: No connections, have taken all grad classes, no famous recommenders.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

U Florida - accepted 03/27, 1st year TA ship 22K
U Pittsburgh - con mat and biophysics wait-listed, rejected on 04/23
Brown - Rejected 02/17
Kent State - physics - Liquid Crystal, 1st year TA ship 21K accepted for spring term on 10/29/2011
Penn State - physics - con matRejected by a-mail at 04/05/ :D
College of William and Mary - Application Withdrawn
______________________________________________
Last edited by Sardor on Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:41 pm, edited 10 times in total.

ali8
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:20 am

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby ali8 » Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:25 am

Undergrad Institution: Unknown university in an unknown country.
Major(s): Electrical Engineering
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.44
Overall GPA: N/A
Length of Degree: 5 years (but mine was done in 4.5)
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: International, male

GRE Scores:
Q: 163 (88% :( )
V: 151 (51% :? )
W: 4.5 (72%)
P: Didn't :!:


TOEFL Total: 650 on PBT (=114 on ibt)

Research Experience: No. This term is not defined in my country.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nothing special...some excellence awards..

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Telecommunication Engineer for 2.5 yrs till now.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Not sure if it might help, but: completing the degree in 4.5 yrs instead of 5...nominee for international scholarship...

Special Bonus Points: Right now taking some undergrad physics courses to strengthen my background. Unfortunately, transcripts won't be avaliable at the time of application.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I took some extra courses and excelled in them although knowing they won't be counted in my CGPA, and although in that semester we had a war (yes, w.a.r.)

Applying to Where:

SUNY Buffalo - Physics - Quantum Information // ACCEPTED by email enquiry, 24/4/2012
University of Georgia - Physics - Quantum Information
University of California Riverside - Electrical Engineering - Quantum Information
University of Southern California - Electrical Engineering - Quantum Information
University of Leeds - Physics - Quantum Technologies // ACCEPTED, 2/3 by email - No Funding=useless //
University College London - Electrical Engineering - Nanotechnology
University College London - Physics - Quantum Information // REJECTED, 31/3 by website
Imperial College London - Physics - Quantum Information // REJECTED, 13/3 by email
Imperial College London - Nanomaterials MRes // ACCEPTED - No Funding, 17/5 by website

Note: Since I am a Fulbright student, I do not know the final result of my application to the rest of the universities, only Fulbright knows.
Last edited by ali8 on Thu May 17, 2012 10:52 am, edited 10 times in total.

altheman
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:17 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby altheman » Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:37 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 20 private school
Major(s): Math, Physics
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top few
Type of Student: domestic, white male

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 800
V: 620
W: 4.5
P: 990


Research Experience:
Mathematical physics research, 1st author on a paper in a pretty good journal, at least one more paper coming (good chance more for more), continuing as honors thesis, presented poster
NSF summer research in Optics, interesting results, but no paper
Genomics Research, on a paper with 100 or so authors, presented poster

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Goldwater, Honorable Mention on Putnam, Full Scholarship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Intensive Tutoring for a Year, Taught an Advanced Geometry course

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Research mentor is a leader in his field

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: A+'s in all math and physics classes except for two As, 3 independent studies, one of which was the equivalent of two semesters of a grad course, 4 other grad courses

Applying to Where: Generally condensed matter theory or Quantum Information Programs

Harvard - CMT
MIT - CMT or Quantum Information
Princeton - CMT
Yale - CMT or QI
Caltech - CMT or QI
Berkeley - CMT
Stanford - CMT
UCSB - CMT

rb87
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:51 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby rb87 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:16 am

Undergrad Institution: Top tier small LAC
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.73
Overall GPA: 3.75
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top 25%
Type of Student: domestic white male *yawn*

GRE Scores (revised/old version): Old version
Q: 800 (94%)
V: 660 (94%)
W: 5.0 (87%)
P: 660 (46%)/940 (90%) [see below for explanation of ridiculous score discrepancy]

Research Experience: 1 summer working on big collider type exp. 1 summer working on precision measurement experiment. 1 summer+school year working on senior thesis project in atomic physics (BEC). Publication in Science from the last project. Poster session on my work for the collider exp, and talk given for work on the BEC project, both the poster and talk were given at some type of APS meeting.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Graduated summa cum laude?

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Peer tutoring for 2 years, lab TA for 2 years, grader for 1 year. I'm taking a `gap year' this year, during which I'm working at my alma mater as a physics tutor/drop-in homework helper-outer.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Captain of Mock Trial team/various intramural sports? Probably won't bother mentioning either of these.

Special Bonus Points: One of my recommenders has connections at a couple of schools where I'm applying

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: PGRE problem: I'm one of those kids who always answers all of the questions in the booklet first, goes over them, and then only transfers my answers from the book to the scantron when there's about 10 minutes left... which of course allows me to get screwed over by the clock being 10 minutes slow on my first PGRE attempt. Time ran out before I had transferred all of my answers to the scantron, so I had to take a `gap year' and redid the exam in April.

Applying to Where: All for AMO Experiment

MIT-Rejected
Stanford -Rejected
Maryland College Park
Colorado Boulder-Rejected
Rice- Accepted
U Washington Seattle- Accepted
U Wisconsin Madison- Accepted
UC Berkeley- Rejected
Penn State- Accepted
Last edited by rb87 on Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:12 pm, edited 5 times in total.

jack21222
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:38 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby jack21222 » Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:44 pm

I don't have all of this information ready yet, but I'm posting everything I do know, and will edit in the remaining information later. I'm undecided on all of the places I'm applying to. I will enter in the schools as I apply.

Undergrad Institution: Liberal arts school, small physics department with no reputation
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major:
Overall GPA: 3.79
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: Domestic male
GRE Scores (revised):
Q: 165 (93%)
V: 164 (94%)
W: 3.0 (11%) :(
P: 710 (57%)


Research Experience: A few semesters working on two projects, both with the same professor in my department. First project was on the gamma ray background and the impact a hypothetical dark matter candidate decaying would have on that background. The other project involves solar system tests of the equivalence principle. No publications, but I will have a poster at the Near Field Cosmology conference this Tuesday.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Within the school: Edward I. Rubendall Physics Achievement Award for the Outstanding Senior

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Three semesters tutoring, three semesters as a grader.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: At least two of my Letters of Recommendation should be quite strong

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I'm a slightly older student, at 29 years old.

Applying to Where:

University of Maryland - Physics - Chaos Rejected upon inquiry, 3/16
Drexel - Physics - Nonlinear Dynamics Accepted by email, 3/14. Teaching assistantship 22,500 Offer declined
Northeastern - Physics- Network Science Accepted by email, 2/24. Teaching assistantship "up to 29,100 for a full year" WILL ATTEND
Colorado State - Physics- Nonlinear dynamics Rejected by email, 4/20
George Mason - Physics- Nonlinear dynamics Withdrew application
Last edited by jack21222 on Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:41 pm, edited 8 times in total.

cabriner
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:30 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby cabriner » Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:43 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small state school you've probably never heard of
Major(s): Mathematics, Physics
Minor(s): Chemistry
GPA: 3.97
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top, at least in my majors
Type of Student: Domestic white female

(Revised) GRE Scores:
Q: 169 (98%)
V: 162 (90%)
W: 4.5 (72%)

P: 720 (59%) (This is not a bad score.)
Math: 600 (37%) (I think I must have had a seizure.)

Program Applying: all High Energy Theory

Research Experience: 2 year of MD simulations, a couple publications (no first author), a poster presentation at an international conference, and an REU in HET.
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Outstanding student in math, various scholarships, dean's list type stuff, honors societies
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I was a grader for Diff. Eq., president of the Society of Physics Students (not sure if grad schools care about these things...)
Any Miscellaneous Points that Might Help: 4 grad courses (Functional Analysis, PDE, Differential Geometry, and Complex Analysis). Also, not sure if it helps, but I'm a girl.

Applying to:

Physics (HET):

Safeties:
RPI - Accepted 1/26 (e-mail to check website) with $24k fellowship. -- Offer declined.
NC State - Accepted 1/24 by phone call from professor, financial details to follow. -- Offer declined.

Reasonable:
Carnegie Mellon Accepted 2/6 by e-mail with TA, $2150/month
Brown Rejected 2/20 by e-mail to check website.

Reaches:
University of Colorado Boulder Accepted 2/29 by e-mail with TA, $16k/9 months, plus $2k signing bonus. -- WILL ATTEND!
University of Washington - Seattle Rejected 3/22 by email.

Hahaha. Ha.
UC Berkeley Rejected 2/29 by phone inquiry.

Math (Pure Math/Mathematical Physics)
Duke University -- Rejected 3/28 by email to check website.
Stony Brook -- Accepted(!!!) by mail postmarked 2/9. $20k/9 month TA, summer support of up to $4000, plus Graduate Council Fellowship, $10k/year, renewable up to 5 years. -- Offer declined. (It was tough, though).
Penn State (Pure Math)-- Rejected 4/25 by email.
Emory (Pure Math) -- Accepted 2/7 by e-mail, $19,500/9 mo, health insurance and full tuition remission for up to 5 years. -- Offer Declined.
UNC Chapel Hill (Pure Math) -- Accepted 4/10 by email, $18k TA -- Offer declined.
Last edited by cabriner on Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:42 pm, edited 26 times in total.

CurseTheseFactorsOf2
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:57 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby CurseTheseFactorsOf2 » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:16 am

Undergrad Institution: large state, small rep in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.92
Length of Degree: 2 (2nd Bachelor's, lots of transfer credit)
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: domestic white female

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 800
V: 730
W: 5.0
P: 910



Research Experience: 1 yr @ home institution (poster @ NSF Site Review Visit), 1 REU - no pubs, no conferences

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Full academic scholarship @ original institution, graduated with "Highest Distinction" (given to 4 students in the graduating class)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Science Tutor, substitute teacher

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: nah

Special Bonus Points: not really

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I did a 4 yr. B.S. in Neuroscience, followed by a 1 yr. graduate teacher certification program, followed by a 2 yr. second B.S. in Physics. This is likely to be pretty detrimental to my app.

Applying to Where:

Yale - Applied Physics - Applied
Columbia - EE - accepted - first year research assistantship
NYU - Physics - withdrawn
CUNY - Physics - withdrawn

NDSEG
NPSCF
Last edited by CurseTheseFactorsOf2 on Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
psocket
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:43 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby psocket » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:47 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts school, no reputation.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic male

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 720 (74%)
V: 600 (86%)
W: 4.5 (72%)
P: 650 (44%)

Research Experience: Worked with professor on instrumentation research. Expect coauthor paper next year. Two observing runs at two research telescopes/observatories. Presented poster paper at AAS meeting.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Senior honors thesis.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Student worker in physics department (lab setups, repairs, etc.) for 4 years.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

Arizona - Astronomy - Rejected 2/14 by email.
Boston U - Astronomy - Accepted 2/11 by phone! ~19K for 9 mo + summer.
Brandeis - Astrophysics - Invited to open house 1/28. Application withdrawn due to other acceptances.
Hawaii - Astronomy - Accepted 2/5 by email! 31K for 12 mo + 650 moving expenses.
Tufts - Physics - Application withdrawn due to other acceptances.
UConn - Computational/Geo Physics - Accepted 2/21 by email! ~19K for 9 mo + possible summer.
UMASS Amherst - Astronomy - Waitlisted 2/14 due to funding issues.
Wesleyan - Astronomy (MS) - Not applying due to acceptances.
Wisconsin - Madison - Astronomy - Waitlisted for the waitlist :roll: . Just a matter of time for a rejection.
Wisconsin - Madison - Physics - Rejected 2/2 by email.
Yale - Astronomy - Rejected 2/2 by email/website.
Last edited by psocket on Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:14 am, edited 19 times in total.

User avatar
aravi
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:19 am

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby aravi » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:38 am

Undergrad Institution: University of Waterloo, Canada (good reputation in engineering, not sure about physics)
Major(s): Nanotechnology Engineering
Minor(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 90% (~3.9)
Overall GPA: 90% (~3.9)
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: International, Male

GRE Scores (old version):
Q: 790 (91%)
V: 590 (84%)
W: 4.5 (72%)
P: 880 (84%)


Research Experience: I've done 4 research internships; the topics included Condensed Matter Theory, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Optical Communications, and experimental Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics. 1 paper (Rapid Communication) in Phys. Rev. A (1st author out of 8 authors). Two more in preparation (both in Chemical Physics). 2 conference talks and 1 poster (presenting author for all).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Standard university entrance scholarship, university research award, NSERC USRA, Dean's Honour List for several terms.

Special Bonus Points: 1 grad course in Quantum Information Processing.

Applying to:

University of Colorado, Boulder - Physics - AMO Experiment - Accepted on 03/07 via email
MIT - Physics - AMO Experiment - Rejected on 02/29 via email
Harvard - Physics - AMO Experiment - Accepted on 02/14 via email - WILL ATTEND :D
University of Maryland, College Park - Physics - AMO Experiment - Accepted on 02/17 via email
University of Washington - Physics - AMO Experiment - Accepted on 01/27 via email

Also applied to two Canadian schools: University of Toronto (Accepted on 02/24 via mail) and University of British Columbia (Accepted on 02/20 via email).
Last edited by aravi on Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:36 pm, edited 9 times in total.

Spriteling
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:00 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Spriteling » Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:47 am

Undergrad Institution: University in the UK
Major(s): Mathematics, Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 4.0, 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0, 4.0
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores (revised):
Q: 163
V: 164
W: 4.5
P: Pending

Research Experience: 1 REU in HEP at Fermilab. Senior thesis in mathematical physics. No publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Certificate of merit, nothing fancy.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Mathematics tutor

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Nothing, really.

Special Bonus Points: Grad level classes in RQFT, electromagnetism, general relativity, Hamiltonian dynamics, Lie groups, and algebraic geometry. My adviser from the REU is also fairly well known.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

Northwestern - Physics - HEP-T - Accepted 9 Feb 2012 with $27,000 stipend
Caltech - Physics - HEP-T
Cornell - Physics - HEP-T
UChicago - Physics - HEP-T
Columbia - Physics - HEP-T
Stony Brook - Physics - HEP-T

I'm also applying to a bunch of universities in the UK.
Glasgow - Mathematical Physics - Conditional Offer 20th December
Bristol - Quantum Chaos - Fully funded offer 24th January
Last edited by Spriteling on Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:48 pm, edited 4 times in total.

einsteinchris
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:39 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby einsteinchris » Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:08 pm

Will update once all admissions decisions are made.
Last edited by einsteinchris on Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:01 pm, edited 7 times in total.

hadron112
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:48 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby hadron112 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:59 pm

Hello. I would be happy to have the opinion of people with experience here, that are familiar with the chances to get into different programs, or some of them. I am an international student, and here are my scores and schools I want to get into.
Do I stand fair chances?
Thanks.

Undergrad Institution: A major university in Israel
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 2.9
Overall GPA: 2.9
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: middle
Type of Student: International, male.

GRE Scores:
Q: 790
V: 390
W: 3.5
P: 790


TOEFL Total: 91

Research Experience:
Nothing significant.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: None yet.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
TA and tutoring (physics).

Special Bonus Points:
Taking a few graduate classes right now in my country

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: TA this semester. Also have a few years of experience in teaching physics, in private lessons given by the university.

Applying to Where:

Rice
University of Texas – Houston
University of Oklahoma
University of Nebraska
IOWA

kcmccorm
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:09 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby kcmccorm » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:07 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 50 in Physics
Major(s): Astrophysics/Math
GPA in Major: 3.8/3.9
Overall GPA: 3.7
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near top I would guess
Type of Student: domestic female

GRE Scores:
Q: 800 (94%)
V: 640 (90%)
W: 4.0 (48%) :(
P: 870 (83%)



Research Experience: 3 years of astronomy research with professor at my school, no publications. Will have poster presentation at AAS in January.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: invited to Golden Key honor society? Doubt that will make any difference

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutor and grader for a few physics classes

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: nah

Special Bonus Points: Hoping being a female really helps me...

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:
I'm applying to the physics departments in all of the schools below. Still not sure about the field but in my apps I've emphasized my interests in condensed matter theory and hep-th

StanfordRejected 2/28
Princeton Rejected 2/20
Caltech Rejected 2/23
UC Berkeley Rejected 2/29
Columbia - Accepted 2/17 - declined
UT Austin - Accepted 1/31 - declined
U Colorado Boulder Accepted 2/29 - Will attend!
U Washington-Accepted! 1/24 - declined


____________________________________________
Last edited by kcmccorm on Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:27 pm, edited 12 times in total.

sumits2k
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:59 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby sumits2k » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:30 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large State school, top 100 in physics/astronomy
Major(s): Physics (Astronomy conc.)
GPA in Major: ~3.6 (Phys,Math,Astr)
Overall GPA: 3.65
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: International, Male

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 163 (88%), 160 (84%)
V: 157 (77%), 156 (72%)
W: 4.5 (72%), 4.0 (48%)
P: 750 (64%)

Research Experience: Mainly computational physics :-
Quantum Interferometry - 1year, no publications.
Nanophotonics - 7 months, ongoing, 1 talk at undergrad symposium.
Comp. Nuclear Physics - 3 months, 2nd authored paper in refereed journal, not before applications due.
Observational Astronomy Thesis - galactic surface brightness with radius.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Chancellor's Honors Roll for perfect GPA's, scholarships, invitations from sororities for good GPA :shock:

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Contributing news writer for college newspaper, covered science events.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: none

Special Bonus Points: 1 well known recommender. My SOP looks solid (enough?)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Few disappointing math scores :/

Applying to Where:

Computational/Theoretical Astro

UC Berkeley - rejected upon inquiry
Columbia - rejected upon inquiry
U Chicago - rejected via email 02/03
Cornell - rejected via email 03/07
Ohio - rejected 03/05
Colorado -rejected 02/14 :x
UC Santa Cruz - rejected via email 02/10
U Michigan, AA - rejected via email 02/20
UT Austin - rejected via email 02/15
Penn State - waitlisted upon inquiry rejected 04/11
UC San Diego - rejected via email sometime late March
U Illinois UC - waitlisted, 02/09
U Maryland - waitlisted upon inquiry rejected 04/12
U Minessota - waitlisted, 02/27. Said I am "fully qualified" for the program though.
Stony Brook - rejected via email sometime late March

Physics and Astronomy

Florida State -
Louisiana State -Accepted, 04/13 by email--->(declined)
U Delaware -Accepted, 02/16 by email. ~$26k for 1st year--->(declined)
U Pittsburgh - Accepted, 02/15 by email. ~$24k for 1st year--->WILL ATTEND

NOTE FOR FUTURE APPLICANTS :-
1. Astronomy Departments are generally very small (maybe except Harvard), and not nearly as well funded as Physics departments. As a result, they have very few slots for new students each year (Berkeley for example, had only 5-6 for 130+ applicants. Ohio had 5 for 140 applicants, Minnesota had 4 for 70 etc.). So if you're an astronomy applicant and your application is anything short of "excellent", I would recommend applying to Physics/Physics&Astronomy departments where you'll get a statistically better chance of admission and also find some astro professors working on decent astro projects. If you do feel compelled to apply to Astro departments (especially since they have a wider variety of astro research), apply to as many of them as possible, and say your prayers.

2. Experimental/observational research is much less competitive than theoretical research areas. From the conversations I've had with professors and grad students, if you want to do theoretical research, make sure you have a very strong academic side (GPA, GRE, Math/physics grades, advanced courses, minor etc.) Having hands-on/laboratory experience will probably help you more for experimental research. They also usually have more open positions and future job-prospects.

3. Call up professors and grad students of your desired universities, at least a few months before you start applying. Learn more about their research, whether they are accepting grad students, whether they are retiring, the future of that research area and possible PhD research topics in that field. Tell them about your own research. Make them get to know you better. Ask grad students about how their professors are, how life is at the university and their opinion of the quality of research. You'll get valuable inside information that'll help you better judge your "favorite" universities. And building connections with professors will be priceless, especially since they can ultimately recommend your admission. I started doing this, but gave up when some of them didn't reply. Don't make this mistake! Most of them won't reply, or simply brush you away, but be persistent. All you need is 1-2 professors to actually like you, and that could mean jackpot!

4. DO NOT ignore Safety Schools. You may not be as good as you think, and there are chances you might overestimate the strength of your application. I definitely got scratched by all my top and within reach choices. Ultimately, my safeties ensured I got a chance for a PhD this year.

5. Try staying away from Physicsgre, Gradcafe etc. during the waiting period, especially if you're not getting acceptances or not hearing back from schools. It just heightens your anxiety. I nearly had a nervous breakdown in the middle of February when I had 0 acceptances, and I kept seeing people here getting accepted/waitlisted to places I was eagerly waiting to hear back from. I used to visit this place atleast 10-20 times a day, and I vowed not to log in till atleast April. Since then, life became much more peaceful. I focused on studying and research. Got good grades. Partied hard. Dated some hot chicks. Started a blog. Did some public nights. And finally got accepted to grad schools :D

Good luck kids!
Last edited by sumits2k on Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:57 pm, edited 30 times in total.

GeorgeThe4th
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:44 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby GeorgeThe4th » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:45 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large state university, top 30 physics ranking
Major(s): Double major in Physics and Astrophysics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.73
Overall GPA: 3.81
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Presumably above 80th percentile
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores:
Q: 740 (79%)
V: 520 (64%)
W: 4.0 (48%)
P: 650 (44%)

Research Experience:

Two semesters researching Computational Astrophysics at my undergraduate institution. The group does numerical simulations on astrophysical phenomena ranging from supernova remnants, turbulence, stellar winds, and active galactic nuclei jets. I have researched parallelizable relaxation methods to speed up the convergence of the simulations in their slowest areas, particularly in solving elliptical PDEs such as the diffusion equation. My research will be written up in my senior thesis this spring.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

I received an academic merit based scholarship from the astronomy department last spring, granted to only two students within the department per year.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Active member of the Society of Physics Students at my university.
Paid research assistant the summer after my junior year, working in the area mentioned above.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:
My research advisor is fairly well known within the computational astrophysics community, which will help me in the numerical relativity applications.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

MIT - Physics - HET Rejected 2/29
U Chicago - Physics - HET Rejected 2/18
U Illinois -- Urbana-Champaign - Physics - Numerical Relativity Rejected 3/9
U Maryland -- College Park - Physics - Numerical Relativity Rejected 4/4
U Michigan -- Ann Arbor - Physics - HET Rejected 2/23
U Wisconsin -- Madison - Physics - HET Rejected 1/23
The Ohio State University - Physics - HET Wait Listed 2/20 Application Withdrawn 4/13
Penn State University - Physics - HET Rejected 3/20
Brown University - Physics - HET Rejected 2/17
U North Carolina -- Chapel Hill - Physics - HET/Num Relativity Accepted 02/06! TA with $1800/mo
U Florida -- Gainesville - Physics - HET Accepted 02/15! TA with 22k/12 mo ---Will Attend
Texas A&M University -- College Station - Physics - HET
U Mass -- Amherst - Physics - HET Rejected 2/21
Last edited by GeorgeThe4th on Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:08 am, edited 17 times in total.

brogert
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:39 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby brogert » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:58 am

Undergrad Institution: Medium-Sized Liberal Arts school, No reputation in physics, No Graduate Program in Physics
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 4.0 in both
Overall GPA: 3.989
Length of Degree: Will graduate in 5 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: White domestic male

GRE Scores (Revised):
Q: 170, 99%
V: 170, 99%
W: 4.5, 72%
P: 970, 93%


Research Experience: Two summers at home institution working on low-energy positron beams. This did not lead to any papers but I got to attend a conference. One summer in DOE's SULI program, which led to an unpublished research paper. Spent a semester doing theoretical atomic physics, which led to a paper which I am currently preparing for the AJP.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Several department awards, Sigma Pi Sigma, Phi Beta Kappa

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: SPS Pres for 1 year, Tutor, Teaching Asistant

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: NCAA student-athlete

Special Bonus Points: None that I am aware of.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Hopefully I won't be penalized for taking 5 years.

Applying to Where:

MIT - Physics - Plasma Physics / Fusion
MIT - Nuclear Engineering - Plasma Physics / Fusion
Princeton - Plasma Physics Program - Plasma Physics / Fusion
Wisconsin - Physics - Plasma Physics / Fusion
Wisconsin - Engineering Physics - Plasma Physics / Fusion
Texas - Physics - Plasma Physics / Fusion
Columbia - Applied Physics - Plasma Physics / Fusion
UCLA - Physics - Plasma Physics / Fusion
Berkeley - Physics - Plasma Physics / Fusion
UCSD - Physics - Plasma Physics / Fusion
Michigan - Applied Physics - Plasma Physics / Fusion
Rochester - Physics - Plasma Physics / Fusion

Fellowships: NDSEG, DOE NNSA Stewardship Science Fellowship
Last edited by brogert on Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

jorgithepirate
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:44 am

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby jorgithepirate » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:31 am

Undergrad Institution: Top 10-ish liberal arts college. No grad programs.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Economics
GPA in Major: 3.22
Overall GPA: 3.11
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Right around the median (actually)
Type of Student: domestic WASP male

GRE Scores (revised version):
Q: 164 (91%)
V: 163 (93%)
W: 4.0 (48%)
P: 630 (39%)

Research Experience: One summer at home institution in QM theory, most closely related to CM. Resulted in publication (2nd author of 3 in EPJ B).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list while abroad.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: SPS President, grader for intro classes.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Helped get SPS rechartered on campus?

Special Bonus Points: Not a hipster?

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Decided on physics late (end of 2nd year) and then went abroad (junior fall) for a semester, so I've had to do half of the major in the past two semesters.

Applying to Where: Undecided on a particular focus, but all applications are for pure physics, whatever department that falls under.

UNC Chapel Hill - Waitlisted 3/7, class filled up literally the morning I went to visit :cry:
Duke - Rejected 2/21
NC State - Accepted 4/10 to MS program
Rice - Rejected 3/29
Vanderbilt - Rejected 4/3
Virginia - Rejected 4/4
Virginia Tech - Accepted 2/11
Wake Forest - Shortlisted after interview 2/3, Accepted 3/23 <-Attending
U Washington - Rejected 3/23
Wash U - never heard a word. Never cared enough to bug them more.
William & Mary - Waitlisted 3/15, Accepted 4/4

*From my correspondences, it seems that schools (at least those that I've heard from) were very careful about predicting their yield sizes, admitting smaller sets of students and waiting for those offers to be signed or applications withdrawn before extending more offers than they can fund. Multiple schools told me that in previous years, I would have received an offer of admission with the first batch of acceptances.
Last edited by jorgithepirate on Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:11 pm, edited 9 times in total.

dedicateddan
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:55 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby dedicateddan » Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:41 pm

Undergrad Institution: Cornell University
Major(s): Engineering Physics
GPA in Major: 3.93/4.00
Overall GPA: 3.95/4.00
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Somewhere in the top couple of percent
Type of Student: White male

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 800
V: 670
W: 4.5
P: 950


Research Experience: 1 Summer REU at Yale University, Project team on producing electricity with a bicycle generator

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Two Honors Societies

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Special Bonus Points: Plus points for being in a well respected program. Minus points for being a little light on research and average letters of recommendation.


Applying to Where:
MIT (Electrical Engineering) - Reject 2/25 by website
MIT (Physics) - Reject 2/29 by email
Harvard (Applied Physics)-Pending/rejection
Princeton (Applied Physics) - Rejected, 2/18, by email
CalTech (Applied Physics) - Accepted 3/3/12 by email, will attend
Stanford (Applied Physics) - Reject 3/2 by snail mail
Columbia (Applied Physics) - Accepted, 2/20, by email
Cornell (Applied Physics) - Accepted 2/29 by snail mail
Yale (Applied Physics) - Rejected, 2/18, by email
Berkeley (Physics) -Accepted 2/25 by email
Last edited by dedicateddan on Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:47 pm, edited 4 times in total.

bigD3002
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:23 am

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby bigD3002 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:46 am

Undergrad Institution: Just outside the top 100 on US News
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math, Interdisciplinary Nanotechnology Degree
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.86
Length of Degree: 5
Position in Class: Out of ~20 students about 3rd
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores (took old test so old scores):
Q: 800
V: 410 :oops:
W: 4.0 (ehh)
P: 810 (74%)

Research Experience: 9 month project developing an atmospheric CO2 model with a prof. Publication is resulting, under review with AJP and they told us it will be published as soon as we make some minor revisions.

An REU project that has become my honors thesis. This is an AMO theoretical, and experimental project designing a new microscopy instrument.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Chancellor's list for five semesters, won a big grant for a study abroad semester, several other minor awards

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: SPS VP, VP for another student organization.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I was heavily involved in the 4H club growing up and received a lot of awards and distinctions in the program over my 11 year membership

Special Bonus Points: Im a farmboy, our family was poor because we spent 30 years paying off the mortgages. It was a very Isolated childhood and I try to make it clear on applications that I was able to let my imagination run wild and thus, become a physicist at heart.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Decided on physics late (end of 2nd year) and then went abroad (junior fall) for a semester, so I've had to do half of the major in the past two semesters.

Since I have done extensive research/work with two profs, I should get good letters from them. One is well known in his field but the work we did was unrelated to his main interest. I have a fourth reference that I use on a couple applications who is out of the department.

Applying to Where:

Stanford-AMO experiment Rejected 2-29
UC-Boulder-AMO experiment waitlisted 3-5 Rejected, Pi Day. Those bastards! Lol, really thought I was going to pull it off for awhile.
Illinois-Champaign- AMO exp Rejected 2-24
Arizona-AMO exp
Michigan Ann Arbor-AMO-exp Rejected 2-23
UWash Seattle-Condensed exp
UC Davis-Condensed exp Rejected with a 2 day delay of them actually saying it. 3-2
U New Mex-Condensed exp Accepted Feb 1st (tuition waiver and $15k stipend for 9 months.)
Montana State U-AMO exp Certainly I will be accepted here?? :roll:
Kansas State-AMP exp Accepted Feb 6th (tuition waiver and $13k stipend for 9 months.)

Fellowships:
NSF GRFP
NDSEG
DOE Fellowship
Last edited by bigD3002 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:20 am, edited 8 times in total.

jitit
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:29 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby jitit » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:05 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 20 Physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Philosophy, Psychology (Probably no importance)
GPA in Major: 3.65
Overall GPA: 3.43
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: N/A
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores:
Q: 169 (98%)
V: 159 (84%)
W: 4.0 (48%)
P: 850 (80%)

Research Experience: Summer in Astrophysics. 6 Months in biophysics group. 6 Months of experimental condensed matter research post-graduation, which I am currently doing. All at home university.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: None

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Post-Graduation research at home university.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Mentioned in my SoP that I have a publication currently in progress of being written - independent, computational project. PI should mention this in his letter.

Special Bonus Points: NCAA Athlete?

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Took a year off after graduating. Should have a very good letter from my current PI.

Applying to Where: (All Experimental Condensed Matter)

Harvard (Applied Physics) - Rejected.
Stanford (Applied Physics) - Rejected.
Yale (Applied Physics) - Surprise Phone Interview 2/1 Rejected via Email.
Cornell (Applied Physics) - Rejected.
Princeton - Rejected.
MIT - Rejected.
UC Berkeley - Rejected.
Chicago - Rejected.
Columbia - Rejected.
UC Boulder - Rejected.
Maryland - Accepted via Email.
UIUC - Accepted via Email 2/8. 20k/11month stipend. Fellowship offers to come.
UT Austin - Accepted via Email 1/31. Funding information to come.
UCSB - Rejected.
UCLA - Rejected.
UCSD - Accepted.


I believe that my school list is very ambitious, but I only need one offer of acceptance.
Last edited by jitit on Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:57 pm, edited 11 times in total.

n0s
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:24 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby n0s » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:54 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small LAC (Graduated in 2010)
Major(s): Physics, Computer Science, Spanish
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.66
Overall GPA: 3.66
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: They don't release this, but top ~15%
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE Scores (old version):
Q: 800
V: 600
W: 4.5
P: 720

Research Experience: Worked for two summers and two school years doing research for the same professor at my University. He is pretty well known in his field, though. No publications but conference proceedings from an international conference (not first author on those, either, though).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Quite a few top 3 finishes in programming competitions, won a fellowship for my research.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Computer programming competition team.

Special Bonus Points: A few of my recommenders went to UMN and UW-Madison. One of my professors called my school a "pipeline to Madison" and was very confident I would get in, since my numbers are above average for my school. I think he's overconfident, though.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Probably a negative, if anything, but I am pretty well rounded. I worked as a resident assistant, studied in South America, and took a ton of classes outside of my major, which is partly why I only have ~2 years of research. On the positive side, I think that the fact that I followed my instincts and did what I was interested in probably raised the quality of my recommendations pretty significantly... I've also published a few iOS Apps that have gotten a few hundred thousand downloads (but still, sadly, not a million... :cry: )

Applying to Where:

University of Minnesota - Physics - Condensed Matter - Accepted 1/27/12!
University of Wisconsin-Madison - Physics - Condensed Matter
Northwestern - Physics - Condensed Matter
University of California-Irvine - Physics - Condensed Matter
University of California-Los Angeles - Physics - Condensed Matter
University of California-San Diego - Physics - Condensed Matter
Last edited by n0s on Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
wiak2
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:43 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby wiak2 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:48 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small midwest liberal arts school (no physics reputation)
Major(s): Physics, Math
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.6
Overall GPA:3.5
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top quarter
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE Scores (old version):
Q: 740
V: 550
W: 3.5
P: 750 (64%)



Research Experience: 1.5 years doing observational astronomy in undergrad, 2 years of condensed matter while getting Masters in Physics

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Several outstanding physics scholarships during undergrad

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: SPS President for two years, TAing for two years during graduate school in Physics (including four semesters of astronomy TAing)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Attended conference on condensed matter

Special Bonus Points: Should have two very good recommendations

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Completing Masters in Physics from smallish state school, and will be done this summer. Grad GPA is around 3.8, including advanced E&M courses, Quantum courses, Mechanics, and Math Methods

Applying to Where:

U of Arizona - Astronomy - Cosmology, Observational - Rejected by Email - 2/14
U of Texas - Austin - Astronomy - Cosmology, Observational Screwed up my app, stupid weird ApplyTexas system - 2/21
U of Colorado - Boulder - Astronomy - Cosmology, Observational Waitlisted - 2/24 Rejected by Email - 4/9
U of Maryland - College Park - Astronomy - Cosmology, Observational Rejected by Email - 2/19
U of Virginia - Astronomy - Cosmology, Observational Rejected by Email - 1/21
U of Michigan - Ann Arbor - Astronomy - Cosmology, Observational Rejected by Email
U of Minnesota - Astronomy - Cosmology, Observational Waitlisted - 2/21 (invited to visit open house March 30-31)
Boston University - Astronomy - Cosmology, Observational Rejected by Email - 3/2
Vanderbilt - Physics - Cosmology, Observational
U of Hawaii - Astronomy - Cosmology, Observational Rejected by snail mail - 2/18
Arizona State - Astronomy - Cosmology, Observational
U of Washington - Seattle - Astronomy - Cosmology, Observational Rejected by Email - 2/20
Ohio State - Astronomy - Cosmology, Observational Rejected by Email - 3-/6
U of Illinois - Astronomy - Cosmology, Observational Waitlisted - 2/09 - Interview scheduled for 2-27
Penn State - Astronomy - Cosmology, Observational - Rejected by snail mail - 2/13
U of Florida - Astronomy - Cosmology, Observational Waitlisted - 2/21

Basically applying to a ton of places so I can have some choice (hopefully).
Last edited by wiak2 on Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:40 pm, edited 11 times in total.

charndt
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:36 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby charndt » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:33 pm

Undergrad Institution: University of Minnesota-Minneapolis
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.67
Overall GPA: 3.68
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: above average
Type of Student: domestic

Old GRE Scores (old version):
Q: 730 (77%)
V: 490 (56%)
W: 4 (48%)
P: 690 (53%)

New GRE Scores (new version):
Q: 166 (94%)
V: 160 (86%)
W: 4.5 (72%)
P: 790 (72%)


Research Experience: REU for a summer at home institution in experimental condensed matter; continued work my last semester senior year, though project didn't amount to anything. I graduated in May '11, and since September, I've been working on two research projects: one in experimental condensed matter at my home institution, and one in computational MRI (designing and simulating of RF pulses used in MRI; it will likely lead to a publication in the Journal of Magnetic Resonance).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Outstanding Teaching Assistant award, junior year

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA'd intro classical mechanics, E&M, and quantum mechanics courses for 4 semesters; LA for classical mechanics course for 1 semester

Special Bonus Points: white domestic male :P

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: My GPA was adversely affected by fall sophomore year—where I had an episode of depression—and fall senior year—where I took more courses than I could handle in an attempt to double major in mathematics. Also, my recommendations (two from current research, one from professor I TA'd for) should be pretty good


Applying to Where:

Rejected:
CU Boulder - CME, AMO, Physics education Rejected 3/12/12 via email
UC Berkeley - CME, Biophysics, AMO Rejected 3/13/12 via email
UCI - CME Rejected 4/10/12 via email
U Washington -CME, AMO, Physics education Rejected 3/22/12 via email
Brown - CME/CMT, Brain and neural systems Rejected 2/20/12 via application system
U Minnesota - CME Waitlisted 3/23/12 via email (???). Withdrew application 4/10/12
UC Davis - CME Rejected 3/4/12 via application system
SUNY Stony Brook - CME Rejected 3/20/12 via email
UMD College Park - Quantum information, CME Rejected 4/6/12 via application system

Accepted:
UCSD - CME, Computational neurobiology Unofficial acceptance 1/31/12 via phone and email. Official acceptance 2/23/12 via email. $17.3K TA. -Declined offer.
U British Columbia -CME, AMO Unofficial acceptance 2/20/12 via email. Official acceptance 3/5/12 via email. Minimum of 18K RA+TA for each year of MSc, 21K RA+TA for each year of PhD.-Declined offer.
U Toronto - CME, Quantum optics Waitlisted 3/13/12 via phone call. Official acceptance 4/16/12 via phone and email. Minimum of 19.5K RA+TA for each year.-Accepted offer.

This was an extremely difficult choice to make. I'm sure I would have been happy at any of the places I got accepted. I first limited my choice to UBC and U of T, but overall, Toronto came out on top (one particular professor doing interesting work who really wanted to work with me + 2 other professors I could see myself working with, unique structure of MSc program, cool city and campus, etc.)
Last edited by charndt on Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:44 pm, edited 20 times in total.

asdfuogh
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:21 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby asdfuogh » Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:48 pm

Undergrad Institution: UCLA
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.52 (when I applied), 3.50
Overall GPA: 3.483 (when I applied), 3.479
Length of Degree: 4 years.
Position in Class: Don't know specifically
Type of Student: Domestic Chinese-American male

GRE Scores (revised/old version): Revised
Q:170 - 99%
V:162 - 90%
W:4.5 - 75%
P:890 - 85%

Research Experience: Two, one in plasma physics and one in solid state. First experience was bad, 2 quarters, didn't accomplish much more than an analysis program. Second experience is 4 quarters + ongoing, working on spintronics, supposedly we're going to publish a paper in the near future but the postdoc is pretty not on top of his ***, attended the WIN conference at CNSI with him, etc. Both experiences at UCLA (:/ I only applied for a summer REU once but one of my favorite professors told me that they don't like students who are already at research universities as much so I gave up after that first rejection.. stupid me).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Not really. I'm webmaster for an irrelevant club and technically a member of SPS.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: I think one of my recommenders is pretty famous, or at least, he has a shitload of publications. The other one is the postdoc, which isn't spectacular. The last is a string theorist, which doesn't help as much since I'm looking for experimental physics.. Hmm... My parents are immigrants, and I'm the first to go for a Ph.D./first to go into a scientific field.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where: 13 programs, 12 schools, for all of them, I've indicated my preference as either Plasma Physics, Nuclear Fusion Science, etc. Basically anything having to do with fusion. Although I think it's listed as nonlinear dynamics in one of them .. Oops, forgot to add, EXPERIMENTAL for all of them as well.

1.Princeton - Physics Rejected
2.MIT -Physics Rejected
3.MIT - Nuclear Sciences and Engineering
4.Berkeley - Physics Rejected
5.UCLA - Physics Rejected
6.UCI - Physics Accepted (TA+fellowship=21.5k/year)
7.UCSD - Physics
8.CalTech - Applied Physics
9.Cornell - Applied Physics
10.Columbia - Applied Physics
11.College of William and Mary- Physics Accepted (Research?=22.8k/year)
12.University of Maryland - Physics
13.University of Wisconsin-Madison - Physics Rejected
Last edited by asdfuogh on Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:38 am, edited 7 times in total.

mbuuck
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:41 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby mbuuck » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:57 pm

Undergrad Institution: St. Olaf College (midwestern liberal arts college)
Majors: Physics, Mathematics
Concentration: Statistics
GPA in Major: 3.92 (physics)
Overall GPA: 3.83
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top or near top of 25-30 students
Type of Student: domestic white male

GRE Scores (revised version):
Q: 166 (94%)
V: 167 (98%)
W: 5.5 (96%)
P: 840 (79%)


Research Experience: Two summer REUs. One at my school doing AMO data analysis, one at General Atomics doing programming for their fusion program. Also one research experience in statistical finance for a large Midwestern electronics retailer. (Had to sign an NDA, but I bet you can guess which company it was...Hint: I'm from Minnesota.)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Member of Sigma Pi Sigma, graduating magna cum laude, will probably graduate with distinction in physics.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: SPS president senior year, physics clinician for 2.5 years (essentially homework help for all of the pre-med students who need to take a year of intro physics for the MCAT)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Presented a poster on research at General Atomics this fall at the APS Division of Plasma Physics annual meeting in Salt Lake City.

Special Bonus Points: One of my recommenders went to UCSD and still works near there (GA is literally across the street), so that might help for that application. Also, my school is known for its math program, which focuses on pure mathematics. One of my recommenders is a math professor, and the associate dean of the science program there.

Applying to Where:

In my statements of purpose, I have listed HEP theory as my preferred specialization, but I know that HEP theory is one of the most, if not the most, competitive areas of physics, and so I made sure to emphasize that I would really like to explore different areas. You can see from some of the stuff I wrote above that I have had a wide range of research experiences already.

Harvard - Physics - HEP-th? - Rejected by mail dated 3/09
MIT - Physics - HEP-th? - Rejected 2/29/12 by email
Stanford - Physics - HEP-th? - Rejected 2/28/12 by email
UC Berkeley - Physics - HEP-th? - Rejected 3/12/12 by email
Princeton - Plasma Physics - Rejected 2/22/12 by email
Yale - Physics - HEP-th? - Rejected 2/22/12 by email to check website
Michigan - Physics - HEP-th? - Rejected 3/23/12 after email inquiry
UCSD - Physics - HEP-th? - Rejected 3/23/12 by email
University of Washington - Physics - HEP-th? - Accepted 2/2/12 by phone call
Rutgers - Physics - HEP-th? -
Minnesota - Physics - HEP-th? -
Washington University in St. Louis - Physics - HEP-th? - Accepted 2/3/12 by email
Boston University - Physics - HEP-th? -
Last edited by mbuuck on Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:15 pm, edited 9 times in total.

User avatar
holycow
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:11 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby holycow » Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:13 pm

----
Last edited by holycow on Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:26 am, edited 6 times in total.

TakeruK
Posts: 813
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby TakeruK » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:55 pm

Undergrad Institution: UBC (major Canadian Institution)
MSc Institution: Small Canadian University, supervisor has strong international reputation
Major(s): BSc: Physics & Astronomy; MSc: Astronomy
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major: BSc: 89% (4.05/4.3 or 3.89/4.0); MSc: 93% (4.3/4.3 or 4.0/4.0)
Overall GPA: BSc: 88% (4.0/4.3 or 3.85/4.0)
Length of Degree: BSc: 5 years (4 years courses + 16 months co-op work); MSc: 2 years
Position in Class: near top in Physics; top in Astronomy, I think
Type of Student: International, male, minority

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 800 (94%)
V: 630 (91%)
W: 4.5 (67%)
P: April 2009: 640 (44%); November 2011: 690 (53%)

Research Experience:
1) Volunteer undergrad researcher (summer), at my school, in planetary science, no publications.
2) Co-op work experience #1 (8 months), at my school, in Cosmology. 4 publications (1 of 28 coauthors in ABC order) in Nature and ApJ. 2 conference talks given (CUPC and APS).
3) Co-op work experience #2 (8 months), at my school, in Medical Physics. 1 publication (2nd of 6 authors) in Medical Physics. 2 conference posters (CUPC and IEEE).
4) Undergrad honours thesis (1 school year + 2 months of summer afterwards), in Planetary Science. 1 publication (2nd of 3 authors) in Icarus. 2 conference posters (CASCA and DPS) in addition to many presentations at my school/department for the thesis requirements.
5) Ongoing MSc thesis work (planetary science)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Major graduate scholarships each year (NSERC etc.)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA, tutoring, undergraduate physics society VP

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Hopefully having a MSc will help demonstrate strong research ability and experience?

Special Bonus Points: Both my planetary science supervisors are very well known in their field.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: For places that ask about it, I mention that my entire education has been funded by working summers and scholarships and that I'm the first member of my family to pursue graduate education.

Applying to Where:
Research interest: Planetary science project involving both theory (dynamics) and observational components. Especially interested in solar system objects and exoplanets.

Will be attending:
Caltech - Geological and Planetary Sciences -- Accepted Jan 20! $29K fellowship; visited March 1-2

Offers Declined:
University of Arizona - Planetary science (LPL) -- Accepted Feb 1! Autumn-Spring TA/RA: $16K, 20hrs/week (+$11K for summer possibly); visited Feb 27-28
Cornell - Astronomy -- Accepted Feb 14! Cornell Graduate Fellowship $26.4K (+$9.7K for summer research); visited March 9-10
University of Toronto - Astronomy -- Accepted Feb 14! Minimum Grad funding is $20k + tuition + top up of 50% of any external scholarship (up to $3000 cap); visit date March 12-13 (did not visit)
U Washington - Astronomy -- Interview Feb 15, Accepted by email+phone Feb 24! 20hr/week TA/RA 13,720 + summer RA/RA 3,050 + 1.5K fellowship = 18,270 + tuition + health insurance; visit date March 29-30 (did not visit).

Rejections:
UC Santa Cruz - Astronomy -- Rejected by email Feb 10
UC Berkeley - Astronomy -- Rejected by email Feb 14, "We had over 130 applicants for roughly six new student slots"
Harvard - Astronomy -- Rejected by postal mail received Feb 21. Letter was dated Feb 13

Some notes, maybe for future applicants reading this thread: I felt very lucky to have to make a decision between many great planetary science programs. My PGRE score was pretty low and being an international applicant, I felt that applying to a large number of schools was the safest way. But, I mostly aimed for top schools/places I'd want to live since I don't want to go through the trouble of moving to another country if I was not going to be happy with the school/city. In the end, my wife and I made the choice by weighing both the city and the school equally.

Good luck to everyone else applying this year!
Last edited by TakeruK on Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:51 am, edited 12 times in total.

tpatt
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:44 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby tpatt » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:01 pm

GRAD Institution: med state, no rep
Major(s): physics
Minor(s): cosmology
GPA in Major: 3.51
Overall GPA: 3.51
Length of Degree: 3.5y
Position in Class: upper tier
Type of Student: domestic white male

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 700 (69%)
V: 530 (69%)
W: 5 (87%)
P: 540 (18%) - I took this thing 4 times and could never figure it out (yet I can do well in grad physics classes, I don't get it)


Research Experience: Undergrad research as an RA doing chemical a materials procedure development, grad research on gamma-ray bursts using Swift data

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 6 awards of recognition from NASA (JSC)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 5 years in the JSC safety and mission assurance directorate specializing in spacewalk safety as the plasma and radiation hazard lead

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: 2 published papers (International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety proceedings)

Special Bonus Points: master's degree in physics, NASA letters of recommendation

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: noise violation and criminal mischief as an undergrad

Applying to Where:

U Colorado - APS - High Energy/Cosmology - rejected via email, 1/30 (officially on 2/14, 11am CT)
U Washington - Astro - High Energy/galactic dynamics - wait-listed via email, 2/23 1pm CT, rejected via email on 4/13 around 4pm CT
U Texas - Astro - High Energy/Cosmology - rejected 2/27, website check 10am CT
Rice U - Phys & Astro - High Energy/Cosmology - rejected via email letter, 3/29 ~4pm CT
Arizona State - SESE - High Energy/Cosmology - result pending
U Canterbury (NZ) - Phys & Astro - Stellar Astronomy - accepted via postal mail, 2/24
U Utah - Phys & Astro - High Energy - rejected 4/18 via email, ~4pm CT
Last edited by tpatt on Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:52 pm, edited 19 times in total.

ewood1
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:45 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby ewood1 » Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:12 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small Liberal Arts School
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.85
Overall GPA: 3.80
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Near Top?
Type of Student: Domestic White Dude

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 168 (96%)
V: 165 (96%)
W: 4 (48%)
P: 840 (79%)

Research Experience:
1 summer at school resulting in a first author publication to OSA.
1 summer working with large optics group resulting in my name on a conference publication.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Unawarded, unhonored, unrecognized.

Applying to Where:
Interested in optics/photonics programs

Caltech - Applied Physics
Harvard - Applied Physics
MIT - EECS - Rejected 3/12
Stanford - Applied Physics - Rejected 2/15
Cornell - Applied Physics - Accepted 2/23
Michigan - Applied Physics - Accepted 2/2
UCSD - EE
Colorado - Physics - Rejected 3/14
Washington - EE - Rejected 2/8
Northwestern - Applied Physics - Accepted 2/6

NSFGRFP
Last edited by ewood1 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

itorsics
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:39 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby itorsics » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:41 am

Undergrad Institution: Probably one of the best for Physics in Australia (which isn't saying much). Not particularly strong in my areas of interest.
Major(s): Physics (Honours), Mathematics (no Honours)
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: N/A (see below)
Overall GPA: N/A (see below)
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: First out of ~25 (for Physics Honours)
Type of Student: International white male

My university doesn't give a GPA. I got First Class Honours with University Medal, which counts for a lot in Australia, but who knows if US admissions committees even know what that means...

GRE Scores (revised version):
Q: 167 (95%)
V: 168 (98%)
W: 4.5 (72%)
P: 990 (95%)

Research Experience: Some first author publications in Physical Review, outside the fields I'm applying for. A major project (worth half of the marks in my fourth year) in quantum information theory with connections to condensed matter theory -- should definitely lead to publications, but they're still being written.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Best physics Honours project (within my university).

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:
Strong recommendations, I think.
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

UC Santa Barbara - Physics - CMT - accepted 2/24 by email
Stanford - Physics - CMT - rejected 2/29 be email
Caltech - Physics - Quantum information theory/CMT accepted 2/16 by email
Illinois - Physics - CMT - accepted 2/9 by email
Yale - Physics - CMT - accepted 2/17, email to check website

Now I wish I'd applied to some more top places, say Berkeley or MIT... oh well.
Last edited by itorsics on Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:36 am, edited 7 times in total.

dapaoxiao
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:52 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby dapaoxiao » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:50 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small engineering school, ranked 40~50ish nationally. Okay reputation in physics?
Major(s): physics
Minor(s):NONE
GPA in Major:~3.9
Overall GPA: 3.88
Length of Degree: 3 Years
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: International Asian Male

GRE Scores (revised):
Q: 169(98%)
V: 158(78%)
W: 4(48%)
P: 910(87%)

Research Experience: one summer + one fall semester research on computational particle physics;one year on neutrino physics and one year on geometric mathematics. No publications though. All at my home institute.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list so on so forth; nothing impressive.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Not into TA/Tutor/SPS

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Not rly.

Special Bonus Points: took many grad (and high level undergrad) physics and math; recommendations are good(I hope)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: cannot think of any

Applying to Where:

MIT - PHYSICS - CMT -rejected 02/29
Harvard - PHYSICS - CMT
Princeton - PHYSICS- CMT -rejected 02/20
Berkeley - PHYSICS- CMT -rejected 03/06 upon inquiry
UIUC - PHYSICS- CMT -rejected 03/09
U Mich - PHYSICS- CMT -accepted 01/12 22k (stipend + TA and fellowship)
RPI - PHYSICS- CMT
Last edited by dapaoxiao on Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:14 pm, edited 6 times in total.

abhishodh
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:46 am

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby abhishodh » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:54 pm

Undergrad Institution: BITS- Pilani, India
Major(s): Physics, Electrical and Electronics Engg
GPA in Major: 8.83 (Physics)
Overall GPA: 7.56
Length of Degree: 5 years
Type of Student: International

Grad Institution: Stony Brook University (MA) (Ranked 23 in US news)
Major(s): Physics
Overall GPA: 3.90
Length of Degree: 1 year
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores (old version):
Q: 780 (88%)
V: 560 (77%)
W: 4.5 (72%)
P: 890 (85%)


TOEFL Total: 110

Research Experience: 3 papers in PRD (1st author,2nd author, 2nd author), 1 paper in arxiv, yet to be published (single author), good amount of research experience, 2 undergraduate theses.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: None of importance

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA, Summer research fellowships

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Bad undergrad GPA

Applying to Where: All in Physics Dept, CMT

Stony Brook University Accepted via e mail 01/30/2012. TA, 23000$ for the first year including summer will attend
MIT
Harvard
Caltech
Chicago
Berkeley
UMD
U Penn
UIUC
UT Austin
Penn State University

I had applied to some of these places last year, but was rejected by all of them except Stony Brook, which only offered me entry to the 1 year MA.

______________________________________________
Last edited by abhishodh on Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:36 pm, edited 9 times in total.

Smidgens
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:44 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Smidgens » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:59 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts college, top 40 according to US News and World Report
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Computer Science
GPA in Major: 3.63
Overall GPA: 3.76
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: No ranks given
Type of Student: Domestic white male, but not a natural born citizen

GRE Scores (revised):
Q: 168 (96%)
V: 162 (90%)
W: 4.5 (72%)
P: 760 (66%) first time, 820 (76%) second time


Research Experience: I did research in CS summer after freshmen year, research in nuclear physics at my school summer after sophomore year, REU in molecular physics summer after junior year, and all through junior year and this year I've been doing AMO research and an honors thesis. But no publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List every semester except the last (curse E&M 2 and Stat Mech!), PBK, also got a research scholarship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: None.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: None.

Special Bonus Points: Recommendation from the chair of the physics department, and another from someone who got his Applied Physics PhD from Stanford, a program I'm applying to. Also I moved from an ex-USSR country to the US when I was 3, definitely talked that up in my diversity statements.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: None.

Applying to Where:

Arizona - AMO Physics
Berkeley - Applied Science
Boulder - AMO Physics
Chicago - AMO Physics - Rejected by e-mail, 02/18/12
Michigan - Applied Physics - Admitted by e-mail, 02/02/12
MIT - AMO Physics - Rejected by e-mail, 02/29/12
Northwestern - Applied Physics - Admitted by e-mail, 02/06/12
Stanford - Applied Physics - - Rejected by snail mail, 02/29/12
USC - Laser Physics - Admitted by e-mail, 02/16/12
UVA - AMO Physics - Admitted by e-mail, 02/03/12
Last edited by Smidgens on Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:41 am, edited 10 times in total.

WPA
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:48 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby WPA » Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:57 pm

Undergrad Institution: (foreign European School No Reputation in Physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): --
GPA in Major: 3.59
Overall GPA: 3.59
Length of Degree: 5 Years
Position in Class: Near Top
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores (old version):
Q: 780
V: 460
W: 4.0
P: 790


TOEFL Total: 104 ibt

Research Experience: 6 month as research assistant at my home university doing Monte Carlo simulation.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Research scholarship.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: One year exchange student at North American University.

Applying to Where:

University of California: Los Angeles - Biomedical Physics - Radiation Therapy
University of British Columbia - Medical Physics - Radiation Therapy
San Diego State University - Radiological Health Physics -
Duke - Medical Physics
Northeastern University - Biological Physics

______________________________________

capandbells
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:13 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby capandbells » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:07 am

Undergrad Institution: State school, barely top 100 physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.97
Overall GPA: 3.95
Length of Degree: 1 year community college, 3 years here
Position in Class: I don't know for sure, but I would guess I am at the top of my class.
Type of Student: Domestic white european male.

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 162 (87%)
V: 169 (99%)
W: 4.0 (48%)
P: 820 (76%)

Research Experience: 2 quarters and 1 summer in nanoparticles and plasmonics (turning this into a thesis), 1 quarter doing molecular dynamics simulations

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: A physics professor with a special title awarded me a special scholarship he gets to hand out because of his special title.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I'm TAing this quarter, but that didn't make it onto my application. I did an internship at my school's accelerator lab my first summer here, but I didn't do any research.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Nope.

Special Bonus Points: I've been led to believe that my letters are pretty damn good, and they're from the best people I could get them from at my school. Some graduate classes.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I did one semester at one university and failed hard. I dropped out, went to community college for a year, and didn't start doing physics at all until I transferred here. I did a whole physics degree in 3 years and I only had two summers to do research.

Applying to Where:
Boston U - Physics - CMT - Accepted 2/28 - $19k TA + $9k summer - Declined
Chicago - Physics - CMT - Rejected 2/18
Columbia - Physics - CMT - Rejected 3/8
Oregon - Physics - CMT - Accepted 1/29 - $17k TA + $6k summer - Declined
Rutgers - Physics - CMT - Waitlisted 3/18 - Rejected 4/13
UCSB - Physics - CMT - Rejected 3/14
UCLA - Physics - CMT - Accepted 2/10 - $20k fellowship + $17k TA + $10k summer - Will Attend!
UIUC - Physics - CMT - Rejected 3/9
Yale - Physics - CMT - Rejected 2/22
Last edited by capandbells on Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:24 pm, edited 13 times in total.

theuselessone
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:49 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby theuselessone » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:12 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: ~3.9/4.0
Overall GPA: ~3.9/4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Average? (not sure...)
Type of Student: Domestic Asian Male

GRE Scores (revised):
Q: 161 (86%)
V: 158 (79%)
W: 3.5 (29%)
P: 710 (57%)

Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...)

Home Institution - AMO. May 2011 to Present.
Purdue University - AMO. June 2010 to July 2010. Physics REU.
Home Institution - Computational/Theory. May 2009 to August 2009.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)

Sigma Pi Sigma membership through the Society of Physics Students (SPS)
Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society
Dean’s List 6 of 6 semesters
BAE Systems FIRST Team Scholarship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...)

TA:
Introductory physics (fall 2011, spring 2012)
Differential Equations (spring 2012)
Introductory astronomy (spring 2011)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)

A fair amount of lab time (learning from my mistakes).

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:
A range of schools with research in experimental physics focusing on AMO, optics, and/or quantum computing/quantum information processing.

Purdue University - Physics - Applied Physics/AMO - Accepted 2/15/2012 $17,800
Rice University - Applied Physics - AMO - Accepted 1/23/2012 $26,800
Rice University - Physics - AMO - Accepted 1/31/2012 $26,800
SUNY Stony Brook - Physics - Optical Sciences - Accepted 1/30/2012
University of Delaware - Physics - AMO - Accepted 2/13/2012 $26,000 Declined 2/23/2012
University of Notre Dame - Physics - Atomic Physics - Accepted 2/9/2012 $20,000 Declined 2/17/2012
University of Oregon - Physics - Optical Physics - "Anticipating offer" 1/29/2012 Declined 3/21/2012
University of Pittsburgh - Physics - Condensed Matter/AMO - Accepted 1/31/2012 $18,980 Declined 3/23/2012
University of Rochester - Physics - Quantum Optics - Accepted 1/31/2012 $18,666/9 months
University of Washington - Physics - Atomic Physics/Quantum Computing - Rejected 3/22/2012
William and Mary - Physics - AMO - Accepted 2/9/2012 $22,800 Declined 3/23/2012
Yale University - Physics - Atomic Physics/Quantum Information Physics - Phone interview 1/27/2012 Accepted 2/17/2012 $30,450
Last edited by theuselessone on Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:21 pm, edited 10 times in total.

wavygravy
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:39 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby wavygravy » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:00 pm

Undergrad Institution:top 100 school in physics, large state school
Major(s):Physics
Minor(s):Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.6
Overall GPA: 3.5
Length of Degree: 4 Years
Position in Class: don't know but probably top 15%
Type of Student: domestic white male
GRE Scores (revised, 9/2011 and physics on 10/2011)
Q:160
V:156
W:4
P:710


Research Experience: One year designing simple parts for the T2K experiment, no publications

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Small scholarships, plenty of invitations for honors groups, just had no time to devote to them

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Very successful private tutoring job for 3 years of undergrad in physics and mathematics.


Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: not really


Applying

University of California-Irvine (received email requesting official transcripts 01/19 and saying admissions decision should be made in a week..... or not (2/9) )Accepted and offered visit via email 3/9, no word on funding yet
" Riverside Accepted with generous funding 2/15 by email
" Davis- Regected website 2/15(specified interest in HET, cosmology and/or gravitation for all UC schools where applicable)
University of Colorado-APS- Theory -Rejected-by email 2/14
University of Utah-HET accepted TA/RA snail mail postmarked 2/18
University of Oregon-HET rejected via email 3/12
University of Florida-HET or GravitationAccepted TA/RA 3/23
New York University-Theory rejected 3/8 via email
Notre Dame-Theory withdrawn
University of Amsterdam, Institute for Theoretical Physics-HET-Rejected
Montana State- Gravity Theory withdrawn

Notes: theoretical high energy physics is a competitive field. I suspect a big part of this is the fact that funding is in short supply compared to other disciplines in physics such as condensed matter theory. I knew this when I applied, and that is why I applied to so many places. The few offers of acceptance are enough for me, as I don't care about going to an ivy league school. It has been my dream for some time to study advanced high energy theory. To future applicants, make sure you actually want to study in this field, as if you choose another, even high energy experiment, you probably can have more options.
Last edited by wavygravy on Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:14 pm, edited 12 times in total.

money
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:55 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby money » Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:32 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 20 physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.4
Overall GPA: 3.3
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class:
Type of Student: domestic female

GRE Scores:
Q: 790 (92%)
V: 600 (85%)
W: 4.5 (67%)
P: 620 (37%)


Research Experience: 1 year instrumentation, 2 years analysis; 1 first-author, 3 co-author publications

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where: interest in cosmology/extragalactic instrumentation

UCLA - Astronomy - Rejected 2/24
Hawaii - Astronomy - Waitlisted 2/7
Ohio State - Astronomy - Rejected 2/16
UMN - Physics - Waitlisted 3/23
UMN - Astronomy - Rejected 2/17
CU Boulder - Astronomy - Rejected 2/14
Case Western - Physics - Accepted 2/14
UBC - Astronomy - Rejected 4/3
Florida - Astronomy - Accepted 2/2
UMass - Astronomy - Accepted 2/16
Last edited by money on Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:39 pm, edited 5 times in total.

User avatar
MGC13
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:03 am

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby MGC13 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:15 pm

Undergrad Institution: An IIT, near top in India
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: Didn't calculate
Overall GPA: 6.8/10 :oops:
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: Average :mrgreen:
Type of Student: International male (Indian)

GRE Scores (revised):
Q: 168 (96%) :|
V: 155 (69%) :roll:
W: 4.0 (48%) :shock:
P: 820 (76%) :cry:


TOEFL Total: 110 :!:

Research Experience: 3 years at school: 2 years AMO expt. , 1 year AMO theory . One conference paper, one poster (and of course my MSc thesis :D )
One summer on optics simulation, publication (1/3 author) in a national journal.
1.5 years in computational electrodynamics programming. 2 projects no publications. Delivered (didactic) lectures to scientists and engineers at a conference.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Absolutely nothing :|

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 1 year 4 months as a computational physics software developer

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I don't think drumming and cartooning help. 8)

Special Bonus Points: No luck here

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: One relatively famous referee :wink: . Gloomy transcript :cry: . Most research experience in theory, while my grad research interest is in experimental AMO. :arrow:

Applying to Where:

SUNY Stony Brook - Physics - AMO - Rejected by e-mail (03/08/2012)
TAMU - Physics - AMO - Applied
U Virginia - Physics - AMO - Applied
U Connecticut - Physics - AMO - Rejected by e-mail (02/23/2012)
SUNY Buffalo - Physics - CMP - Accepted by e-mail 2/10/2012 16500$(TA) + 4000$(Dean's Fellowship) Attending!
William and Mary - Physics - AMO - Waitlisted
Oklahoma State - Physics - Photonics - Waitlisted
U Oklahoma - Physics - AMO - Application Withdrawn
Ohio State - Physics - AMO - Application Withdrawn
U Washington St. Louis - Physics - AMO - Application Withdrawn
Last edited by MGC13 on Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:39 am, edited 4 times in total.

bgarcia
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:08 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby bgarcia » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:19 pm

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: Cornell
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.7
Overall GPA: 3.7
Length of Degree: 4 Year
Position in Class: 75%, by my guess? We don't have this though.
Type of Student: Domestic male
GRE Scores (revised):
Q: 165 (93%)
V: 167 (98%)
W: 5.0 (87%)
P: 910 (87%)


Research Experience: 2.5 Years of part time research assistant in numerical relativity during the school year. 1 REU doing same work, and 1 REU at CalTech working with LIGO. No publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Undergraduate research award from Cornell.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Nope.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Have already started studying string theory... Show's I'm not just someone who read a brian greene book? My research advisor is quite well known within numerical relativity.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

All programs I applied to for (Theoretical Cosmology / String Theory / Gravity)

Princeton - Physics - Waitlisted 2/20/12 - Accepted 4/18/12
NYU - Physics - Accepted 2/1/12
Tufts - Physics - Rejected 4/18/12
Maryland - Physics - Accepted 2/14/12
UMass - Physics - Accepted 2/7/12
Harvard - Physics - Rejected 3/12/12
MIT - Physics - Rejected 2/29/12
Michigan - Physics - Accepted 2/29/12
CalTech - Physics - Accepted 2/16/12
Berkeley - Physics - Accepted 2/16/12
UCSC - Physics - Accepted 2/15/12
UCSB - Physics - Rejected 3/14/12
Stanford - Physics - Accepted 2/28/12 - Will Attend!
Washington - Physics - Accepted 1/24/12
______________________________________________
Last edited by bgarcia on Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:51 am, edited 10 times in total.

User avatar
lxhrk9
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:56 pm

Re: ==> Sticky: 2012 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby lxhrk9 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:08 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big State, Top 100
Major(s): Physics; Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.98; 4.00
Overall GPA: 3.99
Length of Degree: 4 yrs
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: domestic, female, first gen college

GRE Scores (revised version):
Q: 165 (93%)
V: 167 (98%)
W: 4.5 (72%)
P: 680 (50%)


Research Experience:
REU - Michigan State, CMT, 1st author PRL, Contributed Talk APS March Mtg
REU - UCLA, CMT, 2nd author PRL (cited in APS Viewpoint), Contributed Talk APS March Mtg, Contributed Talk Advanced Workshop in Brasov Romania
McNair Scholars Program - CM Exp
UG Research Mentorship Program (through home institution) - CM Exp
UG Research (for Honors in Math) - edited introductory graduate textbook on differential equations
Research Assistant - CMT, studying spin torque effects

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Honor's College Graduate, Departmental Honors in Physics and Math; Phi Beta Kappa Member, Griffith's Leadership Society for Women Member, NSCS Member, University Scholarships, Best UG Presentation Award at the annual Physics Leaders Meeting in 2009 and 2010

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
TA - A TIME for Physics First (state program to train high school physics teachers)
TA - Recitation Instructor for Introductory Physics Courses 1.5 yrs
President (and founding officer) - Sigma Pi Sigma
President - Women's Association of Physical Sciences
Vice President - Society of Physics Students

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Quantum Information Science for Undergraduates Participant at MIT

Special Bonus Points:
first generation college student?
worked closely with all recommenders

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
year gap between UG and Grad School - researching full time in CMT with emphasis in spintronics

Applying to Where:

Department - Physics
Research Interest - CMT (1), CM Exp (2)

Arizona State University - Accepted 2/10 Declined
Berkeley -Rejected 3/14
Cornell - Accepted 1/27 - 1 yr Cornell Graduate Fellowship $26,400 Will Attend!! :D
Illinois, Urbana Champaign -Accepted 2/9 - Assistantship $20,603 for 11 months - Fellowship offers TBADeclined
NYU -Accepted 2/3 - Assistantship minimum $23,950 + 1yr summer research stipend $10,500 Declined
Rutgers -Withdrawn 3/16 - No Reply from Rutgers whatsoever. I think my fee waiver was never processed so my application wasn't even looked at
Stanford - Rejected 2/28
Texas, Austin- Accepted 1/31Declined
University of Arizona -Accepted 2/20 Declined
UC Davis -Accepted 2/14 - Assistantship/Fellowship $26,310 Declined
UCLA -Unofficial Acceptance 2/10Declined
UC Santa Barbara -Rejected 3/14
UC San Diego -Unofficial Acceptance 2/2 Eugene V Cota-Robles Fellowship $22,000+tuition and fees for 2 yearsDeclined

NSF GRFP -Awarded 3/30 :D
Last edited by lxhrk9 on Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:14 am, edited 24 times in total.




Return to “Prospective Physics Graduate Student Topics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests