FYI: Gradschoolshopper updated version active now

  • 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.

blighter
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FYI: Gradschoolshopper updated version active now

Postby blighter » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:13 pm


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HappyQuark
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Re: FYI: Gradschoolshopper updated version active now

Postby HappyQuark » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:37 pm


Whatchu talkin bout? It is the same as it has been for the last year or two (i.e. since the last revision).

blighter
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:30 pm

Re: FYI: Gradschoolshopper updated version active now

Postby blighter » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:07 am

They update it every year. Some profiles get added, some profiles get taken out. Newer admission stats are reported.

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wiak2
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Re: FYI: Gradschoolshopper updated version active now

Postby wiak2 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:22 pm

Just a quick look through some of the school's stats, and it is obvious they weren't lying about last year having a record number of applicants.

blighter
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Re: FYI: Gradschoolshopper updated version active now

Postby blighter » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:35 pm

wiak2 wrote:Just a quick look through some of the school's stats, and it is obvious they weren't lying about last year having a record number of applicants.


I was looking through your profile. Did you get in anywhere?

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wiak2
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Re: FYI: Gradschoolshopper updated version active now

Postby wiak2 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:54 pm

blighter wrote:
wiak2 wrote:Just a quick look through some of the school's stats, and it is obvious they weren't lying about last year having a record number of applicants.


I was looking through your profile. Did you get in anywhere?


Nope, not this time. Spending another year doing research to pad my profile and going to try again next year with a better game plan.

blighter
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:30 pm

Re: FYI: Gradschoolshopper updated version active now

Postby blighter » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:50 pm

With a great GPA like yours and not to mention a master's degree with an even better GPA, I would have thought you could get into some place. What do you think was the reason?

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wiak2
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Re: FYI: Gradschoolshopper updated version active now

Postby wiak2 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:41 pm

I think part of it is astronomy departments are much smaller and there are much fewer of them, making the competition tighter. Also, I think some had reservations because of my shift in research areas (from condensed matter to astrophysics). I think I may have overestimated my chances and didn't have any real safety schools. I was waitlisted at four schools (and attended an open house at Minnesota), but ultimately didn't make the cut.

blighter
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Re: FYI: Gradschoolshopper updated version active now

Postby blighter » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:33 am

That sucks. None of the schools you'd applied to were reaches for your profile. I would consider at least a few of them safeties (for your profile, that is). Anyroad good luck with the applications this year.

Lavabug
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Re: FYI: Gradschoolshopper updated version active now

Postby Lavabug » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:43 am

wiak2 wrote:I think part of it is astronomy departments are much smaller and there are much fewer of them, making the competition tighter. Also, I think some had reservations because of my shift in research areas (from condensed matter to astrophysics). I think I may have overestimated my chances and didn't have any real safety schools. I was waitlisted at four schools (and attended an open house at Minnesota), but ultimately didn't make the cut.

Holy crap, I am really starting to reconsider applying this year. I'm at around a 3.2 as rising senior at a European university (though I qualify as a domestic), no masters and no research other than a senior thesis and was thinking of applying to a comparable number of schools in pure astro programs (many of the same). Does having research in other fields harm you that much? With a year in observational astronomy and your GPA I'd assume you'd have a sure pass to at least one of those astro programs.

I was going to take my GRE's in November but reading your case... I'm starting to think I should hold this off for a year or altogether until I can get some form of relevant research.

Gradschoolshopper updated recently because AIP released their new astro grad program statistics a few weeks ago:
http://www.aip.org/statistics/trends/ar ... rorost.htm

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wiak2
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Re: FYI: Gradschoolshopper updated version active now

Postby wiak2 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:40 pm

It was surprising for both me and my advisor. He thought I was a lock at a few of them. I'm not sure, but I think it will be better with my Masters in Physics to apply to a lot of Physics and Astronomy programs rather than just pure Astronomy program. I don't know that my research hurt me, as much as it was just not something Astronomy admission committees were familiar with.

This year I'm going to apply to several schools that should really be safeties, and still have professors that I would enjoy working with. And like I said, I'd recommend appying to many Physics programs as well, as they can often times be larger and less competitive (admitting say 30 students opposed to 5) and yet you can still work with professors in the Astronomy departments.

Lavabug
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:19 pm

Re: FYI: Gradschoolshopper updated version active now

Postby Lavabug » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:56 pm

wiak2 wrote:And like I said, I'd recommend appying to many Physics programs as well, as they can often times be larger and less competitive (admitting say 30 students opposed to 5) and yet you can still work with professors in the Astronomy departments.

This was what I was initially considering, but it doesn't sound like a surefire way of getting to do any of the research areas I like (or getting admitted if I'm honest about my research interests). Can you get to work with profs in astro departments... and still get funding?

I don't want to risk getting stuck doing something I don't like, and my least favorite area of astrophysics is cosmology which the closest thing to astro that most pure physics departments seem to work in (I do like fluids/mhd and numerical relativity very much though, and all the traditional areas in astronomy like stellar physics, which I am dying to take courses in).

Another thing that turns me off of is the coursework requirement for most physics grad programs... coming from my country's educational system I've already had my share of solid state, Kubo statmech, Cohen's quantum and Goldstein/Landau mechanics(last two, a year's worth) and really don't feel like taking all that over again (I'll do anything to take a pure course in electrodynamics though!)




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