another low scorer on the gres w/ other strengths

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need_advice
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:25 pm

another low scorer on the gres w/ other strengths

Postby need_advice » Sat Dec 09, 2006 1:51 am

Hello,
I am a student from a pretty large liberal arts college w/ a small science dept. I studied physics and chem and have a minor in math w/ a gpa of 3.68 (a point or so higher in my major). I have several different research undergrad experiences (REU, SULI, departmental research) and think I will have good rec. letters but I'm concerned that my low GRE scores will really hurt my chances of getting into a good school and was looking for advice.

My general gre scores were 450V and 690Q and I'm too afraid to find out my subject test which I took in nov. but on the practice tests I took before that day I scored in the lower 500 range.

The schools I sent my scores to were
UIUC
UofW-Madison
UofMaryland -has anyone heard of their chem. physics prgm?
Georgia Tech
Carnegie Mellon

Do I have a chance at these schools?

I am also looking into other schools and was wondering if anyone knew anything about the following schools and the competitiveness of any of these schools:
UofMinnesota
Northwestern
UofPenn
Rice
Michigan State
UofMichigan
UCSD
UofChicago
CalTech
-I know the last few are very competitive

I think I am interested in experimental work -probably in condensed matter though biotechnology and materials science sound interesting as well. Just looking for other opinions.

-I am also a female which may help me a little...

tnoviell
Posts: 235
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:31 am

Postby tnoviell » Sat Dec 09, 2006 12:53 pm

I think you should apply wherever your heart desires, but you should also apply to places you know are a lock. You never know where someone may want you, and I have no idea if the people who wrote you recommendations know anyone from other schools.

Physics GRE don't really mean much of anything...they're more of a filter. The people who typically score well on them are people who spent alot of time studying for them. I think alot of schools should understand that people can't always afford the time it takes to study...some people have to work and do school work at the same time. However, if you're applying to somewhere like CalTech with lower physics GRE scores, I wouldn't waste the money.

Grad school isn't so much about the name as much as it is who you work for. I know of some schools that no one here even talks about applying to that has professors that were considered for Nobel prizes. Just keep that in mind.

dph99
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 2:22 pm

Postby dph99 » Sat Dec 09, 2006 8:25 pm

I can at least speak for U of Chicago. This comes straight from the admissions lady I spoke to. If you do not have at least a 770 on the subject test, your application isn't considered further. It's like the first cut, if you will. She also said 630 V and near perfect on the quantitative section is expected.

tnoviell
Posts: 235
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:31 am

Postby tnoviell » Sat Dec 09, 2006 9:00 pm

Yea, I would assume the physics department there had high expectations. I'm sure it varies from department to department - if a school has a biophysics department it's usually different.

rjharris
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 6:48 pm

Postby rjharris » Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:19 pm

dph99, i dont suppose you know about chicago astronomy and astrophysics? perhaps the requirements would be similar.

astrobio
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:37 pm

Postby astrobio » Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:39 pm

My best friend was accepted to Chicago astrophysics last year with a subject gre of 710 and a gpa of 3.7ish

rjharris
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 6:48 pm

Postby rjharris » Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:41 pm

ah cool. you know what research he's doing now, out of curiosity?

astrobio
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:37 pm

Postby astrobio » Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:45 pm

To my knowledge, she's not in a research group yet. Doing the whole studying for classes/ exam thingy for the moment.

rjharris
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 6:48 pm

Postby rjharris » Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:01 am

i see. well, thanks for the info!

need_advice
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:25 pm

Postby need_advice » Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:18 am

Thanks for the advice tnoviell and others.
I think I am going to try to be more realistic about places and programs which would be good matches for me. It's so hard to make good judgments just based on a school's website though.

One of my recommenders did do his phd at UCSD and he seems to be encouraging me to consider it -he still knows people there too. Another one of my professors is from Berkeley but it's been a while since he's been there and I don't feel competitive enough to apply. I might just stick with my five schools and one or two more and possibly end up taking another year off.

Any other chemistry and physics majors out there though? -I really enjoy physics but I might be a better chemist and now I'm just confused...

P.S. Any personal grad school recommendations would be welcome..

jormiga
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:30 pm

Postby jormiga » Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:01 am

Dear need_advice:

I think you should apply to some other schools in addition to those already in your list. You might get into some of them, but is probably wise to apply to some safety schools. If you like materials physics, I think you should apply to Arizona State: they have a strong program but are not yet very very selective.

Take a look at the list here: http://www.stat.tamu.edu/~jnewton/nrc_r ... rea33.html

Try to apply to two or three other schools that you like and that you feel pretty sure about getting in. Based on the info you are providing, I would say top 40 is probably too much, but you know that admissions is not an exact science (well, not even a science) so somebody in the committee might like you and you are in... if you have the money, you should apply to those programs as well.

Good Luck.

braindrain
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 12:23 am

NRC ranking

Postby braindrain » Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:37 pm

What year was the NRC ranking list made?

jormiga
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 6:30 pm

Postby jormiga » Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:23 pm

The rankings were published in 1995, the survey was performed in 1993.

Richter
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2006 3:45 am

Postby Richter » Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:18 pm

How about for international applicants? They are not living in an English speaking environment, where is the cut located?




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