colsanders wrote:Ah that's good to know. One final question, why are international students expected/required to have much higher PGRE scores?
This is more due to the fact that the competition for international students is much higher. international students will cost most schools a lot more money (factor of 2-3 at least) than a domestic student. So, they would only want the very best international student -- after all, why pay more for an international student when there is an equally qualified, cheaper, domestic student?
There may also be other reasons that the PGRE may not be as important for domestic students, such as the undergrad curriculum. Most domestic Physics programs are very similar so the department can have a pretty decent guess of what the grades mean etc. But for an international applicant, the courses and grading might be unfamiliar, so the PGRE is something that is supposed to be standardised, so it can be more directly compared.
I think the first reason probably plays a larger role though. In fact, I think that is the main reason why it is so much harder for international students to go to US grad programs!